The Pubbelly boys might be growing an empire, but that's not keeping them from keeping the location that started it all fresh and exciting. Since opening in 2010, Pubbelly has lacked one thing: brunch. If you wanted the breakfast-meets-lunch indulgence in the form of French toast sticks, you headed over to PB Steak.
But when PB Steak announced it would close to move to the mainland, French toast dreams were shattered. Until a couple of weeks ago that is, when Pubbelly started serving "Sunday brunch fare: a wonderful fresh ingredient feast."
Short Order was invited to sample the newfound fun chef Jose Mendin is having. "We had such a nice program at PB Steak and wanted to keep doing it, so we moved it to Pubbelly," says the chef. "And then we incorporated all the elements of Pubbelly into it."
You'll find Pubbelly classics like the dates avec chorizo and brussels sprouts, but also fresh hangover grub like the media noche McBelly (not to be confused with the regular McBelly). There's also dim sum (cause who doesn't want dim sum for brunch?), South Beach diet type dishes (for those watching their figure), and bread and company (for those who don't care when it comes to brunch).
Cocktails unique to brunch include the Funday sangrias (white or red) and rose is the new orange (get it?). Rose is the new orange ($11) is a sake, capeletti, and rose cocktail. And yes, is it orange.
In the South Beach diet section you'll finds things like domestic burratta with local mangoes and Palm Beach heirloom tomatoes. But you ought to try the housemade granola ($11) with seasonal berries, Greek yogurt, yuzu and lime zest. Bet you never thought to put yuzu in your granola before. It's a game-changer.
The bread and company section of the menu packs more than just dough. Sure you can get a baguette with butter or a croissant aux chocolate (L'echon speak for chocolate croissant), but you can also nosh on housemade smoked bacon. Or even better: housemade lamb bacon for $3. It's fatty, it's rich, it's decadent. It's brunch. You might also want to pair it with some hash ($6).
If you're hungover because, well, it's Sunday, there's a specific corner in the menu just for you. Hangover grub dishes consist of things you want all the time, really. Things like udon carbonara and pork belly ramen. And other things you have yet to try, like the Pubbelly brunch burger or the media noche McBelly ($12), which was my favorite dish. Chef Mendin has basically taken the McBelly and turned it into a media noche. Instead of barbecue and kimchee, the brunch rendition has cox farms ham, gruyere, and dijonaise. Don't worry -- the housemade pickles are still somewhere between the two slices of pressed bread. "So far this has been the most popular dish," says Mendin.
Another hangover grub dish, the soft polenta bramata with black truffle braised short rib and poached egg ($15). We're presuming you know what to do, but just in case, make sure to break your egg all up in the polenta.
Last but not least, you'll make your way to the brunch fare of the menu, which is why you came in the first place. Definitely go for the pumpkin pie pancakes ($13) with walnut butter. They'll satisfy even the biggest waffle devotee (like myself).
You've had crab benedict before, sure. But have you had a softshell crab benedict ($10) with seasonal tomatoes, house-made biscuits, and shisho hollandaise? We're going with no. It's time to change that.
If you miss PB Steak brunch, your eye will light up at the sight of the French toast sticks, which have carried over and are served with a trio of sauces for your dipping pleasure. Choose from seasonal marmalade, apple pie compote, or bacon maple. Or go for all three. It's Pubbelly brunch.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha
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