With the weekend not far away, chances are you're figuring out where to go for a good-tasting brunch that (a) doesn't break the bank, (b) isn't the typical hotel affair, (c) has pancake tacos, and (d) offers bottomless booze. For all of the above, head to Station 5 in South Miami.
If you're unfamiliar, Station 5 is a sliver of a gastropub doing some big things (like the aforementioned pancake tacos). Executive chef and co-owner Julia Ning, former sous-chef at Khong River House, has cooked and traveled all over the country. Prior to landing in Miami, she worked alongside Chris Migrant in Chicago’s Michelin-rated Goosefoot.
At Station 5, she unapologetically fuses comfort food, pub grub, and modern techniques. Take the weekend brunch (offered Saturday and Sunday), which Ning began as an alternative to the lackluster options in the area. "We wanted to do something fun for the locals," she says.
Case in point: Ning has carried over popular lunch items that work just as well for brunch. Think smoked bacon with garlic and lots of cilantro ($13), French onion soup with bacon and "creamy goodness" ($11), and a bevy of sammies like mom's chicken meatloaf.
Of course, no brunch is complete without some booze, and Station 5 has bloody marys and mimosas. Want to go bottomless? Do it for $15 (one glass will set you back $10, so for two you're getting more than your money's worth).
Ning is a master of tacos, and you can get her famed braised short rib with Brussels sprouts, creamy Dijon, and — yes — Cheetos for lunch and brunch ($15). Why nobody ever thought to pair short rib with Cheetos is a mystery.
Other tacos (three per order) include Peking chicken skin with ginger soy and cilantro, General Tso's Duroc pork belly with papaya and peanuts, and sriracha shrimp with citrus and crunchy slaw ($15). If you like heat, go for the latter and make sure to load up on sriracha.
"Our tacos are so well received that we really wanted to do something special for brunch," Ning says. The result: pancake tacos. A pancake replaces the tortilla and is stuffed with eggs, bacon, pico de gallo, and maple syrup ($12.50). If you prefer your pancakes not folded like tacos, there's the flat red-velvet variety topped with a cream-cheese glaze and raspberry sorbet ($14).
If you want something eggier, opt for the Duroc pork belly hash with Brussels sprouts, papas, chipotle ranch, and two eggs any style ($16). We recommend sunny-side-up.
Perhaps the best brunch dish, however, is Le Croque ($14). A colossal, traditional take on France's quintessential ham 'n' cheese sandwich, the croque-monsieur, this baby would do even Daniel Boulud proud. It's served with a green bean caeser salad. Also not to be overlooked is Station 5's plethora of sweets, such as apple pie à la mode, rum raisin bread pudding with ice cream, and a "killa" brownie sundae with Reese's Pieces sauce and homemade fluffernutter ($8). Again: homemade fluffernutter.
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