For those people who think that brunch can only be defined by eggs benedict, waffles, and mimosas, the joke's on them.
In the past year and a half, the Magic City has erected a handful of new restaurants that offer Saturday and Sunday brunch -- without the Hollandaise and home fries.
Serving up bánh mìs, tacos, dumplings, and beyond, these spots are fearless to challenge the idea of "brunch."
5. Mercadito - Did you know you can have a booze-centric brunch here for $30 a person? Mercadito's a sneaky little one. The family-style brunch option gets you two hours of unlimited bevs and three dishes from the menu to share. What? No waffles and syrup? No worries. Mercadito has your back with fresh-made guacamole and ceviche. Then there are the chilaquiles and enchiladas. Needless to say the the drinks are just as exciting as the unconventional brunch offerings. Our personal favorites are Auntie Ox (green tea infused vodka, passion fruit, agave, orange, guajillo) and pepino el pyu (tequila blanco, cucumber, lemon, hoja santa, cumin salt). (Saturday and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
4. Khong River House - You see, you know you've hit the goldmine when Asian-style noodles are on the brunch menu. Lincoln Road's newest addition offers up pad mi korat (rice noodle stir-fry, $12) in tamarind juice with minced pork, crispy tofu, chives and dried shrimp. As for the drinks, Khong's bartenders (who, refreshingly, actually know what they're doing and talking about,) whip up A Very [mean] Thai Bloody Mary which consists of Bluecoat American gin, tomato juice, horseradish Sriracha, lime, and Thai oyster sauce. The drink comes unlimited for $30 a person. That's how the people of Thailand handle brunch -- so you see all this time we've been doing it wrong. (Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
3. PB Steak - In the old times, if you were rich enough, you could go out into the pastures, pick a beast, shoot it, and choose which slab of meat you wanted before anyone else did. It's luxuries like these that we've all been out of touch with -- that is, until PB Steak arrived. The Pubbelly boys' newest addition offers a wicked blue crab bread pudding florentine ($18) and Bourbon-based cocktails to make happy campers out of South Beach. (Sundays noon to 3 p.m.)
2. Chef Philip Ho - People don't realize that when you say "Sunday dim sum," you actually mean "Sunday brunch." But now you know, so that's good. The squeaky little carts that get wheeled around Ho's awkwardly spacious dining room boast some of the best dim sum in town. Steaming-hot bamboo bowls filled with dumplings and rice and vegetable concoctions are sure to kick your average Sunday Brunch in the rear. Still not convinced? Chive and shrimp dumplings, steamed green-tea duck dumplings, scallop and black truffle dumplings, anyone? (Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.)
1. Barceloneta - See, there is no such thing as a bad brunch when Spanish-style tapas are involved. Charcuterie, oysters, and Spanish tortillas galore, Barceloneta is the perfect place to sum up the long week that came before it. Just to give you an idea of a very simple dish that works wonders on the palate: Croque monsieur ($9) is a slice of toasted rustic bread, Serrano ham, mahon cheese sauce mornay, and black forrest ham. Flavors could not be simpler or more epic at the same time. If you miss out on a Sunday brunch here, you might as well never do brunch again. (Sundays, noon to 3:30 p.m.)
Follow Alex on Twitter @ARodWrites.
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