Food: The Brunch Bunch

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Dapur
1620 N. Federal, Ft. Lauderdale
954-306-2663
DapurKitchen.com

Brunch buffets are usually a case of quantity over quality. That’s not the case at Dapur, where the recently inaugurated Sunday brunch manages both quantity and quality, while delivering more exotic fare than you’ll usually see on a brunch buffet. Known for innovative pan-Asian tapas with an emphasis on Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, Dapur knocks it out of the park with this weekend staple. The $23.95 prix fixe ($14 more if you want to partake of the unlimited Bloody Mary, mimosa and sangria bar - and you will) is one of the best deals and meals in town.

Sushi chefs prepare beautiful displays of maki rolls at the same station where you can load up on buttery smoked salmon (mini bagels and cream cheese would be a nice addition, though) and a variety of salads, including mixed greens, fruit, green papaya and the Indonesian specialty, Rudjak; a refreshing combination of pickled and raw veggies and greens.

The hot food station, located in the bar area, showcases a variety of Asian specialties. On the day of our visit, the options included; tom kha mussels (with Thai herbs in a coconut based broth), rich and chewy Korean-style short ribs and crispy chicken breast with sweet chili sauce.

Alongside the chicken were vegetable fritters that would have benefited from being kept a little warmer. Starch options included vegetable pad thai, chicken fried rice and congee; a jasmine rice porridge with ginger, scallions and flecks of chicken.

If you prefer more traditional breakfast fare, there is another station in the bar area with a chef preparing omelets, a make your own waffle station (double back and grab some of that fried chicken for a Southern/Asian fusion entrée), smoked meats and cheeses. There are also assorted pastries and breads available.

A recent addition to Dapur’s brunch offering is a dim sum cart offering shrimp, chicken and vegetable dumplings, shrimp siu mai, chicken and red bean buns, steamed tofu and sweet sesame balls filled with red bean paste. The dim sum is not as successful as it could be. The baskets on the cart were stacked too high and the top layers weren’t as hot as they should be. That’s especially risky with so much seafood being offered. That’s an easy fix, and one that, combined with the attention from our adorable server, Rueben, made Dapur’s brunch close to perfection.

Other brunch buffet options include:

Tropics
2000 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors
954-537-6000
TropicsWM.com

The $20 Sunday brunch includes two complimentary brunch cocktails. In addition to a variety of breakfast items and an omelet station, there is a carving station and dinner entrée offerings such as fish and chips, beef stew, etc. The pastry buffet is the ultimate in decadence.

Hobo’s @ Rumors
2426 N. Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors
954-565-8851
RumorsBarWiltonManors.com

While not the most elegant dining option (it’s a lot like eating on your Mom’s patio, if her patio was in a parking lot), service is friendly and the food is well prepared, if unimaginative (your standard, eggs, taters, meats, etc). But, you’d be hard pressed to find a cheaper brunch; the $16 tab also includes your first cocktail.

The Bull Market/Chow
210 SW. 2nd St., Fort Lauderdale
954-523-1213
BullMarketbar.com

The $24 all you can eat affair really tests your ability. It includes prime rib, crab legs, shrimp and unlimited sushi along with waffles, biscuits and gravy, bacon, eggs and made to order omelets. Since there’re two restaurants in one, you’ll also find a lot of Asian fare on the buffet. The unlimited bloody Mary bar and mimosa special is $15 per person, but I find it unfair that women get it for free. Then again, it’s aggressively hetero, so maybe save it for when your parents come to visit.

Downtowner Saloon
10 S. New River Dr., Fort Lauderdale
954-463-9800
DownTownerSaloon.com

This place is open early for those who prefer a plated meal, after 11, it’s $14 for the buffet, which includes; scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash brown potatoes, biscuits & gravy, grits, a create your own omelet station, eggs Benedict, yogurt, fresh cut fruit, waffles, and toast. It’s a little touristy, but snag a seat along the river and your out-of-town guests will be enchanted.

Savor Our City Wilton Manors returns October1! The culinary tour of Wilton Manors, with light bites and drinks at each stop, takes in six locations. Sample goodies from of the Island City’s top foodie destinations and learn a little about Wilton Manors history along the way. I will lead the next tour on Thursday, October 1 and hope you can join me. Go to www.SavorOurCity.com for more information.


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