If you’re like me, you might have driven past Bulegreen Café, located on Dixie just north of Oakland Park Blvd., dozens of times and said, “I should check that out.”
Yet, somehow, it just never happened. The other day we were having brunch with a friend before he returned north and I thought of Bulegreen, as it has a nice outdoor patio and side yard seating. It proved to be an inspired choice, as I finally learned what Bulegreen means.
Bule is the name of the pot that the café uses to brew coffee at your table. It is basically a drip filter, commonly used on Brazilian farms. Most of the café’s bules are green and it is an eco-friendly establishment, hence Bulegreen. Bulegreen is more than a coffee shop, though. It is a full-fledged restaurant offering brunch and lunch items all day (or at least until its 3 p.m. closing time).
While there are plenty of salads and sandwiches, the focus is primarily on breakfast/brunch items, which it does with great success. Many of the dishes are classics, such as build your own omelets, frittatas, and the ultimate French favorite: Croque monsieur; two slices of bread dipped in homemade béchamel sauce, filled with ham then perfectly grilled, covered with melted Swiss cheese on top. Top it with a fried egg and it becomes a Croque madame! Either way, it is served, as are most sandwiches with a choice of chips, house salad or coleslaw.
There are also some truly original creations. The breakfast pizza combines béchamel sauce, cheese, eggs, bacon and sausage atop a thin and crispy crust. Bulegreen’s signature sandwich proved to be one of my husband’s favorites. The banana melted cheese combines the yummy fruit with melted American cheese, butter, sugar and cinnamon on a choice of white or wheat bread, croissant or waffle. The waffle also serves as the base for a BLT or a Caprese sandwich.
If you are indecisive, check out the Tres Salad: mixed baby greens and one scoop each of chicken, tuna salad and egg salad. The chicken salad is bright pink, as it’s flavored with beet juice, which works better than you’d think. The plate is accompanied by the house dressing, made with beets, ginger and honey. It’s delicious and tangy. I didn’t use it on my salad, but drank it like a shot afterward.
There are plenty of options for vegetarians, and a section of the menu devoted to vegans offering a burrito like a tortilla “pillow” stuffed with quinoa, carrots, spinach, corn, mushrooms, crispy garlic, and humus before being baked. There’s even an organic vegan crispy crepe with peanut butter, sliced bananas, roasted almonds, then wrapped and baked, drizzled with agave and served warm with banana chips.
As should be expected coffee drinks are plentiful, as are juices and teas. Service is friendly and efficient, if not the most refined. Bulegreen is popular and rightfully so. There’s plenty of outdoor dining, but to avoid waiting during busy hours, you can put yourself on the waitlist on the restaurant’s website before you arrive. Parking is limited.
3299 N Dixie Hwy, Oakland Park
After dropping in some info about Reunion Ktchn Bar’s newly offered brunch a few columns ago, I just had to stop by and check it out for myself. The menu is tapas style with dishes listed as small, medium, or large. Sometimes those listings are an understatement, such as with the Alpine raclette, which provided enough cheese (six thick slices) for a small army. Unfortunately, we were sitting outside, and the wind kept blowing out the candle making the melted part (the main focus of the dish) impossible. We took the leftovers home, melted the cheese on our own, and enjoyed it over the provided toast points and fried potatoes. Pear Fiocchi (a pasta similar to tortellini) in brown butter sage was nearly orgasmic and no matter how large, the portion wouldn’t have been enough.
Reunion Ktchn Bar’s new brunch menu is terrific and the place hasn’t been discovered (yet) so get there while you can. There is an array of exotic cocktails and a surprising number of mocktails for the non-drinkers, all are equally delicious. It’s not cheap, but then the best rarely is, is it?
Reunion Ktchn Bar
18167 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura