Rick's Reviews: Brunch Bunch

Conch fritters at Pelican Landing, Via Rick Karlin

It’s always news when there’s a new dining option in town, even more so when it’s a new opportunity on the Drive. The Grille on the Drive has been a popular dining and entertainment spot ever since it opened in the location that formerly housed Tropics.

The new owners did a magnificent job renovating the space, menu and service while maintaining some of the qualities the patrons enjoyed. The one thing that was missing was Tropics’ legendary Sunday brunch. Under the former owners, the brunch relied on faded glory, but the Grille’s management has brought it back better than ever. Although now it is no longer a weekly staple; the Grille’s brunch will only be served the last Sunday of the month and on holidays (this Easter for example). That’s probably a good thing because there are enough tempting items to make a weekly visit dangerous.

The Grille on the Drive

2000 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors



The buffet, served from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. is $24.95 and not only features the full buffet, but also a complimentary mimosa or Bloody Mary. You’ll find all the staples: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast, biscuits and gravy, lox and bagels, eggs Benedict and a salad bar. But wait, turn the corner and there’s a station featuring made-to-order omelets and carved roast beef and turkey. Hold on, you’re still not done. There’s another sizeable buffet line featuring many of The Grille’s menu most popular dinner entrees: eggplant parm, chicken marsala, barramundi and many others. About the only complaint I had was that the dessert offerings were a bit sparse – although that’s probably for the better; as it was, I didn’t eat for the rest of the day.


2200 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. 



The Grille’s not the only place with a new brunch offering. Dune, located at Auberge Beach Residences & Spa, known for its California coastal cuisine, is offering an a la carte brunch menu every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Choose to dine in the light and airy dining room, or al fresco, on the beachfront terrace.

Seafood figures prominently on the menu, with raw options ranging from freshly shucked oysters, ceviche or Little Neck clams. Shared options include The Surfboard-seared scallops, Key West shrimp, mussels, clams and oysters accompanied by herb garlic butter and charred scallion or creamy Blue Crab & Artichoke Dip with grilled sourdough. Eggs can be enjoyed a variety of ways: from huevos rancheros to charcoal baked eggs or a selection of Benedicts – served with avocado, smoked salmon, or prosciutto, with an indulgent option to add a lump crab fondue. 

Seafood toasts begin with avocado toast with heirloom tomatoes and arugula and can be topped with a choice of Maine lobster, blue lump crab, smoked salmon or shrimp. Double Burgers and steaks are available for the meat and potatoes fan.

Pelican Landing 

2301 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale 



Just because there are some new brunch options, that doesn’t mean we have to abandon some tried and true favorites. You can’t beat the setting of Pelican Landing, located in the Marina of Pier 66. The a la carte menu is precise and focused. Check out the restaurant’s signature dish, SOFLO Chilaquiles; featuring fried plantains, salsa verde, queso fresco and scrambled eggs served with chipotle crema. Many of the other dishes on the menu share the Latin American vibe, including huevos rancheros, ropa vieja (brilliantly paired with poached eggs), a flaky buttermilk biscuit with thin layers of scrambled egg on the jalapeño biscuit egg sandwich accompanied by a refreshing salad topped with fresh mango, and crunch mini-crab cakes with perfectly prepared sweet potato fries. 

More fried goodness comes courtesy of the crunchy conch fritters. For the gringos there is more traditional fare; shrimp with poached eggs, vanilla brioche French toast and steak and eggs. Those emphasizing a healthy diet will appreciate the quinoa and black bean hash (served with scrambled egg whites and avocado), and the coconut-chia seed pudding parfait.  Treat yourself to freshly-made cronuts (doughnuts made with croissant dough) for dessert. It should be noted that Pelican Landing is not handicapped accessible, but an upcoming renovation will move the dining area to the main level, which will rectify that situation.

Shooters Waterfront

3033 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale



Brunch is all about options and at Shooters you can choose from a la carte offerings or head to the buffet. There’s none of that, “everyone at the table has to choose the same” nonsense. If you just want a salad and your friends want to pig out that’s fine with the restaurant’s management. The menu features dishes such as crab cake eggs Benedict, challah bread French toast, and the Power House (an egg white omelet with spinach, feta, tomato, cheddar, and pico de gallo). The all-you-can-eat $40 brunch buffet strains the imagination as much as the waistline. It includes a carving station, custom omelet station, waffles, sushi, bagels, pastries and salads. Enjoy a bottomless mimosa or bloody Mary for $20. Shooters offers brunch Saturday andSunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and there is free yoga every Saturday at 8:30 a.m. before brunch. 

Pelican Grand Beach Resort. 

2000 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale



A buffet and the chance to eat with your toes in the sand? Yes, please! At Pelican Grand's Ocean 2000 the restaurant’s veranda opens straight onto the beach, so brunch is like a picnic without all that pesky sand in your food. Served Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the extravagant buffet is $60 per person. It’s a bit steep, but one look at seafood tower and you’ll know you’re getting your money’s worth. There are also meat carving stations, made-to-order waffles and omelets, build-your-own pasta bowls and a dessert table. The first Sunday of each month the dessert table looks like something out of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. The meal includes a choice of traditional or pineapple and cranberry mimosa, bloody Mary, or a Kir Royale. 

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