In these divisive times, there’s something upon which the LGBT community can agree; we all love brunch.
Given its popularity, you might think that our community invented it. However, the origins of brunch go back farther than that. In 1895, the term was used by English writer Guy Beringer describing a Sunday meal for "Saturday-night carousers."
Beringer also wrote: "It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week."
The first American city known for brunches was Chicago. Back in the days before transcontinental flights, movie stars who had business on both coasts would stopover in Chicago on their multi-night treks across the country by rail. The train used to stop late mornings on Sunday and famous actors would head to the famed Pump Room at the Ambassador Hotel in search of a meal between breakfast and lunch service. The restaurant created a special menu for those Sunday morning stopovers.
It doesn’t matter who or where brunch. What’s important is that it exists at all, allowing us to sleep late, feast, and then head to tea dance or (for those of us of a certain age) back home for a nap.
If you like eggs Benedict, then J. Marks should be your go-to brunch spot with a half-dozen versions of the menu favorite. In addition to its version of the classic (served on ciabatta), there is also a veggie version (served on a bed of sauteed spinach), one which subs thick-cut applewood smoked bacon for the traditional Canadian bacon (which is called pea-meal or back bacon in Canada), a spicy version showcasing prosciutto, smoked mozzarella, and a fiery sauce, yet another atop crab cakes, even one towering over a double cheeseburger.
For those seeking something more down-home, there is a croissant breakfast sandwich with two fried eggs topped with Canadian bacon and Velveeta cheese or steak tip and eggs. Those who are health conscious can enjoy an egg white omelet. For something exotic check out the breakfast eggroll; stuffed with scrambled eggs, applewood smoked bacon, and Velveeta cheese. Bloody Marys are only $3, but oddly enough, the same sized virgin Mary is $5.
In addition to socially distanced dining indoor dining, the Fort Lauderdale location features a large outdoor patio, while the Pompano space has a limited number of outdoor tables. 1245 N. Federal Hwy in Fort Lauderdale, 954-390-0770 and 1490 NE 23rd St. in Pompano Beach, FL 954-782-7000, jmarksrestaurant.com.
Palm Beach Gardens’ Stage Kitchen & Bar commemorated its first anniversary by launching Sunday brunch, served from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Brunch menu highlights include chicken and waffles, an English breakfast plate, eggs Benedict with crab, and avocado, and steak, egg, and frites. Other standout dishes include Bang Bang cauliflower and shrimp and grouper fried rice with kimchi. Kimchi also makes an appearance in the restaurant’s signature Bloody Mary. Other cocktail options include iced mimosa and Bellini, and a combo of sake and ginger beer. Brunch is served both indoors (which is equipped with an air purification system) and on the outdoor patio. 2000 PGA Blvd., 561-408-3685, stagepga.com.
Milk Money is known for its trendy dishes, but they do a good job with the classics as well. You can’t get trendier than avocado toast with glazed maple bacon and eggs unless of course, you go for the egg whites over a bed of sautéed spinach topped with spicy aioli, fresh cucumber, and tomato. Upgrades, add-ons, and substitutes include vegan bacon, vegan cheese (why the vegan options if it has eggs?), avocado, and pickled cabbage with daikon.
However, there are also dishes for those seeking classic breakfast fare; eggs with a choice of sausage patties, ham, bacon, or turkey sausage links, served with hash brown patties or hand-cut breakfast potatoes with onions, scrambled eggs with caramelized onions, and pepper jack cheese and waffles topped with house-made chocolate and caramel sauces, white and milk chocolate chips, and bananas. There are also a sunny side lox and bagel, steak and eggs, and avocado on a bed of greens served with tomato and feta and stuffed with your choice of chicken cranberry pecan salad, almond raisin tuna salad, or chickpea salad. Though not large, Milk Money offers ample outdoor seating. 815 NE 13th St., Fort Lauderdale, 954-990-4018, milkmoneybar.com.
Reunion Ktchn Bar recently began offering brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. The shared plate menu is internationally inspired with an emphasis on Spain, Asia, and the Mediterranean. For those who like a touch of sweetness in the morning, there are gluten-free almond pancakes, served with bourbon maple syrup or chocolate chips, honey saganaki cheese topped with a pistachio crumble, and the s’mores croissant. Savory options include smoked salmon Benedict, avocado toast on a baguette, grilled raclette cheese on a croissant, and escargot. Brunch can be elevated with caviar service or caviar flights. Indoor and patio dining are available. 18167 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura, 305-931-7401, reunionkb.com.