Brunches by the Bunch
They're not just for Sundays anymore—brunches are a full weekend affair. Here are some of the best.
As Kirt Earhart of Maxine’s on Shine says, Saturday is the new Sunday.
Sunday brunch is turning into an all-weekend affair, evidenced by the mimosa-fueled Saturday lineups popping up all over town. Maxine’s has spread its day of rest menu, complete with live music, to two days, featuring shrimp and polenta, chicken and waffles, and a “Cajun Lumber Jack” omelet of Andouille sausage, brisket and bacon.
2017’s Readers’ Choice winner, Santiago’s Bodega, offers an unlimited brunch buffet that includes endless mimosas and its croissant French toast. Distinguished runner-up Earls Kitchen+Bar proffers everything from baguette French toast and steak and eggs to a Filipino rice bowl.
Soco, Best Sunday Brunch winner courtesy of the 2015 and 2016 O-Mag Dining Awards reader votes, is extending its midday offerings to Saturdays, and including a DJ in the mix, with $10 bottomless mimosas and an extensive menu.
Down in the Restaurant Row area, Slate runs a weekend brunch that takes full advantage of its artful wood-fired oven, with crispy calamari, fish tacos and pizza joining a menu of omelets, benedicts and lemon cornmeal pancakes.
The Osprey Tavern isn’t fooling around in its brunch proposal: A barbecue plate of smoked brisket, ribs, house-made sausage, pulled pork and two sides is one smoky alternative to the eggs and bacon circuit (they do have those, along with a Scotch egg burger and my fave, the “Dutch baby”).
I see Saturday afternoon naps in our collective futures.
- The former and ephemeral Italo Italian Kitchen location in Winter Park's Trader Joe District (yes, I made that up) is becoming a “cakery” called The Glass Knife, which would be a great partner for The Rusty Spoon. Just saying. Opening in the fall and helmed by former Four Seasons and Disney pastry chef Stuart Whitfield, the bill of fare will include patisserie-style cakes, breakfast, soup, salads and sandwiches.
- Nonno’s Ristorante Italiano may be a new name, but the face in the kitchen belongs to a chef familiar to local diners: Stefano LaCommare, who owned Il Pescatore back when it was a sterling example of family-friendly Sicilian fare (which I reviewed waaaaay back in 2001). LaCommare, once retired, re-caught the restaurant bug after helping his daughter open Antonella's Pizzeria in Winter Park. No, no pizza at Nonno’s, just pasta with house-made sauces like my preference, baked gnocchi, along with fish and entrees.