By Melanie Galarce
Olla Miami (South Beach 1233 Lincoln Road), a new Mexican joint started by Scott Linquist, the mastermind behind the incredibly popular Coyo Taco in Wynwood and Brickell is open for business. The restaurant gets its name from clay pots used to serve family style dishes. Yes, similar to the ollas Abuela and Mami still use to cook.
Menu highlights: Expect a variety of small and large plates that are all original, fun and exciting while staying true to their Mexican roots. During brunch, I was able to try several dishes including the small shareable plates like the Ahumado (hot smoked salmon, egg salad, crema tomatillo-poblano salsita and bolillo) and the Huevos Rancheros (sunnyside eggs, crisp blue tortillas, ham roasted peppers, tomato sauce and queso fresco).
Standout dish: I’m going to highlight several dishes here because the line-up of food was simply stellar. Fideos Seco (Dried Noodles) is the kind of dish that turns you into a foodie. It’s a Mexican take on noddles that bursts with flavors and originality. Grasshoppers – totally outside my comfort zone but they were actually very good and if you’re feeling adventurous, I’d highly nudge you to order these for the table since it’s a dish you can share. And before you leave, order the Torrejas – a Mexican homage to the French Toast with sweet plantains that will make you weak in the knees.
Are we boozing? Yes, we definitely are. With its location in South Beach you can bet you’ll find a full service bar offering craft cocktails with a focus on Mezcal and Tequila. For brunch you can enjoy $30 bottomless Micheladas, mimosas, margaritas and Bloody Maria’s. But don’t expect this to be your typical nightclub ambiance, this is the place where locals come to unwind and get some seriously good Mexican grub without the pretentious glitz and glam.
Check this place out if you like: Coyo Taco, which was also started by Chef Scott Linquist who’s a master at Mexican cuisine.
Mel’s take: With the exception of a few amazing brunches I’ve had in the last few months (looking at you, PINCH) the brunch menus around Miami feel like they’ve been done before. Maybe that’s why I’m so psyched about brunch at Olla. It feels fresh, exciting and new! If you’re into Mexican food (who isn’t?) I would highly suggest you make this your next brunch destination. Another highlight? Your money goes a long way here and you never feel like you’re compromising on a true Mexican gourmet experience. Scott Linquist’s had a long trajectory at perfecting Mexican food and I’m just glad he’s finally brought his talent to South Beach.