By Melanie Galarce
Once upon a time, we fell head over heels for Pinch. We told you all about our wonderful dinner at the quaint little restaurant a few months ago, about how much we loved its charm and its effortless menu full of creativity and innovation. So when we heard that the critically-acclaimed, yet cozy spot was starting to serve brunch, Mitch and I flocked to the restaurant to gluttonously indulge in what we knew would be a fantastic meal.
Why I didn’t think ceviche for breakfast was a must, is beyond me! Specifically, this rendition is the type you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A dish of Peruvian-style Ceviche with corvina, wild red shrimp, choclo, and crispy yucca is the way everyone should kick-off their weekend meals. It’s simple, but full of flavor. Also, the crispy yucca chips that are part of this dish add the perfect crisp texture and serve as the perfect excuse to scoop up more ceviche.
For more traditional options, Pinch offers dishes like the Egg in a Basket. It’s a poached homestead egg, crispy speck, potato espuma, and whole wheat toast. Although I can’t stand the thought of a runny egg (it completely grosses me out) this dish, for some reason, had all the right combinations to make it rather interesting. The potato espuma is a total foodie dream. I was debating whether I should ask the chef to bottle it up for me so that I could drizzle the foamy deliciousness on all meals from here on out. This is culinary experimentation gone really, really well and one you really want to try during brunch.
Although some of the items are very untraditional like the Brisket Sliders, it’s the boldness of the dish (48 hour braised brisket, brioche bun, crispy shallot, pickled fresno, spicy aioli and baby lettuce) that make this brunch option a total win. Sometimes it’s a good thing when you don’t dwell on eggs and, if you want to put your adventurous foot forward, the sliders are the dish to venture with. It should also be noted that the brisket is so perfectly braised it melts in your mouth and the hints of spicy aioli make this a total delicacy.
Next up were the Home-Made Dumplings. Everything about the dumplings are why we adore this little nook in El Portal. There’s nothing extraordinarily fancy about this dish. It’s comprised of pork secreto, scallions, and spicy umami sauce, but after having one of these, you’ll never understand why you don’t have dumplings during every brunch meal you ever have.
The Eggs Benedict dish brings two soft poached homestead eggs, andouille sausage, caramelized onions, and pimiento hollandaise. I’d love to rave about this dish, but I didn’t really try it too much so my opinion means very little here. I’ve never been a fan of Eggs Benedict – as mentioned, any egg that’s too runny scares me. However, Mitch gave it two thumbs up and there’s no one I trust more than my BFF (Best Foodie Friend). Also, the sausage and potatoes were seasoned incredibly well.
But the real piece de resistance here was the Stuffed French Toast. As if the name itself doesn’t sell you in on the dish, here’s what it brings: brioche, guava, whipped cream cheese, powdered sugar, and maple syrup. Think of this as a hybrid of your favorite guava pastelito that has somehow morphed into a sophisticated French toast. It’s a genius interpretation that makes you proud to be a Miamian. Also, it tastes better than it sounds, if that’s even possible.
Mel’s take: Brunch will always have a special place in my heart. My favorite meal has always been breakfast (I’m also one of those weirdos that loves mornings) and Pinch offers the sort of extraordinary brunch menu where you want to get lost for hours on end. As nothing more than a self-proclaimed foodie, this was honestly one of the best brunch experiences I’ve had to date.
Standout dishes: So many choices, so little time. Literally everything Mitch and I kickstarted a foodie conversation where we dissected every ingredient. If we had to choose a couple shining stars, we’d probably vouch for the Home-Made Dumplings and the Stuffed French Toast. These dishes are indicative of why we love the team at Pinch. They’ve innovative twists on traditional dishes but never once compromise on superior taste.