On the weekends, my early morning thought process usually consists of one thing: what’s for brunch? Since Acme Bakery closed, I’ve longed for a casual, delicious brunch spot where I can get my Panther crack fix without waiting in massive lines or paying $125 (that is reserved for Zuma, where I happily fork over the cash because their brunch is off the hook).
Lately, Harry’s Pizzeria has been my go-to. The fact that I’ve hit up Harry’s three weekends in a row means they are doing something right. The service is pretty consistent, the menu has plenty of sweet and savory options, and the prices are reasonable. Also, the design district is like a ghost town on Saturday and Sunday mornings, which makes for a relaxed, quiet brunching atmosphere that you’ll be unlikely to find elsewhere in Miami. I half-expect tumbleweeds to come rolling down North Miami Avenue.
Ahh, nothing wakes up my cranky self better than a glass of Panther cold-brew. I won’t lie, having Panther on the menu is half the reason I come here. Diluted, burnt coffee just isn’t going to cut it on the weekends. A little jigger of simple syrup and a splash of milk and I’m on my way to becoming a fully-functioning human being.
When you sit down at Harry’s, you automatically order the Polenta Fries while you peruse the menu and decide what you’re in the mood to eat. Because you are always in the mood to eat these. There’s nothing better than biting through the golden brown, crispy, salty crust and letting the smooth, creamy center ooze out. Dip these bad boys into the house-made herbed ketchup and you’ve officially started brunching.
The Warm Brussels Sprouts and Stracciatela Salad with pears, pistachio, herbs, creamy parmigiano dressing is a must-order. I always vascilate between this and the Orange and Radish Salad with green olive, shaved fennel, arugula, and piave, but the sprouts win everytime. This hearty, rustic dish tastes just like it sounds: creamy, salty, and crunchy, with a hint of sweetness from the pears. I think if they swapped the pears, which tend to lose their texture when heated, for slices of crisp green apples, this dish would be a winner. Either way, it’s the perfect sweet-meets-savory brunch option and I highly recommend ordering it.
The Roasted Corn Frittata with caramelized onion and arugula was my least favorite of the dishes we ordered. I think we felt pressured (by brunch standards) to order an egg dish, but this one was little overcooked. It would have benefited from some creamy goat or crumbly feta cheese. I loved the bright pieces of sweet corn and smoky onions. Next time I’ll probably try the Coddled Eggs All’Amatriciana.
The Crispy Filone doesn’t look like much, but ORDER IT. Initially, I scrunched my nose at what appeared to be burnt french toast, but trust me, this combination of pain perdu and a beignet will change brunch for you forever. The moist and spongy center is surrounded by little crunchy bits of fried dough. The warm honey crisp apple compote is sweet, cinammony, and puts this dish over the edge. I mean, it’s basically dessert. And I love it. A lot.
Harry’s also features weekly brunch specials that you can scope out on Instagram the morning of. I usually see some sort of roasted apple-ricotta or poached egg-kale-Gruyère concoction and immediately fumble for my car keys. The brunch starts at noon…fine, it begins at 11, but I’d prefer it if hoards of people don’t bum rush Harry’s after discovering their awesome brunch menu and ruin the tumbleweed experience for everyone.