Since it’s the weekend, I hope we all allow ourselves to afford the luxury of sleeping in. Press that snooze button a couple more times, roll out of bed when you’re ready and take in the morning glow of the Miami sun. The weekend mornings are a great time to reflect on your week, reaffirm your goals and to savor some alone time. But it is also the perfect time to grab some friends and go to brunch.
So starts my Saturday. One of my personal favorite spots for weekend brunching is Whisk.
Whisk specializes in Southern comfort food, and is sure to send your taste buds on an unexpected journey not usually found in Miami. Just on the outskirts on Sunset Plaza, Whisk is literally a hidden gem.
Whisk offers a variety of breakfast items including: Fried Green Tomato Stack (with bacon, pimiento cheese, baby arugula & egg), UN-Traditional BLT (pecan wood smoked bacon, arugula, tomato, sliced avocado & buttermilk dressing), and many others. Sticking to the classics, my personal favorite is Papa’s Buttermilk Pancakes. The sight of pecan-caramel praline butter paired with maple syrup makes my mouth water. You will leave satisfied and full, and by now you have already planned when your next trip back will be (next weekend?). Whisk is a must for breakfast, but it’s also great for lunch and dinner, so plan accordingly.
Once the food coma sets in take 5 giant steps (assuming Mother may I rules), and find yourself at an AMC movie theatre. Digest while you watch the new comedy “Neighbors,” or if you are in the mood for some action check out “Godzilla.” Regardless of your movie preference, a movie is a relaxing and enjoyable way to fill the gap between Whisk and our next destination.
Pro-tip: AMC offers parking validation, and in Miami, it is hard to beat free parking.
Miami, as you may or may not know, is rich with an abundance of varying hispanic influences. So after the movie, why not immerse yourself into a new cultural experience? One of my favorite places to go with friends when we are looking for a light lunch spot is Mao, a Colombian fast food eatery. Mao offers colorful, flavorful, Colombian-style hamburger and hot dog creations. I put my initial impressions aside and ordered a “super perro.” One word: incredible. So many flavors in that first bite — wow — and the service at Mao is extremely friendly. As a frequent customer, the employees will eventually come to remember your face and greet you with a cordial smile upon your return. So eat like a local and dine deliciously at Mao.
Okay we have eaten lunch, time to enjoy Miami the stereotypical way: let’s go soak up some sun. Despite the allure of South Beach, one place to visit is the Venetian Pool, unlike any other pool in the country. Venetian Pool is filled with spring water from an underground aquifer, a permeable rock in which water can freely pass through. The scenery of the pool is captivating; it has two cave-like features as well as a waterfall providing a soothing soundscape as you lounge in the sun. The beauty of this pool will leave you feeling as if you were transported away from Miami, away from the traffic and crowds that often accompanies a city scene. But hanging in the sun can be tiring and it is about time for diner.
For the final stop of the day, we end at Monty’s Raw Bar, a restaurant (with two locations) that has withstood the test of time. Walking up to Monty’s the scent of ocean air consumes you, and you marvel at all the boats docked in the harbor. There is a faint sound in the distance — live music? One of the prominent features at Monty’s is their live bands whom always incite an up-beat mood in all customers.
The majority of the seating is outdoors, allowing you to gaze across the ocean as the sun sets in Miami. With multiple full bars, Monty’s is also a great place to stop in for drinks with friends and enjoy the end of the weekend. If feeling up for some greasy goodness, I suggest the curly fries. After your meal, take a walk on the docks, digest and enjoy the sights as we conclude our journey and our weekend.