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The Best of The Brunch

If you’re like us, you love a good brunch.

There’s just something about being able to toe the line between late morning and early afternoon, no matter whether you’re partial to breakfast, lunch or somewhere in between. And while the over-the-top, all-you-can-eat buffets are great on occasion, we find ourselves more excited by the tantalizing options that can be found on area menus that pay homage to the classics while adding a touch of modern flair and finesse.

We traveled around the area to uncover the dishes you should be ordering the next time you sleep in a little late.

Se7en Bites in the Milk District
A Southern take on this savory American breakfast classic, this Benedict swaps English muffins for melt-in-your-mouth buttermilk garlic biscuits and ham for Applewood smoked bacon. Of course, there’s a fried green tomato thrown in for good measure and an over-medium egg. To finish it off, everything is smothered in a creamy peppercorn hollandaise.

Briar Patch in Winter Park
The flavors of this decadent dish are so bright and concentrated that you will not feel the need to add any maple syrup. The fluffy flapjacks are topped with rum-braised pineapple pieces, coconut cream and a passion-fruit curd and sprinkled with toasted coconut. Aloha, deliciousness!

310 Restaurant in Multiple Locations

Fruit and brie are a natural pairing found on appetizer menus everywhere but the duo also works just as well in this three-egg omelet that is rich and cheesy with just the right amount of sharpness delivered by sliced pear. The omelet comes with a toasted English muffin and a serving of home fries.

The Strand in Mills50

A true lunch-and-breakfast hybrid, this dish features a serving of grits topped with a fish filet that is coated in batter and fried until the outside couldn’t be crispier. A slice of toast with a sunny-side up egg fills out the plate and a tailor-made pipérade sauce (a mix of peppers and onions that is akin to a relish) ties it all together.

Farm & Haus in Audubon Park
A warm breakfast bowl of housemade chorizo, roasted sweet potato, black beans, pickled red onion, chipotle sauce and queso fresco, this filling, gluten-free dish is topped with a scoop of avocado mash and local farm eggs either scrambled or over-medium. For a dash of heat, be sure to ask for the in-house hot sauce made with chilies from local farm Frog Song Organics.

The Hammered Lamb in Ivanhoe

Mary had a little egg, a little slow roasted lamb and more in this omelet that is also filled with feta cheese, baby spinach, sautéed onions and diced tomatoes. A little tzatziki sauce adds some zest and it’s served with home fries.

Avenue Gastrobar in Downtown

This savory handheld is a brunch winner with 100%-certified Angus chuck, cheddar, bacon and a fried egg sandwiched between two Belgian waffles. A hash of potatoes comes on the side.

Outpost Neighborhood Kitchen in College Park

The minds behind this eatery are so sure of how delicious this dish is that they decline to list a description on the menu because, as they say, the words wouldn’t do it justice. What we can tell you is this breakfast treat is made by tearing apart uncooked cinnamon roll dough and throwing it into a fryer until it’s crisp on the outside. The cinnamon roll pieces are then given a vanilla-orange flavored icing and decorated with both candied walnuts and orange peels.

Stubborn Mule in Thornton Park

Thanks to a cinnamon toast crust, this French toast achieves nice textural balance with just the right amount of saltiness to blend harmoniously with a heaping pile of fresh-cut berries and a noticeable dusting of powdered sugar. Not to be left out, the accompanying maple-pepper bacon is the perfect sidekick.

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ at Disney Springs

Any discerning gourmand who has sank their teeth into chef Art Smith’s signature dish will tell you he’s long mastered the art of fried chicken; just ask his good pal Oprah. His wonderfully crisp and delectable birds play nicely with
housemade sugar doughnuts and your choice of side dish
—we suggest the grits or the pecan-smoked bacon.

Taproom at Dubsdread in College Park

A perfectly airy croissant gets the royal treatment when it’s sliced and stuffed with sinfully sweetened cream cheese and a mouthwatering berry compote, resulting in a plate that pops when it arrives to your table. And while the clever take on a fan favorite gets extra points for creativity, it wouldn’t mean as much if the dish wasn’t so downright delicious.

Dixie Dharma in the Milk District

Like any respectable interpretation of this Southern staple, it all starts with the biscuit. The highly addictive homemade versions here are the ideal foundation for being smothered with thick sausage gravy that sets the stage for sizable chunks of bourbon-maple glazed sausage while vibrant heirloom tomatoes add a distinct twist.

Hamilton’s Kitchen in Winter Park

Talk about a dish that sings, the folks here hit all the high notes with this glorious menu offering. Buttermilk fried chicken tenders deliver an audibly crunchy exterior with juicy, tender meat on the inside and are arranged atop an almost decorative looking Belgian waffle and then finished with vanilla bean maple-bourbon syrup for good measure.

Dixie Cream Café in Windermere

Dry-rubbed brisket is smoked low and slow for 12 hours before it is ready to be pulled by hand, mixed with potatoes and crisped together in a pan with a five-herb infused olive oil and served with eggs and a buttermilk biscuit. The smokiness of the meat is a great complement to the starchiness of the potatoes and the fragrant essence of the olive oil makes the dish further tantalizing.

Raglan Road in Disney Springs

Known for its lively nightly entertainment, this spot is also a great place to start your day with this traditional Irish wake-me-up. Come with an appetite to feast on a hearty plate of sausage, both white and black pudding, bacon, a roasted tomato, two fried eggs, mushrooms and roasted potatoes.

California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

To keep in line with the trend of more plant-based items showing up on area menus, this rendition of a Middle Eastern classic consists of kale, Swiss chard, onions that have been seasoned with a distinctive Ethiopian spice blend and dairy-free feta. A side of pillowy pita bread fresh out of the oven is the perfect substitute for your morning toast.

First Watch in Multiple Locations

This breakfast sandwich is not the ordinary version you’re accustomed to. Instead, this features an over-easy egg with the obligatory slices of bacon, Gruyere cheese, avocado and arugula lightly dressed with a lemon mayo and all stacked between a light brioche bun.

This article originally appeared in Orlando Family Magazine’s November 2019 issue.