On September 29, I celebrated my 34th birthday. I flew to Miami for the occasion, ushering in this new year surrounded by family. The itinerary consisted of great meals, with a few outings in between (just the way I like it!).
One of my favorite meals of the whole trip was the last one before I headed back to the airport to fly home. I went with my sister and brother-in-law to Eating House in Coral Gables. They had been before for dinner (and raved about the fried chicken), but never for brunch. It was my first time and we were all excited by the menu we had seen online.
Eating House opens at 11:00am on Sundays. We arrived at 11:02am and there was already a line out the door. Thankfully, they were able to seat us right away.
The restaurant has some wacky decor, including this floor-to-ceiling wall of tsotchkes.
Check out the Shaquille O'Neal sneaker!
Mrs. and Mr. Potato Head have also joined the party.
The walls showcase all kinds of art, from graffiti to Jimi Hendrix.
Though we had already creeped on the menu online, we were excited to look again and make a game plan.
We started with the tater tots, sprinkled with Eating House dry rub, the same seasoning they use on their fried chicken. The tots come with a side of Coca Cola ketchup, which sounds like it would be gross, but is shockingly tasty.
All three of us agreed the tater tots were perfection. A little heat from the dry rub, expertly crisped and even yummier when dunked in the Coca Cola ketchup.
For the main course, my brother-in-law chose the braised pork calentado.
After one bite he said, "This tastes like Latin America in a bowl - the slow-cooked pork, the chimmichurri, the rice and beans, the plantains - it has it all." After his plate was cleared, I said, "Would you order it again?" He smiled and replied, "Absolutely. It was smoky and sweet with every bite. And this portion was huge! Easy to eat half and take the other half home for round two."
My sister and I ordered the same dish, the olive oil fried eggs over Sullivan Street Bakery bread, with pesto cream sauce, San Marzano tomatoes and fresh basil. They bring you a serrated knife with the dish, so you know they mean business.
Two bites in, my sister declared, "This tastes like pizza!" The San Marzano tomatoes definitely added a Margherita pizza-like flavor. She also commented, "Sometimes when you get something on toasted bread, you are worried the bread will be toasted to the point where it makes a very coarse texture in your mouth. This was toasted enough to crunch, but didn't give you that weird mouth feel." She did have one gripe, "The basil on top felt a bit dinky. I wish they had used full leaves."
In my opinion, the bread in this dish could have been incredibly soggy from the pesto cream and the tomatoes, but they sauced it so beautifully that the bread retained its crunch. The eggs were cooked perfectly. When you cut into one, the bright yellow yoke would run, coating every inch of toast.
For dessert, we shared Eating House's signature brunch item, the Cap 'N Crunch pancakes. The dish is four of the fluffiest pancakes you'll ever taste in your life, swimming in a sea of condensed milk, topped with vanilla butter and a sprinkle of Cap 'N Crunch cereal.
I had just watched the Christina Tosi episode of Chef's Table on Netflix (she's the creator of Milk Bar) and I couldn't help but feel these pancakes were inspired by her cereal milk desserts. Each bite was super sweet. There is no way you could order this dish as your main meal and finish the entire thing. Your teeth would rot on the spot!
After demolishing three rounds of epic brunch food, we had to know more about the chef. We asked our server where the chef came from and if he was known for any particular previous stint. He said, "His name is Giorgio Rapicavoli and he's actually won Chopped."
We left Eating House very full and very happy. My sister and brother-in-law were excited to have discovered such a killer brunch menu just a few minutes from their new house, and I was thrilled to have tried somewhere new.
If you're planning a future trip to Miami, Eating House is steps from my favorite book store, Books & Books, great shopping on the Miracle Mile and the Coral Gables Cinema.