As we previously posted, Pai Men Miyake, little sister restaurant to critically acclaimed Japanese joint Miyake, just started doing brunch this month. While many restaurants need training wheels for the first few weeks of a new menu, I’m happy to report that this is not the case at Pai Men. We stopped by last Saturday to taste test the “Japanese take on a traditional American brunch” and I’m going to go ahead and give it the official Dispatch Stamp of Approval, which isn’t really a thing, but maybe it should be.
We started our brunch with a few orders of meatballs and hash browns. Meatballs for breakfast? Heck, yes. The Miyake Farm Meatballs are succulent mounds of chicken liver, held together by farm fresh egg yolks and sprinkled with green onions. I’ll admit, I don’t normally eat meatballs right after waking up, but it turns out that they’re a fabulous hangover food. As are the home fries, which combine sweet potatoes and beets for a dish that I like to pretend is as healthy as it is pretty, though every single one of my senses tells me otherwise.
After we polished the brunch appetizers off, a server immediately delivered the next course. Ali and I split a Croque Madame, which is basically a really fancy grilled cheese sandwich with braised pork belly, farm fried egg, and heaps of gruyere, and the Yaki Buta, which involves eggs, more pork belly, scallions, and some sort of delicious sauce that I sopped up with the remnants of our home fries. The eggs were cooked perfectly, sunny side up, all runny and gooey, and the meat was a different take on morning pork. I’ll never stop loving bacon, but even the most ardent carnivore can recognize that it’s been overused in the past few years. It’s high time pork belly got a minute in the spotlight (and it’s own meme to match).
I realize I haven’t even mentioned the drinks, so let’s talk alcohol. The mimosas were great and all, but for me, the highpoint of any brunch is the bloody mary. Never ones to leave a recipe untweaked, Pai Men’s proprietors have concocted a beverage they call the “Bloody Samurai.” It’s spicy as eff and full of wasabi. It wakes you up, clears your sinuses, and cures your (or at least, my) hangover.
In case you haven’t picked up what I’m putting down, I’ll spell it out: Brunch at Pai Men is great. You should totally try it. Or, at the very least, get the meatballs.