Prism Tastes: The Brick Summer Menu
July 19, 2017Pola Bunster
Having a true connection to what’s on your plate and ultimately in your stomach is in high demand now, although we’re still wondering where it ever got lost. In light of all that, the slow food movement in Miami has taken off and expanded across the city, from the West to the South with a bustling collective in Dadeland of all locations, represented by some serious show-runners in the city’s culinary industry. Next to Ghee Indian Kitchen and Barley an American Brasserie is a new voice for bringing the food experience back to roots, where all levels of food connoisseurs are welcome: The Brick.
Knowing about what to eat and how to eat well may be marketed as something for only the Whole Foods elite but, like many things, it really all comes down to education. When presented in a friendly environment and infused with a heavy hand of locally-sourced pride, it actually becomes pretty easy. And that’s exactly what The Brick does so well. You don’t feel like you’re eating at a once-in-a-lifetime locale where stains on tablecloths are few and far between, instead, you’re at your regular neighborhood spot where the staff sees your presence as a an excited visit from an old friend.
Six months ago, Corey Bousquet took an empty cinderblock warehouse and, with the help of local artisans and chefs like the James Beard Award-winning Allen Susser who connected him to the right farmers, he transformed it into one of the city’s most delectable outposts for the slow food movement. The open kitchen allows guests to see fresh ingredients become soulfully comfortable dishes from start to finish all the while maintaining a genuine farm to table approach. Here, the seasonal and fresh ingredients are as important as the price-inclusive menu, which draws in the residential area without closing their doors to the culinary curious. There’s even a chef’s table waiting for guests to take the same journey we were led through.
Things worked out great for Bousquet and his vision, where nearby apartments and a bustling happy hour crowd were an instant fit for his concept as well as those of his aforementioned neighbors. Although they might have a similar draw, collaboration is still key to each of the eateries, pushing each other to dig deeper into what makes them each unique and equally powerful. For The Brick, it’s about real moments shared over authentic dishes sourced from the people who know the land best. And with seven different lettuces, we aren’t questioning their knowledge.
We ventured to the south for a deep dive into their summer menu, featuring the flavors you’d expect to bloom in the tropics. Refreshing, bursting with color, and reminiscent of afternoon BBQs, it’s a collection of plates you won’t want to end. Here, root vegetables dance along to the tunes of local favorites. Starting with the Basil Lemonade, which tastes exactly like the kind of drink you’d want during Miami’s sweltering summer months, we were already impressed; especially since the basil is picked from their very own vertical garden where the herbs are “mojitos in training”. Another bourbon cocktail in and we were ready for the feast.
And “feast” is an understatement. We dug into the Summer BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with Zak the Baker buns and heritage pork shoulder, a.k.a “the Bentley of pork” and rightly swooned. Then came the Key West Pink Treasure Shrimp + War Eagle Grits which were like swallowing forkfuls of clouds bubbling with flavor from Teena’s Pride tomatoes. The Blackened Wild Caught Mahi-Mahi Tacos are some of the best in the city, featuring Paradise Farms mangos, and the Roasted Cauliflower Mac + Cheese was a wonderful take on a classic, where Israeli cous cous and smoked gouda will now become your new favorite pairing.
Moving on to the Lemon Coriander Free Range Bell & Evans Chicken which is as succulent as it sounds and the ‘Butchers Cut’ Hanger Steak – Grass fed from Adena Ranch in Williston, FL. The proteins in these entrées might take the spotlight, but they’re supported by a cast of seriously delicious sides and sauces. From summer veggies like eggplant, zucchini, squash, chickpeas, artichoke heart, chicken jous, and roasted lemon, to in-house chimichurri and coleslaw. With this collection of mouth-watering run-on sentences, it’s hard to imagine that we’d have room left for dessert.
Oh, but do you know us at all? ‘Masterpiece’ doesn’t even begin to capture what they had in store. Two words: Dragonfruit Bowl. Take a Dragonfruit, slice it in half lengthwise, ball out the fresh flesh and mix with balled mango, throw it back into its original fuschia-hued shell and top with house-made mango sorbet and fresh blueberries…you have yourself a creation that really can only be perfected by working with the beautiful produce we have surrounding us. It’s simply exquisite. Everything at The Brick is light and straight to the point but when working with quality ingredients, is there really any other way?
Photos by: Fujifilm Girl.