Brunch, more than any other meal, is supposed to transport you away.
Away from throbbing. Away from wooziness. Away from 4 a.m. Facebook posts, ill-advised texts, the smell of spilled IPA, the lingering taste of tobacco, the tinge of a mysterious bruise, that last shot and the impending doom of Monday morning – to a place called #SundayFunday.
If escapism is among your top brunch squad goals, you can’t do much better than the brunch at Pasión.
The all-you-can-eat brunch ($17) at the Cuban restaurant includes some of its most popular menu items, including fritas cubanas, crema de verduras soup and the iconic ropa vieja. It also includes some American breakfast classics like eggs, home fries, and bacon. Not only is the brunch a great way to start off your Sunday, it’s also the perfect excuse to check out the Cuban magic that Chef Adrian Riera Muñoz has been weaving in his kitchen.
If you do go, the ropa vieja or shredded steak sautéed with onions, dry wine, and a Creole tomato sauce, is not to be missed. Popping a forkful of the shredded beef into your mouth reveals a tangy mélange of Latin spices. The dish was a collage of complexity, with each bite offering a different variation of the same delicious theme.
The fritas cubanas were also a highlight, and perfect brunch food. These were essentially tiny hamburger patties made with beef, pork, and chorizo sausage. The perfectly-cooked crusty exterior of the patties introduced the three different meats, which were all entwined in a synchronized dance.
The brunch features two soups, each one delicious for a different reason. The Ajiaco Cubano is a savory soup with beef, pork, corn, yucca and peppers that approaches a stew-like heartiness. A rustic taste of the Caribbean, the soup was roughly-hewn and spicy, but barely what the typical Buffalonian might call “hot.”
The bright-green colored crema de verduras soup may have suggested a strong vegetal flavor, but sipping it actually revealed it was rich and hearty. Best described frothy mashed potatoes, it’s ideal comfort food for a cold, wintery Sunday.
The brunch at Pasión also had a number of classic dishes. Chief among them was a Quiche Lorraine. The perfectly-seasoned classic quiche was topped with roasted vegetables that provided bursts of spring-like freshness. Those looking for standard American fare can also treat themselves to cooked-to-order eggs, bacon, and fingerling potato home fries. For those who want sweets, there are mini cupcakes, brownies and tres leches cake, all made in-house.
In addition to the buffet, the brunch at Pasión also has $1 mimosas, featuring passion fruit mimosas, as well as $2 bloody marys. Yes, you read that right, $1 mimosas and $2 bloodies.
While those are great options, Pasión also has a cocktail menu with a heavy tiki influence. If you’re growing weary of super-serious cocktail culture, tiki is the answer.
On a recent visit, bartender Nino Martinez bounded behind the bar in a Hawaiian shirt, cheerfully slinging mimosas and flashing an easy smile. Mai tais, painkillers, and zombies are all tiki staples and Pasión has them all. They also have a healthy rum collection for those looking to get their Jack Sparrow on.
Between the Latin music, authentic Cuban food, mimosas, and tiki drinks, the brunch at Pasión will evoke images of lounging under the thatched roof of a seaside patio while the ocean breeze slips past your face – not a bad way to start to your #SundayFunday.
Pasión’s All You Can Eat Brunch Buffet
Saturday and Sunday 12 – 4pm
Brunch Buffet: $17
$1 Mimosas & $2 Bloody Mary’s
Kids Under 5 years old eat free
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