Spend just a couple of minutes on South Beach’s iconic Ocean Drive and you will quickly see how restaurants are not lacking there. It seems that almost every other business on this popular drag is a food establishment. While some of you may be thinking “great,” the foodies reading this will be shaking their heads because they know what a deluge of restaurants in a tourist heavy neighborhood means-more mediocre ones than actual good ones. And as Marie, our tour guide on the Miami Culinary Tours told us, “you definitely want to skip most of the restaurants found on Ocean Drive in South Beach.” But she went on to say the equivalent of “within every pile of cubic zarconia gems, there is a genuine diamond.” And that is indeed what the Front Porch Cafe is.
I first learned about it from stumbling across a list on Yelp of the “Top 10 Best Places in Miami Beach for Brunch.” The other indicator that this was indeed a “good” spot was that its staff was not standing out front beckoning diners to sit down; rather, we actually had to wait for a table (a nominal 15 minutes which was definitely worth it).
The Front Porch Cafe is located within the Z Ocean Hotel, one whose open air lobby actually features “mermaid windows” on the ceiling. The pool is located directly above the lobby and back in the “day” the hotel would employ swimmers who were meant to resemble mermaids, a way to entertain guests as they could look up and see creatures swimming about. The restaurant has been in operation since 1990 and in an area where I’m sure there is frequent change and turnover in the food business, this is quite impressive. But with its great location, extremely friendly prices, and pleasant ambiance, it’s easy to see why.
The breakfast menu is quite extensive although it’s definitely more of an “eggs” kind of place, featuring a whopping 14 different omelettes as well as such favorites as crab cake eggs Benedict, breakfast burritos, and migas. French toast and granola pancakes do grace the menu just in case eggs of any variety are not your thing. And should you want to eat on the lighter/somewhat healthier side, diners will also find an adequate selection of granola, yogurt, cereal, and pastries.
While I hemmed and hawed quite a bit as to what I should get (remember, my meal at exquisite La Mar was later that night), I ended up going rather basic and ordering the 3 Eggs Served Any Way. For only $8.99, it was a ton of food. All egg dishes are served with your choice of fresh fruit, potatoes, garden greens, or sliced tomatoes along with toast. I was quite pleased with my choice of entree.
D selected the Cajun Scramble ($10.99) which consisted of three eggs along with Andouille sausage, vegetables, and cheddar cheese. He also had got a side of bacon for $3.
Although South Beach has a reputation as being expensive, the Front Porch Cafe is testament to the fact that this isn’t always the case. That, and you can indeed have a terrific meal in an area that is teeming with tourists year-round. While it was just “breakfast,” it was an excellent breakfast indeed.
Front Porch Cafe
1458 Ocean Drive | Miami Beach, Florida | 33139