It’s not every day we seek out one of our favorite bars during daylight hours, but some of the best times we’ve had at Sweet Liberty happened recently before the sun even set. We’re talking about brunch at the South Beach hot spot, specifically its Fruit Cocktail drag party hosted by Karla Croqueta. Every Sunday, a parade of Miami’s fiercest divas take the stage to perform, twirl and slide down a pole while you tuck into Sweet Liberty’s delicious brunch spread. Kinda perfect, no?
Queens aside, brunch is its own sort of spectacle. The menu runs the gamut from shareable starters and breakfast classics to hearty lunch plates—and everything is so photogenic. We eased in with a vibrant Blood Orange Tuna Crudo topped with toasted garlic and serrano chili and an order of the eye-catching Pickled Deviled Eggs. The unexpected colors, the flourishes, the precision in plating—the appetizer are as striking as one of Sweet Liberty’s delightfully garnished cocktails, but more on that later. Our last dish from the dedicated brunch menu was one of the more breakfast-y items on the list. The Lobster Benny with sauteed lobster meat, avocado and two poached eggs covered in Hollandaise sauce was rich and easy to fork-and-knife, which we can’t always say about toasts. This one was a winner.
For the mains, we stuck to Sweet Liberty’s all-day staples: Michy’s Fried Chicken Sandwich and the Buns of Liberty Burger. James Beard Award winner Michelle Bernstein is behind SL’s menu (yep, that Michelle Bernstein) and her famous fried chicken is the thing you’ll want to order whether it’s your first visit or your 50th. She brines the bird in a tarragon buttermilk and covers the crispy, juicy breast with cabbage, fennel slaw and tarragon aioli. It’s served with a side of watermelon greek salad—because balance. Though we did tip the scales with the burger: a double-patty stacker with lettuce, tomato, onion and secret sauce that’s accompanied by a mound of shoestring fries. Hungover or just plain hungry, you’ll want to start your Sunday with this burger.
Dessert was the Ridiculous French Toast (in the best way) with brioche, strawberry, banana, vanilla cream, caramel, fresh mint and mixed berry compote. It’s a hefty pile you’ll want to share with your group lest you’re in it for the post-brunch nap. We found our pick-me-ups in the form of SL’s potent Espresso Martini, plus a slew of other brunch cocktails we sampled while there—including the namesake Fruit Cocktail with Grey Goose Essence; a Bloody Mary made with SL’s proprietary Mary mix; and the Breakfast Martini, which should only be consumed on weekend mornings.
For a place that’s risen to fame for its cocktails, Sweet Liberty’s food is equally deserving of praise. Brunch is served on Sundays from noon to 5pm while the shows take place at 12:30pm and 2pm. Plan ahead and arrive early to place your order before Karla and her girls do their thing.