April 2022 (Miami, FL) – A wise man once said, “the best way to avoid a hangover is to stay drunk.” A wiser man said, “I’ll have the Sancocho Pho”. Approaching its sixth year and widely considered a definitive “Miami restaurant” – a place local tastemakers frequent and savvy travelers “must try” while visiting the Magic City – Phuc Yea is the acclaimed, modern-Vietnamese restaurant from Chef Cesar Zapata and business partner/restaurateur Aniece Meinhold. Housed in a quaint corner spot in the heart of the 305’s MiMo District, Phuc Yea is a beloved haunt drawing crowds for Zapata’s innovative, globe-trotting cuisine, inspired by his Colombian heritage and rooted in Meinhold’s Vietnamese ancestry. In truth, nowhere else in Miami can you find such a heady mix of soul, style, substance and sizzle. With the return of their stellar Sancocho recipe and more otherworldly brunch offerings, a Sunday hangover should #FearThePhuc!
The refreshed brunch menu is as colorful, lively, vibrant and funky as Phuc Yea’s environs and soundtrack, with the duo’s tastes and ethnicities evident throughout. “Our brunch menu has developed naturally over the years,” says Meinhold, whose days helming the since-closed modern soul food haven, The Federal, inspired many of the new offerings. “Initially we had a very strong Cajun influence as the spiciness and boldness of that style of cooking complemented what we were doing. But as we’ve grown, we’ve refined our food style to showcase our strengths and now, close to six years in, we’re delivering exactly what we dreamt of when we first launched brunch service – a combination of savory, sweet and spicy dishes that reflect our own heritage and culinary traditions.”
Variety is foundational and exploration is warranted at Hangover Brunch. For a blast from the past, Chef Cesar’s timeless Sancocho Pho - Hickory smoked short rib, brisket, meatballs, corn, potatoes, yuca, plantain, rice noodles, herbage, lemongrass chili oil. Crispy crunchy fried offerings are a plenty with Phuc Yea’s Famous Fried Chicken - buttermilk marinated, Cajun-spiced chicken, lemongrass, sriracha aioli, chili honey, herbage, pickled daikon & carrot; Vietnamese-style Seafood Jalea - crispy fried local jumbo shrimp, soft shell crab, cod, calamar, yuca, herbage, lemongrass chili sate, and sriracha aioli; and Curried Crispy Tofu served with green curry, cilantro, coconut, daikon pineapple relish, and micro herbage.
Between bread options include a robust selection of Banh Mis done the Phuc Yea way – these classic Vietnamese sandwiches served on a short baguette split lengthwise and filled with a combination of savory and tangy ingredients. Highlights include Breakfast Banh Mi made with scrambled eggs, Chinese sausage, scallions, herbage, lettuce, pickles, sriracha aioli and jalapeno; Fried Chicken Banh Mi with lemongrass fried chicken, herbage, lettuce, pickles, sriracha aioli, jalapeno; Salt ‘n Peppa Soft Shell Crab Banh Mi with salt ‘n peppa spiced jumbo soft shell crab, lemongrass, herbage, lettuce, pickles, sriracha aioli, jalapeno; and the Classic Roast Pork Banh Mi made with five spice-rubbed pork crisped to order, herbage, lettuce, pickles, sriracha aioli, and jalapeno.
PY classics such as the Crispy Imperial Rolls, Caramel Chicken Wings, and the PY Noodles - house-made egg noodles served with garlic butter, oyster sauce and Parmesan cheese will remain since no meal at Phuc Yea is complete without them. The side order of “a nap” is complimentary.
Phuc Yea commands one of the coolest and whimsical drink programs in town. The upstairs bar remains among the hottest spots to drop an elbow to begin or end a night out. Under Meinhold’s auspices, the drink menu has become something of a “to-do list” for local barflies with flavor combinations and names to beat the band. Brunch is no different, guests are encouraged to imbibe in Bottomless Mimosas & Cocktails for just $35 including Tropical Mimosa made with a bottle o' bubbles, passionfruit, guava and pineapple nectar, White/Rose/Red Wine, Red Wine Sangria, Bloody Marys, Bloody Marias, and shots of Cumbe Aguardiente.
Priced between $15-$25, the cocktail list is 16 drinks deep, broken down into four categories: High Bawlin’, ‘Tini state of Mind, Drink it Like You Mean it, and So Fresh ‘n So Clean. New brunch pours include Say Gay - Montelobos mezcal, passionfruit, red bell, Thai bird chili, lime and dulce de leche; Pass the Diesel - Grey Goose, espresso hazelnut cordial, dulce de leche, Nespresso fortado; and Jade Goddess, a riff on a gin fizz made with Askur gin, blue lagoon bitters, radiate kombucha’s “piña caliente,” honey, ginger, mint, basil and egg white.
Sarah Thaler / Larry Carrino
Brustman Carrino Public Relations
Among the many restaurant and hospitality groups that define dining and imbibing in Miami, Mad Phucs Hospitality is not just among its top homegrown success stories; it’s also arguably one of the city’s most irreverent and unpredictable. No surprise considering the organization’s genesis was a scrappy little popup that helped set the template for food & beverage popups in the Magic City. Mad Phucs Hospitality was formed in the spring of 2021 to serve as the home for all current and future concepts by front-of-house hospitality maven, Aniece Meinhold and Chef Cesar Zapata. The duo seeks to conceptualize, create, open and operate a variety of fun, irreverent concepts that celebrate Miami, reflect its multi-cultural vibrancy yet offer something unexpected and exciting. Opened September 2016, approaching its fifth year – Phuc Yea is the acclaimed, new-Vietnamese restaurant housed in a quaint corner spot in the heart of the 305’s MiMo District. In May 2019, Zapata and Meinhold unveiled Pho Mo, their Vietnamese pho and dumpling concept at Time Out Market Miami, which has maintained a reputation as one of the Market’s leading vendors. Two years later, in May 2021, they doubled-down at Time Out Market with the launch of Arepitas Bar, a modern Colombian, Miami-inspired arepa bar.