Let's Do Brunch

Penn Dutch Restaurant, Sundy House, Churchill's, Jamrock Café

That melodrama doesn't seem to affect the running of the restaurant. Indeed, no sign of strife is apparent: Champagne shows up like clockwork; coffee is poured from a thermal pot; the music is mellow and soothing. As for the fare, dishes ranging from paella with crawfish to omelets and crepes made on the spot were all equally delicious. A cold salad bar included smoked salmon and boiled shrimp, which makes the $19.95-per-person price tag worth it right there. You don't have to dress up on weekends, either, though reservations are still suggested. And what you wear doesn't affect how you're treated. Churchill's wait staff, extremely correct, always tends you as carefully as though you were clad in Armani.

But not all brunchers require jazz to aid digestion. If you fall into that category, as I do, then Jamrock Café on Mizner Boulevard in Boca Raton is your scene, mon, 'cause the brunch here is reggae, and the atmosphere is rockin'. Colorful as the Caribbean, the rustic décor enhances what's billed as "global seafood." The items on the regular menu range from Japanese sesame-seared ahi tuna to a Cape Cod fisherman's platter.

The brunch menu is similar, with bowls of Thai-marinated calamari, New Orleans-spiced shrimp nestled in ice, and other breakfast foods like, yes, the ubiquitous eggs Benedict, this time in a chafing dish. I found this place a bit disorganized -- at one point we could hear the chef shouting at our waiter, and when the eatery ran out of pastries, some were brought in from the nearby Publix -- but we were still charmed by the $16.95 combo of nosh 'n' Tosh.

In fact I've just gotten going. Plenty of other eateries are offering brunch deals these days, like Evangeline in Fort Lauderdale (live jazz); Hollywood Beach Golf & Country Club in Hollywood (complimentary bloody mary); 811 Bourbon St. in Plantation (crawfish pie); and Topanga! in Fort Lauderdale (free glass of champagne). I could go on, but why bother? I'd rather just go brunch.

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