Brunch Diary: The Strand in Mills50

A few months ago, gearing up for a busy Saturday of bargain hunting and house projects, the ManFriend and I treated ourselves to a little brunch at The Strand. This dive fits right in to the “up and coming” Mills50 neighborhood, in that you’ll probably have to double-take because it looks permanently closed from the outside. The food situation is on point and the atmosphere inside makes it the perfect little casual date spot for a fresh brunch. We went back this past Sunday with two friends to enjoy some mimosas, and it did not disappoint.

Yes I was that excited to dig in that I took a few bites before remembering to snap a photo. Thanks, silverware, for hiding my noms.

The Food: Uh-maze-ing. Seriously amazeballs. It definitely ranked as one of the top brunch entrees I’ve had in Orlando. We both went with salads, and they both kicked some lettuce ass. The Salmon Croquette salad was something I would have never tossed together on my own, but included all of my favorite things (beets, cucumbers, asparagus, and a poached egg… YUM). It was filling and absolutely delicious. MF went with the Buttermilk Chicken salad and the one bite I managed to steal before it was gone was great. Our friends got the buttermilk chicken sandwich (it looked perfectly crisp and amazing) and one of the specials, which was a giant egg breakfast sandwich on Texas toast. Plates were cleared before the mimosas were gone, so that’s saying something.

The Drinks: At $4 per regular-sized mimosa, it’s not a place you come to get rowdy, but after 2 I was perfectly tipsy. Because they aren’t your grungy “bottomless” restaurant, they use good cava and give you a generous pour. They also had a special blueberry mimosa, which mixed the cava with house-made fresh blueberry juice. I preferred it to the OJ variety, as it was flavorful but not as cloyingly sweet.

The Atmosphere: Casual, rustic-industrial, and not fussy. The tables are small, as is the restaurant, so it’s not suited for big groups or rowdy shenanigans. The staff is attentive and friendly and the cartoons playing on an old-school TV console add to the hipster charm.

Overall, it was by far the best food situation of all my Brunch Diaries so far (bottomless shenanigans here and dog-friendly patio brunches here and here) and a place I will definitely find myself visiting again.

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