Walking past historic homes being converted into museums, a mother and her three children were determinedly running towards the parking meter in attempts to beat the meter maid. Disregarding anyone in their path along the side walk, even the old woman walking her dog, a collision occurred. Barley avoiding the impact I ninja hopped onto the street only to see the older woman’s dog began chasing me. Running like Usain Bolt, I dodged for safety into an unassuming restaurant’s open door. As I collected myself, a nice hostess greeted me and asked how many would be in my party. I was waiting on friends to go to another establishment, but my eyes caught a burger with a friend egg, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and crispy onions, all on a pretzel bun. Looking at the menu, I snapped a picture, and redirected our plans–we would now dine at my refuge, my safe place, my protector from harm—Himmarshee Public House.
With expectations already exceeded by way of shelter from the enraged Hell Hound, known as a Shih Tzu, I requested to be seated near the front, in full view of the busy sidewalk. I enjoy strangers lusting over my menu selections—it makes me feel loved, but I digress. My friends arrived simultaneously with a bubbly, (mother goose level) nice, server who warmly greeted us with menus and waters. Receiving the Brunch menu from Kassey, our server, my senses were directed toward a fish dip being enjoyed by the table adjacent to us. I decided to order it as an appetizer. The Smoked Fish Dip ($12) comes with toasted crostini, sesame crackers, and pickled carrots inside a black container on top a cedar wood grilling plank. The King fish used, is cured by smoking through a three pronged process. The taste is simply delicious. I measure every fish dip against The Islamorada Fish Company in Dania Beach, FL Wahoo smoked fish dip, and Himmarshee came in a close second for sure. Make sure you ask for additional sesame seed crackers.
Next, we ordered the Southern Benedict ($14)—fried chicken, pimento cheese, sunny side up egg, hollandaise, all on top a buttermilk biscuit. This was a reimagined breakfast sandwich to the max! The biscuit was buttery and soft while the chicken was fried to golden brown perfection as the cheese married the sunny side up egg in a union of gastronomic excellence. This is a MUST HAVE.
Anticipating the Southern Benedict not to be undone, we took a look at the drink menu. I know its Brunch……I’m feeling a lot of judgement coming from you, even as I write this. Yes, we were drinking before 12pm. Don’t judge me. I put in an order for a Watermelon & Cucumber Cosmo ($12) made with hendricks gin (my personal favorite gin), cucumber, combier, cucumber syrup, mint, white cranberry, and watermelon sphere. The drink arrived in a martini glass, and I felt some type of way about that. Men should NEVER drink out of a martini glass. It’s a violation of the man code. So I poured the drink into a more respectable vessel and took a sip, then downed the entire thing in one gulp. It was great. A sweet and light drink, this can be enjoyed by anyone who loves fruity cocktails. If you’re a true drinker, you may want to suggest to your server to make it a double, if not you should be fine. I like my drinks strong.
Given that I like strong drinks, I ordered another cocktail. The Sweet N Heat ($12) was made with avaion resposado tequila, infused with grilled pineapple and jalapeno pineapple juice, agave nectar, lime juice, and jalapeno wheels. Now, I know what you’re thinking. What the hell is this drink? I felt the same way. This drink had too much going on for me. If you like the taste of jalapenos, then you will want to hook yourself to an IV filled with this drink. It is a truly unique taste. You MUST love or at least like the taste of jalapenos to enjoy what can be described as a reject from Cancun Spring Break inspired cocktail. The taste of the peppers was just too strong for me.
My palate was now craving the sweet goodness enjoyed from the Cosmo, but I was too traumatized by the martini glass, so I ordered a Watermelon Mule ($11), which came in the coolest copper mug. I felt like I was at Hogwarts as I grabbed the handles of the ancient drinking chalice. This was the best drink on the menu, and one of my new favorite cocktails in Ft. Lauderdale, forged with Russian standard vodka, fresh lime juice, watermelon puree, simple syrup, and ginger beer. The ginger beer is very pronounced; however, I love ginger beer, so it made it even better for me.
Feeling real good right now. I mean really good, I ordered more food. We decided to try the Fried Chicken “Brunch” Basket ($16) which came with a three (3) piece “signature” fried chicken, homemade biscuit, truffle honey butter, coleslaw. The biscuit was pretty good with the honey butter and the chicken was fried to perfection, but could have used a tad bit more flavor. Luckily, Beyoncé’s latest PSA to black women had my friend prepared. She whipped the Crystals hot sauce out of her purse like a warrior swinging his battle ax in a Game of Thrones fight scene. She began dabbing (LOOK AT MY DAB) specks of red goodness on the crispy fried chicken. We then ensued into a feeding frenzy fighting each other for larger pieces of the chicken, until we realized that there were four (4) black folk fighting over fried chicken, so we calmly sat back in our seats. Luckily, I had wrestled a good portion for myself. It was acceptable, but nothing special. I would probably not order this again because of price and if you do get it, don’t forget the Crystals. I could only order this dish on pay weeks to make sure I can pay my light bill on time. Sometimes it comes down to just that: Fried Chicken or Florida Power and Light. I usually side with the chicken. Consequently, if you find yourself trying to decide out of the Chicken Brunch Basket or the Southern Benedict, stick to the Southern Benedict. It’s more flavorful and it’s a little least expensive.
Upset I had to share the chicken and biscuit basket; I needed something to calm my nerves. Yes, another cocktail. You can now cut judgement with a knife at this point.…Happy? I ordered the Jam Session ($11), a delightful combination of sledgehammer red blend, fresh seasonal fruits, juices, and veev acai. By far, this was the fruitiest and sweetest drink on the menu. If you are one of those people who don’t like the taste of alcohol, but enjoy the feeling of “nice”, then this is your drink. Haven’t you always wondered what exact level of bliss from drinking constitutes the feeling of “nice”? Hmm..I wonder.
“The name Himmarshee” means new water to the Seminoles and is a community in Ft. Lauderdale founded by Hippies in the 60’s and 70’s. The legacy of a liberal environment and a time when people in the area not only knew where their food came from, but also where it was processed is the feeling Himmarshee gives you eating their fresh and homemade dishes. At this point I needed some bread to soak up my happy juice, so I ordered the Banana Bread French Toast ($14). This was THE BOMB and is a MUST HAVE. You are going to love this French toast. When you crave French toast, this is exactly what your taste buds are looking for. I guarantee you.
In an ordering frenzy, we decided to get the Cheesesteak Egg Rolls ($10). These little bite sized fried goodies did not disappoint. Forget Philadelphia, this is where it at. These would be great starters.
Finally, I requested to eat the burger I saw on my entrance into the place. Kasey, showed concern in her eyes at the level of hunger I was displaying, but politely obliged my last request. She was amazing by way. If you go there on a weekend ask for Kasey. She was one of the best servers ever. The Public House Burger ($20) came to the table. It shut everything down. The burger’s presence required us all to stare and bask in its glory. The Public House Burger is made with “prime” brisket, short rib & chuck blend, 4yr aged cheddar, fried onions, rosemary aioli, smoked bacon, farm egg, and avocado all topped on a warm pretzel bun, and almost had me crying. Actually, I did cry a little bit. Between the cocktails and this burger, I was overwhelmed with tears of joy. The burger was EVERYTHING!!!! I’m not even going to waste time explaining it. You can see the picture and know what to expect. It is as good as it looks. Just be sure to order it with the EXACT toppings I have listed here. This is a MUST HAVE.
Himmarshee Public House did not disappoint. My accidental arrival has gained this establishment a return customer. The establishment’s design is your typical spacious bar/restaurant with a lot of natural light. The crowd is a mature, yet young in age crowd. The atmosphere is great for single guys given the many beautiful single women brunching on a Sunday. Sundays during brunch the restaurant is a bit of a day club. If you’re single, this is the spot to be on Sunday after church, trust me. You can find beautiful professional women enjoying mimosas at the bar and even dancing at their tables, on the floor and outside as a DJ spins tunes blasting loudly throughout the restaurant. You get a Clevelander South Beach feel on Sundays.It’s a very diverse crowd, so its nice to see all walks of life including black folk at this establishment.
Head Chef Tera Abrams is the sorcerers behind the magical food at Himmarshee Public House. Her dedication to freshness and quality is what led management to inform our party that their family of restaurants only hires chefs and no managers. The philosophy of the restaurant is to allow chefs to be imaginative on a daily basis. Chef specials and new creations can be found on the brunch menu weekly. The pancakes are always chef inspired and you can order them each and every week expecting something different each time. I didn’t get pancakes, because I’m tired of pancakes this week. I would totally go back to this place. Nice people, great food, fun atmosphere, and excellent drinks are what you can expect at Himmarshee Public House. I will most definitely be back.