RIP Gigi. The beloved late-night eatery met a news-worthy end last summer, leaving big shoes to fill along with a big space. Enter Brian Nasajon of Beaker & Gray, who has since revamped the place and turned it into Mason Eatery, an all-day diner that does no favors for your diet. This is diner food done extremely well.
Unlike Nasajon’s other concept — where shareable plates abound — you’ll find plates as big as your face (if not bigger). And just as big are the flavors.
What comes to mind when you think of diner food? For us, it’s affordable, hefty plates that are great when drunk and edible when sober. Thankfully, Mason Eatery’s ample selections are fantastic regardless of your state of mind. One bite of the Bagel Bites or the Creamed Corn should convince you on that. The former — essentially garlic churros with nova lox and dill cream — is a testament to Nasajon’s creativity, while the latter is just damn good. Mason’s garlicky Mac n’ Cheese is another notable (and sizable) option to start your meal, although it could easily be your meal, too; the mix of Parmesan, fontina and cheddar is something else.
Need a break from all the heaviness? LOL. Just kidding. There are healthy(ish) selections available — we’re looking at you, Cobb Salad — but the portions are still huge. We split the salad between us and still had plenty left over. To be honest, it’s refreshing to encounter portions this big.
Diners who complain about the food scene’s shift to tapas and other small plates will find hope (and satiety) here. The Reuben and Fish n’ Chips are perfect examples: as big as your face and oh so tasty. You can even kick your diet while it’s down with a Carrot Cake Cookie Jar or Ice Cream Cookie Jar. Just don’t tell your doctor.
In all seriousness: Mason Eatery attempts — and succeeds — to fill the diner void in Miami. You can find a Peruvian place or Italian restaurant on practically any corner of Miami. But a diner? There aren’t too many of those. And in a sea of restaurants that pump out small plate after small plate, Mason is a breath of fresh air.