Old School, New Twists
Mason Eatery offers a comfortable experience inspired by the founder’s background
Tucked away on the corner of NW 35th Street and North Miami Avenue, Mason Eatery slings house-made bagels, stuffed meat sandwiches and strawberry milkshakes from morning till night.
The restaurant, which debuted this summer, has been years in the making. Created by chef Brian Nasajon, who is best known for his Wynwood eatery, Beaker & Gray, Mason is Nasajon’s interpretation of an American diner reimagined for today’s Miami.
Open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Mason serves an all-day menu of breakfast and brunch items, including massive three-layer pancakes, crispy potato pancakes, challah French toast, and a toothsome wagyu-and-bacon cheeseburger.
At the bright 2,500-square-foot space with Champagne-pink leather booths and large floor-to-ceiling windows, Nasajon encourages customers to dine leisurely—even if they’re spending time with a cup of coffee and a chocolate chip cookie.
“I think about what my younger self would want to eat and how to make it with quality ingredients,” he says. “I want to create a friendly and inviting atmosphere where people can sit with their family and friends or hang out for hours working on their laptop.”
Before Beaker & Gray, Nasajon envisioned opening his own place that reflected his Uruguayan and Jewish upbringing. He grew up frequenting delis and diners, and he ordered bagels with lox and cream cheese whenever he could. But he didn’t want to create just another diner that he remembers from childhood. He needed a team with the know-how to make every ingredient—the bagels and breads and the smoked deli meats and condiments—from scratch.
“Mason is meant to be a place where you can dine multiple times a week and always have an enjoyable experience with great food in a comfortable setting,” he says.
To launch Mason, Nasajon hired his brother-in-law, John Maieli, as lead pastry chef. Hours before the restaurant’s 10 a.m. opening time, Maieli is busy baking doughy challah rolls, “everything” bagels, Belgian waffles and chocolate crackle cookies.
Maieli’s creations are found throughout the menu. There’s a meat board with country bread, pastrami and garlic cream cheese; a spicy fried chicken sandwich includes American cheese, pickles and crispy chicken atop a baked challah roll.
Other popular items include the bagel bites, in which rings of churro dough are stuffed with smoked salmon and dill cream; the three-cheese macaroni and cheese with fontina, Parmesan and cheddar; and the pastrami hash, made with Yukon gold potatoes, garlic mayo and a fried egg.
Sandwiches are filled with meat that is prepared and smoked on-site. Take the reuben, which layers sauerkraut, pastrami and Thousand Island dressing between two slices of Maieli’s rye bread. There’s also a ham-and-cheese croissant served with melted gruyere.
For dessert, there’s a trifecta of milkshakes (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry), as well as daily cookies, and a variety of “jars,” in which ice cream, cookies and other sweets are stuffed into a medium-sized glass. Standouts include a peanut butter pie jar, filled with peanut butter cookie, chocolate crumble, ganache, peanut butter mousse, vanilla Chantilly and roasted peanuts; and the red velvet jar, with milk chocolate mousse and cream cheese icing.
Mason serves wine, beer and cocktails, too, including drinks created by Beaker & Gray’s Benn Potts. The A Mason Grace blends sparkling rosé, blonde ale and Belvoir nonalcoholic wine, while the Green Tea Cobbler calls for honey and Tio Pepe sherry.
Looking ahead, Nasajon hopes to open Mason’s adjacent commissary kitchen—where all of the restaurant’s ingredients are made—to host cooking classes and other interactive experiences.
Location: 3470 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Contact: 786.618.5150; masoneatery.com