Revisiting this old topic because the need to do this has come up again...
I discovered that the problem I was having with broadcast traffic getting looped back through the vSwitch only occurred if I had more than 1 pNIC attached to a vSwitch, even if the second pNIC was configured to only be used for failover/standby purposes. Kind of a bummer since I don't want to give up the redundancy just to be able to bridge, but I also need to bridge...
Found this discussion thread where the same thing is being echoed: https://communities.vmware.com/message/1507261
I am considering trying to run Open vSwitch inside of a guest and having it sit between the vSwitch with the two pNICs and all of the guests on this box. Has anybody else played with Open vSwitch in conjunction with ESXi? Is there a good ready-made OVF/appliance somewhere?
(MikroTik feature request: replace the Linux bridging code in RouterOS with Open vSwitch