Do You Love or Hate Brunch?
In his 1895 article, "Brunch: A Plea," writer Guy Beringer dreamed of a meal that would give Saturday-night partygoers an excuse to stay in bed late. ''[It] is cheerful, sociable and inciting,'' Beringer wrote about his newly invented meal. ''It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.''
It's easy to see why the concept—breakfast and lunch in one meal—caught on. After all, who wouldn't jump on an excuse to stay in bed late? But for as many fans as it has, brunch has just as many haters: folks who can't get past its long lines, crowded tables, and crying kids. In fact, there have been so many hate pieces written on brunch in the past few years, we started to wonder: does brunch actually suck?
To get to the bottom of the brunch debate, we asked two of our writers to go head-to-head on the issue.
5 Reasons I Love Brunch, by Shannon Grilli
1. Brunch food is way more fun than breakfast food.
I never go out for breakfast during the week, and not just because I'm in an oatmeal rut (which is true). I'm not even tempted to go out for breakfast because, as boring as my bowl of steel-cut oats is, the breakfast offerings at most restaurants aren't much more exciting. Eggs and bacon? Snooze. Denver omelet? Colorado can keep it. PLAIN PANCAKES??? Don't even get me started.
Sunday brunch is an entirely different ball game, though. Menus practically overflow with inventive dishes that almost never make an appearance on a typical breakfast menu (or lunch menu, for that matter). When else do you get to dig into such delectable dishes as chicken and waffles, eggs benedict, french-toast bread pudding, and chilaquiles? Practically anything goes at brunch, and no one bats an eye if you decide to order both a savory AND a sweet dish. You're eating two meals in one, after all.
2. You can't be late.
It is virtually impossible to be late to brunch. Even if you roll out of bed a few minutes shy of noon, you've still got at least three solid hours of brunching left in the day. And let's face it: you aren't doing anything productive until you've eaten, so you have a perfectly good excuse to spend those pre-brunch hours doing as little as humanly possible.
3. Everyone is friendly.
Despite the fact that it often comes with long waits and more than a few hangovers, people are surprisingly un-grouchy at brunch. Maybe it's the extra hours of sleep, or the sweet memory of the previous night's debauchery, or just the promise of Fruity Pebbles baked right into your pancakes. YOU CANNOT BE ANGRY WHEN IN THE VICINITY OF FRUITY PEBBLE PANCAKES.
4. You get to see your friends ... during the day.
Let's face it: the older you get, the less likely you are to hang with your buddies during the daylight hours. Some of you have demanding jobs that keep you busy from 9 to 5; others have kids that demand their attention full time. Pretty soon, you can't remember what your best friend looks like when she's not lit by the glow of a neon beer sign.
Weekend brunch, however, is the last valid grownup excuse we have to push aside the day's responsibilities until later and get the fun started early. After all, everybody's gotta eat! And because brunch is such a relaxed meal, you get a chance to really sit and catch up with your friends in a leisurely, meaningful way—something you often can't do at a club or house party.
5. Two words: Morning. Cocktails.
You know that saying, "it's 5 o'clock somewhere"? Totally useless on a brunch day! Whether you're in desperate need of some hair of the dog, or you just think champagne makes orange juice feel more fancy, there's no denying that drinking at brunch feels pretty good. Not to mention, if you order a bloody mary, there's a pretty good chance your drink is going to come with a cheeseburger garnish. I don't know about you, but I can't remember the last time my happy-hour cocktail came with an entire meal attached to it. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the magic of brunch.
5 Reasons Why Brunch Is the Worst, by Colleen Loggins Loster
1. There's always a line.
Because brunch is trendier than a Pumpkin Spice Latte in a leather moto jacket and beanie, there is always at least a one-hour wait. I don't care if I've choosen a place that serves gourmet cereal (No.), I will still have to wait an hour. As the time limps by, hunger combines with irritation, and the resulting hanger only ramps up in intensity whenever this internal struggle happens:
Me: Hey, dummy! You know, we could just leave and grab a quick bite at the sandwich place down the street.
Also me: No, dummy! It would be foolish to give up now when we've already been waiting so long.
I don't want anything to do with a meal that results in my internal voices being jerks no matter what I do. Maybe people seem friendly during the actual meal because they're just so relieved to have finally gotten some food. Or maybe they're simply drained and can't do much more than smile and nod.
2. It's pretentious. And pricey.
With apps such as Instagram and Snapchat, brunch has become something to perform, rather than something to enjoy. Because the food is at the heart of this performance, it can't be a basic stack of pancakes. It has to be a jaunty tower of flapjacks, poured from a mason jar onto a hot griddle handmade in Switzerland by a sixth-generation metalsmith. It will look best with the X-pro II filter. And it will cost you a minimum of $15. Brunch drips with pretension, and it's why I would rather grab a late-morning meal at a local diner, where you can get good breakfast and lunch eats for cheap.
3. There's not enough focus on the "unch" part.
People who really love brunch tend to be breakfast lovers. If you're one of those people, the next time you go out for brunch, look past the benedicts and the frittatas and focus on the lunch dishes. How many do you actually see? There might be a few sort-of lunch dishes, such as steak and eggs, and maybe a burger topped with egg and bacon. Yet, there's rarely a true lunch option, which is a bummer for those who really would rather eat lunch on a Saturday at 1 p.m.
4. You feel like garbage afterward.
The fastest way to feel like garbage at 5 p.m. on a weekend is to indulge in too much rich food and too many bottomless mimosas. If it's a Saturday, it will be hard to feel motivated to do anything later on. If it's a Sunday, chances are, you'll either miss out on a relaxing evening before a Monday morning or you'll go to bed still feeling gross and the week will get off to a bad start.
Brunch and kids do not play nicely together. If you don't have kids, you might resent a loud child intruding upon your meal (not to mention last night's hangover). If you do have kids, you might feel unfairly judged for just wanting to hang out with your friends without having to get a sitter. Your kid could be a literal cherub, content to just sit there and be all smiley and chubby, and people would still take umbrage at the idea of a kid at brunch.