You will know it by the smell of brown sugared bacon, eggs Benedict, blueberry pancakes and lavish juice laden cocktails all had at 2 p.m, who you know if you live in New York City, visit quaint hotels or work week days. Not quite breakfast, and not quite lunch… Brunch is a lounging animal of its own. Our society loves this meal as it affords to them the ability to indulge in sleeping late and eating a meal that is hearty enough to cover two meals in one. The acclaimed brunch has two claims as to its birth origin, one being the term starting as university slang printed in Hunter’s Weekly circa 1896 and some say Frank Ward O’Malley, a reporter in New York for the Morning Sun, used it while describing his habit of eating mid day due to his job as a reporter. This later reasoning is much closer to our own hearts here at Scallywag as writers. Thinking on brunch, we all were taken a bit back by the lusting over brunch for many every Saturday and Sunday as we chose to brunch any ole day we please. It is really worthy of placing on such a pedestal of a meal?
Brunch might not know its own birth mother, but the only we do it is a babe born out of luxury. The leisure of taking the day without time constraints was something left for the elite and wealthy during the 1800s. Perhaps the most self-righteous of meals rising above the typical breakfast, dinner and midnight snack, Brunch may not have so many friends. Many are over this yuppie concept that is seen more as a marketing campaign to sell your regular scrambled eggs with truffle oil and charge a higher price. Others see it as an excuse drink while eating that first meal and the rest of the day there after. Brunch is like the hot guy with the easy life, who you despise on some level yet still have a sweaty indecent crush on. We love to hate and hate to love Brunch.
Not being a native New Yorker, I was not as keen to this idea of brunch being the thing to do as the only real means of being social during the day light hours of weekends. This was something I did most mornings writing as I had no other choice than to stay up late tolling away on a piece in a moment of literary brilliance, just to collapse into bed and wake mid day aching for a real breakfast in the middle of the day. Alcohol was not the lure, as we could all easily buy any beverage requiring a legal ID at any ole time of day here in the city that never sleeps. Brunch has taken on the life of quite the desired and of-age socialite in our city, with hoards of followers. Some showering brunch with affection and others loathing it much like the dueling love/hate of Conrad Birdie.
For those who love Brunch, I salute you as a dying breed. Even GQ featured a short blurb of “Why Brunch Blows,” citing with many exclamation points that it was nothing more than a ritual that we as American people must love to be normal and frankly they were over. A tad harsh on Brunch, who really does stand tall and proud despite these slurs. Brunch lover’s can unite over the good points of a set menu and seasonal specials, continue to invite friends to go with and keep the restaurants happy. Books of brunch recipes are written and will continue to sell. Brunch is not dead and will always remain an option for carefree weekend dining out when making a meal at home is just not in the cards. Though more intriguing to me (and Scallywag) is the allegiance of Brunch to the weekends. Why does Brunch only exist on the weekends? As the most liberating of times, places and societies…why must we still save this event for weekends? We both would like to think that each day is blessed with prime hours that could all be used for brunching. I would love my egg soufflé and French toast with extra berries on a Wednesday with or without the mimosa.
Even as we all sit around now, trying to redeem the Brunch’s good reputation, it is bittersweet. There are times I too have been let down by Brunch. Promising to go above and beyond the typical ramifications of breakfast, Brunch has set it’s own standard high or maybe he is just a big talker who can only deliver when those making him are passionate, top notch and understanding of Brunch’s needs. Brunch needs the love of being allowed on everyday of the week and not being made a mockery of with high prices for convoluted items that are really just the same dishes served later in the day and perhaps with more perks. Oysters with your eggs and toast? A crispy pressed sandwich with ham and pepper jelly? Sure. It’s brunch.