I hate weekend brunches. It’s when restaurants dust off their smoked salmon eggs Benedict, banana-stuffed brioche French toast and lavender lattes. It’s when the server tries to upsell you on mimosas or Bloody Marys. If you’re not careful, your breakfast bill can easily double.
I also hate seeing something on the restaurant’s online menu that I’d really like to try when I’m passing through on a weekday but discover is only available during weekend brunches.
Mostly, I hate the hours. I understand the appeal of a 10 am weekend opening for folks who have worked hard all week, want to sleep in and maybe read the paper before meeting friends for a leisurely brunch. When I’m on the road, I’d rather be eating breakfast at 7, or earlier, and then be on my way.
But with that 10 am brunch opening, there’s no early getaway, no avoiding the crowds and lineups that are inevitable at any popular breakfast joint. And the thing is with brunch, people want to linger over their food and chat. Staring a hole in the back of their heads while they slowly sip their third coffee refill, amidst empty plates, and ignore the bill—and you shuffle from foot to foot in a sweaty winter coat—rarely does anything other than raise your blood pressure.
So if you see someone with an anguished look in the weekend brunch lineup, that would be me.
The irreverent Urban Dictionary has several definitions of brunch, including “Typically reserved for snobs and biddies who like tea and jam” and “It’s not quite breakfast, it’s not quite lunch, but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end.” I can’t repeat the rest.