Faddish as brunch might seem to us today, there's plenty of history behind this hybrid mid-morning buffet. In 1896 a newspaper column declared that the latest fad was “to issue invitations for a meal called ‘brunch…a repast at 11 o'clock a.m.” Now brunch is trending across demographics and across the country, and for good reason. There's something for everyone and no need to set an alarm, but that's not all there is to love about brunch.
In 1895, the British writer Guy Beringer wrote the following tribute to brunch in Hunter's Weekly: By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. 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.
That may be a lot to ask of a simple sit-down meal but consider the following benefits of brunching:
Brunch is budget friendly. Brunch specials make otherwise untouchable hotspots accessible to the rest of us. You'll pay less than you would for dinner and you can have your bacon and eat it, too. Of course, why not eat in? Bringing together friends for a potluck brunch can cost next to nothing and there are no reservations required.
Brunch is both savory and sweet. Where else can you drown your stuffed French toast in syrup on a plate already occupied by a buffalo slider? Or sample the charcuterie while waiting for a stack of pancakes? There's something for everyone, every time.
Brunch is an art form. Fanciful food and drink pairings – think breakfast pizza and a two-tone Baewatch (or other clever Captain Morgan drinks) or lobster Benedict and pear mojitos – find a home at brunches everywhere. Bonus: It's perfectly acceptable to day drink when you're brunching.
Brunch is a chance to overindulge. When you're practically starving after patiently waiting for a late brunch to begin it's easy to over indulge. That's not a problem, though, because brunch stands in for not one meal but two and chances are good you won't be eating again until dinner time.
Brunch can be therapy. A quick lunch is hardly a catch up session, unlike brunch that can go on for hours. Small talk has a chance to evolve into deeper conversation – fueled by cocktails, naturally.
Brunch can be fancy or casual. There are ultra upscale brunches in some of the finest restaurants in the world – think Sunday brunch at the London Ritz – and casual in-house brunches where pajama pants are perfectly appropriate attire.
Brunch lets you start the week off right. The Sunday blahs are no match for a dining room table groaning under the weight of everything you love best, surrounded by everyone you love best.
Though not everyone agrees that brunch is the best meal of the week, there's clearly a lot to love about a long lazy repast that's actually two meals in one. If you're on the fence, call some of your favorite people and whip up a batch of scrambled eggs with spinach and parmesan along with toast, bacon and something sweet to end the meal and make sure the drinks don't stop flowing. Between the friends and the food, you'll get an (admittedly late) start to your week that can't be beat.