The Problem with BrunchPosted: January 20, 2011
In case it wasn’t immediately apparent, I take food very seriously. Every decision I make regarding food is very conscious and deliberate. Choosing a restaurant often takes me several hours of careful thought and consideration. Selecting menu items is even more difficult for me. As a self professed commitophobe, the thought of making a single a la carte selection from a new restaurant without recommendations actually makes me feel anxious.
This is especially true for brunch. On one hand, you would think that brunch would provide me with the best of both worlds: a pleasant marriage of hearty breakfast with more refined lunch. This is not so.
Brunch is the hardest meal for me to order for. For one, brunch is extremely polarizing. Like breakfast, it presents the difficult choice of going either sweet or savory. This fork is almost impossible to reconcile. Sure, you could order a side of sausage or toast with jam to go with your entree, but I find this route unsatisfactory. If I am going out to eat, I generally do not believe in paying a premium on something I can make myself. I can toast bread all by myself and find good sausage if that happens to be what I’m peckish for (ha ha, I know).
So what do I usually end up doing? Admittedly, brunch features some of the most delicious foods of all. And I do love brunch, because it comes with the expectation that what you are doing (eating) takes precedence over all other activities for a few hours. So, facing this win-win scenario, I usually end up going to savory route while avoiding the heavier options in order to avoid fatigue later in the day. The specials menu deserves a certain extra consideration, but classics can often be satisfying as well (and the test of an experienced kitchen/chef).
So really, there’s no set formula for optimizing brunch selection. Not for me, anyways. There are just too many variables. Weather, time of day, mood, and dining companions to list a few. I suppose I could always order something savory and go half-and-half with someone who ordered pancakes or something of the like, but I think this can be a little awkward in execution.
Maybe the real solution is to order from both the sweet and savory sides of the menu. If I ever become a syndicated food writer, I will try this method out. Until then, I will keep having my minor panic attacks as the waitress approaches to take my order.