Rules for Brunch

A friend recently said something to the effect that she wasn't sure if Saturdays were very brunch-ish. A group of us were getting together and a Sunday date wasn't working, so that's where the question of whether Saturday was appropriate for brunch or not came up. I piped up and said that Saturday was absolutely perfect for brunch, just as much as Sunday... perhaps even more so. It got me thinking. I love brunch. It's one of my favorite things to do in the city. But, are there truly "rules for brunch"?

Read on for my non-official, merely observational, rules for brunch. (And of course, brunch being the leisurely activity it is, you certainly don't need to follow them.)

1. Brunch can take place on Saturday or Sunday. Either day is totally and equally brunch-ish. (Weekdays, however, are not... assuming you and your brunch mates hold down 9-5 jobs.)

2. Brunch can start as earlier as 11:00 am or as late as 2:00 pm.

3. 10:00 am, however, is not brunch. That's breakfast.

4. Any place that's advertised and/or reviewed as "It's perfect for brunch!" is in fact a place with a really long line. Make a reservation.

5. If they tell you they don't take reservations, expect to wait in line.

6. Brunch is a perfectly excusable reason for drinking before noon. If it wasn't, would they have invented mimosas or bloody marys?

7. If you're on a budget, always choose a place that includes a drink with your meal. Complimentary refills are even better (though more elusive), assuming you don't really need to be very productive that day.

8. If you can sit outside on a nice day, do it. It makes your experience immensely better and is truly the quintessential brunch that every brunch should aspire to be.

Shari, Dec 17 2005 11:41AM

Well said, Heather! It is Saturday and we are about to go out for brunch ourselves.

mark, Dec 19 2005 4:06PM

according to anthony bordain of kitchen confidential fame, sunday is in fact the day that no one should eat brunch at a restaurant; especially fish. he notes that brunches, in general, are clearing houses for chefs who want to get rid of unused food from the previous night that is past its prime. brunch allows them to extend fancy ingredients by adding a lot of fillers that extend the portions without reducing the price.

that said, i agree that both weekend days are great for participating in brunch. on the weekdays, however, it is known as an early / long lunch.

and, what do you prefer: breakfast, lunch or combo items? predominantly sweet or savory? my wife and i come at brunch from two different tastebud corners.

sandie, Dec 19 2005 9:20PM

where do you like to go for brunch? i usually cook on weekend mornings, so i don't have a ready list of places.

however, favorite brunch dish is: eggs with smoked salmon

Shari, Dec 23 2005 8:04PM

So, Tom and I went to Elmo's diner around 11:30 AM and lo and behold, they had brunch specials posted. So in Durham diners at least...brunch starts on Friday! Who knew?!