How to find “The Best Place for Brunch” in your city


I love brunch! Working retail for so long made brunch hard to come by. I was almost always scheduled to work on weekends, but the sporadic Sunday off would certainly inspire sleeping in and a leisurely 2-3 hours worth of consuming mimosas, accompanied by decadent carbohydrates.

Brunch makes me feel fancy, like I am attending an event, rather than just eating another meal. It calls for a dress and/or party shoes. And the mimosas help take the edge off of a somewhat judge-y atmosphere. Its attendees tend to consist of girlfriends and gay guys, nursing a hangover, or rather young grandmas like myself who simply prefer drinking during the day so that they can be home in time for the newest episode of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen or HGTV’s Flip or Flop. #sorrynotsorry

Over the past few years I’ve experienced brunches both locally and beyond. I have found certain criteria that are important to me when I am evaluating where to indulge on my weekend morning:

 

1. Bottomless Mimosas. Most people do not attend brunch while thinking “How do I make this experience budget friendly?”, but in order to achieve a respectable level of tipsiness without breaking the bank, I find bottomless mimosas to be the ideal situation. Typically ranging between $10 and $20 per person ($3 per person in the middle of nowhere, I’m checking out this dive bar brunch this weekend, stay tuned!) for an endless supply of champagne and orange juice, some establishments impose a time limit, but it’s always long enough to soak in a minimum of 5 drinks from my experience.

2. Minimum 80/20 Champagne to Orange Juice ratio. What is the point of a bottomless mimosa when you are literally drinking straight OJ? This may come as a shock, but I am not attending brunch with the pure intent of increasing my Vitamin C intake. The OJ is more or less involved for coloring and sweetness. Bonus points if there is a fruit puree option such as strawberry, peach or raspberry to take your basic cocktail to the next level.

3. Creative Egg-less Menu Options. This criteria is more of a personal preference, rather than a mandatory evaluator when selecting location, but to be plain and simple I do not like eggs. I will eat them in cake and cookies and many other hidden capacities, but there is something about the smell of the broken water heater from when I was little that I don’t think should come to mind whenever I eat something. With that being said, I am always on the look out for breakfasty options, besides your classic pancakes or waffles, that do not include eggs. Some of my favorites include the Spiced Apple and Brie Crepe, Eggplant Parm Sandwich, Homemade Mac and Cheese and Cannoli French Toast.

4. Ambiance. There is a reason we are at brunch and not Denny’s for breakfast. If I am paying more for a lavish meal between 10am-3pm on a Saturday or Sunday I expect a certain atmosphere to go along with it. Whether this means patio or rooftop seating, chandeliers or impeccable service, give me a reason to justify that I am probably spending money like this is dinner for a meal that is not. A great indicator of the “best brunch ever” is not wanting to leave.

5. What’s near by? Once I have ingested the aforementioned minimum of 5 mimosas I will have some time to kill. As a responsible bruncher I encourage you to look up what is available to do/visit while buzzed in the surrounding area. Some of my favorite activities include visiting chocolate or cupcake shops, cuddling with dogs and cats at the pet store, laying in the grass at a park, trying on clothes in a second hand store and going to a flea or farmers market.

6. Uber/LYFT Access. Buffalo finally joined the rest of the 21st century and legalized ride sharing in July 2017. This is thrilling because local taxi companies charge up the wazoo and although Buffalo is certainly a driving city, this gives us another option. There are also frequently coupons available, especially when you first sign up.                  *Use my code “oegh5” when signing up for Uber for the first time and your ride will be free!                                          *Use my code “Allison00449” when signing up for LYFT and receive $20 in ride credit to apply to your first ride!

 

What criteria do you use to find the best brunch in your city?

Exploring Templeton Landing


This past Saturday I had brunch at Templeton Landing in downtown Buffalo with one of my best friends, Megan. I had been to Templeton for drinks before a concert, as well as for their famous Mojito Monday, but I had only ever seen the deck, bar and gorgeous view outside of the restaurant.

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When I was invited to enjoy a meal courtesy of the establishment, I was thrilled to see everything that they had to offer. Templeton Landing has a gorgeous ballroom and roof top deck used for weddings and although I had been there before, I never even knew they existed.

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Since one of my friends Charlene is getting married tomorrow I really have weddings on my mind..  If my drink looks fantastic with this rooftop view, can you imagine this as the backdrop of photos of a bride and groom?!

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As you probably guessed from the above picture, Megan and I had bottomless mimosas! We’ve been brunching at many places over the past year so we have high standards for this simple yet delicious drink.. and we were very pleased with the champagne OJ ratio in Templeton Landing’s mimosas.

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Because Megan and I were both attending Charlene’s wedding on Sunday, we opted for the Saturday brunch option. On Sunday, Templeton Landing offers an extensive array of classic breakfast foods, as well as those with a twist. I’m planning on going back to try their Ricotta Pancakes, they sound delicious. There was a full lunch menu and 2 brunch specials offered on Saturday when we went.

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Megan opted for a caesar salad and french onion soup combination, while I went with the lobster roll. Nothing says summer to me quite like seafood, and fresh seafood can be tricky to find so far from the ocean. My roll did not disappoint! It was stuffed full of lobster meat. Between the view and my meal I felt like I was temporarily transported to my vacation in 2009 to Wells, Maine and I loved it.

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Before our meals arrived we munched on a delicious bread plate that included a ricotta-pesto spread and fresh parmesan with olive oil. It was all so good and with so many options I had to force myself to leave room. I think I should also go on record saying this may be the first time I’ve ever turned down a second bread plate just due to self control (because carbs and cheese = <3).

We finished off our brunch/lunch and tour with a gigantic piece of cheesecake.

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All of the food that we ate and views that we saw were ridiculously photogenic. Templeton Landing is a very Instagram friendly restaurant!

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I love a place with delicious food and gorgeous views. Who doesn’t? The great customer service that our waitress Sarah provided us with was the “whipped cream and strawberries” on our gigantic piece of cheesecake.

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With Monday July 11 being National Mojito Day, Templeton Landing is celebrating with Don Q Rum by offering $5 classic, acai, lemon and cilantro, berry mojitos and more at their party! As an equal opportunity mojito lover, I definitely recommend trying Templeton Landing’s mojitos out. The bartender may even make you a pineapple coconut one *if you ask nicely* like he did for me when I went 2 weeks ago 😉

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