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?