Thoughts on brunch

Posted: 10/20/2010 in food
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I love brunch. But, what I don’t love is paying upwards of $12 for French toast, pancakes or eggs.  For that money I want real thought and fresh produce going into the dishes. What I hate even more is brunching with friends with everyone cooing over mediocre food, and don’t even get me started on lackluster diner food that come in gargantuan portion sizes.

Given how easy it is to whip up some pancakes or scramble an egg we should demand higher standards when we eat out for brunch. I don’t want to be served food that I can make better at home, nor do I want to be charged an additional $3 to have “fresh” fruit added to my French toast. Especially when I am already paying $4 for a glass of “fresh” orange juice.

I’ve been thinking about brunch since Alex and I got back from a wedding in Maryland at the weekend. We got to the town a few hours early and decided to have a wonder around the historic district (in search of a much needed cup of coffee and stretch of the legs). We wandered past Cafe Nola and a plate of their French toast caught my eye (see photo).  How could we resist something so fresh and yummy looking? What made the dish was the berry puree – bursting with flavor it negated the need for maple syrup (even for Alex who has a very sweet tooth). This was French toast FTW and only $9!

Now Cafe Nola is a little far to go for a tasty and reasonably priced brunch, and there are a few places closer to home that I enjoy brunching at (alas, there are far more places that I find disappointing). My top two places are the wonderful Clinton Street Bakery (excited to see that they are publishing a cookbook) and Freemans which has the added charm of being tucked away in an alley and has an array of dead animals mounted on the walls.

One of the reasons I am probably so hard on brunch places is that Alex doesn’t really care for brunching out he’d rather eat lunch – you know real food.  Over the years I’ve cajoled him to many a mediocre brunch spot and each time we sit down to watery eggs Benedict or clawingly awful French toast it re-confirms his firm belief that we should be eating ramen noodles instead. And he probably has a point.


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