BRUNCH, the all-day meal experience consisting of a smorgasbord of breakfast and lunch collaborations, with a side of caesars and mimosas (very plural). Is there any other meal that can evoke feelings of excitement, nostalgia, and intoxication all in one sitting? That’s a big Kevin McCallister “I don’t think so”. Brunch has become a movement, a lifestyle choice and in my very philosophical opinion, the single most important meal of the day. It gives society something to look forward to on the weekend, and if you’re not much of an early riser then you have the option to get dressed up at noon, eat, drink, socialize and be in bed by 8 P.M without any weekend FOMO. If you’re feverishly nodding in agreeance and running to look up the best new brunch spots in your area, then high-five my friend. You are officially a brunch-a-holic.
The concept of brunch has maintained its integrity since its conception in 1895, which makes brunch even more of a boss. British writer Guy Beringer coined the term in his magazine article “Brunch: A Plea”, explaining that “by eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” Amen Mr. Beringer! And so, brunch began as a meal provided by hotels, since most restaurants were closed on Sundays and people were in need of a new social outlet after World War II. Soon after, restaurants realized how lucrative brunch was and hopped on the bandwagon. Fast forward to 2018.
Brunching and daytime debauchery has taken the world by storm, with boozy brunches that seamlessly transform 2 P.M into 2 A.M. For many, it has become a Saturday and/or Sunday tradition (if you’re really committed); get dressed to the nines with your friends, drink champagne and devour avocado toast and eggs bennies while people are popping bottles in the background.
Drinking and partying aside, brunch has allowed chefs more creative freedom with their breakfast and lunch menus, leading to explosive food combinations that probably wouldn’t have been conceived otherwise. Options like chicken and waffles, tater tot breakfast poutine, Cinnabon Oreo pancakes or bacon and cheese stuffed french toast, elevate both breakfast and lunch to a whole new level. The basic eggs, bacon and toast is always a classic, but in today’s world people are more open-minded and looking to think and eat outside the box.
Toronto is chalked full of unbelievable brunch spots that are changing the way we dine, including one of my favourites, Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie. Located in the heart of the Distillery District, this French style bistro is not only architecturally spectacular, but the presentation and food set it apart. Make sure to peruse their gigantic table of freshly made bread and pastries, along with another of fresh iced oysters. Their bartenders have designed beautifully crafted cocktails, and you can even get an absinthe filled centerpiece that slowly drips the liquid over flavoured sugar cubes at your table. Who doesn’t love a croissant, buck a shuck and little absinthe before noon? Cluny also does it up right with a menu that satisfies any pallet. If you’re looking for something sweet, their Baked Vanilla and Chocolate French Toast is heaven served on a plate, and if you’re wanting savory, the Salt Cod Benedict made with cod cakes are totally drool worthy! The location, drinks and food were all designed with grace and finesse, leaving you with a foodie experience you’ll be talking about for weeks.
The most amazing thing about brunch is that there are no limitations, restrictions or constraints. You can choose to do brunch in whatever way you like. Whether it be a fancy sit down meal, buffet style with a plate full of sushi, ravioli and a Belgian waffle (my plate last weekend), or party brunch using pancakes as a chaser, the options are endless. Great friends, drinks, food and you don’t have to wake up until noon to enjoy it. Now that’s what life’s all about.