The big breakfast. Or lunch.

I’ve never really got the point of brunch, to be honest. For a start, I’m no fan of breakfast, despite the impassioned pleas of around three quarters of the people I’ve ever met who insist that it’s the most important meal of the day and I might die at the age of 54 if I don’t start eating it immediately. The idea of getting up and stuffing my face full of processed grain products or ill-disguised cake with syrup doesn’t fill me with joy, and it’s generally about 10am before I remember that I should probably at least have a cup of tea or coffee.

Long-term readers will rightly point out that I love a bacon buttysandwich, but given that I would eat bacon every hour of the day if given half a chance (and a spare heart), I think we can simply regard it as the exception that proves the rule.

The corollary to my dislike of breakfast though is that by the middle of the day I’m starving, and duly lunch is probably my favourite meal of the day. Whether it’s sandwiches at my desk, or a lazy weekend meal with friends, I love taking stock of the day so far over some good food. Especially if it involves bacon, obviously.

To me therefore, brunch is a meal that looks like breakfast, contains far too many eggs for its own good, and robs me of the opportunity to have lunch. It is literally the worst of both worlds. Admittedly the bloody mary or the bucks fizzmimosa can occasionally take my mind off my internal anguish, but it’s still a meal I could do without.

The exception is ‘the hotel brunch’ – a weird and extravagantly (some would say obnoxiously) lavish buffet-based meal on a Sunday that can draw people from miles around if it gains a good reputation. The one essential rule about the hotel brunch is that it is legally required to include every single foodstuff ever grown or invented. A guest finding any category of food missing is entitled to eat free of charge in the hotel for the next year, and can take home as many tiny bottles of hotel shampoo and body wash as they can fit into their oversized pockets.

At a Los Angeles brunch yesterday, I could take my choice from the usual breakfast choices of (made to order) eggs and omelettes, breakfast meats, eight different cheeses, sushi, dumplings, roast lamb, roast beef, ham, fruits, chocolate desserts pizza, chicken nuggetstenders, sliced vegetables, pork buns, waffles, ham and cheese sandwiches, peach crumblecrisp, stir fried chicken with cashew nuts, numerous breads, and many other things that I couldn’t quite see because of the dozens of people surrounding the tables as chefs prepped, sliced, cooked and served.

I think it’s fair to say that I’ve never eaten eel sushi and stilton on the same plate, and certainly not at 11 in the morning, but somehow it seemed to work. I was so mesmerised that I walked out without my coat and only remembered about it this morning as I was en route to the airport.

It’s no exaggeration to say that a few thousand people could have eaten from all the food on display, which was being constantly replenished. As it was, there were probably around 400 people in attendance, and hopefully they found some good homeless shelter for the rest of it. I’m not sure whether ‘potstickers with sweet chili sauce’ is necessarily the food of choice for the down-and-out, but then again I’m not sure that the Beverly Hills authorities don’t chase the homeless out of the area with pitchforks each morning, so maybe it’s not an issue…

9 thoughts on “The big breakfast. Or lunch.

  1. Lucy

    what is with the egg thing here? i ordered dippy eggs and got three! three! it’s like what the hulk has in the morning…obviously i ate them but three???!
    sorry the thought of dippy eggs probably makes you feel queasy…all that runny yolky stuff, goo everywhere…knowing it came out of a chicken’s bottom etc…sorry

  2. Expat Mum

    Let’s face it, even the lunches over here chould be called “brunch”. I mean who eats at 11.30am? My son’s allotted time in the school cafeteria is 11.20 till 12 noon. No wonder he eats his body weight as soon as he walks in the door at 3.30pm.
    And sadly, in most cases, there is legislation preventing restaurants from giving away leftover food, unless it’s still in the original container/wrapper and untouched. What a waste.

  3. William

    Get you arse (ass) down to 7A in the East Village. Best brunch ever. Eggs Benedict my good man.

    And also, there’s me thinking a mimosa was something more fancy than an old fashioned Bucks Fizz. Mimosa wouldn’t have won the Eurovision Song Contest.

  4. Dylan

    Mel – Brits don’t need an excuse. If the day has a ‘y’ at the end of it, it’s OK to drink at any point.

    Karen – am horrified, and may never go to a hotel brunch again…

    Gabi – given that you started with roast lamb, you’re in no position to complain.

    Will – I think you’ll find that, as Californian residents, Mimosa ( have probably never even heard about the Eurovision Song Contest, let alone ripped each other’s skirts off to gain glory.

    Expat Mum – how disappointing about the ‘giving food away’ rules. Although, given Karen’s comments, maybe it’s for the best…

    And Lucy…never mention eggs in my presence again, thank you very much.

  5. Brooklyn

    “And Lucy…never mention eggs in my presence again, thank you very much.”

    Sorry Dylan, I can’t resist (with apologies to Monty Python’s Flying Circus):

    “I’ll have the eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs, spam and eggs; but substitute eggs for the spam.”

  6. Trixie Trouble

    I don’t know how many times I have to explain this, Mimosas and Bloody Marys are OFFICIALlY breakfast cocktails therefore one never needs an excuse to enjoy either of these glorious refreshments before noon.
    Seriously, you’re exhausting me.

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