I was tempted to add brunch to my “DESPITE EVERYTHING” Aughts List of Thanks, but didn’t. Certainly this past decade saw my first forays into the wonderful world of brunch — but that may be entirely because I also (a) learned to drive, (b) got my own bank account, and (c) lived away from home this decade. Perhaps all of you put your fourth-grade allowance to a steaming plate of Eggs Benedict in town every Sunday morning, but I assure you I did not. (I was too busy making friendship bracelets and inventing new mnemonic devices to remember the planets in order. Back when they included Pluto. It was a heady year.)
The term “brunch” entered the English lexicon in the late nineteenth century with an absolutely prescient article (“Brunch: A Plea” — how perfect!) in an 1895 issue of the British magazine Hunter’s Weekly. In it, one Guy Beringer extolled the virtues of brunch, ie that a late-morning, breakfast-lunch composite would allow you to stay up later and get drunker on Saturday night. An article in Punch the following year affirmed, “To be fashionable nowadays we must ‘brunch’.” And indeed we must!
But when did brunch — brunch as an institution — really take off? I’m stubbornly sticking to this decade. Maybe I just watch too much Sex and the City (brunchaholics, the lot of them), but does anyone remember brunch in the 90s? Does anyone remember anything from the 90s besides MC Hammer pants and butterfly clips?
Regardless of when it started, brunch has become the greatest meal of our time. It can offer a complete nutritional and tasting experience, featuring not only meats, fruits, vegetables, and breads, but also tickling your sweet and savory taste buds. It’s also the only time when ordering a giant stack of chocolate-studded cookies pancakes as a meal is officially okay. Pancakes with champagne mimosas! Brunch keeps you (me, you, anyone) handily full until dinnertime, it is a naturally lazy affair, and, to conclude, I will leave you with this image,
and the name Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe.