We all love brunch. Omelets, unlimited alcohol, overdressed Deltas, and more alcohol. It's not just the best meal of the week, it's one of the three or four best G-rated things on Earth.
However, it came to our attention that resident hater of all good things Jozen disagrees. He feels like brunch hasn't reached its full potential. Basically, brunch can be better. Much better.
While talking about this with Damon, he came up with an idea to start an email thread with the entire VSB crew where everyone shared their thoughts about brunch. What you like about it, hate about it, unique brunch experiences, etc.
What started off as typical Jozen hate-speech morphed into an email thread with 135 replies, an entire subthread devoted to double dutch, another subthread devoted to spades and whiskey, a slightly racist story about a Chevy Lumina, a very emasculating takedown of Damon by Gem Jones that may or may not be printed, and two murders. (It's a shame what they did to those dogs.)
Anyway, without further ado, here's Brunch Deconstructed.
As far as my belly and mind are concerned, it doesnt get much better than bacon and bellinis.
Unlike other Bougie Blacks I prefer my brunches to be at home. Dining out for brunch — at a place that actually cooks my eggs the way I like, serves thick, hearty bacon, AND offers bottomless mimosas — is too much of a hassle. If the spot is really good at brunch, everyone knows about it and the wait is ridiculous. I'm not arriving at 8am just to get a table by noon. Fuck that. I don't *do* lines anymore. So brunching in the comfort of an actual home is ideal. You fix whatever the hell you want when you want it, lounge around comfortably (pajama pants acceptable), watch sports and be belligerent without public shaming. Most importantly, your bacon supply can be unending. There is NO down side to this. Except ninjas in your house wearing out their welcome but…you can lure them out with bacon.
Eh. Brunch was one of those things I didn't even know existed until I was in high school and around White people a lot more (like using shower as a verb, or hiking for fun, or saying something is a "treat" unironically). It always just sort of mystified me. This is partially because my family would happily cook and eat grits, eggs, bologna (we're country), bacon, pancakes, toast, biscuits, and sausage (pork, turkey, and/or hot—you know the red ones—like I said, country) and eat them at 2pm when we were all together and call that shit breakfast, because goddammit we will bend the rules of buttery delicious mealtime to our will. That and we just can't wake up before 1 round holidays. But I guess at this point I'm up for new excuses to day drink, since I'm about to finish undergrad soon and my normal college drinking will probably soon be labeled alcoholism. I just wish they would serve me something that I wouldn't need to drink fifty-lem of to get a good buzz. Pancake stomach + a bunch of cheap champagne/orange juice = I might hate life for about 45 minutes. Brunch is like the White Castle of meals; it goes from great idea to oh my damn lord take me now.
I haven't been on this side of 25 while living Stateside long enough to care a great deal about brunch. I see that it's a thing now. However, as someone who is probably destined for post-40 Thicksnack living and is active solely so I can eat whatever the fuck I want, like a newly dumped, pregnant and bisonly woman, I can't pass up a chance to have ridiculous combinations of breakfast things and dinner things on the same plate. Damn the selfies and White pants. Give me the mimosas, french toast, cheese grits, chicken, and steak. When I get back, I look forward to well-priced, socially accepted brunchy gluttony and hard ass pants-free naps under the fan. Fuckwitme.
Brunch is the perfect meal for people like me who don't want to have to make any hard and and fast choices. I don't understand how anyone can not like brunch. It's like life's way of giving us an "all of the above" option.
The first time I had brunch, I was about 7. It absolutely amazed me that I could have waffles *and* crab cakes in the same sitting. And dessert at the end, too? Nigga, how did They know?
It tickles me that brunch is a thing now (it doesn't stop me from going, obviously, but there are certainly levels to this shit.) We used to take my grandma to brunch at the Four Seasons every Mother's Day, a Bougie Black girl moment that included "Who the hell told them?" looks from some White folks. Whatever. Four Seasons brunch is amazing and at $99 a pop, it's one of those rare "treat yo'self, don't cheat yo'self" indulgences that make perfect sense to everything but my good sense because clearly, I can make this shit at home. And yet.
Brunch is both one of my favorite and least favorite things of all time.
It's my favorite because it truly encompasses all of my gluttonous tendencies - being able to go "eggs or burger?" without being looked at sideways is a luxury that is very near and dear to my heart. (Sometimes the answer is eggs AND burger but my questionable relationship with food is a topic for another day). The perks of getting drunk in the daytime speak for themselves. Seriously, being able to take a quick nap at 4 PM and then get on with your day? I have a bone to pick with whichever stalwarts shamed us into believing that it's unseemly to drink before 5. Basically, the concept of recovering from last nights shenanigans - does falling asleep on my couch at 11 PM during a Top Chef Marathon count as shenanigans? - with a cornucopia of food, booze and friends in the middle of the day is pretty much the stuff my dreams are made of. Well…that and a running track of me starring in my own bad dance movie. Jessica Alba, eat your heart out.
That said…I have now lived in Brooklyn for almost a year now, and all of the truly popular spots have become places to see and be seen. I feel like every other Sunday or so I make my way to some part of Prospect Heights/Clinton Hill/Bed Stuy/ and end up wondering if I'm just not fashionable enough for brunch, along with a series of other befuddled questions. Must I color block or wear two different prints? Why can't I wear stretchy pants to give my soon-to-be-expanding stomach space to breathe? Are we wearing crop tops to brunch now? Is there a DJ playing? When did this become a day party? Why are you asking me if I want to be in pictures when I clearly still have crust in my eyes? Are brunch promoters a thing now?
*starts guzzling mimosas in curmudgeonly despair*
Also…brunch starts between 12-2. I'm tired of my friends who sleep in trying to schedule "brunch" at 3:30. THAT IS NOT BRUNCH. If I have to eat a meal beforehand to hold me over we have officially left brunch territory.
I totally thought brunch was one of those things my grandmother an'nem quizzically referred to as "White people shit" all the way up until blogs became a thing and I was well into my 20s.
I knew "Bougie" was a thing well before then, but never realized those same Black folks that my hood cousins referred to in disgust ALSO partook in this mystical meal. I seriously only pictured a group of White folks with Kentucky derby hats eating watercress sandwiches with the crust cut off.
And then I was blessed with the experience. Lemme just praise the creature who decided that champagne and orange juice should have relations. And slap the word "unlimited" as their title in matrimony. Brunch is dopeness simply because of THAT and the fact it caters to ninjas like me who ain't even AWAKE (and yes, this includes when I actually have to be awake early for work, my eyes are squinty for a reason) — let alone hungry — in the early morning.
I'm just hoping that brunch's cousin breakfast for dinner, or BRINNER, becomes a regular thing. Because breakfast tastes better at night.
Ah, brunch. As a native midwesterner, brunch wasn't really a "thing" to me until i moved east. Growing up in Michigan, unless you were over fifty, melanin-less, and had a name like Betty or Margaret, you weren't brunching. We knew about brunch and even had it at home—and sometimes went with my grandmother, reinforcing the 'brunch is for old people' thing— but there was no putting your Sunday hat on and going out if you were under 40. Thus when I got to NYC and every weekend my friends were inviting me to brunch, I thought it was pretty hilarious … until I went to my first, then I fast became a fan of this whole "urban professional" brunch movement.
My love for mimosas with friends is only rivaled by the fact that like others have said, you can have an omelet or a salmon burger and no one will judge you (also, I've witnessed Shamira go with both) and if you pick a good one, the food is fantastic.
However … I'm afraid NYC has quickly pushed my infatuation with brunch to "over it." Too many that I've been to are simply a place to see and be seen, and wear reasonably acceptable club gear for the 27+ crowd. If you are a single man, brunch is great. I however am not, and I've grown weary of it being an event instead of the simple meal it is supposed to be. Some NYC brunches more resemble a day party now - which is a whole other thing I'm over. Whew. My Bougie Black girl level is clearly on low these days.
"Brunch is like throwing a party for your breakfast."
—-Samantha Irby (…who clearly had better things to do than to participate in this convo —- like being honored as the "Best Nonfiction writer" in Chicago by the Chicago Reader!)
I like brunch. I hate how overhyped it is. No way I should have to wait for an hour to get a table. Ridiculous. Nothing better than some good chicken and waffles with a side of eggs on the side.
Since I'm not a big champagne fan I skip the mimosas. But what I am a fan of is whiskey. I don't see why I have to be looked at funny because I ordered a scotch at 1:30 in the afternoon. We're all getting drunk, but because you masked your liquor with juice it makes it acceptable?? Tuh.
As the resident DC socialite and starting point guard for the Doing-To-Much-YOLO All-Stars, clearly I'm all in for brunch. I'm sure other cities get it in, but DC seems to be ground zero for brunch, day parties, and brunches that turn into day parties, or day parties that include brunch. And I'm here for it. I have blacked out from drinking mimosas under a patio umbrella that offered as much sunblock as SPF -NegroPlease. I've stumbled from brunch to day party in attempts to keep the party going because bottomless mimosas are truly bottomless if drink them all like shots. I didn't even know what a bellini was until I did what? Went to brunch. Brunch taught me Italian. Has any other meal taught you a lesson just by existing. While the answer is undoubtedly yes, b*tch don't steal my vibe.
Me and my compadres, a bunch of motherfucking brunch savants, traipse through Pierre L'Enfant's playground in search of the best brunch deals that coincide with good food. We see. We be seen. We Instagram it because whats the point of eating food if everybody doesn't know that you're doing it? I'm the person you hate at brunch because I'm there with 12 other people who are louder than you. I think brunch is where good people go to have great times while doing hoodrat things with their friends. And that's really what life is all about.
To half-quote one-episode character Jacques from an old episode of The Simpsons: "It's not quite breakfast, it's not quite lunch…" but it comes with a side of awesome. And who doesn't love awesome? I love awesome because I'm awesome. And brunch is awesome like me. Brunch, bitch.
It's all Anthony Bourdain's fault.
In reading his classic memoir, Kitchen Confidential, I discovered what most restaurant chefs and service people actually deplore brunch. Everything is made in bulk and with as little soul as possible. Nothing is fresh, as all the items used are whatever was left from the week, and that vat of hollandaise sauce was made by the worst cook on the line who showed up to work hungover.
If you have ever seen a brunch menu that isn't at Cheesecake Factory, you understand why this makes sense. For brunch, most restaurants are using the mimosa special to lure you in, counting on you to only eat as a means to coat your stomach. Back when your mama told you to not believe everything you read, she meant don't believe that crab cake benedict or salmon florentine on the menu is special. All they're doing in the back is taking out a plate where your order has been refrigerated and kept in saran wrap, warming it up in the microwave and keeping it on the line until your eggs look like like some mashed up peeps.
Once we resolve the food issue, we still have to deal with service. Look, maybe it's my fault that I'm always bringing large groups of Blacks with me to brunch, but nothing pisses me off more than being treated like a second-class citizen in a restaurant. I worked in the service industry long enough to know that even a party of two Backs for some restaurants is two too many. So every time I'm walking into some place where the napkins are linen, I have my defenses up because if I've seen it once, I've seen it a thousand times. The eye-roll from a host, the minute I tell him or her there will be 10 of us, and nine people are here but we would like to be seated because the other person is a couple blocks away. The reluctant refills on our carafes of orange juice and champagne because they're afraid of the turn up. How the waiter acts like we asked for their first born when we all want to split our bills.
Don't get me wrong, I like brunch as an idea, and there are plenty of places I will go in NYC to enjoy my brunch. I just hate the way I'm treated when I come in large groups of bougie and the limited menu options that mostly feature items I can make for myself. It's just not worth the extra $12 or so to go somewhere because they have a drink special in which the key ingredient is unlimited.
AND ONE MORE THING.
I'm sorry, this must be said. My rule is, I go somewhere to eat brunch and then I go to a brunch party to party. I don't do both and I wish more people would follow suit. Girl, I just saw you eat a plate of chicken and waffles, now you're backing it up to "Loyal." Nothing about that is cute, just like I'm sure it's not cool when I'm hollering in your ear and my breath smells like Jalapeno cheddar biscuit and bloody marys.
Just to be clear…thus far Jozen hates:
2. This Is How We Do it
We're racking up rungs on the "things Black people love that Jozen hates" ladder of "how the hell did a cat who went to an HBCU end up like this".
Your fellow Bison cannot be happy about this.
If you tell me you hate Kool-Aid or wowdamelm I'm asking for ID.
I AM CRYING, JOZEN. You gotta go.
My rule for brunch: The menu has to include waffles. And I gotta be able to get strawberries on those waffles. No fucking mixed fruit. No bananas. Don't give me not fancy compotes. Just a regular-ass, waffle with strawberries. If you can't do the basics, I can't trust you with anything else. Do not invite me to places for brunch that do not include waffles as a default option. You do this, and I am absolutely sure that you don't respect me.
I donno, my experience is different, but that might be because everywhere I go for brunch in NY is full of little old Hispanic men tryna holler while they serve me my po' lil' omelette. And offering me lots of free non-alcoholic drinks. I'm hoping this is to save money and not because they think I'm under 21, because…ew.
Jozen, i'm betting you'd implode if someone invited you to a spades game brunch (is this a thing? i just made it a thing.) and they played "This Is How We Do It" via the overhead speakers WHILST you were waiting in line for an hr for a table to clear up.
This would be my reaction to that scenario
***Every single person in the thread died and came back to life after watching that Vine. Seriously, the next 10 replies were different variations of "LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!"***
This is why having brunch at some one's house is my preference. But I also don't really fuck with places that don't offer omelet stations — I want my food fresh and prepared to my specifications without a middle man. Nothing will make me an angrier Black woman quicker than some bulk over (or under) cooked eggs. I have no tolerance for such disrespect.
Jozen ain't nann but a beige ass hater; I liked him 10% less the day I saw him go off on brunch on Twitter. Almost unfollowed him. Brunch is a religion in New York (get ready, Alex). When I decided to move to Pittsburgh the first thing I asked Damon about was brunch. Not the price of living or school districts or job market but BRUNCH. How is brunch there? Do y'all brunch?
Spoiler: THEY DON'T.
Although I think Damon is having a wedding brunch. Because bougie.
There is nothing like rolling out of bed Sunday morn…afternoon and texting the first 8 people in my messages like "brunch." Not "brunch?" But "brunch." Because I'm not asking you I'm telling you. Because nobody says no. Because YES. Because brunch, bitch. Because, just leave the mimosa pitcher on the table, waiter, you can't keep coming back fast enough to fill these here goblets. Because eggs and cheese and bread on bread and fruits on fruits and oooh you have turkey bacon and chicken apple sausage here instead of the regular swiney selections? Because brunch until 6pm. Because homies rolling in 2 hours after we agreed to meet because they poisoned themselves Saturday night.
I want to go to there. I miss home.
—-sarah huny young
You my love and my heart because you just preached a GOOD SOLID WORD with the mention of chicken.sausage.
Fuck your swine, breh.
Jozen, I'm with you. #antibrunch
It makes me sad that ive never experienced this type of brunching on a regular basis (because.. Pittsburgh. and Portland).
And it frustrates me that ppl think brunching is just about eating breakfast AND lunch around lunch time. No my nigga that is not it!!!! Brunching is a lifestyle. Its a social covenant centered around food and dranks. Brunch is a verb!!! You don't GO to brunch, you don't EAT brunch, you DO brunch!!
Maya…makidada. We sisters.
Found a place with beef bacon once… Cried tears of joy. Though that might have been the sangria.
With respect to Kool Aid… y'all mix flavors, right? Personal favorite if not doing just regular "red," is red and grape.
Getting back to breakfast meals…One day we gonna talk about how y'all prepare your grits but I don't want to have to start shading folks who say anything about sugar.
What kind of sick mother ruins the sanctity of the two most purest flavors of Kool Aid by mixing them together. Red and Grape are holdovers from the 1800s and slavery days. They are sanctified. All they want is a million dollars and a bad bitch.
Now you can lime to anything and it gets better. That's okay.
#thatburgundyblend was also a semi permanent hair color rinse in the 10th grade for yours truly. Because Oakland.
Lime anything tastes like water and self-hatred. Not here for it. Just give me my Pink Lemonade and call it a day
I'm gonna make a meme:
I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR YOUR 12 INGREDIENT GRIT RECIPE BULLSHIT.
I don't know any Black folks who do anything other than red, grape, and whatever the blue shit is. Lime? I didn't even know there was lime Kool Aid. No one should. What an abomination of Obama's nation. I have never seen such around the way. Wanna know why? 'Cause nobody cares about it. Because someone in marketing and research did their due diligence in figuring out what niggas like. Pink Lemonade is like "oh, hey, lemme throw it in with two other flavors and see if I can turn it into something." But really all you need in this life of sin is Red and Grape.
Circa 2002, #thatburgundyblend was a rinse in my hair, too.
Also. The formula is simple — You want grains and sugar? Eat cream of wheat. You want to be a champion? Put cheese in your grits. Bonus if you break up some bacon in it.
***The conversation then segued into a 30 reply subthread about spades and whiskey. And then Damon finally decided to add his late-ass thoughts about brunch***
So, is there a name for a foodie who's less a "foodie" and more a "food conqueror who scourers the city for places that'll allow him to stuff as many pieces of overcooked bacon and underemployed waffles in his fucking belly as possible before he starts hating himself and feeling like Boris Diaw but still stuffing two last pieces of crab omelette in his stomach because still they're on his plate looking sexy and juicy and his mother taught him not to waste food"? Just asking because, if there is a name for that person, that person would be me.
I've read each of the nine hundred emails about brunch and double dutch and how the first Aunt Viv's hair probably smelled, and most of y'all niggas are missing the point. I could give a negative infinity fuck about being social and convivial and shit during brunch. It has always been and will always be about stuffing my face with as many 3,000 calorie foods as possible. Brunch is also the Cosmos. It opens your mind to conjure previously unconjurable food combinations. Eggs benedict and chocolate cake? Great! A pancake dipped into a Bloody Mary? Perfect! Oysters and strawberry cannoli? Fanfuckingtastic!
Let me put it this way: I went to brunch by myself two weekends ago. And by "I went to brunch by myself two weekends ago" I mean "I went to brunch so early that I was the only person there. Just me, a couple cooks, and endless trays of fat, grizzle, and utensils." I was actually three minutes early, so they had to open up the place for me.
And I had the best time of my life.
Brunch by yourself Damon…you might have a problem. #12stepitout
All I got from that story, cuz, is that you be doing all sorts of grandiose shit without me. Your baby cousin new to the city and you feasting without an invite. You a ho for that.
Hey, I'm like Damon, I love a grits dish with like 12 different ingredients (sorry Christina). And I pride myself on going to have brunch at places where the food is good and not brunch (which is a euphemism for mediocre).
Question though Damon, did you sit at the bar? When I eat alone, I always sit at the bar because I'm a boss and I'M A BOSS.
What I got from Damon's story is that health in the Black community is a very real concern. #staywokedog
Damon is an oinkeroo. He be gettin bubble guts too and now we know why.
I don't wanna hear shit about what Damon has to say about food. I've witnessed this man "make" half cooked pancakes (burnt on the outside, batter-y on the inside) and eat that shit and pretend there was nothing wrong with them. He has an indiscriminate palate and I just dont trust human garbage-disposals.
Gem did not just take it there, she moved in there and become the mayor of there.
How you gon' act, Damon?
Damon gotta clap back. 1/2 cooked pancakes??
Damon still in the studio working on his "Control" verse??
LMAO! Damon looking for a booth with good wifi
Gem - the Champ of Champ
1. The pancake experience Marguerite is referring to happened on New Year's Day. I was (slightly) hungover, and (definitely) still discombobulated by a topless man who, at 4am, decided to crash the house party we were at. So it wasn't my fault.
2. I'm in the studio working on deez.
Well, that certainly wasn't "Ether."
Jozen, you got another vine for that response? Cuz it needs one.
No, I was looking for one, but after searching on Vine using keywords like "disappointed" and "wtf," I got nothing.
I got one for what Marguerite did to Damon though…
Fuck y'all. I'm going to make some pancakes.
—-Damon (Damon didn't actually say that. But he should have.)