5 Reasons To Skip Brunch This Weekend, Because Waiting For An Hour Doesn't Make Your Eggs Taste More Delicious
Guys, I didn't want you to have find this out this way, but I have some bad news: it turns out that brunch is a scam. Wait, let me rephrase that: I'm sure it's not news. You've probably been hearing for years about how brunch is a long con, a scheme devised to separate you from your hard-earned dough via mimosas that taste like they came out of a truck stop vending machine. Internet bickering about how brunch is terrible has gone on so long, we've come around full circle, with people writing think pieces in order to defend brunch. But here's the thing: none of those think pieces matter, because demand for brunch still runs — and ruins — many of our weekends, and we often feel powerless to fight it.
Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by brunch — when, say, after getting peer-pressured into it by some friends, you surrendered to the reality of spending $40 on eggs, only to find yourself getting accidentally day hammered, falling asleep at 3 p.m. and then waking up again at 7 p.m., re-hungover, anxious and ravenous for hot wings. Is this any way to spend your youth? If you really liked mimosas so much, wouldn't you make them at home some time? Why do we get sucked into the self-destructive ritual that is brunch, again and again?
I understand what makes brunch appealing — it's a time we've reserved as a culture to catch up with friends, kick our responsibilities to the curb and drink like a lunatic while making hollow promises about "going for a run this afternoon." But you can still do all those things without dealing with the things that can make brunch such a mess. If you're looking for some ways to defend yourself from the onslaught of brunch requests you'll be fielding this weekend, read on — and remember, it's possible to have fun with your friends in the afternoon without eating eggs Benedict at the same time. You just have to believe!
1. Waking Up Early Doesn't Help Your Hangover
Let's cut to the chase: you probably wouldn't even be thinking of going to brunch if you weren't hungover. If you weren't hungover, you'd have woken up at nine a.m. and eaten breakfast many, many hours ago — long before this parade of the damned gathered in front of your local brunch spot. A person in their right mind would put their foot down and refuse to wait an hour for a frittata, we know that much.
But there are bigger problems about the long brunch wait — basically, it cuts into your restorative post-hangover sleep. And sleep deprivation makes a hangover worse.
What You Can Do Instead: Sleep as late as you need to, and make early dinner plans. Have you ever tried doing early dinner plans with friends on a Sunday? They are awesome, because they cut through the Sunday night anxiety so many of us experience, and end your weekend on a fun, low-key and social note (instead of ending it in weird, secondary-hangover isolation). Plus, you'll still be able to gossip about all your weekend drama with your friends and do all the other things that make a brunch fun — you'll just have had the chance to take a shower first.
2. Brunch Food Is Not Actually All That Fancy
Yes, brunch food looks fancy. For starters, it's usually served on a square plate. I mean, who eats off of a square plate? Certified fancy persons like Angelina Jolie and the British royal family, most likely. And the food is so artfully arranged! This is obviously the classiest meal you've even been near all week.
But as Anthony Boudain famously noted in his first book, Kitchen Confidential, "Brunch menus are an open invitation to the cost-conscious chef, a dumping ground for the odd bits left over from Friday and Saturday nights...And how long has that Canadian bacon been festering in the walk-in? Remember, brunch is only served once a week — on the weekends." Ah, so that's why your omelet randomly contained bok choy, roasted chicken, and five other ingredients that don't quite seem like they're part of a complete breakfast...because they're not. They're just things that weren't sold during dinner the night before.
What You Can Do Instead: Get breakfast at your local diner. The omelets there only contain omelet ingredients, so the odds that they've been laying around for days are minimal. Plus, it'll be less crowded, the server will remember to refill your coffee and the whole meal will only set you back, like, 10 bucks.
Or, if you're an actual foodie, serve brunch at home! You will come off like a sophisticated cooking genius, even if you primarily serve toast and jam (it's the square plates, man!).
3. Hair Of The Dog Doesn't Actually Work
Experts in the field of hangover studies all agree: hair of the dog is a sham. Bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys won't take the edge off your hangover — they'll just distract you from your misery by getting you drunk all over again, thus giving you another hangover to recover from. And since dehydration is the core cause of hangovers, "the worst thing you can do is drink more alcohol. It doesn't help and it's only enhancing the existing toxicity and making dehydration worse," Dr. Andrew Yacht, director of the division of general medicine and vice chair of medicine for education at Maimonides Medical Center, told U.S. News and World Report. So that bottomless brunch is really just digging yourself into a deeper hole — a hole you'll be stuck trying to crawl out of for the rest of the day.
What You Can Do Instead: Meet up somewhere picturesque with your equally hungover friends. You can eat a picnic lunch there, chug water and enjoy not being elbowed by dozens of other brunch-ravenous maniacs. It's summer! You have the entire outdoors to take advantage of, not just the garbage-smelling alley that your local brunchery is trying to pass off as a "backyard."
4. The Lines Are Ridiculous
Yes, it is totally cliche to complain about the long lines at brunch places at this point. We're, what, three years past that Portlandia episode about it? And yet, the fact that it is a cliche does nothing to change the fact that waiting for an hour for breakfast — the first thing you've eaten all day! — is horrible. It doesn't matter if you're waiting in a line on the baking summer sidewalk, sitting at an overcrowded restaurant bar, or just standing awkwardly in the restaurant's foyer, getting in the way of all of the servers — waiting for brunch turns what should be a leisurely weekend meal into something roughly as relaxing as playing nude paintball.
And waiting for breakfast is more than just totally annoying — waiting until 2 p.m. to eat breakfast means that you're essentially skipping breakfast, which has been scientifically proven to make you hangry, as well as worse at retaining information.
What You Can Do Instead: Try out the trendy, in-demand brunch spot in your area during the week. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are traditionally the easiest times to get a table at restaurants with no reservations, especially if you can get there before 6:30 or wait until after 8:30 to eat. A restaurant that serves a delicious brunch will also be very likely to serve a delicious dinner.
5. You're Probably Not Even Enjoying It
So the brunch you're going to is ridiculously expensive. But it is also bottomless — bottomless mimosas, endless trips back to the buffet, whatever — so you can totally even out the cost by having, like, all three meals at once, right?
Sure, you could do that — we all enjoy the occasional Roman emperor-style gorge. But as a 2011 study by two Cornell economists showed, when we think we've "lost" money on a meal, we often try to make it back by eating more than we wanted — well past the point where we're actually enjoying it. So if you drop a ton of cash on a bottomless breakfast buffet, you're probably eating that third serving of hickory bacon out of rage and vengeance, not because you need more pork products in your life.
What You Can Do Instead: Eat a traditional, pay-per-item lunch with friends at a restaurant that doesn't serve brunch. Boom — you're paying less, you're waiting less, and you're stuffing yourself from a place of joy, not a place of anger and financial anxiety. Plus, you can still Instagram that meal to the moon and back.
Bottom line: If you love brunch, don't let me or any other internet dork shame you out of it. But if you go to brunch just to see friends or out of FOMO, only to end up feeling all anxious and drunk and gassy, know that there is another way. A way filled with peace, serenity and eating cereal in your own danged house.