Bring Back Saturday Brunch
- A meal usually taken late in the morning that combines a late breakfast and an early lunch
- A meal usually taken after 1pm and accompanied by limitless alcoholic beverages of choice and enjoyed by everyone. If you don't plan a brunch on the weekend...that's silly. Of course you plan to brunch on the weekends.
New York has mastered the brunch game. Where brunch was once for the wealthy post golf game or for Easter Sunday, it is now a routine weekend activity on Saturday and/or Sunday featuring a massive variety of options from eggs to burgers, delicious adult beverages that feature juice so you're totally being healthy, and friends. The city does not fuck around. Bottomless mimosas, giant Bloody Marys filled with bacon, pickles, and celery, creative takes on traditional breakfast fare, time limitations to prevent drunken disasters (they are inevitable) and reservations required. And when it's the first nice warm day of the year, prepare to enter the Hunger Games to get a table outside.I could write a whole novel on how all of the above turns on you when you are NYC server during brunch. But that is neither here nor there. In summary: it is the seventh circle of hell and you wish it was acceptable to slap patrons in the face or at least dump their eggs which took four tries to get right in their lap. I digress.My husband and I made it a point to investigate our brunch options when we moved as it was usually one of the few times we consistently had free each week to spend together. We also have many memories of Sunday brunches with our closest friends every week and were missing that feeling of routine.The most popular joint in town is always crowded on the weekends and honestly, we were not entirely impressed after our 45 minute wait to get a table the one time we did go on a weekday. After some more tries, we found our brunch spot at Butch and Babes. I am sharing the name because this joint is absolutely awesome and we are regulars there and sometimes we get free donuts because the chef is an angel on earth.They recently canceled their Saturday brunch.Devastated, but not defeated, we started attending their Sunday brunch and everything was right in the world again. Our schedules luckily allowed the change and we didn't mind it one bit. Having worked in restaurants, I always understand when they change up their availability and adjust due to volume and demand. Sundays were better for brunch. We could find another Saturday brunch spot if some weekend we wanted to do a Saturday post farmers market (yes, we have become those people).But Saturday brunch does not exist here.The brunch culture I had grown accustomed to does not exist in Burlington. Brunch is not a place to get day drunk. Brunch is not for birthday parties. Brunch is not an event in the slightest. It's just a meal. It's a meal you have maybe MAYBE with an adult beverage and then you go about your day. It isn't the main event. It's just breakfast with lunch options slightly later in the day. Or a bridal shower.We've traveled back in time to original brunch land.I felt like I was taking crazy pills on a recent Saturday when we started celebrating my husband's birthday with some fall activities. Since our brunch spot didn't have Saturday brunch, I looked at Yelp in my hometown where we were going apple picking for options. It was early in the day, before 11am. Most places did not offer brunch as to be expected but I thought I had lucked out by suggesting we go to the hotel in the center of town. Of course they would have brunch! It's a hotel!They did not have brunch.We sat down right as they opened for lunch. I thought I had heard her say "Enjoy your lunch" as she placed the menus down on the table but I brushed it off as my hanger for eggs was deep. Looking at the menu, my dreams were crushed: it was a lunch menu. It was a not so great lunch menu to top it all off. We should have left but the server came over and I panicked. No eggs were had that day.I had searched on Yelp for brunch and there were maybe two places that served it, this hotel being one of them. Yelp lied to me. Well, the hotel's website lied to me. And Saturday brunch is dead to Vermonters.Why? Why must a dark cloud sit over Saturdays? Sure, I prefer Sundays for a million reasons but Saturdays are just as good! Saturdays should have brunch everywhere! We all know Vermont can be stuck in the 1990s at times but this, this lack of brunch locations and availability, is its worst offense. Yes, I said it. Even worse than the 90s goatees and chin straps I see floating around on the men about town. Worse. Than. ThatI am being dramatic. That being said, I just find it so strange how five hours away brunch is a celebrated occurrence and up north, the population could care less. I mentioned bottomless mimosas to a friend who had never experienced it and his face lit up like a Christmas tree at the idea that you could pay $30 and have someone keep filling your glass for 2 hours.Don't think brunch to me is always about getting drunk. It's not. It was the social aspect of brunch I relished in. Obviously breakfast beverages are the bees knees but I had many birthday brunches or traditional weekend hangs at our favorite local brunch spots with close friends because that was the one time we could usually all get together. It was always a warm, silly, joyful meal. Brunch is magic.Saturday brunch was reserved for "experiments", trying out new brunch spots in our neighborhood in Harlem. Some places failed hard. Some quickly became new favorites. Sundays were always reserved for the spots we could rely on. The spots that were always good, always comfortable.You could go to the West Village and dress up a little with a good red lipstick and cute boots. Or you could slay with that messy bun and oversize sweatshirt and minimal makeup. That chic hungover look that I can never quite accomplish because I just look, well, hungover. I wore a deep purple shade of lipstick to brunch here and got stares. It was awkward. And also awesome. I assume at least one of those people thought I was famous. Obviously. Ok, probably not.Before you freak out, Burlington, I know there are some solid Saturday brunch spots. I do. However, I can count them one one hand. I got an email from Yelp a few days after our no brunch brunch and it said "Brunch options outside of Burlington!" It gave me three...THREE. One being 45 minutes away. Nice, Yelp, reaaaallll nice.My point of all this is I miss New York brunch culture. A lot. It's just another discovery in the small pond adventure journey. I thought maybe brunch had infiltrated everywhere much like wide brimmed hats and coconut oil. I guess I'll need to wait another year or so before real brunch arrives in all its glory to Burlington just like I had to wait for overalls to come back into style.