Photo: Constance Chen
Brunch, once merely a fun Sunday tradition first popularized in 1930s Britain (who knew?), has been demonized as a time-wasting money suck for insufferable people dumb enough to fork over $12 for a mimosa, which as we all know is just cheap Champagne and OJ. Everyone from Thrillist to Complex to the Village Voice has penned a breathless takedown of the boozy mid-afternoon meal in recent years, with the central complaints being long waits at restaurants, inflated costs, and I don't know... too much fun being had?
Like avocado toast, Instagram, and pretty much everything else even loosely associated with millennials, brunch is now a Thing People Don't Like. Oh, and apparently, if we'd all stop eating so dang much of it, maybe we could afford to put a down payment on a home. Or something.
Anyway, not to stoke the flames of what is, at the end of the day, probably not the most crucial debate for us as a society to be having at this moment, but I think brunch is getting an unfairly bad rap. Why? I'm so glad you asked.
Hating brunch is subtly sexist
Okay, bear with me here. In much the same way that things millennials supposedly like have been widely diabolized, things traditionally associated with women—not to mention, god forbid, millennial women—have also long been a subject of derision from society at large. Taste recently ran an illuminating article on our unfair collective annoyance with food and drink trends, like rosé, that are marketed towards ("basic") women, and it's easy to imagine how this might spill over into the hatred of brunch. After all, from Sex and the City to Betches, brunch is much more heavily associated with women than any other meal. So next time someone says they hate brunch, just tell them to stop being so sexist. They won't know what hit them.
Brunch is an excellent hangover cure
I get it, I get it. I'm a grown adult women, and I shouldn't be drinking so much that I get a hangover to begin with, right? Is that the argument here? Well, unfortunately, we're all only human, and sometimes, humans drink too many tequila shots in a desperate attempt to connect romantically with the other humans at the bar. Or, they have one too many glasses of red wine at their friend's snooze-tastic poetry reading they got guilt-tripped into attending. I don't know. What I do know is that nothing cures said hangover like a Bloody Mary, some bacon, and eggs smeared in so much hollandaise sauce you're not even sure if they're truly eggs.
Day drinking is really fun
A lot of the anti-brunch sentiments I've happened upon seem to center on the fact that day drinking is bad for you (which, fair) and that we should all be spending our Saturday and Sundays doing more productive things like, I don't know, running marathons and hygge-ing our homes. But I'd like to present you with an alternative theory: day drinking is really, really fun. Why? Because there are so many more options for activities than when you're just drunk at night like everybody else. Drunk park-lounging! Drunk bookstore browsing! Drunk trying on all the makeup samples at Sephora! This, my friends, is what weekends were meant for. What's more, if you're getting your carousing out of the way during the day, you're more likely to go to bed earlier, which means you're less likely to be hungover at work. Can't argue with that.
Brunch means never having to be decisive
You know what's something you probably have to do a lot during the week? Decision-making. For many of us, making decisions is a source of real stress, and while, sure, you had to decide where to go to eat brunch, once you're there, you don't have to be so choosy. I mean, it's right there in the name. Breakfast or lunch? Both! Sweet or savory? Get one of each and split with a friend. More mimosas? Yes, please.
There's something for everyone
In a similar vein, your average brunch menu probably has something that everyone—even your pickiest, more dietarily-restricted friend—can enjoy. Most brunch options, like omelets, scrambles, and other egg-based dishes, are easily customizable, so someone who doesn't eat meat or gluten can still partake. There are pancakes and waffles for sugar-lovers, parfaits and smoothie bowls for the healthy folks, and there's always that random burger with an egg on top of it for the resident carnivore. Everyone is happy.
It's a great way to get all those friend dates out of the way
Okay, so by now you get that I love brunch, but you know what I don't love? All those obligatory after-work catch-up drinks everyone is always trying to make you commit to. You're tired, you've been in the presence of other people all day, your couch is calling your name and oh god, you're friend just got pulled into another meeting, would you mind waiting just a few more minutes? By the time she gets to the mediocre happy hour bar that wasn't really convenient for anyone, it's 8:30 and all you want to do is eat dinner and pass out while watching Netflix. Brunch, however, is the antidote to this nightmare. It's the weekend, so there's no excuse (no work-related excuse, at least) for anyone to be late, and it's a simple meal that rarely goes over an hour (unless you really want it to), so once it's over, you have an excuse to move along with your day solo, if you so choose. Plus, it's a lot easier to nod along while your ex-coworker complains about her latest wedding drama if there's Champagne involved and you haven't just been at work for the past nine hours.