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Starving yourself for brunch? [Moved from Manhattan]

Just curious how many NY- ers skip breakfast and wait until brunch time to eat. I mean...say you get up at 6-7 am (like me)- theres no way I'm going to starve myself until 1 pm to sit down with friends and chow down.

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  1. If it's a 1pm brunch, I'll have a light or normal breakfast at home. If it's an 11am brunch, I usually won't eat anything beforehand. But I'm never that hungry right when I wake up anyway.

    1. I don't often do brunch, but when I do, i typically do not eat beforehand. Now that I think about it, i typically do not eat after brunch either. Something about brunch encourages extreme over-indulgence in me so I typically overdo it to the point of getting all necessary calories plus some in the one meal. Nothing like eating to the point of misery then spending the next 12 hours or so simultaneously regretting and reveling in the meal you just had, haha.

      1 Reply
      1. Seems to me that if it's not till 1 p.m. it's no longer brunch, it's dinner, and so I'd eat breakfast. If the brunch were at 10 or 11, I'd probably have some kind of little snack earlier.

        1. i always found the brunch tradition really difficult. it doesn't work unless you just woke up, hungover or otherwise starving. i like to eat when i've just woken up though.

          1. Why can't you have a small breakfast and then go to brunch, just like you would for lunch? Unless you only eat two meals a day, brunch is at the same time as lunch, so...

            1. Technically, it's brunch if you eat breakfast beforehand - it's just lunch. Usually people who have brunch have slept in past normal breakfast time, thus the later first meal.

              But in practice, there's no brunch police, so go ahead and have a snack so you're not starving (just don't eat so much you're too full to enjoy the lovely brunch foods).

              1. This question has a different meaning in Manhattan and the rest of the nation. In Manhattan, I believe, most brunches are a la carte. Farther west, brunches are huge, elaborate Sunday buffets where you are allowed to take as many plates as you wish. People typically go after church, though a few people skip church and line up at opening time to snag the best dishes. I used to go to a brunch in Tulsa. I would eat six eggs Benedict (I'm from New York) and then two two-egg omelets, followed by a trip to the dessert table where I'd load up on profiteroles. A few weeks ago, a man came up to me and said, "Did you used to eat brunch at the Green Onion?" "Yes", I replied, "but that was ten years ago." "I work at the omelet station," he repiled, "and we still remember you."

                And yes, I skipped breakfast.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Brian S

                  I didn't even know there was such a thing as a brunch buffet. That does change things.

                  1. re: piccola

                    While there are brunch buffets all over the place and it's easy to over-indulge, I don't think that's what the poster was talking about. Most brunch that I've ever seen throughout the US is dish by dish, just like any other meal. The buffets are at cheaper places or the kind of medium-level places you go for Mother's Day.

                    1. re: mojoeater

                      Brunch is for...

                      1. People who are SERIOUS drinkers. The 'best' way to enjoy brunch is to be a college student, stay out drinking until 3am, have some eggs or fries at a diner, wake up at 12:30pm and stoke your hangover with pancakes and coffee, then have a very late dinner (if at all) of pizza.

                      Or, be a 'WASP'--go to a Sat. cocktail party, wake up hung-over, and have a hair of a dog Bloody Mary and caviar omlette at a golf buddy's house. Play a few rounds, have a martini late, maybe a canape for dinner.

                      2. People who are SERIOUS church-goers--don't eat breakfast, let hunger get you through the sermon, then eat lots of white powdery doughnuts, pies at potluck, or pancakes at church breakfast.

                      When I was in my first year or so college, I 'kept' brunch because it was one of the few consistently edible meals at the cafeteria--pancakes, homefries, etc--I'd take home some doughnuts, bagels, etc. in case I got hungry later in my dorm because Sunday dinner usually sucked.

                      But now I'm not very brunchy, which is a pity, because I still like the food but can never find the right time to eat it.

                      1. re: veganish

                        I think there are exceptions to your categories since I've never fit any of them, yet I do brunch almost every Sunday. I go for a long run with some friends and we can't eat anything substantial before, so we need a real meal after (esp. if it's after a race).

                        1. re: veganish

                          funny, but I don't really fit, either. brunch time for me is when i'm too lazy to eat breakfast and realize at 1 p.m. that i want breakfast food and / or an excuse to enjoy a bloody mary, since it's technically no longer morning.

                        2. re: mojoeater

                          I believe the vast majority of brunches in Tulsa are buffets. Most of the top-level restaurants, where the chef is a CIA grad, don't serve brunch.

                      2. re: Brian S

                        Here in Denver, most "brunch" places serve it a la carte. I only know a few places who do a traditional brunch buffet.

                        If I'm doing a later brunch, I will typically have a slice of toast with jam to hold me over after I wake up.

                      3. I'm not a New Yorker, but 1pm isn't brunch - it's slap bang in the middle of lunchtime. There's absolutely no way I'd starve myself for the required number of hours to make that the first meal of my day... to my mind, breakfast is any time from 8-10.30, Brunch is 10-11.30, Lunch is 12+

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Kajikit

                          Most brunches are not served until after 11am. The usual time is 11am until 2 or 3pm and only on Saturdays and Sundays. This is true in any city I've ver visited or lived. The idea is that on weekends people have more time and can therefore have a long, liesurely midday meal with friends. Plenty of people choose to drink, many don't.

                          1. re: mojoeater

                            In this part of the world brunch is (a) usually served from around 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., and (b) a buffet with breakfast and dinner items. We went for brunch this past Sunday. Had biscuits and gravy, waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage, corned beef hash, roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, fried chicken, and a small selection of salads. Most folks around here are churchgoers, and I suspect part of the reason why brunch hours are so long is that the churches all let out at different times. Not like when I was a kid and EVERYONE was out at straight up noon and fighting for their position in line at my dad's cafeteria, which was about three blocks from half a dozen churches.

                          2. re: Kajikit

                            Brunch in NYC is Sunday (and most of the time Saturdays too) from 11am to 2-3pm. Breakfast at 8? on a weekend? who is up at 8 on a weekend?

                            As far as I'm concerned, the only difference between breakfast and brunch is the availability of some lunch items on a brunch menu. Also, in NYC at least, if a restaurant isn't open in the mornings for breakfast during the week but is open only on the weekend, they serve brunch. And they are order from a menu type place, not buffets. The only brunch buffets I've ever had have been in hotels.... and one brunch buffet at a Sizzler many many years ago.

                          3. on the weekends, there was a time when we would need to rush to meet friends at 1pm. darn, we were sometimes eating 'brunch' at 4pm Now that we're older, we are so darn proud of ourselves to get to a 10 or 11am 'brunch'.

                            if you're up at 6-7 on the weekend, 1pm would be lunch for you and you'd need to eat upon getting up, no?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: orangewasabi

                              Since when did brunch become about the food in Manhattan? Isn't it just an excuse to get lit during the day? LOL

                              I moved from soho a year ago and sunday meant sneaking off at 6-7AM(we're early risers) to get cappucinos and organic muffins in your PJs and laying around in bed until about 10. Then you get showered and dressed in your downtown manhattan best and head off to some sidewalk cafe where you ate light and polished off a bottle of wine...or two. That pretty much took care of the day.