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Sep 4, 2010 07:30 AM

Brunch: What is it?

According to several sources ''Brunch should have its own menu or at the very least some brunch specials .Most of the time, brunch should be a fixed price affair, so you will know what the meal is going to cost you before you even sit down.'' From what I see, in Toronto, many restaurants' brunches are constituted of items belonging to their breakfast or lunch menu, each with a different price, and no prix fixe. I'd like to have my chowhound friends' opinion on that. To me, this does not meet the definition of ''Brunch''. Thanks !

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  1. I don't think brunch needs to be prix fixe, nor confined to any particular range of hours, but generally substantial enough to be the first of only two meals that day.

    1. If you Wiki has none of those attributes that you stated.. in fact it says that it should include the standard breakfast items but added to that some other more filling options. It says it should start after 11 or else it is breakfast. No mention i smade of fixed price but they do say it can be either / or a buffet or ordered off a menu.

      All Buffets tend to be fiexed price and most ordering from the menu is individualy priced as that only makes sence for a restaurant as it is very difficult to pay for individual items at a buffet or to have a fixed price when you can order anything you want off a menu.

      I would pick better sources for your information...

      1 Reply
      1. re: chowspotting

        11 am is too late. For an early riser like me, 11 is lunchtime. Most places I have been to start at 10.

      2. Brunch is the meal that would fall between breakfast and lunch if you were eating breakfast and lunch, which you probably are not, because you are eating brunch. It has its own menu the way breakfast, lunch & dinner do. I would say those are the only two hard & fast rules, although I wouldn't eat a brunch that didn't involve eggs. Or a bagel & lox. But preferably eggs.

        4 Replies
        1. re: small h

          I don't agree with your only hard and fast rules.

          From Webster dictionary

          Definition of BRUNCH : a meal usually taken late in the morning that combines a late breakfast and an early lunch

          Origin of BRUNCH breakfast + lunch First Known Use: 1896

          Who knew? 1896

          This is one of those topics that will get a zillion posts and I usually avoid because I get sick of seeing it pop up on my profile. However, in this case, so far everyone is soooooo wrong

          There is one and only one requirement for brunch ... extended breakfast and lunch hours ... that is you can have breakfast items later than usual and lunch items earlier than usual.

          In San Francisco, a weekend brunch can start at 8 am. But that usually means I can order some lunch type of dish that early such as a burger or salad.

          It can be a buffet or a la carte.

          Usually it has selected items from both the lunch and breakfast menu plus a few special dishes just for brunch. Often it is restricted to weekends, but there are some places that serve weekday brunch.

          Of course there are exceptions. Some places just offer their regular breakfast menu with a few extra specials and extend the breakfast hours. I went to one place that only had lunch items, but served earlier ... that kind of ticked me off. I'm in the camp that wants at least one egg-based dish on the menu for brunch.

          1. re: rworange

            I don't see how what you wrote ("a meal usually taken late in the morning that combines a late breakfast and an early lunch" and "selected items from both the lunch and breakfast menu plus a few special dishes just for brunch") is different from what I wrote ("the meal that would fall between breakfast and lunch if you were eating breakfast and lunch" and "It has its own menu"). You can eat brunch at 8am if you like, but you can also eat breakfast at 6am. So...what part of my post do you disagree with?

            1. re: small h

              I don't beleive it has to have its own menu

              From personal experience it doesn't need to be between certain hours.

              1. re: rworange

                Kinda hair-splitting, no? Because "a few special dishes just for brunch" means the menu is different from either the lunch or the breakfast menu - hence, its own menu. And as to the hours, I think you'd agree that brunch cannot be served at 8pm.

        2. Obviously a coined phrase from breakfast and lunch, I would say between 11 and 12.30 to start eating it and a mix of both meals. As others have said it probably has eggs but not entirely, because bagels and their add ons can also be brunch. Breads, quiches, pastries and danishes, kedgeree, bacon, even sliced deli meats and cheeses can be involved. I think it's more of a time of day thing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: smartie

            To me, it's a time of day thing too. I used to brunch a lot more when I was out late the night before :-). Now I mostly breakfast, because I'm doing it before 11 am per posters above, but I'm eating similar stuff -- eggs benny, omelettes, bacon and eggs). I don't think it's a sin to have a lunchier item for brunch however if that is what you fancy, and there are many such items on the brunch menus around here (sandwiches, maybe even the odd pasta, etc). A nice cocktail doesn't hurt either, and I tend not to order cocktails till after 11 am, so they would qualify as a brunch item in my book.

            These days I love to go for lupper at about two or three in the afternoon, but that is another post...

          2. I skip breakfast to have brunch because it means I get to have lunch earlier.
            Nothing to do with prices!