It’s not difficult to determine where the term came from — breakfast and lunch — together, make brunch. This meal comes after the traditional breakfast time, sometime around midday, before lunch. The menu consists of both breakfast and lunch fare and even includes choices of drinks ranging from coffee to mimosas. We all love brunch and have welcomed the concept into our culture with no questions, but have you ever wondered where it got its start?
Historians aren’t really sure how and when the practice of brunch first began; however, most can agree that the first documented use of the word “brunch” was in 1895. In that year, British writer Guy Beringer submitted as essay to Hunters Weekly called “Brunch: A Plea.”
Mimosas — champagne and orange juice — are one of the modern variations on brunch. You’ll find them and the eggs benedict at Gather in Downtown McKinney.
In this essay, Beringer suggests that brunch can be an alternative to the quick breakfasts and then heavy, post church meals of the day. “Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting,” Beringer says. “It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and the cobwebs of the week.”
We also know that at some point in history, Sunday brunch was popularized due to churchgoers and possibly even Saturday night carousers. Catholics require fasting before mass, so those attending Sunday services would be ready for a meal following service. The timing of the end of service was normally later than breakfast, but too early for a traditional, heavy lunch.
Beringer suggested, as well, that a later meal on Sundays would be a welcome relief to those who might be needing a little more rest after late night partying. He wrote, “By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday night carousers.” Who can argue with that?
The Sunday Champagne Brunch at Rick’s Chophouse has a weekly handcrafted menu that features Prime Rib and a dessert bar.
Two things are pretty consistent when discussing brunch, timing of the meal and the fact that it is normally eaten outside of the home. However, the menu and the type of brunches available vary greatly. Three types easily found in McKinney are traditional/formal, nontraditional/casual and the eclectic.
The traditional, formal brunch consists of several customary breakfast items, but also, a more expensive cut of meat, sides, fruit and salads, desserts and a glass of champagne. An example in McKinney is the Sunday Champagne Brunch held at Rick’s Chophouse on the downtown square. They have a weekly handcrafted menu that includes such items as Prime Rib with Creamy Horseradish, Potato Gratin, Pasta Salad, Eggs Benedict and Apple Wood bacon. The menu is followed by dessert choices like Chocolate Mousse or Sticky Toffee Pudding — and of course — coffee and champagne.
The non-traditional is a more casual meal with some traditional breakfast items, but also includes atypical fare. One such instance in McKinney is at Gather in Downtown McKinney. Gather holds a Sunday Brunch that includes Eggs Benedict, French Toast and scrambled eggs; but, also includes Chicken Enchiladas, a Mashed Potato Bar, and allows you to bring your own champagne.
An eclectic brunch will consist of a variety of food styles, most times incorporating food choices that are culturally different from the traditional American choices. McKinney boasts an eclectic brunch at One Lazy Lizard. This brunch consists of traditional pancakes, biscuits and gravy, fruit parfait and other American breakfast items. The rest of the menu is centered around spicier choices, such as meat quiches made with chilies, the Lazy Lizard Special Huevos Rancheros, and the Lazy Lizard Burrito. In addition, you can also choose the Ribeye served with Potatoes and Vegetable of the Day.
Visit McKinneyOnline.com or peruse the local scene and start sampling McKinney’s brunches today!
Christie Strickland is a Communications Specialist for the McKinney Chamber of Commerce.