Brunch: A Learning Experience

For me, breakfast has always been my favorite meal.

However, I never wake up early enough to enjoy a plate full of fresh pancakes, steaming scrambled eggs with a dash of pepper, and deliciously greasy bacon.

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As I wander through my days in my sophomore year of college, I have realized that my brunch-obsessed friends Arlene Gambino and Monique Smallman will go out for brunch on ANY day of the week. And as someone who has never been an early riser, I wanted to know more about this weird hybrid meal that could fulfill my breakfast dreams; so I did some research and went out for brunch myself. 

Interestingly enough, the word ‘brunch’ was coined in a piece titled “Brunch: A Plea” by British author Guy Beringer. According to Smithsonian Magazine, Beringer’s piece appeared in two British publications, Hunter’s Weekly in 1865 and Punch in 1896, where the reprint made brunch popular throughout the United Kingdom. As brunch made the jump into American culture in the late 1920s, the meal only became wildly popular after World War II when Sunday brunch was an American staple. Hungry History’s Stephanie Butler points out that celebrities were the first Americans to indulge in a meal at brunch time. One of the most famous brunch spots in the United States during the 1930’s was Chicago’s Pump Room at the Ambassador East Hotel, now named the Public Chicago Hotel, where celebrities like John Barrymore would stop during cross-country, multi-night railroad business trips.

Now that it has been centuries since brunch first became well-known in the United States, I am not all that surprised to say that brunch is still a very popular meal of choice for many Americans. In fact, the Washington Post shared data from a Google Trends graph which shows that the search interest in brunch has continued to increase from 2004:

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This article also included demographics about where these searches occurred and ironically enough, Massachusetts had a very high interest in brunch: 

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After gathering all of this information, I began my quest for brunch in the city of Boston. Yet, one of my main problems was finding a place that was in my budget. I would have loved to have brunch on the rooftop of the Taj Hotel on Newbury street or inside the swanky Ritz-Carlton by the Paramount Building but I do not have that type of money to spend since I do work at Walgreen’s after all. For a brief moment, I thought about going to the dining hall for brunch which is a reasonable option, but I decided to venture off campus. So, I cut out the DH and all of the high priced restaurants and cafes my Google search showed me before choosing between three, decently priced brunch spots:

  1. The Friendly Toast which is a unique diner that serves an American style brunch in a family friendly atmosphere and a menu using locally sourced ingredients and vegan options in three locations.
  2. The Paramount which is an American comfort food institution in the heart of Beacon Hill. From one look at their website, it is obvious that this eatery takes pride in being a long-standing Boston favorite since 1937.
  3. Trident Booksellers & Cafe which is located on Newbury Street and is the last independent bookstore in Boston with breakfast all day and they close at midnight.

With these options in mind, I decided on Trident after receiving several recommendations from friends and family. Plus, my friend Arlene had a makeup appointment at Sephora in the Prudential so Trident seemed to be the best choice. I went to bed last Thursday, thinking that I would experience the best and only brunch of my life Friday morning.

However, not everything went as planned:

My friends and I woke up an hour later than planned. Our Lyft driver got lost on the way to pick us up. By the time I got to Trident, we only had an hour to eat.

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Our server forgot to refill our waters. My dish called the Truck Stop Special was semi-warm (but the pancake was amazing). The ketchup tasted like barbecue sauce.

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Our Lyft driver was late on the way to drive us back. And at the end of all of this, I was fifteen minutes late to my EVVY’s meeting.

In summary, even though I did not have the ~perfect~ brunch experience like the one I had pictured, I learned one very, very important lesson: that I should always check the ketchup before putting it on my plate.

 

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