Sunday, August 19

Love | Hate: Is eating brunch an ultimate dining experience or unnecessary event?


For some, brunch is a perfect occasion to bring together family and friends. For others, it's an expensive grab at social media attention. (Daily Bruin file photo)

For some, brunch is a perfect occasion to bring together family and friends. For others, it's an expensive grab at social media attention. (Daily Bruin file photo)


Birds are chirping and flowers are blooming as spring blossoms around UCLA. While the season brings about pastel colors and outdoor fun, spring also means the rise of brunching.

Brunch seems to be the pinnacle of springtime dining, and its overwhelming presence has crept into the weekend mornings of students. Is brunch the ultimate dining experience, or a snobby concoction of mediocre foods and Instagram filters? A&E columnists Connor Thompson and Nina Crosby discuss the relevance of brunch in this week’s “Love | Hate.”

Love

Brunch has been met with too much undue criticism and negative publicity. The simple phrase “Sunday brunch” might conjure up images of wealthy families with painted-on smiles staring at unhealthy amounts of food.

Yet, brunch is about more than just photo-template families, more than just the lazy-man’s breakfast. Brunch has the potential to revolutionize the food industry and the way we consume our food.

The consumer demand for brunch has been on a significant rise, and restaurant owners have taken notice. More than a thousand restaurants in Los Angeles show up when one searches “brunch” in Yelp, showing that brunch as a trend can be both lucrative and tasty.

Brunch provides an eating environment that comforts even the pickiest of eaters. At brunch, having the variety of foods natural to breakfast and lunch provides something for everyone. The breakfast-lover can devour his scrambled eggs and the constant snacker can sample finger-sandwiches and mini bagels. Brunch offers an inclusive environment where those with allergies are given more options. Everyone wins.

Brunch offers an unprecedented level of time flexibility. At UCLA, breakfast in the dining hall ends during the week at 10 a.m. at the latest, which is inconvenient for those with morning classes. As a student, nothing makes me angrier than waking up and running to a dining hall with unkempt hair and wrinkled pajamas, only to see that they have stopped serving breakfast. Brunch allows me to enjoy breakfast at a later, more convenient time, while also snacking on my favorite lunch items with leisure.

Brunch is a time to gather with loved ones, free from the constraints and pickiness. Eating at a later hour gives late-sleepers enough time to prepare, while early birds can eat their meals and leave immediately. Friends can meet up and discuss last night’s antics, while families can come together before each individual member goes about their separate days.

Brunch is more than a place-holder between breakfast and lunch. It is an unbiased event for foodies, restauranteurs, friends and families to enjoy.

– Connor Thompson

Hate

Sunlight streams through an opening in my curtains, beating down on my face and forcing me to wake up. I struggle to reach my phone and squint at the brightly lit screen. It’s 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning, and the first text I read is from a friend asking to grab brunch. I roll my eyes and toss my phone aside. Who do they think I am?

I don’t mean to be dramatic, but brunch might be one of the worst social gatherings ever concocted. Nothing screams “pretentious yuppie” like smashing the words “breakfast” and “lunch” together in a portmanteau that is both cringe-worthy and bourgeois. Either wake up in time for breakfast, or just grab lunch whenever – there’s no need to designate an arbitrary threshold for foods that are essentially breakfast and lunch items.

To eat brunch you must first spend 45 minutes waiting in line at a restaurant to be seated, and then you are immediately rushed by your servers so they can wait on the real customers: the lunch crowd. It’s time everyone realizes how quickly those $50 and $60 bills pile up for plates of eggs, bacon and toast accompanied by poor Bloody Marys.

Brunch is an impractical congregation of people who have been suckered into believing that they need to meet sometime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. so they can be charged hiked-up prices for mediocre food they could have enjoyed at literally any other time and place. The event has become synonymous with elitist crowds enjoying “basic” meals to the mind-numbing sounds of Muzak.

Brunch is now a phenomenon that everyone pretends to love so they seem hashtag trendy, but really it’s no more than a “late breakfast” or an “early lunch.” It’s this ritualistic social media parade that screams “I’m likely very hungover, but woke up too early for acceptable lunch hours.”

When the weekend rolls around, don’t be that friend spamming the group message trying to rally everybody for brunch. Save the day and propose restaurants that serve either dope breakfasts or delicious lunches. It’d be best if we could all just pretend brunch never existed.

What was so wrong with the holy trinity of breakfast, lunch and dinner?

– Nina Crosby

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on Reddit

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.