08/22/2014 12:59 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Does Brunch Suck? We Break Down Your Favorite Meal

Rebecca Siegel - edited

Because brunch is such a hot topic, a certain mall store is considering making T-shirts about it marketed towards tweens, we asked our senior writer Dave Infante and McSweeney's/Funny or Die/Amherst's second-leading shot blocker in women's basketball history Sarah Walker to passionately pontificate on the finer points of that special weekend-only replacement meal for breakfast and lunch.

Behold their wisdom on topics ranging from proper attire to that really annoying song about drugs and morning dranks:


Credit: Flickr/Advencap

Dave: You know that one classic spot in your hometown or vacation town or college town? The one where people line up FOR HOURS, but everyone's happy because the brunch is SO WORTH IT? Yeah, that place is not worth it. Neither is the other place you love. In fact, I've crunched the numbers*, and I can confidently state that there's not an eggs Benedict on this green Earth that's tasty enough to merit a two-hour delay between "putting your name in" and putting your eggs in... to your mouth.

I wouldn't make a convict wait in line for brunch. It is senseless, cruel, and totally counterintuitive. Do I brunch because I'm hungover? Or am I hungover because I brunch? While you're chewing on that, chew on this: a hangover is definitely involved either way, and after a long night of boozing, the last thing I want to do is mill around on a sidewalk full of strangers and not-eat.

"If the brunch draws a big crowd, it must be popular," you retort. Well, fine. But you know what else is popular? Walmart. Basketball Wives. Wearing your cellphone on a belt holster. Nickelback, statistically speaking. Popular does not a good brunch make.

Wake up, you mouth-breathing hordes. No matter how delicious the brioche French toast is, nor how many likes you tally of it on Instagram (#uhmaze), it'll never outstrip the misery you suffered through just for the privilege of eating it. We may not agree on much, Walker, but you've gotta capitulate here: brunch-waiting sucks.

*I have not crunched the numbers.

Sarah: No need to capitulate, I'm already there. The only people who had a reason to wait in line for food were those in Communist Russia. They HAD to. We have no excuse. None! There's always more than one brunch game in town, go to the one where you don't have to wait in line for two hours. Unless you don't enjoy happiness and doing things easily.

When I walk by a long line of people waiting for brunch, I don't assume it's because the food is fantastic. I assume that the people waiting are the type who had a single glass of red wine the night before because they read that it was good for their heart. Then they woke up at 6 a.m. in their breezy, sun-drenched apartment, so they could ride their bike to yoga. Maybe followed by a light jog. They've also read the entire newspaper, had a healthy snack of fruit and yogurt, and only then thought that standing in line for two hours would be a good way to meet new people! This is the type of person I both admire and loathe and someone who I will never be. I need brunch now. Not in half an hour, not in 10 minutes, now. It's an emergency situation and if we could IV the Bloody Mary into my veins, so much the better.

More: How to Brunch Like an American Hero: The Definitive Guide


Dave: Coffee, obviously. An espresso drink if you must, but you almost never must, and this isn't Starbucks, so... grow up. If you order juice without alcohol in it, you're either my Father -- DAD? IS IT YOU? -- or just a maniac who isn't blood-related. Which brings us to le booze, which means "the booze" in French, probably. Though I'll defend its existence to the very death, I think bottomless brunch is for mouth-breathing morons and post-frat "account management specialists". In a recent study I conducted in my head just now, 10 out of 10 brunch spots confirmed that they water-down those pitchers of mimosas, Bellinis, and Bloodies. Avoid drinking the from-concentrate and order a la carte. Or just get a beer. Rosé is a total power move, especially for men, and should never be underestimated.

Sarah: I don't know, man. I think the bottomless brunch, when done right, is a fun deal to be had. I agree that most people who frequent it are just... so annoying. And they don't get any less annoying when they're hammered. However, there are unicorns of places that are both chill and offer the deal, and everyone in there is like "be cool". At these wondrous places I have personally witnessed the pitchers of mimosas being made, and they just dump a whole bottle of Champagne in and then some OJ. It's not rocket science; it's great science. Also, what are we even talking about? Get a damn Bloody Mary. It's vitamins, it's booze, it's snacks. Why are you f*cking with anything else? It's the perfect drink. Also I'm trying to get people to call a Bloody Mary, when drunk at night, a "Sailor's Delight" so if you could do that I'd really appreciate it.


Credit: Flickr/Jonathan Lin; Flickr/Jon Mountjoy (Edited)

Sarah: Personally, I don't see the point of getting a lunch dish at brunch. To me, brunch is not equal parts breakfast and lunch, or even more parts lunch than breakfast as the distribution of the name ("br-", vs. "-unch") or time of day might imply. It's an excuse to eat a late breakfast. That's it. A decadent breakfast with booze and more meat than usual. Why would you waste this on a sandwich that doesn't contain an egg?

You can have lunch five days a week. Brunch is a special occasion for the celebration of the weekend, and rules are bent so that having many eggs in the afternoon isn't the mark of a weirdo, as it would be on a Tuesday or Wednesday. I mean, can you imagine going out with your co-workers for a weekday lunch and ordering an egg dish? You'd be fired on the spot for being some sort of deviant! But weekend brunches are when we can let our food freak flags fly. Why squander that opportunity?

Dave: Not to get too personal, but you're slightly off-base here. Eggs Benny and Florey and Norw...y (?) are all top-notch moves for the morning after. But brunch's beauty isn't about breakfast; it's about freedom. As in, "ALL the spinach frittatas wouldn't make a damn dent in this vicious Rosé-ngover. Thank heavens I have the freedom to order a pork belly burger right now." If I'm sitting at brunch, I'm either about to make a bunch of bad decisions, or I've already made them. But I won't be ham-stringed into ordering Mr. Omelet or his eggy, insubstantial brethren. I want real food to sustain real drinking, nahmean?

On a philosophical note, I associate breakfast food with breakfast. I associate breakfast with waking up. And I hate waking up. So, yeah: I just used the transitive property to debunk your pro-brekkie bigotry.

The brunch debate continues -- read them debate the infernal music played by DJs at brunch, the strange unofficial dress code for women and men, the annoying crowd -- and much more!

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