Culinary no-no #516


Think of Mother’s Day (next Sunday) and eating. You think brunch.

I love brunch.

The long tables filled with multiple choices.

Plate after glorious plate.

Bring it on.

Image result for image, photo, bellagio hotel, las vegas

One of the very best brunches Jennifer and I ever had was at the above, the Bellagio in Las Vegas, where the all you can eat-palooza is called a buffet.

The Bellagio buffet’s carving station goes beyond the usual prime rib to include St. Louis barbecue ribs and chicken Wellington. The large variety of cuisines includes Italian, Japanese, Chinese seafood, and American. Prices range from from $14.95 breakfasts to $35.95 for dinner on Saturdays and Sundays. OMG, it’s well worth it.

Just feast your eyes.

That’s #2 on my personal list of best ever. Number 1?

The Halekulani in Honolulu where Jennifer and I spent part of our honeymoon.

Breakfast every morning was spent at a massive buffet with the ultimate ocean view and Diamond Head. The spread was beyond amazing. OMG, the fajita style scrambled eggs. And to this day Jennifer still talks about her scrambled eggs…with crab and asparagus.

That was during the week. On Sunday the resort steps it up a notch…or more.

Closer to home there are some great brunches. Our family recently enjoyed the fare at Joey Gerard’s in Greendale (first picture above). And right here in Franklin a super choice, only on special days like Mother’s Day is Casa di Giorgio.

I repeat. I love brunch.

Everyone loves brunch. Except me.

That’s what John Heckathorn wrote in the Honolulu Magazine in 2007.

To me, if you make plans to go out Sunday morning, you’re underestimating the potential of Saturday night. Plus, you don’t have to be Alan Wong to whip up a decent Sunday morning breakfast. Some sautéed spinach, some eggs fried the way the Greeks do, in olive oil scented with herbs, spooning over the hot oil to make sure the whites on top are cooked.

Add toast, bacon, coffee, fruit and you don’t have to get dressed up and go anywhere.

But, apparently, everyone but me actually enjoys getting dressed up and going out to brunch.

When Heckathorn writes that everyone loves brunch except him he’s wrong. He’s not alone in his lack of brunch excitement.

An entire nation began to second-guess the gastronomical delights of brunch back near the start of this century when celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain ripped away at the Sunday tradition.

Bourdain’s whistle-blowing was reminiscent of…

Val Valentino (the masked magician) who appeared in several TV programs revealing magic trick secrets.

Bourdain exposed Sunday brunch.

“Remember, brunch is only served once a week—on the weekends. Buzzword here, ‘Brunch Menu.’ Translation? ‘Old, nasty odds and ends, and 12 dollars for two eggs with a free Bloody Mary.'”

From Bourdain’s book:

Brunch menus are an open invitation to the cost-conscious chef, a dumping ground for the odd bits left over from Friday and Saturday nights. How about hollandaise sauce? Not for me. Bacteria love hollandaise. And nobody I know has ever made hollandaise to order. And how long has that Canadian bacon been festering in the walk-in? Remember, brunch is only served once a week – on the weekends. Cooks hate brunch. Brunch is punishment block for the B-Team cooks, or where the farm team of recent dishwashers learn their chops.

From a column Bourdain wrote in the New Yorker throwing water on any glamour you thought permeated the restaurant business.

Then there are the People Who Brunch. The “B” word is dreaded by all dedicated cooks. We hate the smell and spatter of omelettes. We despise hollandaise, home fries, those pathetic fruit garnishes, and all the other cliché accompaniments designed to induce a credulous public into paying $12.95 for two eggs. Nothing demoralizes an aspiring Escoffier faster than requiring him to cook egg-white omelettes or eggs over easy with bacon. You can dress brunch up with all the focaccia, smoked salmon, and caviar in the world, but it’s still breakfast.

Watch Bourdain in the kitchen.

The Huffington Post breaks it down:

First and foremost, there’s the line.

Drinks are way overpriced.

That boozy bonanza will lead you to consume more liquid calories than you probably planned for.

Typical brunch fare doesn’t tend to be “healthy.”

And the food’s overpriced, too.

Servers get less in tips.

Lori Beck, co-owner of the Gralehaus in Louisville, Kentucky, also has reservations. But she believes the buyer must beware.

“If you were to ask me if I think most restaurants do brunch well, I would say no,” she says. “While there are many restaurants and chefs that prioritize ingredient sourcing and culinary technique, there are far more that purchase and serve the cheapest, easiest, fastest food options on their menus. It is up the customer to make themselves aware of these practices and choose.”

I don’t care. I still love brunch.


Wisconsin wineries say state law limiting hours is hampering business

Scientist Says Making Kids Eat Breakfast Is ‘Child Abuse’

I asked my wife to make these for Mother’s Day.  I got a less than friendly stare.

One thought on “Culinary no-no #516

  1. Pingback: Culinary no-no: Easter (and Mother’s Day, too) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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