Contrary to popular belief, brunch is not just the awkward meal between breakfast and lunch.
When I was growing up brunch was a BIG deal. Even today, its place as a meal is still special compared to your standard breakfast, lunch or dinner. But, its not quite the event that it once was. I may be wrong, maybe its just seems that way.
In my house, if you were going out for brunch you had better be sure that you remembered to buy a card or a gift. Going out for brunch signaled that something was being celebrated and you best not be caught empty handed. Mothers Day, Easter, birthdays and anniversaries (insert your family celebrations here) were all brunch worthy occasions. People got dressed up for brunch. The car may have even been washed specifically for the ride to the restaurant.
Today that whole tradition has changed, some for the better and some for the worse.
The Better: At any given point there are at least twenty plus restaurants in town offering a weekend brunch. To me this means I dont have to wait for the next Hallmark holiday to have a plate of delicious smoked salmon or decadent eggs benny. If I chose to, I could do it on any given Sunday. I like that.
The Worse: There are lots of faux brunches out there. You cant just open early on Sunday, offer a poorly thought out mix of breakfast and lunch items and call it brunch. You can, and places do, but, its just not right. And, its really not brunch.
Brunch should be elegant, special and elevated from a typical meal. Yes, even if you can get it fifty two weeks a year. A brunch shouldn’t be a gimmick or just another way to squeeze a few extra bucks out of the local dining communities collective pockets. It should be an asset to a restaurants culinary reputation and not a throw away.
That brings me to this prime example of brunch done right.
I dont think I have to tell you that the dish above is special. You can see that for yourself. Even though its available each and every Sunday, it still screams out like a special occasion treat. Thats brunch.
This particular brunch-time delicacy is served here in downtown Sarasota at the First Street Chop House. Its their Lotsa Lobster Omelet. And, as you can see, there is lotsa lobster (and a whole lot more). Lets have another peek.
Perfectly cooked lobster nestled in a soft omelet with asparagus and artichoke hearts. All topped with a classic Sauce Américaine. Add some hash browns and a house muffin and you have a superb brunch plate.
This elegant dish is part of First Streets regular Sunday brunch. Its a real brunch. One that has been thought out and serves well prepared offerings. The menu consists of a collection of dishes that define the term brunch. It is not just a list of items that goes easy on a kitchen staff that might still be a little foggy from a late Saturday night.
Not in the mood for the sinful richness of a lobster omelet? Heres another selection off the menu.
Duck confit salad. As you can imagine it strikes that beautiful balance between savory and sweet. Another perfect brunch dish.
Now youre getting the idea. Right? Brunch should be exceptional, not mundane. It doesnt matter if the style is buffet or ala carte. The meal and atmosphere should make you feel like its a special occasion even if its not. Thats the goal.
Heres one last important thing to remember when shopping for your perfect brunch. Just because a restaurant offers you a free mimosa or bloody Mary doesn’t make it a brunch. Beware
First Street Chop House
1296 First Street
Sarasota, FL 34236
Looking for more great images from our First Street Chop House photo session? You can find them by clicking here.