A simple thing like going out to eat can be a struggle with three teenagers.
Deciding on a restaurant is usually met by a round of I-don't-like-thats or we-went-there-last-times or why-do-you-always-pick-hipster-places. Pizza, Chinese, Mexican, neighborhood, independent or chain — it's an argument.
Except brunch. Brunch is the one thing our family can all (mostly) agree on.
It's the sweet-and-savory option that satisfies our picky eater, our meal splitter and our late sleeper. It's the bridge between my desire for breakfast all day and my wife's penchant for skipping straight to lunch.
It's the great unifier — casual, versatile and communal. Maybe that's the secret to brunch's increasing popularity all over town.
It's hard to be too disagreeable when you've just rolled out of bed around 10:30 a.m. on a Sunday, and the only thing between you and a bloody mary and chicken and waffles is some comfortable clothes. Heck, you don't even need to bother with your hair. Just toss on a Browns beanie or Indians cap, and no one will notice. Most folks are probably a little hungover anyway.
That's exactly the point Guy Beringer, a British writer, made back in 1895 when he crafted a well-before-its-time argument, "Brunch: A Plea," in Hunter's Weekly.
"By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers," he suggested. "It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week."
More than 120 years later, our brunch culture is realizing Beringer's dream. "Brunch is that nice ending to the weekend," says Sean Szczepinski, a Howard Hanna real estate agent. "It's a great opportunity to meet up with your friends and family."
So whether we're hitting favorites such as TownHall and Touch Supper Club or trying someplace new, my picky eater can get her fill of crepes or waffles, my dish splitter can find a partner for her breakfast burrito and burger combo and my late sleeper can just order up a few more hours in bed if that's what he's feeling. And as long as the coffee is strong and the eggs aren't runny, you won't get any arguments from me.