Loving Brunch at Home

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An example of a brunch meal at home: sauteed kale & mushrooms; eggs; biscuit

Here’s why I like eating brunch at home:

  • You save money. Eating brunch at a restaurant can be pricey. $20-$25 has been the typical average for me with the occasional $40+ brunches where cocktails are involved.
  • No long waits. Especially in New York, where brunch traffic can be horrendous. You make your own brunch time at home. I guess reservations help, but not all places take them.
  • Healthier, if you want it to be. You can control the amount of salt, butter, and other ingredients and gauge how healthy or decadent you want your meal to be. I’ve also found that portions at restaurants can be overwhelming, so it’s nice to be able to have control over the amount of food on my plate.
  • Proximity to private bathroom. Maybe this only applies to me, but I’ve had unpleasant experiences at brunches and prefer the safe comfort of our home bathroom. It’s a nice time to get some reading done as well.

Here’s why I might go out to brunch from time to time:

  • Good for special occasions. Brunch can be a nice way to catch up with friends or to show guests a fun time if they’re visiting from out of town. I know I usually always go out for brunch when I’m visiting another city.
  • No shopping or clean-up. Getting the ingredients and then washing dishes after making your own brunch is probably the least convenient part of eating at home. Although it’s not so bad if you think you’ll have to wait 45 minutes just to get seated at a popular brunch spot.
  • Fancier dishes. High-effort dishes with hard-to-get ingredients are probably best enjoyed at restaurants unless you’re really into the cooking part. I’m thinking authentic grits, hashes, and fish-based dishes.

Over the past few years, I’ve cut down on the number of times I go out to brunch. It used to be around 2-3 times a month, but it’s now down to less than once a month (excluding brunches when I’m traveling). I’d much prefer to spend money on eating out for dinner.

It helps that most brunches we’ve had at home are fairly easy to prepare. Here are some brunch examples from the past few weeks:

  • Soft-scrambled egg and bacon English muffin sandwich with orange peppers and onions
  • Sautéed kale and baby bella mushrooms, homemade biscuits, and 2 eggs sunny side up
  • Taiwanese breakfast: congee, sautéed spinach, rousong (dried pork sprinkle), thin omelete, and kimchi (my addition)

Throw in a cup of home-brewed coffee–$12-$15 will get you a pound of some of the best coffee beans around–and you’re looking at a very nice meal at a very good price.

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