The Culture of Brunch

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

Oct. 31, 2012 at 5:31 a.m.

Once the Sunday sun starts to peep out from the blinds, my mind moves to one sole objective: brunch.

It's the time of week when you get to recap your Saturday night misadventures and highlights.

But it would all be mere gossip without the food.

The PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar is usually my first stop.

We try to keep our weekly PumpHouse gatherings between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., but times can vary depending on the severity of hangovers in the group.

Plates of silver medallion pancakes, eggs benedict and steak are passed from person to person.

Bottomless mimosas, bloody marys and bellinis drip from our cups.

At times, especially after an evening endrenched with drama, a stronger prescription is needed.

Mint juleps usually do the trick for me.

For those unfamiliar with the Kentucky derby classic, the drink is a mix of simple syrup, mint, club soda, bourbon whiskey and water over crush ice.

Stay away from powdered sugar - simple syrup is where it's at.

And please keep your limes to yourself, mojitos are for after hours and trips to Puerto Rico.

There's enough sugar in a mint julep to make it brunch appropriate and liquor to quell the worst of headaches.

While I am definitely in love with PumpHouse brunch, a change of scenery would be nice.

Whispers of a brunch menu at Greek's 205 Bar on Constitution Street caught my ear in late October.

Co-owner and chef Blanche Charkalis said she'd love nothing more than to have a soulful-themed menu once the bar's expansion, doubling their space, and renovations are complete.

"I always thought a gospel brunch would be fun," Charkalis said. "With gospel singing, pianos and more of down home menu with grits, beignets and all of that good southern stuff."

When questioned about the opposing themes of day drinking and gospel music, Charkalis said she saw no conflict.

"We would have bloody marys, mimosa and champagne specials," Charkalis said. "Of course, there would be drinking."



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