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ALL THE BEST FOODS, DRINKS, AND TRADITIONS OF A GREAT BRUNCH

When one hears the word brunch, almost inevitably they will smile. The sights, sounds, smells, and especially tastes burn their memory into the brain of anyone who has attended a good brunch. The uniqueness of alcohol in the morning, or breakfast foods in the afternoon bring a freshness and excitement to the event. Generally speaking brunches may be anywhere from about 10 AM until maybe 1:00 or 1:30 PM. Some brunches are poorly disguised breakfasts or lunches. Others are in odd locales or have watered-down drinks. Brunches are both public and private, they are both small village events and intercontinental, being first popular in 1800s England. They are grand and intimate. Brunch can kick off a week unlike anything else.

Let’s not kid ourselves, even if music, ambiance, drinks, company matter greatly in creating an extraordinary brunch, the food is the star of the show. Some of your traditional brunch foods may include belgian waffles, quiche, or omelettes. The Belgian waffles might be topped with fresh fruit such as raspberries or strawberries. Quiche is a French pastry crust filled with vegetables, meats, cheeses, etc. Italian options may be seafood based or a delicious Italian omelette with artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and tasty cheeses like mozzarella or parmesan. A frittata is an Italian-style egg dish that can include shrimp or other meats. Tuscan hash would be another great choice. This is made with fresh mushrooms, zucchini, onions, red peppers, spinach, and feta. Similar dishes are found in Greece and around the Mediterranean. Salmon and avocado seem to be two increasingly admired ingredients in a deliciously healthy breakfast, and many brunch creations can be centered around these. Croissants can be a mouthwatering addition. These, of course, have their roots in France. Blintzes and crepes are similar to rolled pancakes that are thin and may have sweet cheeses or fruits stuffed inside or on top.

Delectable lunch foods should be considered as well, such as soups, burgers, salads, and seafood. A vegetable or chicken soup would be good, as you would probably steer away from something heavy, like chili. Many brunch spots offer a “hangover” burger, using a cheeseburger with an egg on top and all the trimmings. All sorts of salads might be offered at a quality brunch, especially salads with crisp vegetables, or even fresh fruits, such as strawberries or melon. And seafood is a great selection at any event.

It is important to have quality drinks at a successful brunch. Mimosas, Mojitos, and Bloody Mary’s are incredibly popular for these late morning soirees. A mimosa in most cases is just simply champagne and orange juice. The quality of the mimosa will have a lot to do with the quality of the champagne or the freshness of the chilled OJ. Bloody Mary’s and in some cases, Bloody Mary bars are very prevalent on the brunch scene. The tomato juice based drink is made with vodka, and can include ground pepper, hot sauce, worcestershire sauce, salt, horseradish, celery, olives, etc. It is more ecosystem than beverage. It is a great pick-me-up, however, and can be very spicy. Mojitos are made with fresh mint.

Brunch decorations and music should be light and airy most of the year. Jazz is a really nice selection, as is music from one of many European or South American countries. Everybody loves the accordion from Italian music, the tin drums of the Caribbean, or the slow guitar of Mexican music. The key is to get everyone relaxed and having a good time. For a remarkable brunch local to Bel Air, visit Tutto Fresco in Forest Hill, as they offer Italian-style and traditional homemade dishes that are sure to please anyone, whether they are looking for a sweet or a savoury brunch.

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