Off the Hill with Tricia Swenson: Linger on Sundays with brunch at La Tour
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When’s the last time you went to brunch? In a world where we try to fit in as many events and activities in one day, it may seem a bit strange to slow things down a bit and enjoy, even linger, during mealtime. But that’s the beauty of brunch. It’s meant to last.
The word is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch and typically is served between late morning and mid afternoon. Brunch originated in England in the late 19th century and became popular in the United States in the 1930s. According to the 1896 supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary, it cites Punch magazine as coining the term in Britain in 1895 to describe a Sunday meal for “Saturday-night carousers.”
Whatever you did the night before, brunch is a nice, relaxing way to enjoy the day whether it’s for Mother’s Day, for wedding guests to visit and say goodbye before they depart or a way to recap all of the “carousing” the night before with friends.
Classics like eggs Benedict, pancakes and baked goods are standards, but new twists like a farmer’s omelet featuring fresh veggies and egg whites or a pork belly tower can be found as well.
Brunch may also include adult beverages. These aren’t your Manhattans or old fashioneds you’ll find at cocktail hour. These are lighter and more refreshing, like the classic mimosa or Bellini, which is peach puree paired with sparkling wine instead of orange juice. Bloody marys are also popular, and some recipes include flavored or infused vodkas for an extra kick. The garnishes that accompany a bloody mary can be elaborate at brunch. Pair a large tiger shrimp, pepper jack cheese cubes, bacon and olives along with a celery stalk and you’ve got yourself a meal.
Many local hotels, such as the Sonnenalp, are synonymous with brunch. Vintage has been making a name for itself as well. And at La Tour, chef and owner Paul Ferzacca creates the classics along with some unique brunch items.