in defense of brunch and the 99 percent that enjoy it

Anti hipsters have translated recently into anti brunch. Lately, some not-so-well intentioned writers have attacked it, and for very ironic reasons–all attest to eating brunch at some point but hate the crowds associated with it; hate the brunch menu, but not if it includes great grits. And the contradiction continues. Since when was brunch associated with your financial status, childlessness, geography or arrested development?


In a recent New York Times opinion piece, writer David Shaftel goes to war with the “well-off young professionals unencumbered by children” group that he claims is behind the weekend brunch crowd. Poor Shaftel complains about navigating through the mean streets of the West Village, bumping elbows with homogenous adults that suffer from stunted maturity and eating dishes topped off with a poached egg. But for someone who abhors brunch or brunch goers, he sure knows a lot about brunch menus served throughout the city and the patrons that spend their hard earned money paying for them.


Shaftel, on one of his anti-brunch outings, may have run into my sister and her husband. They rent a one bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side, work unbelievably hard to pay for that rent, and have no children. They like to meet up with their friends on weekends to have brunch because it’s a great stress reliever to share food together without having to cook it themselves in their tiny NYC kitchen. They don’t wait for Easter Sunday to get together with loved ones and, God knows, they are not white. During the week they work late hours, often skip eating real dinners, and look forward to getting up late on the weekends and eating brunch. Geez, they are awful people, ‘fritter’ing away their weekends.

Shaftel’s view on brunch is also narrowly defined, completely ignoring a whole other cultural group right across the bridge into Queens. Isn’t dim sum the ultimate brunch? Droves of people of all races get together in dim sum houses speckled throughout Queens to spend quality time with friends and family to enjoy food and tea and, wait for it, in the middle of the day! And often with kids in tow.


Brunch is here to stay, whether you eat it at home or out at a restaurant. Enjoy it without reservations. Ignore the rants of a middle aged man who is clearly unhappy with his morning and afternoon meal situations post having a child. And serve this up at your next brunch this weekend:


with an egg, and friends, and pots of coffee.(Ironic t-shirts are optional.)


sweet potato zucchini turkey hash with soy maple glaze

Yield: 4 servings

sweet potato zucchini turkey hash with soy maple glaze


  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 4 tbs of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • (eggs are optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Chop sweet potatoes and zucchinis into small chunks.
  3. Spread vegetables onto a sheet pan and add 3 tbs of oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp chili powder. Combine the ingredients well before roasting.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes and add glaze(1 tbs of soy sauce and maple syrup combined).
  5. Roast for another 10 minutes.
  6. Brown ground turkey with 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tbs of oil in a pan. Add black pepper to taste.
  7. Off the heat, combine roasted caramelized vegetables to the cooked turkey.
  8. (Fried egg on top of hash is optional.)

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4 Responses

  1. Rosalie says:

    I’m trying this recipe this weekend. I’m going to add mushrooms. Can’t wait.

  2. Katherine Relf-Canas says:

    Brunch is still ‘in’ along many ruelles in the 10th and 11th in Paris! One very nice place to go for brunch with kids along is Le Petit Cafe du Monde Entier, which was designed as a hangout for families. Mexican-born Louisa Landa and her partners and staff welcome the boho crowd and offer cups that won’t break and food that is adapted for all patrons, big or little.

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