History of Brunch

The Birth of Brunch

The concept of brunch can be traced back to the 19th century in England. Popular lore has it that the tradition started with a group of English hunters who enjoyed a hearty, leisurely meal after their morning expeditions. Other sources claim that brunch derived from the practice of Catholics fasting before mass and then sitting down for a large midday meal. 

The first recorded use of the term "brunch" appeared in an 1895 article by British writer Guy Beringer, who argued for a lighter Sunday midday meal to replace the heavy, post-church Sunday supper, claiming that "Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting…it is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.''

From there, brunch made its way across the pond to the United States, gaining popularity in the 1930s. This led to the New York Times declaring that Sunday was officially a two-meal day in February of 1939 in an article that argued that brunch allowed families and businesses to relax on Sundays by enjoying a huge meal at around noon and not having to worry about cooking until later in the evening.

The popularity of brunch in the US is largely credited with the development of many cocktails that are still popular with brunch enthusiasts today, like the Bloody Mary, the Bellini, and of course, the Mimosa. By the 1960s, brunch was so popular that cookbooks devoted to brunch started appearing. Cultural critics began documenting the evolution of brunch as early as 1980, with a notable Chicago Tribune article by Stanford University professor Carl Degler on the rise of America's brunch culture. Degler posited that another social change might be responsible for why Sunday brunch became so popular in the United States: "After World War II, large numbers of American married women entered the workforce for the first time. Married women needed a relief on Sunday, too, thus the rise in popularity of Sunday brunch eaten out."

Fast forward to the present day, and brunch has evolved into a cultural phenomenon, celebrated by food enthusiasts worldwide.

Fun Facts about Brunch

Brunch and champagne have an inseparable bond. Two different bartenders claim to have invented the mimosa around 1925; bartender Frank Meier at The Ritz Hotel in Paris and a bartender known only as McGarry from the London Buck's Club in London. The key difference between the two recipes is that Meier's recipe has one ounce of Champagne and two ounces of orange juice, while McGarry's 'Buck's Fizz' has two ounces of Champagne and one ounce of orange juice. At The Friendly Toast, we take the beloved mimosa one step further with our signature Mimosa Flight, featuring four different spins on this brunch staple.

Avocado toast, the subject of many an ire-driven blog post, became synonymous with brunch in the early 2010s. The origin of avocado toast is still debated but The Washington Post credits chef Bill Granger of Sydney, Australia as being the first person to put avocado toast on his café menu back in 1993.

The pancake might be one of the oldest brunch classics in human history, with evidence of pancakes dating back as far as ancient Greece. Given the lack of Oreo cookies and caramel macchiatos in ancient Greece, we think we'll stick with today's more modern selections.

Our Top Friendly Toast Brunch Offerings

Now that we've delved into the fascinating history of brunch and toasted up some fun facts, let's turn our attention to our top three favorite brunch dishes at The Friendly Toast.

1. Churro BitesNo visit to The Friendly Toast would be complete without our signature churro bites! These crispy fried doughnut pieces are tossed in cinnamon and sugar, topped with a creamy cheesecake glaze and chocolate drizzle, and are served with our strawberry habanero jam.

2. Chicken & WafflesNo dish better encapsulates the savory-sweet duality of brunch than chicken and waffles. At The Friendly Toast, we take a fluffy Belgian waffle infused with bacon, fire roasted poblano corn and jalapeno jack cheese and layer it with our rice crispy coated chicken breast before topping it off with hot honey, chipotle maple sour cream, pickled onions, and scallions.

3. King CakesA little savory, a little sweet, our King Cakes can't be beat. These three mini banana chocolate chip pancakes are topped with bacon and finished with sunbutter drizzle and a dollop of maple whipped cream.

From classic dishes with a twist to inventive creations that push the boundaries of traditional brunch fare, The Friendly Toast has mastered the art of crafting memorable brunch experiences. Cheers to the history of brunch and the delectable journey that awaits you at The Friendly Toast!