City Desk

D.C. Brunch Culture: It Sucks

What is with the strata of D.C. that must shower on a Sunday, first of all, and then top that off with some sort of put-together outfit that may or may not involve heels, sunglasses too big for your face, and possibly a shave? Why on earth do people want to sit for hours over breakfast? I must admit I don't get brunch. In fact, I loathe it. Whenever I am asked if I would like to go to brunch in D.C. on a Sunday I say no thank you, but what I am thinking is: Fuck no. I would not like to have eight cups of coffee just because it's there and then fight the jitters for the rest of the day, I do not want to listen to you and people I don't know gab on about politics because it bores me, I do not want to pay $20 for pancakes, and I prefer not to drink Champagne unless someone I know is celebrating something more significant than eggs, much less mix Champagne with orange juice, which is all together a stupid idea anyway. Don't get me started on bloody marys. They're gross.

So stay home, is what you might say. And, pretty much, that's what I do, or I grab a bagel and eat it in a park. But sometimes I actually do want someone else to make me a hot breakfast—not a "brunch" mind you, but a breakfast. Good luck getting that in my neighborhood. In Adams Morgan, my go-to is The Diner. But on Sunday, you can't even pull off the counter trick. Everyone and their cousin from Maryland and the cousin's four kids and their family dog are congregating outside. And they're dressed up. And it's the fucking Diner, people. This scene repeats itself all over 18th Street. What I'm saying is this: When there's a line at Asylum for food and the people in line look like they just spilled out of Chloe, you know something's wrong. And what is wrong is brunch culture in D.C. It's phony, it's stupid, it sucks.

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  • curm

    Brunch culture stinks. But I also think someone living in Adams Morgan and complaining about lines and crowds is pretty absurd.

  • Reid

    Maybe you shouldn't drink 8 cups of coffee on Monday morning either.

  • Adams Morgan

    It's nice to know that the City Paper will apparently let anyone write about anything on it's blog....

  • Eli

    Asylum Brunch is tasty. It's worth the wait in line.

  • reuben

    Lord, you are so right on the money. Especially the mass suburban exodus into the big bad city... Dont they have eggs and such out there?

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com Mike DeBonis

    I'm with Jule all the fucking way on this one. Except on Bloody Marys. Bloody Marys are great.

  • sara.h

    i like the idea of brunch. when i lived in miami, there were places where you could get really good brunch for $8-$10/person. but $13 for a bagel with cream cheese and lox is insane, and i'd rather stay home and eat frozen waffles from Trader Joe's.

  • Jim

    God, I know, right? And the same thing with dinner! You know how when you go out at 7 or 8 on a Friday night and there are all these, like, LINES to get into a stupid little RESTAURANT? And just so people can sit there, all smug with these “appetizers” and “cocktails.” And what’s with all these people trying to eat lunch at about noon during the week? Don’t they know they can just bring something from home and eat in a park? What a bunch of stupid fucking assholes! Lunch and dinner culture totally sucks!

  • Paul

    I'm with Jule on this one. Meals are too expensive and fru fru in this town. And what's with the lines! I eat exclusively from Taco Bell and never had a meal that totals more than $4.75. Taco Bell understands value.

  • http://www.avclub.com/content/home Matthew Borlik

    Dude, Bloody Marys on Sunday (or Monday-Saturday) mornings are fucking crucial.

    I've been to the Reef a few times for Brunch on Sunday afternoons and there's never been a wait, but I don't know if that's the norm.

  • Cranky Editor Guy

    I have to say I do not understand sitting there for fucking hours to eat sort of lunch and sort of breakfast. And you think the Diner is ridiculous, I wonder what crack they must be selling at Open City, because that makes the Diner crowd look tame (and really urban).

    The worst part is if I do want to go out for lunch (or breakfast) I always seem to end up stuck in the line behind some jackass like Jim...

    Finally, Bloody Marys are fucking nasty. I do not want vegetables stuck in my booze.

  • JFG

    Brunch doesn't suck as bad as the City Paper... my high school newspaper was about as good.

  • Don’t be a dope

    Skip brunch, go down to Bombay Palace on the weekend and gorge yourself on decent quality of Indian food. It'll sober you up, and you'll get to see what vomit in fifteen shades of red looks like.

  • http://www.photo-cyn-thesis.blogspot.com Cyndy

    Why are you calling it Brunch "Culture"? The brunch at Lia's in Chevy Chase is nice.

  • anon4

    I agree with this post. Brunch is stupid, and in d.c. i get the feeling they are just trying to copy nyc's brunch culture.

  • http://globalchameleon.blogspot.com GlobalChameleon

    Try Steak and Eggs on Wisconsin - no mimosas, true, but you can wear what you want and the chicken-fried steak is yummy

  • http://atimetodance.wordpress.com Maria

    Newsflash: The Diner is not actually a real diner. It is an ironic modern "twist" on a diner. Any place that charges $15 for a grilled cheese sandwich is stuck up and pretentious. And you wonder why people get dressed up for it.

  • http://plightofthepumpernickel.blogspot.com/ The Pumpernickel

    You should try switching it up. Cleveland Bar and Grill has an awesome brunch that isn't stuffy (mimosas optional). I ordered the CP Sunrise for $7 (2 eggs any way, roasted potatoes, fruit, and homemade bread).

    Good deal.

  • erica

    um, brunch isn't a culture, it's a f*ing meal. i'm sorry that you don't like eggs or bloody marys or champagne. don't eat it. granted i don't really understand putting on heels on a saturday morning either, but seriously, why do you care? why is it fake? it's a meal. that's all.

  • reuben

    but there is a "scene" in and around brunch here. lets be honest... but my question remains... why do people who dog the city every chance they get -never fail to clog the streets with their presence? someone explain.

  • carey

    you are a straight hater.

    brunch is awesome.

  • Matt

    Anyone who refers to the existence of a brunch "culture" in DC loses all credibility, unless they're talking about yogurt.

  • dc_publius

    You've proven your idiocy by writing what you pass up 'stupid' brunches for: staying home alone and eating alone. Awesome.

    I'll take a sunday brunch over your breakfast anyday. I'll also take it over drinking at a bar the night before. And you know what? I won't even bitch how dumb your activity is over mine.

  • Jule Banville

    First of all, who said I was alone? Using the first person doesn't preclude others' presence, but do you really want to know with whom I eat my breakfasts? Second of all: Who said anything about drinking the night before? This post isn't my finest work, but read the damn thing before you hate, bro.

  • Ernest

    Consumption. Conspicuous consumption. Conspicuous consumption in an urban setting.
    By engaging in the activity the herd-minded individuals seek to convey certain impressions. The spectacle used to amuse me; but now I resent the very sight of it. What disgusts me most is these people’s well-fed smugness and sort of gastric optimism. Such assemblies are more fun in New York though, where people actually talk or some genuine revelry is going on. Things seem more spurious around here.

  • Megan

    Ernest, you have a propensity to hate everything.

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  • http://brunchdc.blogspot.com Michael

    This incredible brunch-hating screed has just been brought to my attention. Unbelievable. As a life-long fan of brunch I'm offended. I've responded to this unfair diatribe at my brunch blog, here.

    http://brunchdc.blogspot.com/2009/02/brunch-hating-reporter-at-washington.html

  • Sergey

    well, if you hate bruch so much, why go out for brunch?

    meze is a terric place, for example. you cant trully appreciate the brunch untill you have been to a variety of places; then and only then you can write an article/blog post about the brunch "culture".

    also, there are multiple areas,which differ greatly from one another, where you can be "put together" or decently scruffy.

    i dont want to make judgetment about the character of the author, yet mind wonders...

    brunch is great; bloody mary is great; haters should stay at home on sunday or saturday, and bask in one's dislike for the culture of brunch.

    cheers.

  • sallyp

    seriously, this is a terrible post. anyone whose go to brunch place is The Diner just doesn't understand what good food is. The Diner is awful. Unless my personal experience is a total anomaly, dressing up is certainly not required. The 8 cups of coffee thing is an absurd reasoning as well, if you are drinking something just because it's there I don't know why you aren't in an AA meeting right now....

  • jim collins

    I love the brunch at Parkers in Bethesda, I just wish I could have the hostess Alexandra for dessert, shes very hot.

  • Heather

    You have the worst taste. Eating food from places in Adams Morgan is like eating crap out of a toilet. I'm in awe of why you'd base your brunch argument on the Diner and Asylum. Why don't you get out of your sad comfort zone for one Sunday morning, and venture away from 18th St and check out some other areas of the city that don't attract VA/MD residents, and college students.

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