Photographs by Eliesa Johnson
After the empty glasses and big plates are cleared, something magical happens: Nobody moves. Brunch drifts on, the meal equivalent of a jam band concert. More drinks and snacks are ordered. One pm ticks by, then 2 pm. How long can brunch last? We know a guy who went to HauteDish one Sunday three years ago, and he’s still there, still nursing that last bloody mary.
The Ten Commandments of Hanging Around:
1. Thou shalt ditch the phone and forget time.
At The Kenwood’s weekend brunch, the vibe is just so good and chill that you just keep ordering more food, they keep refilling your coffee, and suddenly it’s Monday.
2. Thou shalt embrace other beverages.
There will come a moment at Muddy Waters when crepes o’clock has passed and you enter the time of the pot roast sliders. At this moment, push the bloody aside and embrace the Moscow mule.
3. Honor thy server and thy bartender.
Chances are they had an even longer night than you and merely require a touch of decency to secure your happiness until at least 3 pm. If you’re doing the $15 bottomless drinks at Mattie’s on Main, don’t forget to tip at least 25 percent.
4. Thou shalt not let distance get in the way of a drawn-out brunch.
Head down Wisconsin’s Great River Road to Chef Shack in Bay City for a little rustic French brunching that could easily morph into a stroll along the river and some more noshing before you head home.
5. Thou shalt not bring a surprise extra guest.
Brunch table space is usually at a premium, which means you should never show up to a group meal at, say, Colossal Cafe with an extra “new friend” in tow unless he or she has been cleared ahead of time.
6. Respecteth the brunch food.
You’re going to regret it if, while brunching at The Happy Gnome, you decide to order a grilled cheese instead of the chorizo Benedict with jalapeño hollandaise. Your mom can make you a grilled cheese, but who’s ever going to make you a Benedict? Your brunch chef, that’s who.
7. Thou shalt not hog the table snacks.
Hey, we’re all starving, which is why we asked our server at Hola Arepa to throw some chips and salsa on the table. But don’t bogart the guac and don’t take a third “try” of my stunning fried chicken and cachapas. Biatch.
8. Keep thy Instagramming to a minimum.
Snap that shot of the Reuben Benedict from HauteDish, but remember: Fuses may be a little short at the morning meal, and taking 16 shots with table adjustments to get the light right may earn you a seat at the bar. Alone. With no good light.
9. Thou shalt not dissertate on paleo, gut health, and the like.
We’re happy to join you at Lucia’s for some ultra-farm fresh, locally sourced goodness, especially if it means some of those baby Buddha muffins. But please do refrain from the withering stares at my gluten-full plate.
10. Thou shalt not become a brunch hater.
There are plenty of reasons why people hate brunch: the lines, the cost, the hangry hipsters ready to eat their beards. But don’t let these things ruin it for you. Or do, and just stay home so the rest of us have shorter wait times.