Much as we all suspected, brunch came about in the 1800s in England as a way to provide nourishment to those just getting up after Saturday night's revelry. Brunch didn't catch on in the US until the 1930s, which is interesting since that time period coincides with the end of Prohibition. A coincidence? I think not. Of course, here in the South, brunch is not only for Saturday night carousers, but a tradition for families after Sunday services. I receive reader requests about brunch spots on a regular basis. Here are some favorites around town:
Upstream, under the capable hands of Chef du Cuisine Scott Wallen, is producing a brunch which is garnering praise among Charlotte's food crowd. Their Sunday buffet is served from 11am until 3pm and is $21.95 for adults and $7.95 for children. An a la carte menu is available as well. Buffet stations include a raw bar with oysters, shrimp, steamed mussels and sushi. Also available are five to seven salads, three hot entrees, soup, biscuits and gravy, sausages and bacon, three hot vegetables and a dessert station. Also included in the buffet price is the tapas menu, which has 12 items including eggs benedict made to order from the kitchen.
Upstream, 6902 Phillips Place. 704-556-7730.
While everyone is concerned with special brunch places for Mother's Day brunch, what about Father's Day -- and any other time you and yours don't want to get all gussied up for brunch? For large family gatherings, the Waldhorn is the place to go. Their buffet brunch is from 11:30am until 2pm. Adults are $15.95; kids 5 to 12 are $7.95; 4 and under are free. Here you will find more than sauerbraten, pork roast and bratwurst. Chef Meier also has a roast beef carving station and an omelette station, French toast, vegetables and grits (or, as they like to call them, "Southern German cheesy grits"). Don't miss the apple strudel on the dessert table. Waldhorn is renowned for their beer selection: 12 on draft, 30 bottles -- all German.
Waldhorn Restaurant, 12101 Lancaster Highway, Pineville. 704-540-7047.
Co-owners James and Renee Bazelle produce well-crafted country, Southern, soul and Low Country dishes at this funky downtown joint, which has long lines and low prices. Brunch is offered a la carte both Saturday and Sunday from 9am until 3pm. Prices range from $5 to $10. How much more comfort could you ask for?
Mert's Heart and Soul, 214 N. College Street. 704-342-4222.
The Pewter Rose has been a favorite spot for brunch since forever. Their a la carte menu includes such favorites as grilled "Bananas Foster French Toast" with banana-filled ciabatta, rum-brown sugar butter, whipped cream and maple syrup; biscuits & gravy, smothered chicken with white sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and bacon; poached eggs with grilled asparagus, crab meat and Hollandaise; the Breakfast Burrito and the Bistro Frittata, an open-faced omelette with peppers, onions, herbed ricotta, fresh mozzarella and sweet Italian sausage; and house-made corned beef hash poached eggs. Sunday brunch hours are 10am until 3pm. Entrees range in price from about $8 to $12. (A smaller brunch menu is offered on Saturday.)
The Pewter Rose, 1820 South Boulevard. 704-332-8149.