I can’t quite put my finger on the reason, but brunch is my favorite meal of the week.
Maybe it’s because brunch offers a choice of food from both breakfast and lunch. It could be because traditionally you only eat brunch on Saturday or Sunday, which makes the meal somewhat different and unique from the mundane breakfast, lunch, dinner of the rest of the week. Or perhaps it has something to do with the excuse to drink Bloody Marys and mimosas before noon.
No matter the reason, I love brunch. And even more than brunch itself, I love to make an event of the meal—going with friends or family and enjoying good conversation and good food at a leisurely pace.
Here’s the problem. Bringing a toddler to brunch often spoils the “leisurely pace” part of the meal.
No matter the time of day, going out to a restaurant with a young child often turns into a race to gulp down our food before the crying starts or the food begins to fly.
At any point in time, one of us is cutting our son’s food or catching the waitress’s attention to ask for crackers to occupy him until his food arrives or even juggling apples to keep him entertained. We don’t exactly get to spend much quality time together.
So I propose that parents take one brunch per month and leave the kids at home. Hey, maybe even go crazy and combine it with a movie to make it a real, live date.
In my opinion, it’s hard to go wrong with brunch at any restaurant. And Alexandria has plenty of restaurants. This article would be way too long if I attempted to list all of the restaurants that offer brunch.
So my recommendation is to pick a new restaurant each month and try out its brunch. Here is a short list of establishments that offer a weekend brunch option:
In Old Town:
Vermilion — With most entrees under $15, this upscale brunch offers unique twists on the old brunch favorites like nutella pancakes and benedict with pancetta and gruyère.
Royal Restaurant — The diner feel makes this a classic breakfast-brunch spot. It offers custom-made omelets and the standard breakfast fare at reasonable prices.
Southside 815 — This Sunday brunch serves traditional brunch dishes with southern flair, like the bacon, egg and cheddar quesadilla and the blackened chicken scramble.
In Del Ray:
Evening Star Cafe — The brunch hotspot on the Avenue offers mouth-watering entrees like crab cake eggs benedict, quiche and a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.
La Strada — Offering a creative menu including artichoke, pancetta and scrambled egg salad and crepes stuffed with apples and cinnamon brown sugar syrup, La Strada is a great change of pace from the conventional brunch fare. Don’t forget the prosecco bellini.
Mancini’s Cafe — If you’re looking for great breakfast food, Mancini’s offers breakfast sandwiches, pancakes and french toast in a great neighborhood atmosphere.
Del Ray Pizzeria – The newcomer to the Avenue serves up inventive dishes like shrimp and eggs, root beer french toast and chicken and waffles.
Now that your stomach is growling, why not pick up the phone now and make some brunch reservations for this weekend? Good luck choosing your favorite!