Brunch is my favorite sport. My closest girlfriends and I are self-proclaimed Olympians. Typically, one of us hosts and we all contribute to the cause. One will be appointed to procuring uncured bacon for our ever-famous bacon bouquet. The other will empty out their vegetable drawer for fritatta fixings and the other will assure that the guest of honor will be present: mimosas.
We’ve done everything from a civilized proper brunch with numerous courses paired with mimosas (and eventual straight champagne), to guerilla-style brunch en route; enjoying canapes and hand-held burritos with a cortado.
This isn’t to say that we always play at home, if you will. We do play away and grace a restaurant with our presence. Time and again we join the novice brunchers but seldom participate as:
a) I am a wheat-tard (my self-coined colloquialism for “gluten-intolerant”), and eating out tends to be a hassle.
b) The blood of Christ, is no hair of the dog. Catholic church-goers are awful to dine around that early in the morning. They’re hungry and hungover; an apocolyptic combination.
c) Our waiter would probably cut us off of mimosas, which would lead to an inevitable coup against the establishment.
So really, we default to making brunch so we can make something that I can eat, while getting completely marinated without judgement. My personal preference to stay in, is that I work in the bloody industry and cannot help but to empathize with every poor bastard working.
My restaurant does not serve brunch- hare friggin’ Krishna- but it doesn’t mean that we didn’t try it once. Once is all it took.
Sure, as a restauranteur you make a fortune off of eggs. But is it worth the aneurism-inducing conditions? The first diabolical element of brunch, is the time. If the waitstaff has to show up at 7a.m. to simply polish up the sections and await the masses-imagine what time the kitchen staff must arrive to prep.
[For those of you who cannot fathom the time, it's 4 a.m.]
So immediately upon setting foot in the establishment, you aren’t greeted with a “Good morning!” as much as you are walking into a rendition of Shock and Awe. I could banter on and on about the industry side of the madness, so let us get straight to the underbelly: the people.
It is known throughout the waitstaff in my restaurant, that Cthuhlu is a mere Precious Moment figurine in comparison to my morning wrath. If I haven’t had a sufficient amount of coffee, do not speak to me. This same phenomena occurs when the brunch crowd arrives. Chances are, they haven’t had any coffee or worse, have had too much and nothing to eat. Hyper-famine, it’s scary. So in addition to the usual slave-driver demeanor of the average diner, nothing is fast enough. Notably, coffee and mimosas.
On this once-in-a-fucking-lifetime brunch my restaurant offered, it was none other than Mother’s Day. A day when mimosas run more rampant than water. When contrasting emotions of puberty, adolescence and menopause thicken the air with feminine tension; one seen, but never spoken of. A day that mirrors a debacle in British Parliament whereby a white glove is drawn, but only contains one finger.
In other words, it’s another holiday by which families go out into public so as to avoid a potential scene in their own home. Mind you, this isn’t fact for every table’s dynamic in the restaurant…just mine.
I had a table of eight women who clearly had too much coffee before arriving. They needed a round of antivenin, fast.
“Eight mimosas,” blurted one woman, her left eye twitching nervously.
I didn’t bother introducing myself or offering the specials. It was clear that mimosas were needed before anything could be accomplished. Empathizing all too well- as we the waitstaff were now jacked-up on coffee resembling a pack of methamphetamine addicts- did I dash to the bar to tend to their order. Only there was one problem; the at-capacity restaurant had also ordered mimosas with the same pressing urgency.
Maniacally tending to the decorative ribbon of drink orders at the bar, could I feel the eyes of eight mini Cthulu’s wondering where their antivenin was; one in particular. I cranked out half of the restaurant orders and darted back to my section to take orders and apologize for the wait. Walking up to my table of eight, did the eye twitcher bark at me.
“Uh, ma’am- where are our drinks?” she drawled, right eye now bulging as her left continued to twitch. I began to apologize and heard the other women at the table try to explain that I was the only bartender, as well as their server.
“Well, I don’t know about y’all, but I’m thirsty-” she griped.
“I’ll get right on it. So sorry for the wait ladies,” I replied and ran full speed to the bar.
As Murphy’s Law should have it, the bar was now low on orange juice and my barback must have dropped the case of prosecco as each bottle geysered upon opening. Consequently, I had to hand-squeeze oranges for my eight mimosas while threatening my co-worker’s life if they didn’t surrender their tray to me. I strategically placed eight champagne glasses on my commandeered tray, and proceeded to gently pour each glass with prosecco.
FACT: THERE IS NO FAST WAY TO POUR CHAMPAGNE OR PROSECCO.
It is a test of time and patience- one rewarded with celestial bubbles that dance across the palate whose reaction is, a smile. This elixir of the gods was now en route to my table of eight. The musical score from Jaws inevitably entered my mind, and synced itself with every pace I took closer to the table. I made it table-side without compromising a drop.
The social climate evolved from tumultuous to content for all but one woman; the eye twitcher. She was to my immediate right, and I was serving from the left. Quickly did she calculate that she’d be the last to have a mimosa in hand. I picked up the first mimosa and was sure to chose the opposing second to evenly distribute weight on the tray. I could feel the eye twitcher’s blood pressure sky-rocket with impatience. And then, the inevitable happened.
Trying to mask her zeal to drink, she announced, “Oh, let me help you-” and grabbed a mimosa off the tray, only prompting the entire tray to land in her lap. Gasps detonated a cacophony of laughter at the table. Realizing that she must have been as pleasant to the others as she had been to me, I amended the notion of karma to instant karma.
I bit my tongue to prevent myself from laughing. “Oh the tribulations of gravity,” I said offering the linens I had pulled from an unset table.
She was most compliant for the remainder of their stay.