Brunch, the Perfect Moms’ Get-together

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brunch.jpgForget ladies who lunch – it’s ladies who brunch who make the best use of their day.

You know how it is when you try to get with your girlfriends to catch up. Evenings during the school year are out because of various activities all over town, and breakfast would be a punishment given the morning schedule already. Lunch is hardly leisurely when there are errands, carpool, or the office awaiting.  No working woman wants to split a precious day off with a lunch break that will make the morning and afternoon too short to accomplish anything substantial, whether it’s catching up or just relaxing.

I’ve found the best solution is weekday brunch. This allows for the usual morning rush, perhaps even a workout, and a relaxing meal with plenty of daytime left to finish a to-do list. Childcare isn’t a problem because brunch coincides with Mother’s Day Out, daycare and school. Unlike an evening out, there’s no need to leave directives about dinner and you’ll miss no feedings, tuck-ins or homework reviews. If you’re enjoying a day off work, you’ll be able to have a low-key morning and still have the better part of the day to yourself.

Of course, there are wonderful weekend brunches all around town, but weekends are even harder to give up/coordinate for a girls’ get-together.

We have lots of choices other than the classic IHOP and Denny’s. In fact, you can have a brunch with food that is almost as memorable as an evening out at a nicer restaurant.

Another Broken Egg, Mountain Brook Village – This is breakfast refined, with items like crab cakes (behold the Southern Crab Stack above), fluffy omelettes, and potato sides that would suffice as a meal. The menu is New Orleans inspired, and the provincial-style interior feels almost as warm as dining in someone’s home. There is a patio for al fresco dining. What could feel more decadent than sitting outside on a spring day eating a beautifully presented meal? Pity the people driving by, too busy to stop for brunch or hear the funny stories you’re swapping…

The Egg and I, Hoover – All the breakfast classics as well as some south-of-the-border specialties. Lunchtime parking can get a little crowded but well worth the effort (if parking’s crowded, it’s a short stroll from a neighboring lot, so look there for a space). They also have lunch foods like sandwiches, soups and salads incase one in your party isn’t a “breakfast person.”

The Original Pancake House, Southside – Smack in the middle of Five Points South, the people watching doesn’t get any better than this. This restaurant is actually a franchise, but it’s been a consistent presence here long enough to feel like a hometown spot. Have you seen the Dutch Baby or Apple Pancake? Better plan to split one of these and agree to not discuss dieting or related subjects.

One more advantage to brunch is that you’re ready to roll by the time everyone else is headed out for lunch. A small snack in the afternoon is all you’ll need to tide you over until dinner and your usual family routine.