Manchester Articles

The great brunch debate

We didn’t think anyone could feel this strongly about brunch on either side of the fence. We were wrong

“Eggs bring people together!”

Can you imagine loving breakfast foods so much that you would set up an entire business dedicated to them? Actually, yes, a bit, but the business in question here is MIMOD’s Kitchen (that’s the Most Important Meal Of the Day).

The duo behind MIMOD’s – Stephanie Sowden and Shahrzad (Shaz) Flanagan – are such big fans of breakfast foods that they’ve taken brunch all the way through to the evenings. Their most recent event at RedBankCo was superb and Middle-Eastern themed (we’re talking baked eggs, feta baklava, date loaf), and there’s another one coming up in June.

Steph used to work at Little Window in Altrincham Market before taking a four-month trip to work as a pastry chef in Sydney, where the brunch culture inspired her business. She says: “Breakfast is under-appreciated. No, you don’t have time to make yourself some nice scrambled eggs on sourdough every morning, but that’s still a delicious meal, and it’s balanced and nutritious, so why not have it at any time of day?”

Going out for dinner is lovely, but you’re often dashing there after work and then keeping an eye out for the last tram, or wanting to get home for bed.

Brunch, on the other hand, is a much more leisurely affair. It’s often the only thing you have planned into your day. No-one really knows what counts as ‘brunchtime’, because it’s such a fluid concept. If you don’t get to brunch until mid-afternoon because you were too cosy (hungover) to get up before noon, that’s ok! Brunch menus run into the afternoon for a reason. Anything goes.

Shaz says: “The thing that I love the most about brunch is being able to go out with my friends and take our time eating and chatting over really good food. Not being rushed, not eating at your desk.”

It’s not just the social side of things that make it such a treat, it’s the food itself. It’s the only time you’ll get your fix of hollandaise sauce, or pancakes, or hash browns, or avocado. It’s also acceptable to have a drink with brunch, whether you’re a Bloody Mary fan or more of a Mimosa girl.

“At the last pop-up we did here,” said Steph, “a table of 12 people who had never met before ended up going for drinks afterwards. Eggs bring people together!”

“Brunch basically means depriving yourself of one of the day’s meals”

We have found someone for you here who would put brunch into Room 101. They have chosen anonymity over public censure. Over to you, freak who hates brunch.

“I don’t understand the need for a breakfast/lunch hybrid. The first meal of the day is breakfast. The very definition of the word means to break your fast. However, if it’s afternoon and you haven’t eaten yet, you’re onto lunch. You just straight-up missed breakfast, I’m afraid.

“I feel like its very existence is cheating me out of a meal. Am I still allowed to eat both breakfast and lunch, and have brunch as a bonus meal? Four square meals in a day? No, I’m not. I wake up on a Sunday at a reasonable hour, but I have to sit and wait, hungry, until it’s deemed brunchtime (sometimes 11am, sometimes 2pm). I’m sternly warned against eating a bowl of cereal because it’ll ruin my appetite. Every other day of the week I can eat breakfast and still manage another meal later in the day, but at weekends, it’s downright forbidden.

“On brunch menus across the country, you have the option of savoury and you have the option of sweet, but they’re not designed to be ordered as separate courses, and people judge you if you order both the eggs benedict and the French toast. That’s not an issue you’d have on other menus.

“Some other things that need answering: is brunch an exclusively weekend-specific thing? If you don’t eat breakfast at your desk until 11am, is that brunch? Can you consume brunch on your own? No, you can’t, because it’s a made-up meal that people have constructed so that they have an excuse to stay in bed and not get up in time for breakfast, and then they can Instagram photos of smashed avocado with #yolkporn hashtags.

“I love breakfast foods, I really do, but please stop calling it brunch. Brunch is to meals what Valentine’s Day is to holidays. And, as a closing argument – it’s a full English *breakfast*. No-one ever heard of a full English brunch.”

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