July 20 2016 11:43 AM

City Pulse launches Best Brunch Contest

It’s brunch time — and time to head to Clara’s.

Wait.

The venerable Clara’s Lansing Station closed June 26, ending one of the most popular brunches in mid-Michigan. For 37 years, locals packed the old Union train depot on Michigan Avenue.

Now what?

That’s the question we are putting to City Pulse readers. What’s your favorite brunch location?

Beginning now, you can vote online and also tell us why. Voting lasts through Tuesday, July 26 at lansingcitypulse.com/favbrunch. (Can’t vote online? Send your nominee to City Pulse Brunch, 1905 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing 48912.)

You can nominate whatever establishment you wish, but we will apply this qualification: It must serve brunch on weekends year round. That means either Saturday or Sunday or both. And that means a special brunch menu — one that combines both breakfast and lunch. It cannot be a place that serves breakfast all day — sorry, Golden Harvest, but we still love you. It can be a buffet, but it doesn’t have to be.

Nominate your favorite. Then take a minute to tell us why. Maybe it’s the bloody mary. Maybe it’s welsh rarebit (we doubt it). Maybe it’s the hot waitstaff (we wouldn’t be surprised).

Then check the Aug. 10 City Pulse for the results.

Oh, and when you vote, you’re automatically entered to win a brunch (up to a $50 value) at the winning restaurant.



By CALLIE OPPER

Brunch is a juicy portmanteau word for a glorified late breakfast — usually a big one, leaving you stuffed full of pancakes, waffles, sausage, bacon, eggs and an infinitely variable smorgasbord of breakfast food. Brunch has taken such firm root in America that it’s hard to believe it started in 19th-century England, as a late-morning meal for early-rising hunters returning from the fields and saying things like “I say — I’m frightfully famished.”

The word “brunch” first appeared in The New York Times in 1895 and since then, has gone through many stages as it moved across class, gender and national lines.

The meal was first considered a sign of social status, as most brunchers were wealthy.

In America, Sunday brunch grew in popularity when 1930s film stars indulged in the ritual. It grew more popular when church attendance dropped after World War II and people still wanted a place they could socialize. Brunch was here to stay by the 1940’s, with the advent of morning-glorified alcoholic beverages, including two drinks still popular today, mimosas and bloody marys. The excuse to day-drink gave brunch a whole new level of appeal. During the '60s and '70s the feminist movement co-opted the ladies’ brunch of old, gearing brunch to the professional woman, but again with a whiff of the upper class.

In the '80s, the bounty of brunch merged with good old, all-American, all-you-can-eat trough feeding, stockpiling buffets in small towns and restaurant chains across the land.

Brunch has only gotten bigger since 2004. Food trucks and local restaurants have whipped up new takes on the boring old brunch buffet. Once limited to big cities, brunch can be found just about anywhere these days, and it still doubles as a social gathering. It has even evolved from a late breakfast meal to a round-the-clock option. In many restaurants, brunch is served all weekend, with an amazing variety of dishes.

Since the recent close of Clara’s Station, a popular place to eat brunch on the weekends, many Lansing residents have asked for recommendations and suggestions for the best brunch. This month, from July 20 to July 26, City Pulse will take votes for the best brunch in the greater Lansing area in hopes to discover the best spots where the best people are eating the best food. You can nominate whatever establishment you wish, but we will apply this qualification: It must serve brunch on weekends year round. That means either Saturday or Sunday or both. And that means a special brunch menu — one that combines both breakfast and lunch. It can be a buffet, but it doesn’t have to be. Head on over to lansingcitypulse.com/favbrunch and cast your vote.

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