An old schoolmate moved to town a couple months ago, and last week she sent me an invitation to come out to a new breakfast/brunch club she created, to check out the morning restaurant scene and hang out with the motley crew of people she happened to know from around the city.
I’m not normally one to get up before 10 a.m. on Sundays unless absolutely necessary. But in this case, I made an exception. (Hi? It’s food. When would I EVER turn down food?)
So I rolled myself out of bed, (then sometime later) out of the house into the crisp, bright outdoors, and (after taking a bus and “rapid transit” – only rapid on Sundays) onto the subway for some midday noshing downtown.
I was the first to arrive at the restaurant, so I left and went two doors down to a clothing store to kill a few minutes. Then I returned and went in to grab a spot.
The second brunch participant showed up. Only I wasn’t sure he was one. But I thought he might be, since he was did the exact same thing I did upon my arrival. He didn’t stay long.
A few minutes later a young woman entered, scouring the restaurant in the same way the previous guy did. She exited the restaurant, but stood just outside the front door, talking on her cell phone.
Something in me sensed she was one of the group, so I got up, popped my head out the front door and said, “‘Scuse me. I don’t mean to be weird and random, but are you here for the brunch club?”
“Yes!” she said, asking me if I was a friend. I nodded.
“I got here first, so I grabbed us some seats,” I said. We went inside and so it began.
My friend arrived within 10 minutes, and soon the rest of the group appeared, including the guy who originally showed up after me.
Now, it’s not like i’ve never done brunch before. But unless you know where to find good greasy spoons in suburbia, it’s usually limited to fairly-well-known chain restaurants, where you know there’s going to be a late-morning menu, in addition to lunch. A small group of friends and I used to go to brunch. But we’d go during what would be considered lunchtime, and for some reason it would last three hours.
But downtown brunches are different.
(1) You’re almost guaranteed to find a place to eat that’s not a franchise joint. And that’s the beauty of it.
(2) I also like meeting people who I’ve never met before. It’s the perfect venue. Old classmates aside, our group of seven was great – creative, and very funny. Everyone seemed to feed off each other.
(3) It didn’t last all afternoon. But today was only the inaugural meeting. The brunches to come could be different. And maybe it’ll depend on the size of the group and the venue. But for today, the length of time was perfect.
I can’t say that the wait staff at this place was top-notch, though. Our waitress was actually a bit cold to us. And when my friend mustered up the nerve to ask her if she could take a picture of the group, she was like, “Oh, I’m too busy right now. But I’ll get our dishwasher to come out.”
The dishwasher was way cooler about it. (Can’t win ’em all, right?)
When we all parted ways, the afternoon was still young and I had a bit of a spring in my step, instead of the dread tucked away behind my pancreas that, seems to migrate via osmosis to the pit of my stomach every Sunday afternoon. I was actually in a really good mood. And it was nice not to be at home in my pyjamas in front of the TV, for a change.
Maybe my new membership into the breakfast club won’t just be about food and good company. Maybe it’ll stir the creativity and motivation within me, that I seem to have been sitting on for so long. And maybe it’ll help give me the boost I need before the start of every work week.
Proactivity and pancakes. What a delicious thought.
(Image above courtesy of The food pornographer.)