Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch in San Francisco is a weekly affair frequented by housewives, gays, bros, hipsters, sorority sisters, and any other niche of people you might find in the little 7x7 city.
Good morning, Karl.
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People wait in line blocks away from restaurants (à la Portlandia Season 2 Episode 10, "Brunch Village")
Carrie and Fred from Portlandia... might as well be a pic of me and my friends.
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for bottomless mimosas, alcoholic milkshakes, Indian buffets, fried duck eggs, fried chicken and waffles, pecan French toast... The possibilities are as endless as the cultures that inhabit the Bay Area. Sunday Brunch is thoroughly planned, scheduled, and counted down. It's more of a cultural and social gathering rather than just any ol' meal. It's also an excuse to day drink and get drunk before noon.

Just one year ago I was one of those San Franciscans. My roommates and I woke up at eight to shower, fix our hair, do our makeup, and dress cute but not like we were trying too hard. Outfit checks definitely occurred and were definitely necessary.
*angels sing*
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An hour and a half later, we took a 30 minute bus ride down to the Marina district to hangrily stand in line for 20 minutes with a hoard of other hangry people until we finally sat down at the back patio of the Tipsy Pig.
So casual. So cool.
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We immediately ordered three Strawberry Fields (Russian standard vodka, fresh strawberries, simple syrup, soda water, and fresh lime - you can bet we recreated those at home for cheap) and "just an orange juice" for me. I was still only twenty then. Life is really tough sometimes.
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Nevertheless, that San Francisco Brunch was probably the greatest morning to early afternoon of my life. I think I ordered some kind of breakfast sandwich and some tater tots. Oh, yes. There were definitely tater tots. I remember those tots.

One year later, living with my grandparents in Vallejo, Sunday brunch is a little bit different.

First of all, the "b" in brunch does not have the honor of being capitalized. It's not that my meal this morning wasn't a great brunch, it just wasn't a "San Francisco Brunch." Much like overpriced handbags, the label is everything, y'all. Hoards of people were not lined up outside of Grandma's kitchen to grab a plate. Although, people have been known to go crazy over her brownies and beef jerky. I'm one of those people. Luckily, I get first dibs as her (favorite) granddaughter. Number one out of nine grandchildren, twelve if you count her great-grandchildren. It gets lonely up here, but I've got much sought-after snacks for company.

Second, rather than waking up to shower and get dressed, I walked downstairs dressed in an oversized, stained Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince book T-shirt (that I got for free at Toys R Us of all places), gym shorts, and bare feet. I definitely did not look like I was trying too hard for this brunch. There were no outfit checks other than checking in the mirror for sleepy eye boogers and dried saliva on my face. Grandma was in a muumuu and Grandpa was dressed to head over to the yacht club to hang out on his sailboat. Oh, glorious retirement life.

Another difference was that there wasn't much of a commute or wait this morning. Grandpa and I just walked over to the dining table when Grandma said breakfast was ready. I really wasn't even that hungry, but Grandma insisted that I "just sit down and at least eat a little bit." The only hangry, waiting creatures were Taco and Pancho (my grandparents' dogs) who stared at us with longing puppy-dog eyes. Grandma gave in and fed them some leftovers.

No mimosas or Strawberry Fields were served today. I grabbed a bottle of Naked Green Machine juice out of the fridge to drink.
Like they say, "Looks weird. Tastes amazing."
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Grandma and Grandpa drank mugs of instant coffee. One mug had questionable amounts of creamer and sugar added. *COUGH COUGH* Grandma.

The fifth and possibly most important difference was the food at this morning's brunch. Grandma cooked Spam, smoked fish, scrambled eggs, fried rice, and a few Eggo waffles for Grandpa.
Oh, did I mention Grandma is Filipino? Everything other than the Eggos are staples of a typical Filipino breakfast. Not very nutritious, but oh, so delicious. Protein is a very important part of a Filipino's diet. Some may argue the most important part. It takes up the most space on the Filipino food pyramid. Next, is rice. EVERYTHING goes with rice. Fish? Pair it with rice. Sausage? Rice goes nice. Soup? Throw some rice into it!

I wouldn't be surprised if I graduate this semester 30 pounds heavier. One of the benefits of having my grandma as my roommate is never-ending homemade food. Mmm... It's going to be a good semester.