Off The Menu: Brunch is bigger than ever

Dec 6 2017

There’s been a 25 percent increase in the number of brunch menu listings since 2015.

According the American Egg Board, brunch as a restaurant dining experience is back and bigger than ever.

In a recent research report distributed to food service operators, the egg industry trade association emphasized the growth in brunch dish menu mentions. According to their data, there’s been a 25 percent increase in the number of brunch menu listings since 2015.

Brunch is turning up in places where it hasn’t been seen before, such as casual dining chains and even a few upscale quick service operations.

Moreover, brunch is increasingly a Saturday-Sunday phenomenon, with a few operators even experimenting with weekday or all day brunch programs. The contemporary brunch menu, the American Egg Board suggests, needs to reflect the occasion’s status as indulgence rather than mere sustenance.

Eggs Benedict, that lush combination of poached egg, Canadian bacon, and hollandaise sauce, is the number one brunch menu offering, but many trendsetting brunch operators are borrowing from ethnic culinary traditions to shake things up.

Denver-based Snooze, for instance, has reworked the eggs Benedict by substituting prosciutto and ciabatta to create an Italian-themed alternative, while their Chilaquiles Benedict is about barbecued beef on tortillas.

Millennials, the Egg Board reports, particularly enjoy unconventional, inventive food pairings in brunch dishes.

Side Dishes:

Teresa’s Restaurant in Ware is holding a “3 Legends Live Holiday Show” on Saturday, Dec. 9. Featuring Charlie Lask, Lisa Carter, and Pat Tobin, the tribute show including a six-course, family style dinner. The evening starts with a 5 p.m. cocktail hour, with dinner service beginning at 6 p.m. The show itself will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person and include dinner, show, tax, and gratuity. Call (413) 967-7601 to book seats. On Sunday, Dec. 10 James Mazzaferro and friends will be presenting a festive dinner-dance event at the Storrowton Tavern Carriage House. The evening will begin at 5 p.m. with Joe Pereira & The Western Mass All Stars providing dance music. At 6 p.m. dinner will be served, a classic Storrowton roast turkey feast that will include a salad starter, mashed potato, butternut squash, rolls, dessert, and coffee or tea. After the meal “Jimmy Mazz” Mazzaferro will perform favorites in the style of Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, Garth Brooks, and more. During the evening he’ll be joined by Ben Ashley as Buddy Holly and Patrick Tobin as Frank Sinatra. Tickets for the show, which are $45 per person including dinner, tax and tip, can be ordered by calling a special ticket line at (413) 374-5890. La Cucina di Hampden House in Hampden will be having its annual Toys for Joy Dinner Event and Fundraiser on Monday, December 11. Organized to Benefit the Salvation Army and the Center for Human Development, the Fundraiser is collecting new, unwrapped toys; in exchange La Cucina di Hampden House will offer those bringing in toys a complimentary pasta dinner that evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. This year the restaurant is sponsoring a Coat, Hat, & Glove Drive during the holiday season, collecting new or gently used coats, hats, and gloves. For more information contact the restaurant at (413) 566-8324. A recent email note from the Club House Restaurant at the Cold Springs Country Club announced the facility’s seasonal shutdown as of Nov. 28. The restaurant plans an early spring returned timed to the reopening of the Cold Spring Country Club, where it is located. The restaurant’s telephone contact is (413) 323-4888. Villa Rose Restaurant in Ludlow will be holding their “Five Course Holiday Wine Dinner” on Dec. 21 starting at 6 p.m. As is customary, the meal will showcase five food and wine pairings; live entertainment will also be featured. Cost to attend is $75 per person including tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling Villa Rose at (413) 547-6667. Starting on Dec. 13 and continuing through Dec. 23, the Munich Haus Restaurant in Chicopee will be presenting its traditional German Weihnachtsfest featuring Dan Kane and his singers. Caroling in the dining room will take place nightly, and a special holiday menu will be available. Reservations are recommended during the Weihnachtsfest. The Munich Haus will also be holding its monthly Munich Hops Club session on December 20 starting at 6 p.m. Erdinger Schneeweisse is to be the featured beer; a buffet themed around it will be served Non-refundable, advance purchase tickets are $15.95, not including tax and gratuity. The Munich Haus can be contacted at (413) 594-8788. Caroling season at the Student Prince Cafe and Fort Restaurant in downtown Springfield is underway starting Dec. 5. For many Springfield area families Christmas isn’t Christmas unless they’ve enjoyed dinner at the Fort and a holiday carol serenade. Reservations, which traditionally fill fast during caroling season, can be made by calling the Fort at (413) 734-7475.

Chef Philip Hillenbrand at Bottega Cucina in West Springfield will be hosting his annual Chocolate Wine Dinner, an occasion in which chocolate can be found in preparations both sweet and savory. Wines from K Vintners and Wines of Substance will be featured at the event, which is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 17. The five course, five wine experience is $85 per person plus tax. Seats may be reserved with a $25 non-refundable deposit per person. Bottega Cucina answers at (413) 732-2500. LongHorn Steakhouse has introduced four new menu items. Three are “Turf and Surf” combinations, including a “Crab Cake Filet” that features a center-cut filet steak topped with a lump crab cake, a garnish of crabmeat, and a lemon-garlic cream sauce. Also new is a “Flo’s Filet” paired with a grilled lobster tail that’s finished with a drizzle of citrus butter. Nashville hot chicken is making its menu debut at LongHorn. Hand-breaded breast portions are fried to order and then topped with spicy-sweet honey sauce and pickles. Fried pickles bold bites are also being added to the appetizer menu. There are LongHorn Steakhouse locations on Riverdale Street in West Springfield and in Enfield on Phoenix Avenue. On Friday, Dec. 22, Chez Josef in Agawam will once again host “Dueling Pianos,” an evening featuring two pianist going head-to-head in a musical competition. The evening starts with a buffet dinner at 7:15 p.m. with the show itself beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets, which can be purchased online at, are $60 plus a $4 online broker fee. For more details contact Chez Josef at (413) 786-0257.

Hugh Robert is a faculty member in Holyoke Community College’s hospitality and culinary arts program and has over 40 years of restaurant and educational experience. Please send items of interest to Off the Menu at the Republican, P.O. Box 1329, Springfield, MA 01101; Robert can also be reached at




Nov 2018