Brunch Into Numbers

After some recent thought, it was time to figure out what other people thought of brunch. After a short online survey, interesting information was discovered of where brunch stood compared to other meals, where people brunch, when people brunch, reasons for brunching, and people’s favorite brunch food. To look at the results, click below.

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Thanks for reading,

So Brunch·y 

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The Bacon Chronicles

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Getting ready for your weekend brunch yet?! Due to the low temps in Pittsburgh, most people will be staying inside and making a home-cooked brunch. And what is more important than mastering perfectly crisp bacon. Follow these 5 tips to have some of the best bacon ever:

1) Cook in a Cold Skillet

Hot skillet vs. cold skillet… the winner seems to be cold. When tossing bacon into a hot skillet, the bacon browned and crisped before the fat really fell off. With a hot skillet, you have two options: cook the bacon all the way through but it burns, or have brown, crispy, fatty bacon. When cooking with a cold skillet, the fat has plenty of time to melt away leaving the bacon crispy and crunchy.

2) Cast-Iron Skillet Cooks Bacon Faster

Cast-iron vs. stainless-steel… cast-iron took the victory on this matchup. When cooking with a cast-iron and a stainless steel skillet, both allowed the bacon to crisp, brown, and musk up a smoky flavor; however, the cast-iron skillet got the job done in 8 minutes. The stainless-steel took 11 minutes. Womp, womp.

3) Add Water for Crumbly Bacon

Sometimes bacon is better in the crumble form, for instance on top of a salad or pizza. To make a good crumble, adding a bit of cold water to the skillet will create thinner, crisper bacon. It does take a little longer to cook because the water needs to evaporate entirely before removing the bacon. The bacon also loses some salt by using this method.

4) Use Oven for Big Servings

When having a big brunch party, it will be best to cook your bacon in the oven. Baking your bacon on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet allows the rendered fat to drip away. This helps make the bacon crunchier and crisper. When cooking in the oven, a good temperature is 450°F, which gives the same smoky depth as the stovetop. You can fit 10 to 12 slices on a rack and needs no attention (flipping or rotating.)

5) Don’t Microwave

Although the microwave is the most convenient, only taking 3 1/2 minutes, it also leaves less flavorful bacon. The bacon will look up to par: crinkly and golden-brown, but the truth is told when biting into a strip. The bacon isn’t as crisp and lacks the smoky flavor. The pan or oven wins over the microwave any day.

Hopefully these tips will leave your bacon crispy, crunchy, and delicious for your next brunch party.

For more information on cooking bacon, click here.

Brunch·y Expertise

Meet Erica Roney. Expert in brunching as she works for the Urbanist Pittsburgh.

“The Urbanist guide aims to produce the best printed city guides in the nation. Since 2009 Urbanist has made it easy for both tourists and locals to pinpoint the outstanding local businesses in San Diego. With the addition of two more cities in 2013, Urbanist looks to create an expanded network of some of the best small businesses in the country. We are continually inspired by the entrepreneurs who have risked so much to create a unique experience for locals and visitors. They deserve your support. Restaurants that spark conversation. Shopping that encourages individuality. Nightlife that favors authenticity. Salons that understand you. Art that excites you. We believe the businesses listed here represent the best our select cities have to offer.”

After a short interview, here’s an expert’s point of view.

Q) What are your opinions of brunch? Are you a frequent brunch-goer?

A) Definitely a frequent brunch-goer, I think going to brunch is more about the entire experience. Having the right atmosphere, the right friends, and the right food make for a perfect experience. It’s more of a social outing on the weekend mornings!

Q) What is the relationship between Pittsburgh and brunch?

A) The relationship is a building one for sure but with tons of possibility. The food industry is coming to life and the best part is that with every different neighborhood you are guaranteed a different experience. When going through Downtown, you experience more embellished dishes with rare and expensive ingredients, while brunch in Lawrenceville is more casual and friendly to alternative options like vegan and gluten-free.

Q) Any special secrets of Pittsburgh brunch you would like to share?

A) Of course I do! The Urbanist has recently been teaming up with Round Corner Cantina (located in Lawrenceville) for the ‘Urbanist X Cantina Brunch Parties.’ Every month, there will be one brunch party celebrated which includes: a guest DJ, dancing, champagne, confetti canons, and of course food! It takes place in Round Corner’s new upstairs ballroom. The next one will be March 1st so mark your calendars.

Q) What is your favorite brunch spot?

A) One of my all time favorites is Coca Cafe. I love their breakfast in general, but every Sunday they hold brunch from 9am-2pm which includes some breakfast items and 5-6 seasonal dishes that change every week. I love going there and being surprised! I also love their fresh juices and specialty lattes… Nutella latte! Yum!

Q) What is your favorite brunch food?

A) My favorite part of brunch food is that I can never ceased to be amazed. No matter where I go, each restaurant does their own take of a dish that is completely different than the next. I simply cannot pick a favorite… mostly because my favorite part is finding a new one.

Find more information of the Urbanist Pittsburgh and follow @UrbanistPGH

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Fittsburgh’s Top 8 Brunch Spots

Some people know, and some don’t… but Fittsburgh is making a name for itself through Pittsburgh as a commitment. Fittsburgh was created in May 2014 and committed to make Pittsburgh the healthiest city in the nation. In a recent article, Fittsburgh identified 8 of the healthiest brunches in the city. Drumroll please:

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1) Eden

With chef/co-owner Hilary Zozula, Eden is one of the healthiest brunch spots in Pittsburgh. Their appeal includes allergy conscious, vegan, raw, and 100% gluten-free. One of their signature dishes includes ‘raw cakes’ created with coconut, oats, and almonds. Eden will whip up healthy food, but you will be surprised of how delicious it will taste!

735 Copeland St, Pittsburgh, PA 15232 F-Sun 10-2.

2) Lili Cafe

This little cafe loves surprises… so you will have to check their Facebook Page the week prior for the brunch menu. They love changing up the options, but will always keep a handful of vegan and vegetarian dishes. And Lili Cafe loves to give a deal. Brunch is $10 including coffee or tea and orange juice.

3138 Dobson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Sun 10-3

3) Coca Cafe

From personal experience, Coca Cafe is unbelievable! The food is fresh, delicious, and creative. As Lawrenceville continues to grow, Coca Cafe will continue to remain busy. Their dishes vary from basic breakfast essentials to jaw-dropping creations, like smoked-salmon omelet. They do accommodate for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free when possible.

3811 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 Sun 9-2

4) Marty’s Market

You may be surprised that this little hot spot exists in the Strip District. Marty’s Market is a speciality grocery, a coffee bar, and a quaint brunch spot to many local Pittsburghers. They do offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. And Marty’s is always stocked with fresh fruit and juices.

2301 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 Sat & Sun 9-3

5) Square Cafe

Located in Regent Square, Square Cafe remains busy and packed especially on the warm days in Pittsburgh. With a few sidewalk tables, Square Cafe seems to always have a line out its door on the weekends. Who could resist their fluffy pancakes, also available in gluten-free and vegan varieties. They also have an array of gluten-free frittata and tofu hash.

1137 S Braddock Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15218 Sat 7-3 & Sun 8-3 

6) Amazing Cafe

Connected to Amazing Yoga, the Amazing Cafe prides themselves in a health lifestyle. Along with healthy exercises, the cafe serves some of the healthiest items found in Pittsburgh. Besides delicious, organic smoothies and juice, the cafe serves vegan and vegetarian friendly items. Warm brunch items are served on the weekends and change often, according to their Facebook Page.

1506 E. Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 Sat & Sun 11-2:45

7) Zenith

Many people walk into Zenith thinking ‘Where am I?’ As noted on their website, Vegetarian Cafe – Art Gallery – Antique Gold Mine, Zenith is all of the above. The menu is as unpredictable as the place itself. Some staple items remain like seitan and tofu… and the good deal of $11.50 for the buffet, a main dish, and coffee or tea.  

86 South 26th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 Sun 11-2:30

8) DeLuca’s

As crazy as it might sound, DeLuca’s did make the cut for one of the healthiest brunches in Pittsburgh. Among their slew of pancakes, french toast, waffles, and burritos… there is the ‘Body Builders Bionic Breakfast.’ This section includes egg-white omelets with choice of chicken breasts, avocado, spinach, turkey sausage, and veggies.

2015 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 Sat 6-3 & Sun 7-3

Read more about Fittsburgh and follow @getfitpgh

Brunch Hot Spots in Pittsburgh

When trying to find somewhere good to eat, I always rely on my Yelp app to help me along the way. Pittsburgh has recently been booming with new restaurants, and trying to decide who has a good brunch can be tricky. Visit the map mashup below to help guide you around Pittsburgh to some of the best brunches. The restaurants are grouped by ratings from Yelp users, with purple being the highest of 4.5 stars, blue being 4 stars, and yellow being 3 stars. Check it out and join Yelp to help others decide which brunch is worth a visit.

xoxo, So Brunch·y

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What do I wear?… to brunch

As we all know, figuring out what to wear for the day can be one of life’s hardest challenges. And when it comes to brunch, you must not disappoint in appearance. Brunch is a reason to celebrate… even if it is Sunday and the work week begins in less than 24 hours. Always brunch in style: here are some ideas of what to wear.

1) A chiffon dress is always a good choice. Whether it is summer time or in the middle of January, you can strut in a chiffon dress with sandals or tights. It speaks, “I want to look good, but I’m not trying that hard.”

2) Scarves are the perfect accessories to bring your outfit to the next level. A fashion scarf can add a bit of color or pattern to an ordinary outfit, while remaining sophisticated yet playful.

3) Wedges give the perfect height to your brunching event, while remaining laid-back and casual. Try a nice suede, bootie style for the winter and an open-toed sandal for the summer.

4) A satchel purse is big enough to fit all your weekend necessities and cute enough to go with any outfit. When it comes to brunch, we all mean business. A satchel is chic and casual, but also roomy enough to fit your cosmetic bag, sunglasses, extra jewelry options, make-up remover, and whatever else your spontaneous weekend may consist of.

5) Statement necklaces is the ideal way to class-up your classic t-shirt; because let’s all admit it… somedays you just don’t feel like dressing up. Nothing is wrong with throwing on a t-shirt and a pair of cropped pants. But adding a statement necklace can pull that outfit completely together and make people think, “Wow, I love her outfit.”

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When it comes to brunches, we are all trying to achieve that “I just got out of bed, threw on something in my closet, and I look amazing without trying.” Or at least, that’s what I try to accomplish. Brunches are meant to make things complicated. Just remember to wear something comfy, and to add that little extra. Because hey, you are about to feast into some delicious food so might as well look good doing it.

Brunching on Twitter

If you love So Brunch·y and want to stay constantly updated, please follow @SoBrunchy on Twitter. View the timeline to the right and watch for the hashtag #keeponbrunching 

Thank you and as always, keep it So Brunch·y

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