Few things are as certain as the fact that across Portland on weekend mornings, no matter how bad the weather, people will wait in line for up to two hours for brunch. Many things attract people to brunch, but foremost among them is the unspoken social contract involved, which mandates that no matter how late into the afternoon you get a table, you can still get breakfast. And what is brunch, really but a more expensive breakfast with a fancy name?
We fell down the rabbit-hole today. James, our son, called us at about 11:00 to ask us if we were up for “brunch?” The guy was born in Boston and spent his teens in Santa Barbara, CA. I never thought I’d hear the word “brunch” pass his lips, but there it was, “BRUNCH!” Waited an hour on sidewalk in 31 degrees, no matter, we had lots of company.
The brunch line says something about people in Portland. Waiting in line disrupts the normal hierarchies of society and rearranges them according to whose name is on the clipboard first. Then again, perhaps just being in line is in itself a social marker, a declaration of who has three and a half hours to spend on breakfast.
We did, in fact, I think it was four. Ate at Marco’s, damn fine food, stellar service, and great time with our now, “brunch” eating son.