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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

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COLUMN: Unlocking the formula to a perfect brunch outing

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As a college student whose weeks can get busy and consuming, there is nothing quite like a slow-paced weekend brunch to satisfy my need for delicious food and quality time with friends. I can’t think of a better way to spend a late morning than poring over the week’s events and drama over steaming coffee and a medley of my favorite breakfast foods. 

I do not subscribe to the idea of a one dimensional meal — like a simple pancake stack or omelet. A good brunch or breakfast menu will offer some kind of combo meal that includes a little bit of everything, and that is always the best thing to go for. If they don’t offer that, it's essential to stock up on the sides, which you can split with friends to save money.  

My perfect brunch is centered around something sweet, like a pancake, french toast or waffle. This treat is the star of the show — the comforting breakfast food of your childhood.  

Next come your eggs, an essential yet underappreciated component of a breakfast plate. I always get scrambled eggs at restaurants because they taste much better than anything I’ve ever made at home and are perfectly fluffy and soft every time. If you’re someone who likes to dip your toast, then fried eggs are lovely as well — I like over medium with plenty of freshly cracked black pepper.

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Bring on the protein! I typically opt for sausage or turkey bacon, but have nothing against some classic bacon strips either. This element brings a much needed savory flavor to your meal and creates a breakfast harmony with the sweetness of a pancake or french toast.  

Hash browns or home fries are optional to me, but for those without a sweet tooth, they can replace your pancake, french toast or waffle component. I personally find them to be best enjoyed when stolen from your friend’s plate. 

My most important rule is that all your food must be graced by the presence of maple syrup. I know plenty who disagree with this, but I think syrup is the heart and soul of all breakfast food. Don’t underestimate the addition of syrup — especially with your savory components. 

Finally, brunch would not be brunch without a fun drink. Most recently I tried the hot chocolate at Runcible Spoon, which whisked me away to childhood snow days and a post-sledding treat. Fun drinks don’t actually need to be elaborate, though, they just need to make you feel fun. Some of my tried and true options are coffee (with plenty of cream), cranberry juice and orange juice.  

As much as I have emphasized all the food that makes a brunch perfect, it’s important to note that brunch is more a state of mind than it is the food you order. As for the non-edible aspects of a perfect brunch, it is essential to include people you love and some gasp-worthy gossip. A good brunch should have you losing track of time at the table and realizing the day is halfway over by the time your conversation and debrief has wound down.

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