Breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Healthy, high in fiber, fuel to go-go-go.
Brunch, the most indulgent meal of the week. Decadent, boozy, wrapped in bacon and slathered in Hollandaise.
Two very different ways to start the day. Which are you? Breakfast or brunch?
At the Telwink Grill in Houston, Texas, it's breakfast all day, seven days a week. What the menu lacks in fancy European hot beverages, it makes up for abundantly. Deep inside breakfast country, the law of the land is clear. Asking for your eggs to get poached is not enough to get you shot. Eggs Benedict will get you shot.
Former Marine and 35-year Telwink regular Pat Forster knows where he stands on the breakfast/brunch divide.
Wheat or brioche?
"Wheat, because I don't know what a brioche is," Forster said.
Donut or beignet?
"Definitely a donut."
On most weekend mornings, breakfast is Forster's only meal of the day.
"I come in here, I eat, I don't eat until tonight. This fuels me for the day," he said.
It's totally acceptable to eat breakfast alone. But brunch? It's all about the socializing and the hard stuff. A few hours after breakfast, my friends Abbe, Mary Elizabeth, Steve and Calvin crawled out of bed to join me at Backstreet Cafe for brunch.
"I think breakfast is more like eating to live, and brunch is more like living to eat," Steve said.
The rich, creamy emulsion that is Hollandaise sauce is only one of the hedonistic pleasures at Backstreet and later Houston's RDG: Octopus ceviche, banana-stuffed French Toast, grapefruit margaritas, mulberry mimosas.
"I'm gonna go home and take a nap after this," Steve said.
Where would we be as a culture if we were all brunch people?
"We'd be fat and slovenly and never getting to work, I guess, right?" Marc Meyer said. Meyer is chef and owner of Cookshop in New York City.
Where would we be as a culture if we were all breakfast people?
"I think we'd probably be very boring," Meyer said.
Meyer isn't taking sides. He celebrates the differences between breakfast and brunch - and serves both.
Can breakfast and brunch get along? You date these. You marry those. There's space at the table for both.