Updated: Aug 17, 2021
Atlantic County Magazine – GACCA Article
Print Date 7.23.2021
By Judy Brenna
If you’re anything like me when you “brunch” you brunch like an Olympic athlete. There is something about brunch that just feels, I don’t know, fancy. It could be the dainty champagne flutes. Or it could be the anything goes mentality, the fact that you literally have carte blanche when it comes to food and drinks, the complete convergence of breakfast AND lunch. It is the only weekend meal where it’s acceptable to combine eggs benedict with waffles and a turkey carving station, and maybe some pasta, and then crab legs, and chocolate cake, washed down with vodka. I mean aside from dinner on a Friday or Saturday night, what other meal welcomes, and sometimes insists on, the consumption of alcohol? ((history nerd alert)) The concept of Brunch was conceived by Guy Beringer in England. In an 1895 London publication called Hunter’s Weekly, Beringer made it clear in his article, “Brunch: A Plea,” that a late social breakfast on Sunday, that post-church Sunday, multi-course meals of heavy meats and cheeses, would “make life brighter for Saturday night carousers”. He also suggested that alcoholic drinks be served, to alleviate the aftermath from the previous night’s frivolity, so when your eyes pop wide in glee when perusing the brunch beverage menu, you have Mr. Beringer to thank for that! When it became a go-to staple for Mother’s Day I have no clue. It probably had something to do with how in America in the 1950’s it became a thing for Housewives to concoct after Sunday church, but I digress.
Whatever the origin, we as a people, absolutely LOVE brunch. And there are so many celebrations that brunch is perfect for, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings, Bachelor or Bachelorette Weekends ((because we all know they need it after the night they just had)). And one of the many great things about this county is there are an infinite number of venues that host brunch on the weekends. I don’t even have enough room on here to list all of them. But there a few I would like to highlight.
Aside from my place of employment which is just a quick ride south of Atlantic County ((shameless plug #DeauvilleInn which by the by has an amazing brunch menu)), the first places, which come as an absolutely no surprise to anyone who knows me, is Kelsey and Kim’s Southern Café, located at 201 Melrose Avenue in Gardiner’s Basin, and Kelsey’s, located at 1545 Pacific Avenue in downtown Atlantic City. My eyes still water thinking about these two places. I am a huge soul food and southern comfort food junkie, so these two places take the top spot for me. And since Chef Kelsey has such a deep-rooted passion for his southern home cooking, you literally taste the love and care in each bite. You MUST check these places out if you haven’t already, pay particular attention to their Brunch buffet available on Sundays.
The next place that is an absolute must place to try is The Borgata Buffet ((as I look skyward to the heavens to stave off the sting of tears forming)). For only $27.95 you can fill your little brunch heart’s content with their Sunday Brunch Buffet, from breakfast staples like eggs, multiple styles, crispy applewood smoked bacon and breakfast sausage, to chef-attended stations, pancakes and waffles and crepes, oh my, a sundry of fresh salads, fruit, seafood, and have I mentioned the dessert options?? I’m literally crying as I type this. And yes, there is a buffet with endless options in every resort, but Borgata? This one is my absolute favorite.
Actually… Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, I would like to submit into evidence… There is one other brunch buffet that rivals Borgata’s in quality and quantity, and that is Nero’s Steakhouse in Caesars. Nero's Sunday Brunch truly is one of the best brunches in town. They offer an awesome a la carte menu including favorites from the buffet and so much more, like oysters, shrimp, Belgian waffles, blueberry focaccia French toast, lobster omelet, Nutella crepes ((I’m crying again)), surf and turf benedict, pretzel crusted crab cakes, grilled baby lamb chops and… I will stop. If you want to know the rest, you need to go there and see for yourself. And I haven’t even mentioned their specialty brunch cocktails yet, like their spicy margarita or their grapefruit mojito. Less thinking, more making a reservation right now.
And lastly, one place that cannot go unmentioned, Velo Café in Ventnor City. Located at 6525 Ventnor Avenue in Ventnor City, Velo is one of THE best restaurants in the area. Just a block from the beach, they offer outdoor dining, right in the heart of Ventnor. Their brunch menu is outstanding. From classic brunch staples with their own Velo twist like Stuffed French Toast, and Banana Nutella Crepes ((again, something like crepes at brunch just makes you feel a little extra)), or their Balkan Toast, an Aivar spread (red peppers and eggplant roasted over wood fire), Bulgarian feta cheese, 2 poached eggs served on multigrain toast. And you can order boards. They have this uber awesome menu item called The Brunch Board, which consists of 10 Pancakes, 6 scrambled eggs, 4 slices of crispy bacon, fresh fruit, and 1 chef's choice item from their menu. I mean, one would assume this is a shareable item, but this is me we’re talking about, so…. Most definitely check them out.
Make haste, fair people of Atlantic County. Get thee to the brunch spots! Until next week, folks… #stayjerseystrong!