More than Just a Fad: The Brunch Revolution

Brunch is hardly a new idea, but as it becomes more accessible to those living outside the realm of posh eateries and hefty menu prices, it has been experiencing a revitalization. Now, there’s no need to be in a big city or to pay top dollar for a fantastic brunch experience. Top restaurants in destinations such as State College are jumping on the bandwagon and offering up world-class brunch menus that easily fit every taste. Whether you’re looking for a hearty, belly-filling breakfast, or a light and elegant start to your day, or even a cure for a wicked hangover, you can find it all.

Gardens Restaurant at The Penn Stater is a great choice if you want to try a little bit of every brunch option, as the all-you-can-eat buffet is filled to the brim with the most humble to the most extravagant traditional brunch items. From scrambled eggs and stuffed toast, to grilled swordfish, smoked salmon, pate and caviar, it’s all right there. There’s even a cheese station and an omelet station. Top it all off with a complimentary glass of champagne or a mimosa. It’s the perfect way to start your day.

The Dining Room at the Nittany Lion Inn also offers an upscale brunch buffet, Sundays 9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Always offered throughout the year, it features a carving station, omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and more of your favorite breakfast items.

For a more relaxed atmosphere, but similarly amazing flavors, The Field Burger & Tap at Toftrees Resort may be what you’re looking for. The brunch is a favorite of resort guests and locals alike, with the house-made Bloody Marys receiving rave reviews. The nearby American Ale House is just down the street, with more unique options, like veggie breakfast casseroles and yogurt brulees.

The Naked Egg Café is also known for its out-of-the-box brunch options. They re-do the traditional chicken and waffles, with their Chix and Waffle (chicken tenders on a Belgian waffle covered in gravy). They also have a spin on the traditionally British breakfast of beans and toast, with their Bean Town, which is chorizo, baked beans and two eggs with toast. You’ll also, of course, find a true Pennsylvanian’s favorite breakfast meat—scrapple.

If you just can’t roll out of bed on a Sunday morning, and would prefer your brunch plans to take place on a Saturday, go to Gigi’s Southern Table. Their brunch even extends to 3 p.m., so you can hit the snooze button a few times. Breakfast meets Southern flavors, with options like fried chicken, gumbo and Cajun Eggs Benedict.

You can also head out to the bar again Sunday morning for Barrel 21’s brunch option, which is both award-winning and quite affordable. You can even just show up for the Bloody Mary bar only (where you’ll be drinking Barrel 21 vodka, of course). Otherwise, there’s a breakfast pastries buffet, cold buffet, hot buffet and dessert buffet. The menu items change up each week, so there’s always something new to try.

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