This year, Scott and I decided to honor his Dad Gerry with a tasty Father’s Day brunch in St. Paul. The original plan had been a late lunch at Cafe Latte followed by pastries at the delicious bakery next door. But with 90 degree temps and abundance of sunshine, we all agreed an establishment with outdoor seating would be preferable.
Here’s the thing — finding outdoor seating for a party of four at noon on Father’s Day is about as easy as going to Olive Garden and not getting a free breadstick refill. Many of our favorite food stops were booked, lacking a patio or–gasp–closed on Sunday. (What is this? 1932?) Thankfully, we were able to snag reservations at Union Rooftop in Minneapolis at 2:30, just in time to make the 3pm brunch cutoff. Scott and I had dined at Union last summer with friends, and were really impressed with the food and ambiance. Also? Kim Kardashian ate there a few years ago when she was dating Kris Humphries. (Clearly, this is the criteria for an excellent Father’s Day brunch. Am I right?)
Turns out, I am not right.
So not right.
The first red flag was the fact that there was a DJ at brunch. A loud DJ. Blasting a techno song about a girl who’s had so many shots, she can no longer feel her face. Literally, the lyrics literally are “1 shot, 2 shots, 3 shots, I can’t feel my face!” Since when does that go well with eggs benedict?
The second warning sign was the quick brush of hand I felt against my left butt check as we approached the host stand.
“I’m so sorry!” a young man with impeccably coiffed hair and a brightly colored tank top whispered to me. He couldn’t have been a day over 22.
Also…was he wearing spray tan? He definitely smelled like spray tan.
“I brushed it by accident, don’t be mad!” he snickered coyly while gingerly adjusting his neon lens Ray-bans. “It’s just so voluptuous that it was kind of in the way. Seriously though…great butt!” He gave me a friendly wave before trotting off to the dance floor where a friend had a fresh mojito waiting for him.
And yes, there was indeed a dance floor.
“Oh no,” I muttered under my breath to Scott, “We brought your dad to gay brunch for Father’s Day.”
Let me get two things straight:
- I have nothing against gay brunch. In fact, I love gay brunch. I seek gay brunch out. It just wasn’t what I had in mind for our Father’s Day outing.
- I have been to gay brunch in Seattle, California, Vegas and even New York city…but this gay brunch took the cake. Well done, Minneapolis! (Again…just maybe not on Father’s Day?)
We were seated at a large table directly in front of the DJ booth. To our left, a woman in a crop top sat by herself, 8 empty cocktail glasses littering her table for one. She looked as if she could fall over at any minute. Directly behind us, a group of twenty somethings were taking excessive amounts selfies, loudly gabbing about some girl named Jasmine, and throwing back jello shots. Our left side was flanked by a man wearing those preppy shorts with shellfish on them (Crabs? Lobster? Crawfish? I never can tell…), drinking a margarita, and having a dance party with himself while somehow remaining seated. There were also several people strewn around the patio shimmying in place while managing not to spill their cocktails. (How do they do that?? My shimmying always results in sticky feet and a stain on my dress.)
“Can I get you some drinks?” our waitress asked briskly. The poor thing was dressed head to toe in black and looked dangerously close to overheating. She plopped a few brunch menus onto the table. After ordering waters and browsing the menu for a few minutes, everyone had decided that 2:30pm was too late for breakfast food.
“If you can just wait 30 minutes, our lunch and dinner menu beings at 3.” our server explained.
We agreed to share the smoked trout and dill sour cream hash browns as a starter, before ordering real food off the lunch menu in 20 minutes.
“Maybe the DJ stops playing at 3 when they switch the menus?” I shouted hopefully over a dubstep remix of “This is how we do it”. The Kim Kardashian connection was making more and more sense.
At 3:07pm, I admitted that I was wrong about the DJ stopping anytime soon.
At 3:09 pm, our new server admitted that the old server had also been wrong.
“She shouldn’t have given you these menus,” she explained. “I’m sorry for the confusion, but we don’t serve anything off of this menu until 5pm. All we have for the next two hours is our happy hour menu.”
“Is it too late to just order off the brunch menu?” Scott asked desperately. He’d been hoping for chicken and waffles all along, but decided to forgo his breakfast food craving for the sake of the majority.
“Brunch was over ten minutes ago. All we can do in the kitchen right now is the happy hour menu. Sorry…it’s not up to me — there’s not really anything I can do.”
No chicken and waffles. I haven’t seen Scott so deflated since he learned Jolie needed 13 teeth pulled.
So, if you’ve ever wondered how Father’s day brunch can morph into Father’s Day Gone Wild meets Spring Break in Panama City meets overpriced hash browns, now you know.
Obviously, we decided to order a hundred dollars worth of fried food and embrace it.
Happy Father’s Day, indeed.