Carl White’s Life in the Carolinas

Carl White’s syndicated column features stories about his journey as a TV producer and host. Carl says “I am writing about the people I meet as I travel and the interesting places visited. They do not all end up on TV, but a lot do and everyone becomes a friends. It’s a wonderful journey”

Below you will find a sampling of Carl’s columns. To read them in a paper nearest you, please subscribe to:

Greenwood, SC: Index Journal
Cheraw, SC: The Link
Lenoir, NC: The News Topic
Wilkes County, NC: The Record
Alleghany, NC: Alleghany News
Spruce Pines, NC: Mitchell News

To Brunch or not to Brunch

I like brunch because it’s a mid-morning activity, you don’t have to get up early and you don’t have to wait too long to enjoy it. It’s often, but not always with friends or family and you can have anything you want with your eggs. 

I remember a brunch visit to Proper Restaurant in Boone NC. The drive up the mountain was relaxing, it was a good 10-15 degrees cooler and the air seemed cleaner.

I took advantage of the free meter Sunday parking on King Street. It was around noon when I arrived and a good number of people were already seated. I chose a table which provided me a front row seat for a talented guitar player who provided a nice balance of soothing music with a nostalgic feel.

My waitress was knowledgeable and colorfully charming which added even more to the experience. After hearing the specials, I ordered the quiche of the day with oven roasted potatoes. She highly recommended the collards as my second side. To which I said, “are you serious?”  With a confident smile she said without hesitation, “trust me, you will love them”.

What could I say but yes. She also told me about the Biscuit Baby of the day, which was a rolled pastry with figs, strawberries, and covered with an orange zest glaze.  I had to at least taste it, so I said, “yes please”.

The room was filled with a diversity of happy brunch people of all ages, an acoustic guitar version of Oh Happy Day was playing when my coffee and Biscuit Baby arrived. It was warm with a nice presentation and smelled wonderful. I also knew I had a full meal still on the way. I could foresee a to go box in my not too distant future. However, after the first bite, I could tell I was going to have a problem. The flavors were blended perfectly and well suited for total consumption. 

Soon after, the main event arrived and it was even more impressive. The quiche was tall with a flaky crust. A delicate well-balanced flavor where each bite prepared you for the next. The roasted potatoes were nicely seasoned with a side of homemade tomato sauce and then the much awaited perfectly prepared collards. She was right, I loved them, they were a perfect side. I lingered with the music, another cup of coffee and casual conversation with fellow brunch folks just long enough as to not need a to go box.

I drove away with a feeling of gratitude and satisfaction.

Brunch is by no means a new thing, from what I can tell it was first written about in 1895 by Guy Beringer in the  “Hunter’s Weekly” a British publication that has long been out of print. Brunch would make its way to America by the late 1920’s. Over the years brunch would evolve, after World War II Sunday morning brunch become even more popular.

Many people enjoy a mimosa or two. For others it’s a Bloody Mary with all sorts of pickled garnish, such is the case with friends Bruce and Bonnie Julian in Charlotte who perfected a blend that so pleased people that it has become a commercial business. I’m not surprised.

Some say that brunch is for certain people.

Well if you ask me, and someone did. I think brunch is for anyone who likes the idea of eating sometime between the traditional breakfast and lunch times. If you like collards with your eggs, like I now do, you my friend may be a brunch person. There are many fine places for brunch in the Carolinas, all you must do is ask a friend or google. 

See you at brunch!