Family, however you define it, is important to almost everyone. Whether your family is related by blood or otherwise, knowing that there are people who care about you and who will be there to share in the ups and downs of your life is an important part of the human experience. Two things that can always bring family together are great food and great conversation; both of these can be found at The Brunch House in Lansing. I recently visited The Brunch House with a few of my coworkers toward the end of what had been a pretty stressful week at the office. The three of us had been working hard on our individual assignments, and we all felt that some relaxation was necessary to get us through the rest of the week. Brunch sounded like the perfect way to escape from the craziness of the office, even if it was just for an hour or so. When we arrived at the restaurant and took our seats, we were almost immediately greeted by a friendly waitress who gave us menus and took our drink orders. She also took the time to tell us about some of the specials and answer our questions about the menu, which I always appreciate. Throughout our entire visit, she was attentive and friendly. The Brunch House offers a variety of breakfast and lunch options, but one of the things that sets it apart from other greasy spoons is the Mediterranean influence that are included in the dishes. Leo’s Lebanese Salad is probably one of the best salads I’ve ever had; each bite I took was bursting with flavor from the fresh ingredients and the most amazing salad dressing I’ve ever had. It’s definitely something that I would order on a return visit. Another equally flavorful dish that The Brunch House serves is their signature Housa breakfast. Housa is a combination of beef, pine nuts, eggs and a mixture of Mediterranean spices that Leo keeps a secret from everyone except his cooks. This super-savory dish is served with either house fries or hash browns, depending on your preference. Housa is only served at The Brunch House, and the recipe isn’t available anywhere (I checked — it’s nowhere to be found on the internet). Aside from the Mediterranean-inspired dishes that The Brunch House serves, you can also order more traditional breakfast options. Their omelets are amazing; I ordered a Greek omelet, and when it came out, it was stuffed so full of spinach, feta cheese and onions that I was sure it would burst open if I poked it with my fork. Sometimes when I order omelets at breakfast places, I leave feeling uncomfortably full, but that wasn’t the case here. Even with all of the filling, I wasn’t so full that I was miserable for the rest of the day. The Brunch House also serves some of the biggest pancakes I’ve ever seen. Each pancake is at least 10 inches in diameter, so plan to share if you order more than one. Just like everything else we ordered, the pancakes were delicious; fluffy and sweet, they were everything you could possibly want from a pancake. While we all agreed that the food was amazing, the thing that made the greatest impression on me was that the owner, Leo Farhat, spent a lot of time talking to his customers and making sure that they were happy with their service. He carried a coffee pot with him in the dining room, refilling mugs and chatting with customers. It’s not very often that you see restaurant owners who are so involved with their customers, and his warm and welcoming attitude toward everyone made the restaurant feel that much more inviting and homey. My experience with The Brunch House was overwhelmingly positive, and the best part was getting to spend time with some of my coworkers in such an inviting space. I will definitely be returning with other “family” members in the future. With great food, great service and a welcoming atmosphere, The Brunch House is a great place to spend time with your family, however you choose to define it.
Alicia Pilmore is a Communications Specialist at M3 Group and Editor for the Capital Area Women's Lifestyle Magazine. She loves writing, wine tasting and spoiling her cat, Pishi.