100 Best Restaurants for Brunch: 2012 Diners’ Choice Award Winners!

This delish egg dish has me counting the days 'til the weekend!

Just in time for Mother’s Day, we are thrilled to announce the 2012 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Best 100 Restaurants for Brunch in the United States.  These awards reflect the combined opinions of nearly 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The list of winners includes Five Points in New York, Proud Bird in Los Angeles, and Town’s End in San Francisco.

Winning restaurants hail from 23 states and Washington, D.C.  Restaurants in the Northeast and Pacific regions each account for 27 places on the list, including 24 in California and 23 in New York. The Southeast boasts 12 wins, with restaurants in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina earning nods. The Mid-Atlantic region claims 18 spots, with seven wins in Washington, D.C., and six in Pennsylvania. Seven Great Lakes restaurants are among the honorees, with standouts in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Minnesota. Six Southwest restaurants are winners, five of which are in Texas. The Rocky Mountain and Central Plains regions are also represented with 2 and 1 wins, respectively.

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Water Fight: Is Charging for H20 a No-No?

glass-of-water.jpgA San Francisco restaurant is charging diners for water (a buck per bottomless glass) and Michael Bauer investigates on his “Between Meals” blog. While the restaurant’s reasons are legitimate (the water they offer is filtered, available at room temperature or chilled, still or sparkling) and the dollar-per-diner charge helps offset the loss in sales of bottled water (a result of the City by the Bay’s Take Back the Tap campaign), most of Mr. Bauer’s faithful readers are outraged.

Confessional moment: I was a bottled-water consumer in restaurants until very recently. I like sparkling water, and when I ordered it, I was much more likely to stay hydrated during a meal. My inner tree-hugger forced me to abandon the bottled bubbly stuff, but if I could get an endless supply of environmentally friendly, sparkling water for a dollar, I’d consider it a deal. However, I do know that if a New York restaurant refused to serve a diner a gratis glass of our city’s tasty tap water, it would ignite a firestorm of controversy.

This probably isn’t the first time economical issues have collided with environmental concerns in the dining arena, and it certainly won’t be the last.