For Late Brunch Slots, Avoid Hollandaise Like The Plague

There's nothing like a relaxing Sunday with nothing to do but meet your friends or loved ones for brunch. Sitting at a table chatting over coffee or mimosas on a beautiful day can be such a delightful treat. As can digging into a decadent and classic brunch dish like eggs benedict. However, the last thing you want to do is order something wonderful that might make you sick later in the day.

If you are heading to brunch more than a couple of hours after the restaurant opens, you might want to re-think your order. While certain dishes like omelets, chilaquiles, waffles, and pancakes are made to order, there's one classic brunch ingredient that takes a while to make and is generally made long before it's going to be served. That's hollandaise sauce. Restaurant kitchens move fast and so line cooks can't be whipping up a fresh batch of hollandaise for every crab cake benedict that gets ordered. Most often they'll make it in the morning, but it tends to sit out as orders come in and go out.

Hollandaise is something you want to eat fresh

Due to the way it's made and the preferred consistency it has when fresh, hollandaise sauce isn't often refrigerated in a commercial kitchen. Most often it'll be made in the morning and then will sit out at room temperature in the kitchen. This type of sauce is also made with egg yolks, so it has the capacity to harbor bacteria and a hot kitchen is a perfect environment for that to happen. While fresh lemony hollandaise sauce can be delicious, it's not worth getting sick over.

So if you're craving an eggs benedict dish for brunch, try to get an earlier reservation since hollandaise sauce is usually safe to eat within the first couple of hours after it's been made. You might also want to wait until you're brunching somewhere renowned for their version of the dish. If however, you find yourself sitting down for a 12:30 p.m. brunch then maybe stick to a safer option. When in doubt, always ask your server if your chosen menu item is made fresh to order or pre-made.