Each generation has its Easter traditions. Baby boomers may recall growing up with family gatherings around a dinner table after church, where ham was the centerpiece of a spread that included potato salad, deviled eggs, veggies, the latest trend in congealed salads and multiple desserts — all washed down with sweet tea.
It was a leisurely day of good food, hunting eggs and catching up with extended family only seen at holidays.
As the makeup of family units has changed — blended families, ex-spouses, multiple sets of grandparents who all want a visit — millennials are challenged to cram more gatherings into the same amount of hours. Who has time to cook?
Perhaps that's one reason why Easter has become the fifth-most-popular holiday for dining out, according to the National Restaurant Association. About 29 percent of those who dine out on Easter prefer brunch, while 21 percent favor a morning breakfast, according to the association's survey — so that's roughly half of all Easter diners looking for their eggs scrambled, Benedict, in a quiche or somewhere other than a hunt.
Locally, several restaurants are offering Easter brunches, some adding new entrees just for the occasion. Your hunt for a delicious meal ends here.
* Back Inn Cafe, 412 E. Second St.: Easter on the Bluff will be offered from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the restaurant in the Bluff View Art District. The annual Easter brunch offers an a la carte menu featuring signature dishes and seasonal entrees created by chef Regina Johnson.
Choose from 11 brunch cocktails, six small plates/starters, four breakfast selections or seven lunch entrees — the latter ranging from shrimp and grits to challah-crusted grouper. Not to mention the inn's lengthy wine list.
Reservations are encouraged: 423-265-5033, ext. 4.
* Broad Street Grille, The Chattanoogan, 1201 S. Broad St.: The restaurant's popular Sunday brunch will be customized for Easter with leg of lamb on the carving station and a variety of breakfast and brunch specialties, including cocktail shrimp, an antipasti and artisan cheeses table, an omelet station and cinnamon French toast, plus an array of desserts.
As a bonus for the kids, Bagby's Critter Corral will have live bunnies available for petting and pictures.
The meal will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the bunnies will be on-site from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $39 for adults, $19 for kids 5-12.
Reservations are required: 423-424-3700.
* Feed Co. Table & Tavern, 201 W. Main St.: Hop over to Feed, where the menu includes its regular brunch favorites as well as specials prepared just for Easter such as Pimento Cheese Benny and lamb chop with mint chimichurri and wild mushroom risotto.
Feed will also have Bloody Mary and mimosa specials, along with music from Danimal Planet on the patio from noon to 3 p.m.
The restaurant will be serving from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Make reservations by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Mountain Oaks Tea Room, 9508 Church St., Ooltewah: Easter brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., when guests will have a choice of two holiday options, each priced $24.95. The first is ham or turkey served with dressing, green beans, potato salad, basil deviled eggs and carrot cake for dessert.
The second choice, Hippety-Hop Tea, features the Courtyard Sampler consisting of a scoop of chicken salad, pimento cheese, slice of quiche, congealed salad, a petite croissant and the basil deviled eggs, soup and hot tea.
Reservations are required: 423-238-9333.
* The Read House, 107 W. M.L. King Blvd.: Easter celebration returns to the Read House, where brunch will be served in the Silver Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The buffet will include ham and beef carving stations, seven entrees, jumbo shrimp and crab claws display, four salads, breakfast favorites, six desserts, mimosas, Bloody Marys and live jazz music. Prices do not include drinks: $40 adults, $20 ages 6-12, ages 5 and younger free.
* Shoney's, all locations: An all-you-can-eat Easter Fresh Food Bar will offer coconut shrimp, Shoney's signature crispy chicken, roast beef, sliced ham with apples, sweet potato casserole, corn, macaroni and cheese, peach cobbler and bottomless beverages.
Price and participation for the Easter Fresh Food Bar can vary by location. Contact your favorite Shoney's for more information.
* Tupelo Honey, Warehouse Row, 1110 Market St.: Reservations are needed for Tupelo's Southern brunch or Sunday supper. In addition to soups, salads and sandwiches, the brunch offers Shoo Mercy Shrimp & Grits, a Shoo Mercy Omelet (fried green tomato, bacon and smoked ham) and Southwestern Omelet (chorizo, avocado, cheddar cheese). Eggs Betty is made of two medium poached eggs, buttermilk biscuit and smoked ham topped with hollandaise sauce and served with potato cracklins.
The new spring menu marks the return of some Tupelo classics, such as Bourbon-Peppercorn Glazed Meatloaf. It's made from scratch with beef and chorizo, baked in a muffin tin and served with two farm-fresh sides.
For reservations: 423-779-0400.
* Dine at Home, but leave the cooking to someone else. The Chef and His Wife will customize your holiday dinner from its Easter menu. The meal starts with applewood smoked ham in either a 2-pound portion to feed four to six ($25) or 4 pounds to feed eight to 10 ($45).
If you want something lighter, there's a 9-inch, ham-and-cheese quiche to feed four to six people for $15. Then pick from five sides ($28 each) and three desserts ($13-$24).
You can pick up your food on Saturday, April 20, between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Delivery is also available that day for orders of $50 or more with a $20 delivery fee. To order: 423-508-5823 or www.thechefandwife.com.
— Compiled by staff writer Susan Pierce