by Susan Hamilton & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & S & lt;/span & ometimes breakfast is more than eggs and toast -- it can be a leisurely meal on the weekends when life slows down just a bit, and time is available to savor food without rushing to get somewhere.

It can be the time for a splurge -- adding a mimosa to the meal, the perfect accent that signals time has slowed down just for the moment. Mimosas -- sparkling wine mixed with orange juice -- used to be on many Sunday brunch menus, but the days of all-you-can-drink cocktails before 5 pm are long gone.

Still, the weekend repast -- in which breakfast meets lunch and provides the time to linger over coffee and a breakfast cocktail -- is doable in moderation throughout the Inland Northwest. Many restaurants offer either a Saturday or a Sunday brunch, complete with mimosas or bloody Marys, peach-kissed champagne or a fluted glass of sparkling wine alone.

& lt;span class= "dropcap " & F & lt;/span & or example, at EVERETT'S RESTAURANT ON THE LAKE, in Hayden Lake, breakfast is served starting at 10 am on Sunday only during football season, complete with $4 specials on mimosas and bloody Marys. Cindy Helgren, general manager, said the location is beautiful and the local customers come by to watch a little football and enjoy breakfast without feeling they are being rushed out the door.

"It is a nice way to spend a Sunday morning," Helgren said. "Many of our customers live nearby and walk to the restaurant. It is just a slower way of doing things before the weather turns bad and we have a lot of snow."

Sparkling wine is one of the most food-friendly drinks. It can take salt in foods (such as breakfast meats), spicy foods (it can absorb the heat) and hard-to-pair foods such as asparagus. It is the perfect compliment for a breakfast buffet.

At DOCKSIDE RESTAURANT, at the Coeur d'Alene Resort, Sunday brunch is served from 9 am to 2 pm and features champagne and mimosas on the menu. Again, the beauty of the location, combined with the timelessness of a Sunday morning, suggests a glass of something special, even if there is nothing to celebrate except leisure time itself.

The PALM COURT RESTAURANT at the Davenport offers a Sunday buffet that offers a glass of champagne, sparkling wine or other breakfast-type cocktail with the meal. Amy Kellogg had brunch recently at the Palm Court with a girlfriend and the two caught up over mimosas and great food.

"There is something liberating about having a glass of champagne with brunch," Kellogg said. "I just love lazy Sundays, as we call it. I rush through the day all week long, but not on Sunday, if I can help it."

The NORTHERN QUEST CASINO has a special brunch at the River's Edge Restaurant. The brunch runs from 9 am to 3 pm, with the busiest time between 11 am and 1 pm. If you have a yearning for German food, the German Inn Restaurant and Lounge offers a Sunday brunch from 9 am to 2 pm that features cuisine from Germany, including smoked meats. Mimosas are served along with other libations.

JUST JERRY'S on Spokane's South Hill offers a Sunday brunch from 8 am to 2 pm. Staff say people come in for the brunch and have a mimosa with the meal. CAF & Eacute; MARRON has a Ramos fizz (gin and egg white with a touch of lemon and lime) and pomegranate martini as well as Marys and mimosas, and PICABU BISTRO offers four different mimosas to match the beignets.

& lt;span class= "dropcap " & T & lt;/span & here are actually brunch clubs throughout the country where a group of people meet on certain weekends to linger over a meal with a Bloody Mary or a mimosa and talk about life in general. But even without a club, if you have time on the weekend and a yearning for eggs Benedict, sliced roast beef, fresh fruit and veggies, fluffy French toast, or pancakes slathered with thick maple syrup, check out a favorite brunch spot. And, while you're celebrating that leisure time, that slower pace of a busy life, a glass of sparkling wine and orange juice might just hit the spot.

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