It may only be April, but there’s no time like the present to start planning how you’re going to show your appreciation for your wife or mother on Mother’s Day, May 12. Bring her coffee in bed and a bouquet of flowers, and then take her out to brunch, a Mother’s Day tradition as old as dads playing golf on Father’s Day. You can’t go wrong with any of the brunches our writers have rounded up, but take heed: don’t disappoint your mother on Mother’s Day by waiting till the last minute to make reservations; all of these brunches usually sell out. ~ Melissa Siig

While the snow is melting and the river is flowing, I will be taking my mom to the River Ranch Lodge for Mother’s Day brunch. We enjoy the view, but what we really love is Chef Julia Walter’s food. Try the Berry French Toast ($15.95). Walter starts with griddled Truckee Sourdough bread, and then tops it with fresh berries, salted caramel ’n cream, and candied walnuts; applewood-smoked bacon is served on the side. The sweetness of the dish and the saltiness of the bacon go hand-in-hand. I always plan on a walk down the bike path to burn off the calories after brunch. So if you are thinking what I’m thinking, then try the Dungeness Crab Cake Benedict ($19.95): two Dungeness crab cakes on top of an English muffin, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and breakfast potatoes. This will give you the energy to enjoy the walk and, most importantly, an opportunity to enjoy time with Mom. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and reservations are highly recommended. Info: 2285 River Rd., corner of Highway 89 and Alpine Meadows Road, (530) 583-4264, ~ Rusty Johns

Looking for someplace different to celebrate Mother’s Day? Among other yummies, Petra, in the Village at Northstar, is mixing grapefruit Bellinis for its Mother’s Day brunch. Instead of champagne, the Bellini features Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, mixed with peach puree and an anti-oxidant dash of grapefruit juice ($7). Brunch also features some twists on old favorites like the Veggie Benedictino, a spinach, mushroom, and tomato version of eggs Benedict with sunny side up eggs on sourdough bread ($12). Appetizer dishes to share include spanakopita ($10), asparagus soup with dill ($7), and pressed sandwiches with honey-roasted figs, chevre, and crushed almonds ($10). With more than 150 wines to choose from, Mom should be able to find the perfect complement to any dish — from cumin meatballs ($10) to an arugula salad with almonds and medjool dates tossed in a champagne vinaigrette ($8). Info: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., reservations suggested,, (530) 562-0600. ~ Jackie Ginley


For my very first Mother’s Day as a mom eight years ago, we went to Sunnyside Resort for its Mother’s Day Brunch ($30 adults/$15 kids 10 and under). We were joined by five other couples who also were new parents, as well as my mother and grandmother, making it a special Mother’s Day with three generations of mothers and close friends. The buffet-style brunch, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., includes all the breakfast fixings you could possibly want, and more: pancakes, bacon and sausage, eggs Benedict, cinnamon French toast, grilled skirt steak, seafood, salads, bagels, and granola. My favorite is the made-to-order omelet bar, where I like to throw in mushrooms, cheese, tomatoes, and avocado. Be sure to save room for dessert, like chocolate éclairs, apple strudel, and chocolate-covered strawberries.

Two years later, when I was about to become a mom for the second time, my husband took me to Gar Woods’ Mother’s Day Brunch ($44.95 adults/$19.95 kids). If the weather is nice, you can sit outside on the deck overlooking Lake Tahoe. The brunch is similar to Sunnyside’s but includes some extras like a waffle station, a soft-serve ice cream stand, and a build-your-own-Bloody-Mary bar. For $10 extra, you get unlimited champagne. Reservations are highly recommended for both brunches. Info: Sunnyside Resort, 1850 West Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, (530) 583-7200,; Gar Woods Grill & Pier, 5000 North Lake Blvd., Carnelian Bay, (530) 546-3366, ~ Melissa Siig


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