Seems I’m off on a tangent recently, posting about food non-stop. Blame it on the holidays. I’ve many more interests to address, but for now “’tis the season to be jolly”…and plumpy?
My daughter reminded me of a few other fabulous brunches. I’m hoping to entice you to try them some time. They require traveling, whether by plane or car, unless you’re lucky enough to have them in your own “back yard.”
The Halekulani Hotel on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu is my choice for buffet brunch, when I’m home visiting relatives. Offered only on Sundays, reservations are mandatory. Islanders and tourists alike line up for the gastronomical feast, so no amount of waiting for the tropical skies to align, will get you in without calling ahead for seating.
The setting alone will captivate your senses, ocean breezes wafting through the restaurant, gently touching your cheeks. Fragrant orchids and plumerias grace table settings and serving stations. Aromas from the bounteous variety of foods invite you to partake, quickly, before they all disappear, or so you think. At least that’s what I think.
While the usual, but not necessarily the exact, breakfast fare awaits you, like banana pancakes, portuguese sausage, roasted pig, bacon, rice, scalloped potatoes with cheese, sweet bread French toast, there’s also the “locals” favorites. There’s “poke”-raw tuna chunks in a seaweed, sea salt, vinaigrette; there’s “lomi-salmon” -salted salmon chunks mixed with diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, and chopped onions; there’s potato salad and macaroni salad prepared the island way; there’s a sushi spread; and an assortment of salads. Desserts will include another islander favorite, “haupia” cake, which is made with coconut milk. You will most definitely leave this island buffet sporting a full “opu,” the Hawaiian word for “belly.” As with most buffets, there’s no pressure to hurry. I make it a habit to sit back and dine leisurely, while staring out at the blue, Pacific waters. The view alone is worth the price; the amazingly yummy food is a bonus. Trust me, it’s all good!
The buffet brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, had been our family’s Christmas Day tradition for several years. After attending Mass, we’d eagerly make our way to the elegant hotel and their, just as elegant, spread. The grand staircase leading from the spacious front lobby, brought us to the second floor balcony where our eyes rested upon, what seemed like, an endless row of tables covered with platters of delectable foods.
As soon as the waiter took our beverage orders, we made our way around the u-shaped balcony, deciding our plan of attack. Of course I always began with a plateful of shrimp and cocktail sauce. You’ve probably surmised that I’m not very adventurous when it comes to food. You’re right! I pretty much stick with the “tried and true.” I hate to be disappointed. As I’ve told my husband and daughter, “I don’t waste my calories on food I don’t enjoy.” It’d be another story if I was skinny.
While there wasn’t anything particularly extraordinary about the Four Season’s buffet brunch, we enjoyed it enough to make it part of our tradition each Christmas. One specific incident which won my loyalty was when we returned one year, and found that caviar was not offered as it had previously been. Our daughter’s favorite, she was disappointed, but managed just fine without. Knowing how she had looked forward to the delicacy, I asked our waiter about the omission. He apologized, disappeared into the kitchen, returning moments later, with the treasured caviar, and accompaniments. His surprise garnered huge smiles from all three of us, but most especially our daughter. Now that’s what I call excellent customer service!
On our first and only visit to Las Vegas, my husband, daughter and me felt like family sitting down to a meal with relatives at the Paris Hotel’s buffet brunch. I remember that the food was very good, although the ambiance was a little too cozy. While the spacious restaurant was like the village scene from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” tables, and bodies, were a little too close for comfort. But hey! This was Las Vegas, after all. “When in Paris…”
I think I’ve gotten food out of my system, for a short while, anyway. Would love to learn of any buffet brunches you might recommend, wherever they may be. We don’t travel like we did in the “good old days,” but we still manage to get around, now and then. As I like to say, “Getting old, doesn’t mean we’re dead.” Getting there, but not quite yet. What’s that cliche? “Mountains to climb, and something, something, before I sleep.” I can never get those sayings right.
had a green salad, a scoop of chicken salad, and grapes for dinner. all that talk of food made me full…hugmamma. now for some exercise…island style.