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Best Sunday Brunch Buffet in Philadelphia??

michael Aug 29, 2011 12:01 PM

A close friend and I are searching for the most recommended Sunday brunch buffet - preferably within Philadelphia, though we would consider the suburbs as well. I have read that the offerings at Water Works are very good; and I presume a very pleasant atmosphere would be found at a table overlooking the river on a nice day. We are of course searching for quality food and impressive selection. Cost is not a concern.

Thank you in advance for your direction!

  1. m
    michael Sep 6, 2011 08:49 AM

    We decided on the Sunday brunch buffet at the Swann Lounge in the Four Seasons. I can't speak highly enough of the variety of options and the taste of them all. Absolutely amazing on both fronts. The service at the Four Seasons - from start to finish - is of course far superior than that at any other restaurant I've been. The meal is not inexpensive, however as a treat, if the menu fits what you are searching for, I can't imagine a more enjoyable experience.

    2 Replies
    1. re: michael
      FayeD Sep 6, 2011 09:03 AM

      Thanks for reporting back. Were any dishes particularly memorable?

      1. re: FayeD
        michael Sep 7, 2011 05:00 AM

        The desserts were all fantastic. As were the traditional breakfast items: lox (smoked salmon) and bagels, omelets, sausage/bacon, waffles, etc. The pasta dishes were very flavorful. The jumbo lump crabcake with purple potato and basil sauce was delicious. I was unfortunately not able to try each and every offering but do not remember a single item that wasn't wonderful. I would gladly make the Swann Lounge Sunday brunch buffet a personal annual tradition.

    2. s
      sylviag Aug 29, 2011 11:27 AM

      Brunch at LaCroix was one of my all-time favorite meals.
      Other places, including the Water Works, don't come close.
      Go for it.
      Book early; they fill up.

      7 Replies
      1. re: sylviag
        cava8 Aug 30, 2011 05:34 AM

        Had brunch at LaCroix Sun. a week ago. Still talking about it ! The best brunch experience we've ever had.

        1. re: cava8
          michael Aug 30, 2011 07:20 AM

          The Sunday brunch at LaCroix looks wonderful; difficult to find a larger and more interesting menu I'm sure. Though it does appear however to lean more towards the lunch end of brunch than breakfast.

          While we are searching for items such as a carving station, we are hoping to find the traditional breakfast staples as well including fresh Belgium waffles, made-to-order omelets, breakfast pastries, etc.; on which LaCroix does not seem to focus. Though again, their brunch menu looks creative and delicious.

          1. re: michael
            Hungryin theBurbs Aug 30, 2011 07:42 AM

            The buffet at the Swann Lounge fits your criteria exactly. It is our go-to for family occasions--the kids can have waffles and the like, while the adults tend to go for a broader sampling. They have live jazz, very pleasant and high quality. (LaCroix is more exciting, but sometimes exciting isn't what you need).

            1. re: Hungryin theBurbs
              Hungryin theBurbs Aug 30, 2011 08:04 AM

              Should have added--Swann Lounge is in the Four Seasons.

              1. re: Hungryin theBurbs
                michael Aug 30, 2011 08:12 AM

                Thank you, Hungryin theBurbs. Swann Lounge's Sunday brunch menu is unbelievable.

            2. re: michael
              Delucacheesemonger Aug 30, 2011 07:59 AM

              Their sticky buns are as good as Balthazar in NY, and for me as good as it gets.

              1. re: michael
                crazyspice Aug 30, 2011 09:30 AM

                My husband gets a made-to-order omelette regularly at Lacroix. There are a number of items being carved in the kitchen, including their house made scallop sausage.

          2. sockii Aug 29, 2011 11:00 AM

            Another vote for Lacroix, absolutely above and beyond any other options.

            1. Delucacheesemonger Aug 29, 2011 10:36 AM

              Add to others, only great game in town.And if you book now, you will get 30% off as well as wines @50% also, thus a wine normally selling for $ 100 would net out at $35.

              11 Replies
              1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                michael Aug 29, 2011 10:49 AM

                Thank you, Delucacheesemonger. How would one secure the 30% off?

                I do remain interested in alternate recs as well.

                1. re: michael
                  FayeD Aug 29, 2011 10:52 AM

                  Delucacheesemonger - I am interested in the 30% off as well. However, if you think you will get it with Savored I believe the brunch is excluded from that. Is there another deal going on?

                  1. re: michael
                    Delucacheesemonger Aug 29, 2011 01:31 PM

                    Just go to opentable.com and they will link to you to it. Costs $10 for reservation but the 30% will be taken off your bill automatically at the restaurant. Yes it does work for brunch as l reserved on the site for brunch.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                      FayeD Aug 29, 2011 02:05 PM

                      Is this something through Opentable.com and not Savored? I copied the following from Savored regarding LaCrox.

                      " Not valid during Restaurant Week, on the 3-Plate pre fixe luncheon, nor brunch.
                      Cannot be combined with any other deal or promotion.
                      An automatic 18% gratuity will be added to pre-discounted bill.

                      savored value
                      off all food & drink"

                      I know Open Table has had different promotions but didn't know they had a current one for LaCrox?

                      1. re: FayeD
                        Delucacheesemonger Aug 29, 2011 02:41 PM

                        Just go to the site. Going to Prime Rib on same deal tomorrow with a hound or two. Found it here, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/803664

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                          FayeD Aug 30, 2011 04:47 AM

                          Thanks. I went to your link and LaCrox doesn't come up as of August 30. I think it may have yesterday, but when I tried to enter a few Sunday September dates around brunch time, it showed nothing available. I think you got a great deal that probably isn't around right now.

                          1. re: FayeD
                            barryg Aug 30, 2011 04:55 AM

                            They might just be booked--last time I made a Lacroix brunch res, I couldn't find anything available for 3-4 weeks.

                            1. re: FayeD
                              Philly Ray Aug 30, 2011 05:07 AM

                              It does appear that Lacroix has been removed from the 30% off Open Table offer.

                              1. re: Philly Ray
                                cocobinga Aug 30, 2011 06:55 AM

                                I hope they still honor discount on the reservations already made.

                                Also, I'm pretty bummed to find that I can't make a reservation as a solo diner. Would a walk-in be accepted or is there no place for me? :(

                                1. re: cocobinga
                                  Buckethead Aug 30, 2011 06:56 AM

                                  Did you try calling them?

                                  1. re: cocobinga
                                    barryg Aug 30, 2011 07:59 AM

                                    They have a small bar and I think they reserve walk-in space for hotel guests. I'm not sure that they usually do the full buffet at those spots but I would be surprised if they wouldn't let you. But yea, call ahead and ask.

                    2. f
                      FayeD Aug 29, 2011 10:09 AM

                      I agree LaCroix is wonderful. I have never been to the Fountain for brunch, however.

                      1. crazyspice Aug 29, 2011 09:59 AM

                        +2 for Lacroix. Nothing else comes remotely close.

                        1. c
                          cwdonald Aug 29, 2011 08:16 AM

                          There is only one answer.. and it is LaCroix. Fantastic food,

                          On holidays, when the Fountain still does brunch, the Four Seasons is outstanding.. but they have for all intents and purposesgotten out of the brunch business.

                          In the suburbs, I still like William Penn Inn (baseball caps and sloppily dressed patrons not withstanding ... ) others will differ on this. Perhaps its just beause I am aging and becoming more like their blue blood crotchety type target audience.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: cwdonald
                            taoseno Aug 29, 2011 08:39 AM

                            what cwdonald said, it's LaCroix and nothing else comes close, it's worth every penny.

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