A Bountiful Bunch of Brunches

Celebrate Mother’s Day (or any day) with family and friends while enjoying the inviting variety that brunches offer.

Brunch is about sharing something special in a serene setting, a country destination or a rollicking café. It is a place to indulge in buttery egg dishes, chef’s specialties, sinful sauces and chocolaty, crispy desserts, ensuring a medley of foods that capture two meals: breakfast and lunch.

Toast to moms with nose-tickling mimosas, escort dads to chef’s carving stations and share bites of macaroons and mousse with your closest friends.

Here are a bunch of “bacon and egg” brunches and then some.

Savory Elegance

Each Sunday, you can hear the clinking of glasses, merry chatter from diners and utensils rapping against hot plates of classic fare at The Orchard inside the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel downtown Appleton.

The restaurant offers an elegant champagne brunch in a garden atrium, presenting prepared salads, fresh fruit, peel-and-eat shrimp and international cheeses. With the exception of Mother’s Day and Easter, guests may enjoy a free glass of champagne or sparkling grape juice before exploring the serving tables.

Another large circular table offers 15 anticipated brunch items, such as scrambled eggs, French toast and an array of specialty dishes of pork, beef, poultry and seafood.

The made-to-order omelet station offers crepes and Belgian waffles, as well as hand-carved leg of lamb, prime rib and shoulder of pork. Select your pasta with topping and sauce at yet another station and enjoy it with a Caesar salad accented with shrimp, sausage or chicken.

Guests can dip into the cascading chocolate fountain at the extravagant dessert bar or choose any of the many, weekly dessert items.

Brunches provide good value by offering competitive pricing on the all-you-can-eat buffets and special brunch-menu items.

Remington’s, located in the Holiday Inn Neenah Riverwalk Hotel, hosts a charming and ever-changing champagne Sunday brunch buffet touted as one of the area’s best. Relax and enjoy a leisurely meal in the carefully appointed, classic-style dining room with linen tablecloths and gentle lighting.

Executive chef Wes Karcheski and veteran brunch chef Jeff Tews offer about 10 hot entrées that change each week. There’s always something new that carries a creative, seasonal or regional flair.

For regular Sunday brunches, separate serving tables and chefs’ stations are set up in the hotel’s lobby area. Brunch guests are seated at the lined-draped tables in the restaurant, and can order coffee, champagne, mimosas and juice.

One serving table offers creative salads, smoked salmon and peel-and-eat shrimp. The hot entrée table is set with the day’s specials, as well as scrambled eggs, breakfast meats and potato dishes. Another table is resplendent with muffins, chocolate swirl cheesecake and other baked treats. At the “omelet action station,” guests choose their ingredients; while the carving station opens with roast prime rib, which may be followed later in the day by roast turkey or ham.

Remington’s Mother’s Day brunch buffet will host guests in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, with additional entrées of chef-carved roast steamship pork, as well as roasted sirloin, pesto chicken, haddock Oscar, fresh strawberry blintzes and other mother-pleasing treats.

Sweet Sunday Fun

“On Sundays, we go through a lot of food,” says Marlene Kringle, a veteran waitress at The Main Event Steakhouse in Little Chute. “We have a lot of regulars who come in to share their family events and special occasions.”

First-time guests are advised to take some time to scan the generous buffet-style brunch. There are sirloin tips with rice, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, roasted and baked chicken, scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, pancakes and seafood alfredo. The peel-and-eat shrimp are just one of the above-the-ordinary buffet draws.

The steakhouse is expecting more than 600 guests on Mother’s Day, so owner Jim Buchinger suggests that diners make their reservations early. “It’s great to see everyone filling up their plates and enjoying their families,” Kringle adds.

Its affordability is an added bonus, with the “BO-GOF,” buy-one-come-back-and-get-one-free, meal coupon printed on each guest receipt.

Serving up a tempting variety of all-American favorites, Appleton’s Charcoal Grill and Rotisserie Restaurant cooks several of its buffet items over wood for a summery barbecue zest and serves them in a casual, fun and family-friendly atmosphere.

Fourteen television sets can keep Dad and the young ones busy, while Mom visits the build-your-own omelet station.

When the entire family is ready to order, choose from scrambled eggs nestled in a Benedict, wood-fired brick breakfast pizzas, chicken and pasta salads.

On Mother’s Day and holidays, the buffet is enhanced with items such as baked cod, and baby-back pork ribs, fresh from the grill.

For families with picky children, the menu includes chicken “dino-nuggets” served with a creamy cheese sauce for topping or dipping and French fries.

Breakfast From the Bayou

If you grow weary of buffets, let your good times roll with a creative Sunday brunch menu rich with Cajun options.

Owned by Marti and Charlie Cross, The Menasha Grill offers classic Creole items like breakfast jambalaya biscuits and beignets, crawfish Étouffée and New Orleans-original French toast spiked with cinnamon.

This nine-time winner of the our “Best Cajun Cuisine” Golden Fork Award has a knack for presenting different and ample dishes, such as the Broke Pirogue: a three-egg omelet stuffed with sirloin, ham, chicken and pepper jack cheese, and Boudreaux’s Grande Isle Soufflé: stuffed with crawfish, cream cheese and scallions and topped with Cajun cream sauce.

For larger appetities, order the Big Bayou Breakfast: a scramble of alligator, crawfish and andouille sausage with two fresh eggs, onions, green peppers and is served on a bed of home fries.

Refresh with a mint julep as you consider whether you should keep this Sunday option a secret.

Supper Club Setting

The Darboy Club’s Sunday brunch buffet offers a generous, yet affordable family-pleasing buffet. Guests enjoy scrambled eggs, breakfast meats, French toast sticks, baked ham, roast beef, fried shrimp, mashed potatoes with gravy and more, as well as Darboy’s award-winning broasted chicken.

Groups from 10 to 100 may be seated in the semi-private Heritage Room, while the spacious Heritage Hall can welcome guests with or without reservations. On a typical Sunday, 200–300 guests are served. The restaurant is expecting about 1,600 on Mother’s Day!

But don’t worry about the wait or the quality of your meal; the staff is more than capable, and the buffet lines are arranged for easy access.

“We’re oriented to a family setting, where people know they can consistently get a good meal at a reasonable price,” says Randy Ashauer, who co-owns The Darboy Club with Mark Tatron.

Worth the Drive

Accessible by boat or vehicle, Sherwood’s High Cliff Restaurant, located alongside High Cliff State Park’s golf course, offers made-to-order omelets, a popular homemade French toast, smoked salmon, tenderloin tips and seafood alfredo.

On Mother’s Day and other holidays, diners also enjoy carved roast sirloin, fresh shrimp and home-style desserts.

Head up to Ted’s Grandview, just west of downtown Fremont, and settle in to enjoy its “million dollar view” and a buffet presenting peel-and-eat shrimp, eggs, broasted chicken, a fish dish, salads, smoked salmon, and a “bottomless glass of champagne.” All that and the Wolf River, too!

Another riverside-view destination is Becket’s, located on the Fox River near Jackson Street in Oshkosh. The Sunday brunch buffet changes weekly, with a carving station that may offer ham, roast turkey or roast beef, as well as egg dishes, salads and sides. You may be sure of eggs Benedict, French toast or pancakes, a potato dish, chicken, a pasta presentation and creative desserts. “We like to be creative. There’s always something special, with lots of variety,” says owner Chris Larson.

Offering “shabby chic décor” and sophisticated comfort food with Moroccan accents, Green Bay’s á’Bravo Bistro and Wine Bar puts a fancy flair on Sunday brunch. With lanterns, chandeliers and tented areas, the restaurant offers an exotic yet fun ambiance. Made-to-order dishes include French toast strata, and an oven-baked custard-soaked toast topped with apple butter, maple syrup, dollop of cream and toasted pecans. The cream tortellini can be enjoyed with shrimp or chicken and a creamed pesto, fresh tomatoes and Parmesan. The Bloody Mary doubles as a salad, loaded with mushrooms, olives, orange and lemon wedges.

Whether a timeless tradition or sporadic adventure, a brunch outing gives us time to count our blessings and savor good food.

—By Lynn Kuhns

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