Where to Find the Best brunch Buffets in Delaware (and Over the Line)
From Newark’s Deerfield to Victoria’s Restaurant in Rehoboth and Brandywine Prime right over the line, there’s no shortage of locales to indulge in the spread.
Brunch is the meal where you eat for two—day parts that is. Consequently, calories rarely count. The urge to indulge also comes from the meal’s social aspect. “Whether it’s after church, before church or with family, out-of-town guests or friends, it’s the way to end the weekend right or start the new week right,” says Stephen Cobb, food and beverage director at the Boardwalk Plaza in Rehoboth Beach.
And there’s no better way to please a table of appetites than to belly up to a buffet. “You can have a little bit of this and a little bit of that,” says Jeff Robinson, director of sales at Deerfield, a golf course, grill and special event venue in Newark.
The process might take all day at Deerfield, whose Sunday buffet covers more than 111 feet of space in the 10,000-square-foot ballroom. The raw bar is laden with shrimp cocktail, oysters on the half shell, crab claws, smoked fish and sushi. There are salads, poultry, pastries, sausage and home fries. New this year: chili-sugar bacon.
Make a pit stop at the omelet and Belgian waffle stations then satisfy your sweet tooth at the dessert table. Just when you think you can’t eat another bite, sous chef Lauren White will bid you goodbye with warm donut holes, packaged as a take-way treat. “It’s a bit of a surprise,” Robinson says. The cost is $33.95 per adult. Children 12 and under get in for free. (One per paying adult.)
For a buffet with a view, head to Victoria’s Restaurant in the oceanfront Boardwalk Plaza in Rehoboth Beach. The sumptuous spread is offered from mid-September to just after Mother’s Day. (In summer people prefer to spend Sunday mornings on the beach.) here’s a station for omelets and waffles, as well as a carving station for roasted meat, such as pork loin, prime rib or brisket. You’ll find salads, breakfast meats, fresh fruit and a beef, poultry and seafood dish. You’ll also find a raw bar with shrimp and oysters on the half shell. Eggs Benedict du jour are prepared to order in the kitchen. The buffet, which runs from 10 a.m. until about 2 p.m., is $24.95. The musical entertainment is free.
At nearby Bethany Blues on Del. 1 in Lewes, the restaurant’s trademark barbecue is on display at its brunch buffet, along with Surf Bagel’s goodies, fresh fruit and waffle and omelet stations. The brunch is $19.99 for adults; $9.99 for kids under 12.
If you’re noting a pattern here, it undoubtedly includes an on-site chef. “One of the things that gets brunch going is the action stations,” agrees Ludovic Bezy, chef de cuisine at Michele’s in Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover.
Michele’s goes beyond made-to-order omelets and waffles by also featuring a crepe station and a center-stage station, which showcases such unusual items as whole pig, alligator, rattlesnake and a whole 7-foot long swordfish. Call it brunch and a show. “You should see our customers’ eyes,” Bezy says. “They take pictures.”
Michele’s brunch also offers lamb chops, prime rib, shrimp and salads for the mainstream diner. The cost is $25.95.
If you want to see and be seen at the buffet, or mark a special occasion, make reservations at the elegant Green Room in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. Priced at $38, buffet items might include sweet potato waffles with plum compote, brioche French toast, salmon in white truffle cream sauce and mini-crème brûlée. Don’t forget the macaroons.
Some restaurants combine a la carte with a buffet. At Brandywine Prime Seafood and Chops in Chadds Ford, for instance, diners visit the buffet for such goodies as shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon and bagels, cheese, charcuterie meats, salads, quiche and pastries. They also select a dish from the menu, including French toast—made with brioche and served bananas foster-style—eggs Benedict, a crab cake, burger or salmon.
“For $19.95, you get all that food,” says chef de cuisine Jason Barrowcliff. “It’s very successful.” Many people combine brunch with a visit to Longwood Gardens or the Brandywine River Museum, he notes. The fee for kids 12 and under is $10.95. Children under 4 may eat for free.
Guests love these buffet brunches because there’s so much choice. Chefs like it because it can let them flex their imagination. “My dedicated team takes so much pride in putting up an exceptional brunch week after week,” Bezy says.
For both, it’s a culinary send-off to the weekend. Says Bezy: “Brunch is like the cherry on the cake.”