Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Café du Parc Breakfast Review

French Family Kitchen Buffet - Plate #1

You wouldn't expect to pay only $25 for the French Family Kitchen Buffet at Café du Parc inside the Willard International Hotel; but that's exactly what it costs for one of the nicer buffet breakfasts in all of DC. Just think, all-you-can-eat food and drink (coffee, tea and select juices) at a historic & prestigious address... for the price of a movie ticket, candy and soda. Sold.

Café du Parc is fancy, but not at all pretentious (at least on this particular visit.) The hotel plays home to some pretty heavy hitters; so the risk is there, I suppose. However, there's no risk of receiving bad service: The staff here is absolutely top-notch (and old school.) I asked the host for a quiet table, and was given a table with a view of Pennsylvania Avenue. Not exactly a "hidden nook," but the dining room isn't all that big to begin with. At least I had easy access to the impressive (and varied) buffet station.

French Family Kitchen Buffet - Plate #2

My server was Roy, who politely introduced himself before escorting me to the buffet for a quick Breakfast 101. That's only happened once before (at Juniper, last year) and they went on to win our Restaurant of the Year. Needless to say, I was impressed. Speaking of, the selection of food was just as impressive. All the basics, including to-die-for scrambled eggs, apple wood smoked bacon, country sausage, salmon and French Toast. The atmosphere was professional, with a gentle buzz of conversation throughout. No carrying on, that's for sure. No families either (thank God.)

Rye Toast

The first of two plates had my usual go-to-items. Bacon was thin & crispy with zero fat. Scrambled eggs were a little runny and PERFECT. Roy stopped by to mention they could cook them to order, as well. No thanks: You can't improve on perfection (but I really appreciate his offering.) Strawberries and tomatoes were fresh and tasty; and the potatoes a little under-seasoned, but sufficiently crispy. The only negative (one that would be rectified on my second plate) was cold sausage. Mind you, they were still tasty, but cold. The mini croissant wasn't cold (nor warm either) but very flaky.

Orange Juice (included in the buffet)

Fresh squeezed Orange Juice comes at no extra cost, with water too (both frequently refilled, even when half-full.) The staff is very attentive; and they passed my clean plate/flatware test with flying colors, when I returned with my second (and final) plate of food. Plate #2 included another delicious serving of eggs (quite possibly, the best I've ever had from a buffet) with a wedge of French Toast (cold and unmemorable) two hot sausage links (what a vast improvement) a lovely piece of apple strudel (not too sweet) a very sweet mini peach croissant and a sticky bun/ball that can only be described as sublime. Toss in two slices of rye toast (Roy also showed me how to properly use the toaster... I was a bit confused) with butter, and I was officially full. To be honest, the two guys at the next table wouldn't stop talking, and I wanted to get out of there sooner than later.

The check was delivered immediately, and Roy (and another, unnamed server) wished me well. Four (out of four) stars for service, 2½ for food (but 4 for the eggs and sticky bun) and a solid three overall. Great value too. Merci beaucoup.