Monday, December 23, 2013

Brunch with Santa

One of our newer holiday traditions takes place on a Sunday morning in December. For the past few years, we've been going to Brunch with Santa at Salvatore's Italian Gardens in Lancaster, New York. 

Salvatore's has been a mainstay in Western New York for many years and I've enjoyed going there for years. I've been there for many reasons over the years, including weddings, dinner, brunch, work functions, holiday parties, etc. People tend to have strong opinions about this restaurant as well. My thoughts have always been the same - I've always enjoyed it. I've not had a bad meal in all the years I've been going there. The decor can be a bit much for some, but I like it, esepcially around Christmas. I think the reason I most enjoy it is that our kids love seeing the crazy amount of decorations and lights.

We recently made our annual pilgrimage to Salvatore's for Brunch with Santa and it was as enjoyable as ever. It was busier than most years, which precluded a trip to sit on Santa's lap, but our entire family still had fun.

Here's a photograph to give you an idea of the Christmas decorations:

During the brunch, the lounge area is transformed into the buffet area. There are chaffing dishes filled with all kinds of great things, as well as omelette stations, carving stations, a salad station, a breakfast bakery station, a dessert bar and an area with food especially for the kids.

Here's a look at the lounge area:

This is the main bar which is directly across from the lounge:

At the buffet, there are the usual breakfast staples such as scrambled eggs, apple wood smoked bacon, sausage and home fries. Eggs Benedict is also featured, along with poached salmon with dill butter, various vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes, and pot roast in gravy. The carving stations feature turkey, filet mignon and a wonderfully smoky ham. The omelette station features the typical accompaniments to construct your omelette: onions, peppers, bacon, cheese, tomatoes, etc. The salad station contained a strawberry, hearts of palm and spinach salad, along with a few others. There's also a breakfast bakery station with muffins, cinnamon rolls and other baked goodies.

I always enjoy the poached salmon and the trays of scrambled eggs always seem to be brought to the stations so quickly that I can always find soft, creamy scrambled eggs. Here's a look at my first plate:

The salmon was delicious as always. It was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The Eggs Benedict was also tasty, with the soft boiled egg cooked just right so the yolk was still runny when you cut into the center. The eggs were tender and creamy. A great first plate.

A few more plates followed. I enjoyed the carved ham, the turkey and some more salmon. The dessert station was amply stocked with all kinds of cookies, pastries, cannoli and more. The kids station featured chicken fingers, fries, pizza and the like for the picky eaters.

Another element of the brunch we look forward to are the cocktails. You can order a freshly made Bloody Mary with all kinds of things in it. Mimosas are available with orange juice, and you can typically get a strawberry bellini. For those of you who don't know, bellini is an Italian cocktail originally created at Harry's Bar in Venice. Traditionally, it's a mixture of peach nectar and prosecco. I usually opt for a bellini or just plain sparkling wine or prosecco:

It was another memorable Brunch with Santa enjoyed by all. Everyone enjoyed their meal and their cocktails. The kids enjoyed all the food, as well as walking around and looking at all the decorations and lights. This tradition is one we'll keep in our family for a long time.


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