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Finding the best Sunday Brunch restaurants
It seems like the Sunday Brunch has gone out of style or something. A lot of the great restaurants that once offered wide variety brunch menus seem to have disappeared. But if you look hard enough, there are a few worth the effort on a late Sunday morning
By Ray Hanania
Every Sunday, we used to drive to Willby’s in the old Holiday Inn in Willow Brook on Route 83 (Kingery Road and the Stevenson Expressway) to enjoy a copious brunch. They offered a huge assortment of food selections every Sunday in a circular, glass roofed foyer and tables and would set up tables in the restaurant and also in the hotel lobby. The service was always perfect and if you called in a reservation at least the day before, you would get a great table.
The buffet was amazing with several large tables offering a variety of meats, eggs, fish, side dishes, salads, and deserts. An omelette chef would prepare eggs on the side, and a butcher would slice tasty selections of ham, steak, and prime rib. They even had an ice cream chef.
We would go there often.
Another great spot that is still open if the buffet at 94 West Seafood and Steak Pasta restaurant in Orland Park. The buffet menu there smaller than most but it only offers the best food selections including top choice meat slices, an omelette chef and great table service.
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Another buffet worth traveling to was the one at the former Renaissance Hotel in Oka Brook. This one was on an upper floor of the hotel and not only offered a great view of the surrounding open-lands community, but a spectacular menu that was phenomenal.
These days, the alternative choices are just not that great. But we do check out a new one at Granite City Food & Brewery Restaurant in Orland Park.
Granite City has a great sit-down menu but a nice selection of buffet selections, the standard fare. It includes a long table with heated serving domes that include bacon, eggs, sausage, salmon salad, bagels, and hash browns. There is also a separate and large omelette bar where the chef not only prepares omeletes but also eggs Benedict. The waitress will also bring you freshly made caramel rolls (oh they are good), and will even bring your omelette so you don’t have to wait at the omelette bar for the eggs to be cooked.
The buffet is only $16.95 per person and they have ample seating. The only problem is it is located in the Mariano’s Mall area which is a traffic nightmare entering from LaGrange Road, or 151st Street. The mall is poorly laid-out and poorly managed. So many problems with vehicle accidents. But, if you have the courage to take on the mall’s traffic challenges, you will definitely enjoy this Sunday Brunch.
Sunday Brunches are hard to find these days, but if you have a favorite, share it in the comments section below (using either Disqus as a member or Facebook).
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and author, and a former Chicago City Hall political reporter. Email hi at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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