The Good: Richard Sandoval not only manages to create restaurants and food that are beautiful to look at, but the food is, more often than not, a delight, and the dishes served at his bottomless brunches are no exception. At Zengo, enjoy freshly made steamed buns stuffed with soft scrambled eggs smothered in cheese, sweet plantains, crispy tofu, lobster grits, delicious waffles, and much more. Masa 14 has flatbreads, omelets, and an hearty veggie Benedict served on challah with a hollandaise infused with green chilies. El Centro D.F. has a classic Mexican brunch with guacamole, tacos, and empanadas, while Ambar focuses on their Eastern European theme with crepes, a wild mushroom salad, paninis, and a rich cheese pie. All of these venues feature a $35 all you can eat and all you can drink brunch deal. And the best part? The drinks are tasty, quickly refilled, and not watered down.
The Bad: To be fair, Lincoln is not all bad. Drinks are good and service is exceptional, with friendly, accommodating staff that is willing to do anything to make your brunch a success. The only thing they can’t do is improve the food quality. The omelet station is a bore, grits are exceptionally gritty and covered in an insurmountable amount of cheese, and biscuits are too big, too dry, too bland. Eggs are undercooked, home fries are under seasoned, and even the serving of toast is a sad, barely toasted triangle of white bread. Come thirsty, not hungry. $37 gets you the all you can eat and all you can drink option, but you can get bottomless drinks for $19 and just order something small to eat.
The Ugly: It doesn’t get much worse than Bethesda’s Redwood. The miserable buffet features a bizarre medley of eggs, over cooked potatoes, pasta, and greasy green beans. Bread is nowhere in sight, desserts are unappetizing, and service is excruciatingly slow. Most of the buffet items look as though they have been sitting out for hours. Drinks are rarely refilled, tables and seats are dirty, and staff looks as unhappy as the food sitting on the buffet. Judging by the half empty venue at brunch time, it seems that locals agree that staying clear of Redwood is a wise decision. Even worse: the bottomless option at this venue is a whopping $40.