I miss buffets. OK, maybe not my most refined statement, but I bet I’m not alone in pining for all-you-can-eat self-service. I long for the day that I can return to an Indian restaurant and pile a plate with saag paneer, korma, and tandoori chicken for a single price. Brunch? Someday, carving table, someday.
In the meantime, there is bottomless brunch at Maker’s Union. For $29.95 per person, Reston’s “pub for the people” allows diners to choose three selections from the “to share” portion of the menu and three “brunch favorites” or large plates. Enjoy them family-style until your stomach reaches capacity. Simple, right? It’s not quite a buffet, but during COVID times, it will do.
Goal No. 1: monkey bread. I assumed portions at bottomless brunch would be abbreviated. They’re not. My dining partner and I would have been fine eating just that pan of biscuits saturated with sticky caramel sauce and topped with maple-pecan praline.
But there was still a Scotch egg, made with sweet Italian sausage and sunk into a squiggle of Dijonnaise, and crispy Brussels sprouts flavored with hot honey, ginger, peanuts, and mint. And that was just the starters. I already knew seconds would not be happening.
Chicken and waffles, which my server said was her favorite dish on the menu, were a disappointment, with dry, over-floured chicken and unappealingly scallion-filled waffles. Much better are the sweet, fluffy strawberry-shortcake pancakes, which are crowned with whipped cream and fresh berries. But the best single plate was the most traditional. The Maker’s Union Breakfast features eggs cooked to the diner’s preference (mine were a pillowy, moist scramble); crunchy, highly seasoned potatoes; two biscuits; and crispy bacon.
For $17, I could have gone for bottomless mimosas, too, paying 25 cents for refills of flavors including watermelon, peach, and strawberry. But I wanted to keep things modest. Well, as modest as a six-course bottomless brunch can be. // 1811 Library St., Reston
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