Eat This Now: Brunch at the Phoenix Club

The Phoenix Club in Anaheim is best known for its Oktoberfest, for its Bierstube pub that serves German drafts at cut-rate prices during happy hour, and for being the home of many of the beer festivals that keep Orange Countians drunk and happy. Its Sunday brunch gets overlooked, which is a shame, because it's a great brunch.


Brunch is held in the Loreley Restaurant, which is cavernous in that Elks Lodge-like way; servers of a certain age attend the host desk and seat you in comfortable booths for Anaheim's best-kept brunch secret. You needn't sit when brought to your table; you can head straight for the buffet, and your server will fill your coupe with sparkling wine, your tumbler with orange juice, and your mug with coffee upon your return.

The buffet rivals Las Vegas in its completeness; there is an omelette station and a carved meat (usually joint of beef) station; there are outstanding breakfast sausages which pair well with hot sauerkraut or with stewed red cabbage. There are schnitzel and sauerbraten, fish in savory gravy, chicken, and rouladen on the savory side. If you're truly lucky, there will be a platter of lace-thin crêpes rolled around a lemon and curd cheese filling; try not to envision the calorie count, because you will certainly eat more than one. There are fruit blintzes, too, and pastries.

If you're looking for the more traditional German breakfast, the rolls and cold cuts that influence Continental breakfast platters all across Europe, you can have that too. Americans who just can't have breakfast without bacon and eggs are also well served. You would need a party of six to try everything on the buffet.

Unusually for a buffet, the service is excellent; they are generous with the wine, filling it while you are off reloading your plate, and the coffee is quite good. The patrons, too, tend to be better dressed than the schlubs who frequent Hometown Buffets and Souplantations.

Brunch is Sundays only, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and tends to be cancelled when the room is needed for large events, so check their website before making your weekend plans.

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