(This review is from Sunday, April 29.)
The restaurant at the Omni Netherland Hilton in Carew Tower is called "Orchids at Palm Court", and Liz and I heard that the Brunch buffet was outstanding, so we decided to suck it up and pay whatever it cost to get it. We were rewarded handsomely!
Quality of food: 4.5
Quality of coffee: 5
Alcohol: sure they had it, but didn't try
Overall value: 4
First off, this is unlike previous Brunch outings in that it was a buffet....you walk in, grab a seat, order some coffee and go to town. Buffets are instant gratification since you can eat right away, but you take your chances with food that is mass-prepared and sits festering in metal trays for god knows how long.
Fortunately our worst buffet fears were not realized at Orchids. All of the food tasted fresh, and was warm (if it was supposed to be). There was an omelet-making station and a waffle station, both with all the best ingredients. There was fresh seafood salad, strawberries marinated in balsamic vinegarette (surprisingly tasty), shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon, and pastries galore. Not full yet? There was bacon and sausage and ham as well. And if you still had room left, there were the tarts and treats at the end. ALL of the food was delicious....observe:
Regarding the other factors, it was easy to concentrate just on the food, since there was so much of it and it was so good. However the coffee was also the best we've had so far. The service was pretty good - we sat in the "lounge" which reduced our cost from $30 a person to $25 each, so we weren't doted on, but we weren't smothered either. The atmosphere was decent: the space itself was beautiful and there was live piano music playing, however, neither of us were quite sure if we could just mosey in in street clothes, even though we did. There was also a large group of junior high school girls who created a small shriek fest, but it wasn't overly disturbing.
All in all, a great experience, and if you don't mind shelling out $25 and putting on a something more than the pajamas you just rolled out of bed in, I highly recommend it.