Weekend brunch is so much better than breakfast -- more leisurely, more entertaining and certainly more indulgent. Going to brunch lets you sleep late, eat especially well and spend some quality time with people you like -- even if it's just yourself.
Whether you prefer an over-the-top Sunday buffet or a creative made-to-order menu, metro Detroit has more worthy options than you can visit in a whole year of weekends.
If you haven't been brunching lately, spring's a great time to rediscover this festive but affordable way of dining out.
Don't know where to begin? We've rounded up 10 popular spots (in alphabetical order) to get you started. Scattered from Lake St. Clair to Ann Arbor, they represent a combination of brunch menus and buffets, old favorites and newcomers, casual family spots and date-worthy destinations.
Stuffed French toast with warm berry coulis, anyone?
Restaurants are listed in alphabetical order. Buffet prices do not include taxes and tip. Prices for menu entrées are averages. Reservations are recommended if the venue accepts them.
Atlas Global Bistro, Detroit -- What a chic space and urbane clientele you'll find at lovely white-tablecloth Atlas, with its storefront windows facing Woodward. Executive chef John Golen's eclectic Sunday brunch menu fits the scene perfectly. Entrée choices ($7-$13) range from Mexican breakfast tacos with chorizo and eggs to wild-rice porridge with toasted almonds and hazelnuts, cranberries, apricots, maple syrup and cream. Feel free to dress up a bit. Bar opens at 10 a.m.; brunch served 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun. (3111 Woodward, 313-831 2241; atlasglobalbistro.com)
Beverly Hills Grill, Beverly Hills -- Brunch lovers stand in line for the Grill's always-creative chalkboard specials ($9-$12), but even the regular breakfast menu features inventive combinations like the Potato Latke "Sandwich" -- a tower of Canadian bacon, Brie, over-easy egg and sweet onion. Crab cakes Benedict and the lobster-Cobb omelet are longtime crowd favorites. Service is smart and attentive. Brunch served 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. and Sun. Bar opens at 8 a.m. Sunday. (31471 Southfield Road, 248-642-2355; beverlyhillsgrill.com )
The Brookshire Restaurant, Rochester -- There may be no more serene place for brunch than the Royal Park Hotel's Brookshire Restaurant, where diners can enjoy the quiet, traditional main dining room or the light-filled, marble-floored gallery beside it. Either way, service is excellent. And the Saturday and Sunday brunch menu is exceptional, from traditional choices such as raised Belgian waffles and eggs Benedict to much more contemporary creations, such as the memorable Breakfast Maison Pizza. (Most entrées low- to mid-teens.) Bar service is available before noon on Sunday. Brunch 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.-Sun. (600 E. University, 248-453-8732; royalparkhotel.net )
Café Muse, Royal Oak -- Chef Greg Reyner writes a creative new brunch menu every weekend, adding up to 10 new entrées ($8-$10) to the dozen already offered for weekday breakfasts. Choices range from smoked salmon scramble with Gruyère and chives to whimsical items like Carrot Cake Pancakes with raisins, orange, ginger and spices. You'll never be bored by the food or the smart, diverse clientele. Nice beverage selections, but alcohol not available until noon Sunday. Pretty dining room has a warm European feel, close-set tables and a lively hum. Brunch menu served 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.-Sun. (418 S. Washington, 248-544-4749; cafemuseroyaloak.com)
Forte, Birmingham -- The only problem with executive chef Rich Travis' brunch menu is that it's tough to decide which of the 20 creative, diverse offerings ($6-$12) to go for. From the baked eggs-with-short-ribs skillet to the banana-stuffed French toast with maple syrup and crème Anglaise, there's something for virtually every taste. The white-tablecloth dining room is elegant but not stuffy, and in nice weather, sidewalk tables on Old Woodward offer good people-watching. Brunch served 10 a.m.-3 p.m., but no bar sales before noon. (201 S. Old Woodward, 248-594-7300; forterestaurant.com )
Fratello's, Trenton -- Sunday buffet lovers Downriver head to Fratello's for made-to-order omelets and Belgian waffles, plus a wide selection of breakfast favorites from crisp, thick-cut bacon and French toast to corned beef hash and poached eggs. Lunch-like entrées include roasted top sirloin in mushroom gravy, cheesy chicken and broccoli, and mostaccioli, along with peel-and-eat shrimp, salads, fresh fruit, cheese and crackers, and many dessert options. Brunch served 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. $13.95, kids 4-10 $6.95, free for children 3 and under. Full bar, but Sunday sales don't begin until noon. (4501 Fort, 734-692-1730; fratellos-mi.com )
Gandy Dancer, Ann Arbor -- The gorgeous Michigan Central Depot, home to Gandy Dancer, makes a lovely setting for this lavish white-tablecloth Sunday brunch. The buffet's large selection of seafood includes oysters on the half shell, shrimp, smoked salmon and more, along with carving stations for roast beef and ham; excellent made-to-order waffles; omelets made for you in the kitchen, and everything else you'd expect. Live jazz floats down to the dining rooms from upstairs. Excellent service. Brunch served 10 a.m.-2 p.m. $23.95, children 12 and under $11.95. (401 Depot St., 734-769-0592; muer.com)
Gino's Surf, Harrison Township -- This long-established banquet hall with sweeping views of Lake St. Clair serves a casual Sunday buffet with made-to-order omelets, hand-carved roast beef, plus fresh waffles, French toast and house-made crêpes. There are more than 15 other hot dishes, plus salads and desserts. The food isn't fussy, but it's fresh, tasty and house-made, and the uniformed servers are friendly and attentive. Patio seating; slips for 20 boats. Well-suited to groups and families. Serves 11 a.m.-3 p.m. $18.95, children 4-7 $8.95, ages 3 and under free with paying adult. Reservations suggested for six or more. Bar opens at noon. (37400 Jefferson, 586-468-2611; ginossurf.com)
Jumps, Grosse Pointe Farms -- Breakfast has always been a strong suit at Jumps, where chef-owner Chad Stewart emphasizes fresh ingredients and creative combinations. But he takes it up a notch for Saturday and Sunday brunch, writing a new menu every weekend. Recent entrées (about $10) have included roasted asparagus-and-duck confit omelet, house-made wild-boar-and-roasted-poblano sausage omelet and baked, four-berry-and-almond French toast. Brunch menu served 8 a.m.-noon Sat., 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun. Bar begins service at 8 a.m. (63 Kercheval, 313-882-9555; jumpsrestaurant.com )
Pine Knob Mansion, Clarkston -- Word is spreading about the Sunday buffet at the former home of Col. Sidney Dunn Waldon, once vice president of Cadillac Motor Car Co. The mansion is a popular site for weddings and private events, but owners opened it a year ago for weekly Sunday brunches with carving stations, made-to-order omelets and waffles, and a wide array of other features. The imposing 1927 home, set near the Pine Knob ski run, features a patio where guests can dine in summer with a view of the distant hills. Sunday bar service begins at 10 a.m.; brunch served 10 a.m.-2 p.m. $19.95, children 4-12 $12.95, free for 3 and under. (5580 Waldon, 248-625-0700; pineknobmansion.com/events/index.html )
Contact Sylvia Rector: 313-222-5026 or email@example.com. Kristen Jordan Shamus contributed to this report.