Morning Glory: In Praise of Buffets
There's no better way to unleash your inner glutton than a buffet. It's the only place you can look dozens of foods in the eye and tell them to bring it on! No cooking or pondering over words on menus. Just show up in anything with an elastic waistband and dig in.
Mustard Seed Cafe
3885 W. Market St., Akron, 330-666-7333, mustardseedmarket.com
What sets it apart: All natural foods, vegan and vegetarian options. Number of dishes: More than 20 Most popular item: Crème brulee French toast. "Our French toast is baked with the crème brulee custard on the bottom. It's caramelized crispy on top, warm gooey underneath," says co-owner Abraham Nabors. Cost: $13.99
Blue Canyon Kitchen and Tavern
8960 Wilcox Drive, Twinsburg, 330-486-2583, bluecanyonrestaurant.com
What sets it apart: "In the lodge atmosphere, with wood details and fireplaces on, you don't feel like you're in Cleveland," says co-owner Val Voelker. Number of dishes: 24 Most popular item: Chef-carved prime rib, slow-cooked and seasoned with the special B.C.
steak rub. Cost: $26.95
12700 Lake Ave., Lakewood, 216-228-2250, selectrestaurants.com/pier
What sets it apart: "With the view of the water and city," says general manager Mark Kawada, "it's like going to a party every day." Number of dishes: 35 Most popular item: Classic bouillabaisse. Fish, shrimp and clams come together in a saffron tomato broth to provide a warm buffer for lake effect chills. Cost: $35
1515 W. Third St., Cleveland, 216-902-5255, ritzcarlton.com
What sets it apart: "I want to be as seasonal and as local as possible," says executive chef Richard Sören Arnoldi. Look for him to use cranberries this month. Number of dishes: 30 to 35 Most popular item: Arnoldi's grandfather's Danish smoked salmon recipe. "If we didn't have that on the lineup, there'd be a riot," he says. Cost: $47