Breakfast before brunch

On Sundays, the Cafe at the Four Seasons serves breakfast until the 10:30 beginning of brunch. Breakfast may be ordered from the menu and individually prepared, or the diner may walk through the buffet line. We don’t entertain the sort of visitors who are willing to wait long enough for brunch. Upon arriving people are asked whether they’d prefer to be seated indoors or out. Those who dine outside are either first-timers in Austin or have lost their olfactory sense, since the predominant aura in the grounds is one of bat guano.

The tableware is silver-plated, the napkins are cloth, the coffee is good and strong. At the buffet were eggs benedict, lean bacon, and fat sausage links. Large goblets of fresh-squeezed orange, pineapple, and grapefruit juice were constantly replenished. Fresh fruit included pineapple, two kinds of melon, and three kinds of berries. There were beautiful buttery pan-fried potatoes. A plain lemon-flavored coffeecake was delicious. The blueberry muffin was too sweet for this person’s taste. The biscuits were great. The plain croissants were tasty and beautiful objects, although perhaps the pastry was not folded as many times as Sweetish Hill’s.

The patrons appeared to be chiefly prosperous visitors in town for the football game. There were a couple of notables seated discreetly in the corners.

The Statesman and the NYT were available gratis. The restrooms offer rolled-up cloth towels instead of hand-dryers or paper towels. As always, it’s difficult to park without using the underground garage, but at least on this particular Sunday the attendants there on weekdays to keep out riffraff such as state employees and patrons of the Shoreline Grill were not occupying the booth at the garage exit.

It appears that the buffet breakfast costs about half what the buffet brunch does. As our party left, the brunch buffet was being set up. There were ice-buckets filled with bottles of champagne or champagne-equivalent. The signs were going up to mark the additional food tables. Codfish cakes were to be among the new items. Near the door, waiting for departing brunch attendees, were tiered cake plates and trays of beautiful small pastry delicacies, including elegant tiny cookies.

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