Universal Hilton

After reading the Madame Matisse posting, do a 180 degree turn and you'll have the Universal Hilton sunday brunch Boo-Fay. Maybe it was because it was Father's day, but the place was crowded. I mean you have to use your chinese "lack of personal space" skills just to walk around. It had a distinct Las Vegas feel to it. Maybe it was all the chinese and filipinos that were eating there.

Foodwise, it was good. Not the best brunch I've ever had, and not the worst.

There was a huge seafood table with dungeness crab, king crab, stone crab, lobster, shrimp, oysters and seafood pate. While you think this is the high price item, you could almost skip it. The oysters on the half shell were not good, the king crab and lobster were till partially frozen and watery, the dungeness crab was okay, but I'd rather have mine hot with ginger and onion, shrimp, well it's boiled shrimp and I like peel-and-eat shrimp.

Next to the seafood table is the sushi area. Once again, it sounds good on paper, but you want to stay away from this too. They have salmon, halibut and tuna sashimi on a giant platter. Sashimi and giant platter shouldn't be said together without the word NOT somewhere in there. They also have the custom handroll. I guess that's okay, didn't get one.

In the another room they have traditional salad stuff, didn't get it, and other cooked chinese/asian dishes. Beef and broccoli, kalbi, potstickers..... in this room is the freezer where you can get the ice cream truck special. When I first went in they had individual Haagen Daaz cups, dibs and other assorted treats. When I went back a second time, they only had half melted snickers ice cream bars, ice cream sandwiches, strawberry shortcake bars, and butterfinger bars. Tip, go early and have ice cream first. There was also a dessert table which I did not partake in.

Next to the sushi station there was a pasta bar where you can choose your sauce, pasta and toppings and a guy puts it all together. Didn't try this one either, filler.

Across from the pasta bar is the mixed bag table. You have roasted fingerling potatoes, mac & cheese, some pasta dish, siu mai, haw gow, pastries and breads. I had the haw gow and siu mai since Allen likes that. I didn't eat much since Allen took the haw gow from me, ate the filling and returned the wrapper back to me. The joys of being a parent.

Next to the mixed bag table is the meat carving station. You have your prime rib, turkey, ham, lamb and.....roast pork, with the crispy skin. I only had to roast pork. Tip, ask the meat carver guy to only give you the skin. The hoisin sauce and green onions are right on the table. I meant to go back for more of the meats, but I didn't get a chance.

Across from the meat table is another mixed table. More breads and pastries and drinks. There was a hot chocolate urn, which I wasn't sure it was 100% hot chocolate. It tasted like there was some vanilla and maybe something else. Sort of like the mexican champurrado without the cinnamon. There was also an orange juice and apple juice dispenser on the table.

Outside in the atrium area is a grill station. They have ribs, steak, hamburgers hot dogs, some sort of sausage and lamb chops. I had the sausage, okay, needed more spices, it might have been good in a bun with mustard and onions and peppers, but I wasn't going to go for the filler. That's what they want you to do. I didn't have any ribs, I wanted some, but some people don't know buffet etiquette. I saw people with a huge pile of a single item on one plate. I know they might be sharing with the table, but at least save some for the people that are behind you. I had to go back a couple of times just to get the lamb chops. I'm glad that I did. Very good. Not gamy at all and nice and tender.

Going back inside, there's another dessert table. Your usual tarts and tortes, but this one also had a chocolate fountain. Once again, it sounds good in theory, but just think of all the people that are sticking their fingers and other things in that chocolate fountain. I was waiting for my turn when the lady in front of me was just grazing right in front of the fountain. Dip, shove it in her mouth, repeat.

Farther down the hall almost to the ballroom area is the breakfast food table. You have the make your own omelet/eggs/crepes/waffles and your usual breakfast buffet fare of sausage, bacon, ham, home fries and eggs benedict. When I came back with a plate of omelet, bacon and sausage my mom admonished me to get stuff that I usually don't get at home. I did, I never get to eat 5 strips of bacon AND sausage at one time at home.

I would rate it a 5 out of 10 experience. Maybe if it wasn't so crowded I would give it a higher rating.

Cafe Sierra at the Universal Hilton
Sunday Brunch: 10:30-2? (Don't believe the website that says it begins at 11:30)
$34.95 adults (before 11am, $5 off), $9 kids (3-9), we had to lie about Allen's age for the first time.


Blogger illewminator said...

wow... that was a very thorough write-up of our father's day boo-fay experience. but i would give it maybe a 6 out of 10 (then again, i drank all of my champagne plus greg's, and maybe another refill, so...). i thought the quality and variety of the food was better than vegas -- plus i only had to drive 15 min. to get there. highlights of my plate: lamb chops, the lamb chops, and the lamb chops. i did partake in the custom sushi hand roll, selecting smoked salmon with a dab of cream cheese, avocado, cucumber, and those radish sprouts. it was ok... nothing close to what you'd get at a real sushi bar, but about on par with kabuki "sushi." and the faux mexican hot chocolate was also a nice tasty way to end my meal, since i was too full by then to sample all of those desserts.

6/22/2006 10:04 PM  
Blogger grant said...

are you referring to the fubu-fay?
hah. ask gena about that reference.

btw. thanks for kicking me off the island..PUNKS.

6/27/2006 11:43 PM  

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