One of my favorite Charlotte-area restaurants is Bistro la Bon on Central Avenue. It has a special place in my food-loving heart because BFTB took me there on our first Valentine's Day date (awww) and it's also a popular brunch site among my girlfriends. At dinner time, I'm a big fan of their small plates and charcuterie options, but brunch at Bistro la Bon is a whole different ball game. On Saturdays, the brunch menu is priced a la carte and features classic breakfast items like benedicts, omelettes, and shrimp and grits as well as some more lunch-leaning, eggless items like jalapeño mac and cheese, the farmer's market salad, and a vegetable sandwich. On Sundays, however, Bistro la Bon puts out a $20 all-you-can-eat smorgasbord (and yes, they really do use the term "smorgasbord" on their menu). Even though I'd devoured some B la B brunch about a brazillian times (that was my really lame attempt at a World Cup joke, btw), BFTB still hadn't smorgasborded until a recent Sunday. In general, he's not an all-you-can-eat kind of guy, but somehow I convinced him to put on his fat pants and we headed over to Central Avenue to get our grub on.
We had made an 11:00 a.m. reservation (and I highly recommend making reservations because this place gets packed), so unfortunately we were a little too early to check out the mimosa/bloody Mary options, but it's probably for the best -we needed to save our valuable stomach real estate for food! On Sundays, the restaurant loads up a buffet area with hot and cold items including homemade pastries, breads, house-cured salmon, Swedish meatballs, housemade mozzarella stuffed with tomato & basil, potato gratin, asiago cheese grits, seasonal roasted vegetables, salads, and a variety of fresh fruits. In addition, they offer a number of family-style items that aren't on the buffet, but are cooked to order upon request: bacon, scrambled eggs, chocolate waffles, and brioche French toast.
After placing an order for, oh.... you know, all of the cooked to order items, BFTB and I skedaddled over to the buffet and loaded our plates up with goodies. The thing about Bistro la Bon's buffet is that it doesn't contain a lot of typical breakfast items -but it's all really good. In general, I never wake up craving a Swedish meatball or some stuffed mozzarella on a Sunday morning, but both are some of my favorite buffet items. My other favorites include the creamy asiago cheese grits, smoked salmon, and biscuits and gravy. I wouldn't have guessed that a restaurant with a European-focused menu would be able to crank out such a tasty biscuit, but they are really awesome, especially smothered in the uber-salty sausage gravy.
|Scrambled eggs and bacon|
|Brioche French toast|
While the buffet is impressive on its own, my favorite parts of the B la B experience are the aforementioned cooked-to-order items. Aside from the scrambled eggs, which always taste a little too dense (I'm a big fan of some light and fluffy scrambled eggs) and never seem to be served at a proper temperature, everything is outstanding. In general, I'm not a fan of sweet breakfast items, but the chocolate waffles are a game-changer. Even better, however, is the brioche French toast. If I died and went to maple syrup heaven, I'm fairly certain the land would be made out of Bistro la Bon's French toast. I've seriously never eaten anything so simultaneously buttery-rich and cinnamony-sweet. The combo is absolutely perfect and completely drool-worthy.
All in all, the brunch buffet at Bistro la Bon is definitely worth a visit and should be on everybody's Charlotte breakfast to-do list. In fact, writing this post has me convinced that I need to plan a return visit for this weekend! For brunch food, Bistro la Bon gets an 8.75/10.