Five of us met at Saddle Peak Lodge to celebrate my brother's birthday. We arrived at one p.m. and met our party in the bar, where they were drinking Ramos Fizzes (is that the right plural?), and were ushered to the very top of the stairs where we basically wound up with a private room. There were no other diners up there with us.
The waiter leapt up the stairs with menus, and we started with two "Goodie Baskets" of pastries: blueberry muffin, banana nut muffin, and croissant. I only tried the banana nut muffin, and though the top was toasty and warm, the walnuts were actually cold. But that was the only minor minor misstep.
The bf had the buffalo burger and really enjoyed it, (I had a tiny bite, it was exceptionally flavorful and meaty, not for those who don't seek a robust meat flavor) while the stepdad ordered the crabcakes and requested two, instead of one, patties. He assumed that we were all going to have some of his dish, but didn't seem to have any trouble polishing it off on his own when we declined. An order of sausages was shared by the table and roundly enjoyed by all. My brother and mother each had the eggs benedict, which is served on a croissant with applewood bacon instead of english muffin and canadian bacon, and potatoes on the side. I didn't try it, but they really liked their dishes. As for me, I had the pulled pork sandwich, which came with very thin chips on the side. The pork was tasty and moist without being greasy, and though I normally don't like pickles, I found that the thin slivers of house-made pickles really helped cut through the richness of the gruyere and pork with a nice, zesty note.
The bf and I shared the banana bread pudding, which was made with croissants, and had a few berries studded throughout. The vanilla bean ice cream helped mitigate the unrelenting richness of the dish, and we actually couldn't finish it, although it was very, very good. My brother had the dulce de leche creme brulee (they piped "happy birthday" in chocolate around the edge of the plate, even though we didn't ask for anything special, and also put a lit candle in it), which, when I samples, tasted like very good, but not unusual, creme brulee. My stepdad had the ice cream sundae all to himself (he admits he'd eat anything if it was covered in hot fudge), which came with a pitcher of sauce and a pitcher of pecans.
I can't say how much it cost because, as a writer, nobody really expected that I could pay for anything, and the check was whisked away by my stepdad before anyone could see the total damage.
Service was warm and friendly (the waiter was very, very excited to learn that my brother is a video game programmer), and all in all, an extremely pleasant experience. A nice spot for a special occasion brunch.
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