Silvercreek’s all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch buffet is legendary in C-U. Reservations are strongly recommended, and for good reason. Our reservation was for 10 a.m., when the restaurant opens, and it was already at three-fourths capacity. The buffet is $20.95 per person, and it includes coffee, tea, or juice. (Twelve and under eat for $7.95; three and under are free. Pay with cash, save three percent!)
Part of the appeal and legend making of Silvercreek’s Sunday Brunch is the sheer quantity of options. Stations are set up throughout the restaurant (if not in the green house, which on my latest visit was occupied), presumably as an attempt to mitigate long lines and blockage of walking paths. This must be a logistical headache for the entire restaurant — there are a ton of people sitting and eating and waiting to be seated, there are a ton of food items that need to be replenished and replaced and maintained, a ton of dirty plates and cutlery to be cleared and washed and put back out, and water and coffee cups to be topped off. I’m sure everyone goes home after their Sunday morning shifts exhausted. How could they not? The servers were nothing but professional and attentive, and my coffee and water vessels were always full. Dirty plates disappeared almost immediately. It was amazing to watch the carefully choreographed discreet dance take place as I (and plenty of others), shoveled immense amounts of food into my mouth. Bravo to all those souls working the brunch shift.
My friends and I were on a mission to eat and enjoy everything. Our approach to eating the foods was tactical: hit up each station, one at a time, eat, digest a little, and head out for another round. This was highly effective and successful, and I recommend it as a brunch buffet strategy. Our server gave us the quick run down of what and where to find things — a very helpful bit of information for those who haven’t been to Sunday brunch. With a plan set, we took to the restaurant to gather our goods.
Round one: salads
Our first stop was the salad station, which also included shrimp cocktail, a lox platter, mini bagels, and some sliced breads. Everything was fresh and quickly replenished. The yogurt parfait was a treat — Sweet! Crunchy granola! A blueberry! — especially for someone who always buys plain yogurt.
Round two: traditional breakfast foods and meat
Sausage, bacon, and eggs might be the holy trinity of American breakfasts (and dispensers of cancer), and they were all good. But I got a little adventurous with some chorizo scramble eggs. They were spicy and meaty and flavorful. The tiny little biscuits were adorable and yummy, but the accompanying gravy was terrible. There were also some non-breakfast items like spaghetti and meatballs, vegetable medley, fried chicken, and salmon — items that put the “–unch” in brunch.
But the real round two winner was the meat-carving station. Juicy prime rib and ham were on display at the end of the traditional breakfast line, and they were both very, very tasty. Step aside, scrambled eggs.
Round three: omelettes, French toast, waffles
The omelettes were made to order, and the line was quite lengthy. Since I already had my fill of scrambled eggs, prime rib, and ham, I bypassed the protein and went straight for the sweets. Waffles and French toast were kept warm; whipped cream, a huge vat of warmed syrup, and candy pieces were available toppings. Also available in this area were berry cobbler, chocolate bread pudding, tiny cheesecake bites, and fruit salad. The fruit made for a nice palate cleanser, and I was particularly fond of the waffles — they were a little sweet and a little crunchy, and so, so good with some butter and syrup.
Round four: desserts
Cake, crème brûlée, trifle: delicious desserts that went right into my mouth. The best cake was the banana with a cream cheese frosting and pecans. The gooey flourless chocolate cake could have easily won the hearts of chocoholics, while those looking for a lighter, fruitier option would have enjoyed the blueberry and coconut trifle.
While $21 for breakfast sounds expensive, the quantity of food is theoretically endless. If you don’t like something, you can eat something else (just try not to be too wasteful!), so there are plenty of opportunities to eat $21 worth of food. (And I did. In fact, I was pretty full for most of the day.) However, the line of people waiting for a table was extensive, so I had to enjoy my foods whilst warding off evil eye. This brunch situation isn’t one that caters too much to leisurely eating and chit chat over mimosas (which are available; Bloody Marys, too). Order your drinks as soon as you sit, and imbibe between passes at the buffet stations.
Silvercreek’s Sunday brunch is something you can schedule as a family event: everyone shares an extensive meal (without prep or cleanup), and then you’re all so blissed out on carbs and food, you go home and take a nap. On November 22nd, brunch will be Thanksgiving-themed, with traditional Thanksgiving dishes available in addition to the regular brunch items ($24.99 for adults, $12 for kids). If you’re missing out on Thanksgiving this year, or just want to enjoy Thanksgiving foods for an entire week, make your reservation.
Silvercreek is located at 402 N Race Street, Urbana, and open for brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Reservations are strongly recommended (217) 238-3402. For information about lunch and dinner, check out the restaurant’s website.
All photos by Jessica Hammie.