Smile Politely

Silvercreek plated brunch has something for everyone

Burger with bacon, lettuce, fried onions, and cheese on a toasted bun with fries on the side.
Sweet bacon jam burger at Silvercreek; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

I’ve lived in town long enough to remember Silvercreek’s all-you-can-eat brunch buffet from the Before Times. It was legendary. The entire Urbana restaurant had stations of food spread all throughout. In one room, there was a made-to-order omelette station that had a choice of fancy cheeses and add-ins. Along a hallway, long tables had tiny cheesecakes and mini creme brûlée and cookies and other bite-sized desserts, all for the taking. In the main dining room, there was a carving station and a chef with a knife who’d ask if I wanted the prime rib sliced thick or thin. The buffet offered shrimp cocktail, bacon, sausage, brisket, fruit salad, waffles, potatoes, and more. Everyone I know who went to Silvercreek’s Sunday buffet brunch remembers it with the same fondness.

A brunch like that was, obviously, a nightmare during a global pandemic. I’ve waited so very patiently for Silvercreek to bring back their epic buffet brunch, but no. In the After Times, Silvercreek’s weekend brunch is a sit-down a la carte situation. That Sunday buffet does not seem to be coming back any time soon, so I figured perhaps a plated brunch — like everyone else (besides Neil St. Blues) does in C-U — might still be a good brunch.

An empty side plate with two glass cups of water on a wooden table at Silvercreek in Urbana, Illinois.
Alyssa Buckley

Before we saw a matinee of Parkland’s Little Shop of Horrors (which was absolutely amazing), my family went to brunch. My oldest was set on eating waffles, and my youngest wanted steak — and Silvercreek’s brunch menu had both.

Cinnamon roll topped with a thin cream cheese sauce topped with cinnamon sugar.
Jumbo cinnamon roll at Silvercreek; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

To start, we ordered a jumbo cinnamon roll ($10). In a pool of delicious cinnamon glaze, the warm housemade roll had a drippy cream cheese frosting and sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. The sweet gritty sugar and dual sauces were so delicious on the warm cinny roll. Jumbo was an accurate descriptor because it was too big to finish — even split between three people — though we really did try.

A glass cup with a lime wedge and two black straws with muddled strawberries at the bottom beside a white mug of black coffee.
Alyssa Buckley

We all had water to drink, and our server was great with the refills. In addition, I ordered the strawberry-basil mojito ($12.48) from the cocktail menu, and my husband had a coffee ($3), which was good.

A glass cup with clear liquid and basil and strawberries on the bottom, garnished with a lime wedge.
Strawberry-basil mojito at Silvercreek; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

Made with Tito’s vodka, simple syrup, lime juice, and club soda, the refreshing cocktail had some muddled strawberries and fresh basil at the bottom. The drink was sweeter than I expected, but I still enjoyed Silvercreek’s basil twist on a mojito.

A side of fingerling potatoes with eggs benedict on a white plate.
Eggs benedict at Silvercreek; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

In my opinion, the best brunch dish is an eggs benny, so I ordered Silvercreek’s eggs benedict ($18). Listed first on the menu for brunch entrees, this eggs benedict had two poached eggs balanced on Canadian bacon atop halved English muffins all drizzled with hollandaise. This eggs benny was amazing. When cut, the poached eggs gushed a golden yolk that melded with the hollandaise and glossed the toasted muffins and delicate egg whites. That circle of ham gave much needed saltiness to the saucy eggs and bottom layer of bread which absorbed all the benedict’s flavors like a bread bowl does with soup. The side of fingerling potatoes was clearly seasoned with spices and rosemary, but I thought it lacked salt in a major way. Thankfully, there was salt on the table, so crisis averted.

Burger with bacon, lettuce, fried onions, and cheese on a toasted bun with fries on the side.
Sweet bacon jam burger at Silvercreek; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

My husband ordered the sweet bacon jam burger ($18). This brunch burger had a thick seven-ounce beef patty with smoked bacon, fried onion straws, bacon-tomato jam, mixed greens, garlic aioli, and melted gouda cheese on a toasted brioche bun with a side of truffle fries. I only got a bite, but it was really good. There was some saltiness from the bacon slices and onion straws that tasted yummy with the burger’s beef. Between warm and toasty buns, the layering was top notch. The garlic aioli and melty cheese kept the bacon and fried onions inside the bun, and the grilled patty deliciously wilted the mixed greens.

Burger with bacon, lettuce, fried onions, and cheese on a toasted bun with fries on the side.
Sweet bacon jam burger at Silvercreek; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

The side of fries was plentiful and the truffle seasoning was tasty, but the potato sticks were kind of soft and probably could’ve used another minute or two in the fryer.

A waffle with side cups of syrup, strawberries, whipped cream, and butter.
Belgium waffle at Silvercreek; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

My oldest ordered the Belgium waffle ($14), which had a garnish choice of strawberries, chocolate chips, or candied pecans (he chose strawberries). Served with whipped cream, butter, and syrup also on the side, the waffle filled the plate, but my preteen still finished it. The housemade waffle did seem reminiscent of the waffles from the old Sunday buffet brunch to me.

A waffle with side cups of syrup, strawberries, whipped cream, and butter.
Belgium waffle at Silvercreek; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

Slightly crisp along the cubbies and edges, the waffle was sweet and soft like cake inside. My oldest quickly went through the syrup, but our server even more quickly brought more (in a bigger bowl). The strawberries were very syrupy, and I am pretty sure the whip cream was Cool Whip, but my kid still liked the breakfast and declared this his favorite waffle in town.

My youngest child has uncommon food allergies, and so most restaurants cannot cook for him. But I had emailed the restaurant in advance to see if they could cook something free from his allergens. Fortunately, they could make his favorite: filet mignon (which was already on the brunch menu). Unfortunately, that was all the kitchen could prepare safely for him. However, I did appreciate the honesty and that they allowed us to bring safe food from home as well.

Impressively, all of this was communicated to our server before we even sat down. Our server Aidan knew we were an allergy table and knew the allergens already, but he confirmed and jotted them down tableside to be doubly sure. As an allergy mom, this was incredibly reassuring knowing the restaurant was paying careful attention to my kid’s dietary needs. I trust that anyone who emails the restaurant ahead of time could have their dietary restrictions accommodated and treated with the same care.

A charred filet mignon on a white plate.
Filet mignon at Silvercreek; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

Since my son’s order of the filet mignon ($41) was an allergy dish, it came without the shiitake demi-glace and with sides in separate bowls. The filet was quite charred on the top and bottom, but the steak was a juicy red in the center, medium rare as ordered. Seasoned simply with salt and pepper, the steak’s flavor was delicious with a little smokiness. My son was thrilled to get to eat steak before noon, and he ate every last bite.

The sides of asparagus and mashed potatoes were better than my side of fingerling potatoes, so I stole them. I really liked the tender-crisp texture and char on the asparagus, but I wished the asparagus was trimmed a bit more because the very ends were too woody. The mash had soft chunks of potato throughout and tasted of roasted shallots and garlicky seasoning. Of all the potato sides we had at brunch, this was my favorite.

An empty bar with a peacock feather decor above the barstools. A wooden cabinet with full-size glass doors holds a variety of wine bottles.
Alyssa Buckley

Overall, Silvercreek brunch was still really wonderful. The historic Urbana restaurant remains a charming restaurant with beautiful warm wood, cozy lighting, and great food. Our server was impeccable even though he had many tables. All four of us enjoyed what we ate even though we all ordered completely different things. And to me, that’s the best part of dining out: everyone can eat what they want.

Although not as legendary as the brunch buffet was, Silvercreek’s curated weekend brunch menu hit all the highlights. It offered steak and eggs, chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, eggs and bacon, French toast, a breakfast burrito, an amazing eggs benny, plus salads, filet mignon, salmon wellington, lobster mac and cheese, deviled strawberries, and even more. Brunch drinks included carafes of mimosas or Bloody Mary in addition to juice, coffee, wine, beer, cocktails, mocktails, and a spicy margarita.

Would I still very much like to go around the restaurant with a plate and pick out food from this pan and that platter and some prime rib and chow down, only to then get another plate and do it again and again until I’m so stuffed that I’m in pain? Hell yeah. But that’s not an option right now unless it’s Christmas or the restaurant decides to bring back their brunch buffet. Until then, Silvercreek’s weekend plated brunch satisfies.

For more about Silvercreek restaurant, check out their website or follow their Facebook page.

402 N Race St
Sa+Su 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
regular hours
T-F 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. + 5 to 9 p.m.
Sa 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. + 5 to 9 p.m.
Su 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Food + Drink Editor / / instagram

More Articles