Tourists and business travellers have been keeping a secret from the locals. Located on the second floor of the Marriott Hotel in downtown Calgary Traders Grill is not often visited by native Calgarians and really that’s a darn shame.

Easily breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and going out for breakfast is even better than making it at home. Traders’ breakfast buffet ($17.95 for adults $8.95 for kids) isn’t the largest one I’ve ever been to but as far as overall quality I’m willing to say it’s the best.

One trick I’ve learned when visiting any buffet is to take a walk around and survey things before filling your plate. By doing this you can plot your path and not end up with a mountain of food that you try and balance on the way back to your table.

When surveying the buffet at Traders I realized that more than one trip would be needed. The middle island is piled high with lighter continental fare such as muffins pastries cold cereals and do-it-yourself toast.

Running along the back wall is a row of warming trays on burners. Here you can find your fill of pancakes French toast hash browns eggs Benedict bacon and two types of sausages beef and pork.

Just past the steam trays is a cold buffet with options like smoked salmon cream cheese and fresh fruits. Past that there’s an omelet station with mini waffles and warm maple syrup.

At the last station is oatmeal with the largest variety of toppings I have seen at a buffet. These include the traditional brown sugar as well as dried fruits like bananas coconut cranberries and raisins.

The highlight was definitely the eggs Benedict. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to try buffet versions of this breakfast classic several times and usually you end up with a soggy muffin tasteless ham rubbery eggs and bland hollandaise thrown on top. This was not the case at Traders. In fact I ended up having seconds which coincidentally was from a fresh batch and my second helping was just as good as my first. The eggs were cooked to a perfect medium hardness. I’ve had worse offerings from restaurants that serve their eggs Benny as part of their regular menus.

The hash browns were crunchy on the outside and puffy on the inside. The bacon and sausages were all cooked nicely as was all of the food and all stations were well-stocked during our visit.

The service was also outstanding. Immediately upon being seated our waiter arrived offering orange juice and coffee. Both were included in the price of the buffet and refills were offered throughout the meal. Our plates were promptly removed when we got up for seconds sparing us from stacking plates on plates.

Traders also has a regular menu for those who don’t care for the buffet option and there’s a seasonal patio that I’ll definitely be checking out once our weather warms up.

The room is large and elegant and I would recommend Traders Grill as a great option for your next group brunch.

Traders Grill is located at 110 9 Ave. S.E.; phone 231-4503.

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