Breakfast Quest – Calgary Zoo Safari Brunch

The order : Safari Brunch Buffet ($14.95 for zoo members; $19.95 for non-members plus a discount on admission to the zoo before noon).

Buffets are a curious creature. As much fun as it is to wander around jamming food onto plate after plate sometimes I think it’s even more fun to just sit back and watch the people. (I’ve always thought it would be a good idea to put arrows on the floor in front of the buffet tables. While it seems obvious to me that your best bet is to start at the end with the empty plates and work your way from there inevitably there are some “buffet salmon” who insist on trying to swim upstream wreaking havoc for those of us following the natural food current.)

The omelette station was a highlight. It was fun watching the chef juggle several custom orders all the while keeping an eye on the waffle makers. It was quite the balancing act. Also the smaller pancakes and waffles were appreciated — being able to sample without filling up is a big plus. I really enjoyed the eggs Benedict and although they sat in a steam tray they were replenished quickly and retained freshness. The endless pile of bacon was another hit although my doctor may not agree.

There were a variety of selections and a reasonably sized salad bar but that’s not really my thing. I’m a fan of the “br” half of brunch.

On the not-so-great side while it was nice to see sushi as far as I could tell it was limited to California rolls and the rice was way too moist and sweet.

Lastly the dessert station was anchored by a chocolate fountain — a perennial crowd-pleaser — with biscuits fruit and marshmallows to dunk into the sweet sweet stream of goodness.

At all times I found the buffet stations to be well managed and every member of the staff we encountered was great.

As long as visiting the zoo is part of your plans it’s not hard to get your money’s worth. The Safari Lodge is spacious and is a great choice for a group outing.

Well folks this is my last column — it’s time for me to take a break. Thank you so much for all the suggestions over the years. They were truly appreciated. This has been a blast and an incredible journey. As always you can follow my ongoing pursuits on Twitter @darelleats.