Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brunch + Ballantyne = Village Bistro

Heading into the Ballantyne area of Charlotte Sunday, we started scoping out places to eat.  We passed the Big View Diner and thought that was our place.  It was big, retro, and on our way.  It had our interest.  As we made our way back and stopped, the parking lot was half full.  We entered to find that the wait was 30 minutes.  It was 10:35am on Sunday, so it is a busy time.  There were at least 12 tables empty and that was a huge issue for me.  There were 6 or 7 families ahead of us, to which those tables would have handled nicely.  Something was broken and I was not staying to find out.

As we made out way back toward 485, we stopped in the large shopping area off Ballantyne Village.  Google maps on the iPhone searching brunch found Village Bistro.  It was 100 ft from where we parked.  That was convenient.  As we pull the door, it's 10:45 and it opens but it's empty.  Come to find out, they open at 11.  We were greeted promptly, seated and asked to be patient as they get the buffet set up.  The waitress came quickly to get the drink order and explain their features.  Let me stop and say that I am impressed that the door was unlocked early and they were honest to say they were still setting the food.  I would much rather wait for someone being upfront and kind, than wait for a place that can't get tables reset and somehow that affects me negatively.

The buffet had the usual suspects, with plenty of fruit, a fruit punch, eggs, bacon, etc...  There was prime rib, a crazy fun omelet menu, strawberry crepes, pancakes for every imagination, eggs benedict, the list goes on.  For $13.95 adult and $8.95 child, it was a great deal - especially for the area.

I had my wife and daughter with me so I was sure we could try a little of every single thing on the menu.  Sure enough, we did.  In fact, I tried to order almost everything myself to make sure I did not miss a thing for this review.

Prime rib with horseradish sauce - nice.  Eggs benedict using prosciutto in place of Canadian bacon/ham - exceptional.  Vanilla cream cheese filled crepes with strawberry drizzle - excellent.  Salami, mozzarella, roasted pepper and prosciutto omelet - yum.  Caramelized banana pancake - very good.  Regular syrup is a little let down, expecting a more caramel-style syrup or topping.  Corned beef hash with over easy egg - oh my yummy.  Bacon was crisp without burnt, scrambles eggs were moist but not runny.  Fruit was fresh cut.  Coffee was very good and on the strong side - loving it.

I would hard pressed to find anything I did not like.  If I had to pick one weak item it was the pancake.  It was good by almost any one's standard, but everything else was so far above the mark, this was the lowest item and still tasty.

It is unlikely that we will try to go into Big View again, but I promise we will be back at the Village Bistro.

Village Bistro at Ballantyne on Urbanspoon

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