Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sunday Brunch Buffet Extravaganza at TAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea,CA)

When I think of brunch buffets, I think of the expensive $70+ ones at fancy hotels with fresh seafood and unlimited mimosas. At TAPS Fish House and Brewery, however, $35.99 gets you a buffet of over 100 items and your choice of beer or sparkling wine (2 TAPS beer or unlimited sparkling wine).

The owner Joe Manzella so loved the brunch he had in New Orleans that he was determined to replicate the fun here, with a balloon lady and all. He didn't know how well it would do but now TAPS does about 700 covers every Sunday brunch.


There's a DIY Bloody Mary Bar, though for our media tasting they had gone ahead and prepared some for us, complete with pepper, olive, and a cocktail shrimp as garnish.

There are over 100 items in this buffet. Where to start? Start with the fresh oysters, of course!
In this station they also had ceviches and dungeness crab salads. Then, move on to the made-to-order omelets

Made to order pasta with your choice of protein, pasta, and sauce. I got some linguine with clams in garlic white wine. A lot of people in line, though, skipped the pasta altogether and just ordered a bowl of clams. I felt a little guilty doing that, so I stuck with a bit of pasta.
Other hot items included some jambalaya, fried calamari, roasted salmon, prime rib

Breakfast items like cinnamon bun, french toast, waffles, and pancakes are of course all available.
For desserts, there are plenty of mini cakes, creme brulee, flan, and a chocolate fountain with fruits to dip into.

We got some freshly made, warm beignets - one dusted with cinnamon sugar and the other dusted with powdered sugar.

TAPS is also a brewery, headed by brewmaster Victor Novak who focuses on creating food friendly beers. He says hoppy beers are hard to pair, so he makes maltier beers like cream ale, etc.
Quite a few of their beers have won awards at various beer fests. Out of the ones we tried, my favorites were the Biere de Garde, a farmhouse ale from French Flanders (6.6% ABV, won Silver Medal 2011 Great American Beer Fest) and the Imperial Balinese Stout which is their Imperial Russian Stout made with Portola Coffee Bali Kintamani coffee (9.1% ABV). You can't go wrong with their Crystal Pils or Belgian White either.

We were all given a bottle to take home, the Remy. This beer is aged 8 months in bourbon barrel and is their first ever release in bottle.

Oh, one last thing. Next to the pasta station, there is a shelf filled with crazy hot sauces from all around the country. We had way too much fun having people compete to see who can withstand the hottest sauce! Many glasses of milk were involved, so I don't know if the restaurant would appreciate me telling you about this...

All in all, the $35.99 buffet at TAPS is a pretty nice deal with plenty of food, drinks, and fun to be had by all.

TAPS Fish House and Brewery 
101 E Imperial Hwy
Brea, CA 92821
(714) 257-0101
Taps Fish House & Brewery on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: this visit was hosted


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