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Food is first-rate at Fieldcrest Estate’s Sunday brunch – The Repository |

Food is first-rate at Fieldcrest Estate’s Sunday brunch – The Repository

Breakfast is only part of the story at the abundant weekly buffet.

NORTH CANTON  Strolling the rolling, grassy grounds of Fieldcrest Estate during the recent 720 Market event, I was reminded again of what an oasis of calm the place is, right in the middle of town.

That day, I spotted a sign for Fieldcrest’s Sunday Brunch Buffet and knew I had to return to investigate. Several years ago, I enjoyed a Thanksgiving buffet there with my parents, but this weekly Sunday buffet is even better.

You pull in at Fieldcrest, the former H.W. Hoover Estate, at 1346 Easthill (55th) St. SE, and wind around up a hill to the Fieldcrest Lodge, a rustic-looking structure where the buffet is served. Inside, the lodge is casually elegant, with high ceilings, log walls, subdued lighting, white tablecloths and cloth napkins. Motown music was playing at background volume. The vibe was relaxed, not in the least hectic.

The all-inclusive price is $19.95 for ages 13 and older; $9 for ages 4 to 12; and free for 3 and younger. It is, I soon discovered, an excellent value. The buffet, incidentally, was voted Best Sunday Brunch Buffet in The Canton Repository’s 2016 Best of the Best awards. Aidan Medley is the chef at Fieldcrest.

There are so many buffet offerings — both breakfast and lunch food — that it can be a bit head-spinning. For newcomers, I’d recommend a stroll around to survey what’s available before diving in.

I started off with an omelet, freshly made by one of the two polite and fast-moving young guys manning the skillets. It’s fun to watch them at work. The wide array of fillings include bacon, ham, sausage, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach, black olives, and feta, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. My omelet was stellar, and from chafing dishes I scored sausage links, bacon and fried potatoes that were crispy and non-greasy with a subtle rosemary flavor. Another savory breakfast option is sausage gravy and biscuits.

A juicy slab of prime rib is sliced to order. The guy behind me asked for prime rib in his omelet, along with mushrooms and cheese, and was happily obliged. 

Also made to order are waffles, with maple syrup, cherries, strawberries and blueberries, and fluffy, real whipped cream. I had a bite of my friend’s cherry-topped waffle, and it was sensational. (I was trying to pace myself.) While eating the bountiful breakfast we’d assembled, I began tallying what it would cost at a quality restaurant for omelet, waffles, potatoes, two meats, orange juice and coffee. Probably $15 or more.

I’ll note here that there is a full bar set up during brunch (at additional charge), including mimosas ($5) and Bloody Marys ($6).

Next, I went for one of the made-to-order pasta entrees, also created in skillets from numerous available ingredients. I chose an olio aglio version, with olive oil and garlic plus shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, bell peppers and pesto, tossed with grated parmesan and penne pasta. (A red sauce and Alfredo sauce also are available.) The flavor blend was terrific, the shrimp tender and not overcooked. An entree like this would probably be $15 at another restaurant. 

Along with pasta, there are made-to-order stir-fry entrees served over rice. Available ingredients include sugar snap peas, cabbage, celery, broccoli, baby corn and water chestnuts. Among the sauces are Thai sweet chili, sweet and sour and teriyaki. 

From the island of chafing dishes, my friend assembled a full plate and everything was flavorful and well-prepared; nothing seemed institutional or generic. The BBQ ribs were tender and falling off the bone. The boneless chicken breast, with prominent grill marks, was moist and had a grilled flavor. The mashed potatoes, with bits of potato skin folded in, were real, and the beef gravy tasted homemade. The broccoli and cauliflower blend was definitely not from a frozen bag.   

Also in chafing dishes last Sunday were baked fish, rice pilaf, sausage and peppers, meatballs and mac and cheese. And did I mention there’s a salad bar? One could do a light and healthy meal here of fish, pilaf and salad, or fill a plate with ribs and mac and cheese.

For dessert there is fresh fruit — watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries — plus cookies, mini-cupcakes and pie. I tried a slice of pecan pie, which was excellent, and a fresh cheesecake concoction that managed to be both rich and light.

Throughout the meal, efficient Fieldcrest employees were whisking away our empty plates. A guy named Tim was super attentive at filling our beverages and knowledgeably answering our questions. He told us about a gift shop and live animals we could visit on the Fieldcrest grounds after dining. We definitely needed a stroll!

The Sunday buffet is offered year-round, with pricier grand buffets (minus the made-to-order options) offered on Easter, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. For Father’s Day (June 16) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the buffet ($22.95) will feature items grilled on the patio, plus an old-fashioned baseball game on the grounds.

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