I've eaten here about once a week for the last three years, due to the fact I work in the adjacent building which is connected to the Crowne Plaza via a sky bridge. I have been here for breakfast, lunch, and happy hour drinks, but never dinner because, let's face it, I don't want to stick around too long after my work day ends.
The food is consistent and service is quick. The waiters really try and get to know you if you are a regular customer. The breakfast buffet is GREAT, and I would highly recommend it. For $15 you get unlimited coffee, juice, and trips to the buffet, which includes: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, seasoned potatoes, pancakes, raisin french toast, oatmeal, lox, veggies, boiled eggs, fruit, pastries and muffins, breads, and more. It is very fresh and the servers are very good about replacing items that have been sitting for too long. They will even cook you fresh eggs to your liking if you do not like scrambled eggs.
During lunch Brazos offers a daily soup and salad bar for $10, with the best days being Monday (loaded baked potato) and Thursday (creamy tomato basil) for the soups. The salad bar is stocked with various lettuces, tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, olives, boiled eggs, pasta salad, chicken salad and/or tuna salad, croutons, cheeses and dressings, etc. Sometimes they offer extras like caprese salad or hearts of palm, but it just depends on the day. There is always a nice selection of desserts on the soup/salad bar, too, including: cheesecake, tiramisu, pecan pie, key lime pie, etc.
The burgers are GREAT, very large and juicy (without being soggy) on a buttered toasted bun and served with fries for $10. You can add premium toppings like avocado, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, bacon, and cheese for no additional charge. I usually take advantage of this and order my burger with all of them.......... :-/ They have sweet potato fries too and do not upcharge for the substitution.
Anyway, you really can't go wrong for lunch. In addition to the burgers and soup/salad bar, I've had entree salads, chicken tenders, the club sandwich, fish & chips, quesadillas, pastas, the gumbo, and more. Everything is pretty good and the prices are reasonable, especially for a hotel.
On Tuesdays through Thursdays during lunch there is a buffet feature for $14 (an extra $4 over the standard soup/salad bar price). Tuesdays is Mexican (made-to-order quesadillas or burritos, cheese enchiladas, rice and beans in addition to the usual salad buffet). Wednesdays is Chinese - custom stir fry and seafood soup + salad buffet. Thursdays are definitely the most popular because of the custom pasta bar, which also includes breadsticks, grilled veggies and the tomato basil soup I mentioned earlier.
If you dine on Tuesdays - Thursdays, I would suggest going on the earlier side of lunch (say, 11a -noon) as the custom station is located in the middle of the restaurant and it can start to get sort of stinky in there when the chef is cooking several dishes at once.
Pro tip: Crowne serves Douwe Egberts coffee, which is, as far as I'm concerned, the smoothest and most flavorful coffee I've ever found. There is always a carafe with cups, sugars and cream sitting near front entrance to the restaurant, so feel free to grab yourself a complimentary cup. Don't be afraid if you aren't purchasing anything else. Just make some small talk with the hosts and wish them a good day, and enjoy your free pick-me-up. If you're feeling guilty about this and it's during breakfast time, ask for a small cup of oatmeal to-go ($3), which comes with perfect portions of cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins, craisins, slivered almonds and candied pecans. For $3.25 incl. tax, you've got breakfast and the perfect cup of coffee for far less than you'd pay for the same at Starbucks.
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