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The Hot Plate: For Lazy Sundays

Is there a better way to spend a Sunday than drinking Champagne and catching up with friends? Now that summer has come to a close, Washingtonians are back in the city and ready to indulge in the time-honored tradition of starting the week with booze and a buffet. Since D.C. has no shortage of tasty brunches, here are a few of Hot Plate’s favorite hot spots.

[IMGCAP(1)]Georgia Brown’s brunch is so popular that customers are often forced to wait to be seated for up to a half an hour despite having reservations. This waiting game can create quite the backup, but most patrons don’t seem to mind. The brunch itself features a live jazz band and a large buffet. While the music makes it hard to hear your dining companions, the buffet makes it all worthwhile. Featuring fresh fruit and vegetables, French toast, bacon, grits and other breakfast essentials, Georgia Brown’s (950 15th St. NW) has a wide array of options, not to mention the tall chocolate fountain complete with fruits, pretzels and marshmallows for dipping.

The best thing about brunch at Georgia Brown’s is the take-home entree. After indulging in the buffet, patrons are asked to select a main dish from the menu that they can either eat at the restaurant or have packaged to go. Options include fried chicken with collard greens and mashed potatoes or Carolina shrimp and grits. For $36.95 a head, brunch is a steal.

Brunch at the Four Seasons (2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) is a special outing. If there’s one hotel in town that knows how to make its customers feel special, this is it. Brunch is held in the dining room located on the lower level of the Georgetown spot. Women in dresses and men in jackets flutter from station to station as they indulge in every craving. There is a seafood station, a vegetable station, plenty of meat and frankly more food than one person could ever eat. In addition to the massive buffet, customers also have the opportunity to order off the a la carte menu. Here you will find wonderfully fluffy eggs Benedict or perfectly griddled pancakes.

Then there is the Chocolate Room. Stepping into this delicious room is like stepping into your childhood fantasy. There are doughnuts, chocolate cake, crème brûlée, a chocolate fountain and a host of other sugary treats. The room is dessert heaven. While the food is delicious, the Four Seasons is probably best saved for special occasions. The buffet — including bottomless Champagne — costs a steep $80 per person.

In contrast, $25 goes a long way during brunch at Chef Geoff’s Downtown (1301 Pennsylvania Ave. NW). Diners get their choice of coffee, juice, a mimosa or a bloody Mary as well as a fruit cup, coffee cake and a choice of one of the restaurant’s eight tasty brunch entrees. Try the Omelet 44: It’s a tasty mixture of egg, cheddar, sautéed peppers, spinach, tomatoes and sweet onion. In the mood to go more sweet than savory? Look no further than the White House Waffle, which is topped with strawberries and whipped cream.

Brunch at the Beacon Bar and Grill (1615 Rhode Island Ave. NW) is not just a meal; it’s an all-day event. For $29.95, this Dupont Circle establishment offers an all-you-can-eat buffet and bottomless mimosas, Champagne or bloody Marys. The decidedly chipper atmosphere is punctuated by the frequent sound of Champagne corks popping, adding a sense of celebration to the meal. The large restaurant fills up with a mix of birthday parties, baby showers and friends looking to catch up while a pianist plays and chef Dylyn Coolidge works the room. The brunch features an omelet station, waffles, fresh fruit and vegetables and a wide array of cakes. Perhaps the best thing about dining at the Beacon is the staff, which doesn’t rush the customer, allowing guests to sit and drink Champagne all day if they choose.

Brunch is a pleasure at Blue Ridge (2340 Wisconsin Ave. NW). While the service tends to be hit-or-miss, the gorgeous outdoor patio makes it a delightful place to spend a Sunday afternoon. The a la carte menu features both breakfast and lunch foods. Don’t miss the funnel cake doughnuts — they are extraordinary and blew this Jersey girl away. Served in small balls covered in powdered sugar, this treat will take you right back to the boardwalk. The three-egg omelet, which is stuffed with cheddar and mushrooms, is also tasty without being greasy.

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