Although El Torito bills itself as the “authority of superb Mexican food,” our voters’ readers are most fond of the all-you-can-eat and unlimited Mimosa and champagne-infused Sunday breakfasts. Brunch has become so popular that it now accounts for 20% of its overall revenue.
Bring your appetite because there will be seven stations delivering unlimited amounts. There are omelet stations with onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, spinach, cheese, ham, chorizo, bacon, jalapenos, and build-your-own omelet stations. There are also fajitas, tacos, salads, and soup stations.
Classic meals like cheese enchiladas, machaca and eggs, huevos rancheros, tamales, chile Colorado, and chicken adobo are also available.
Many restaurants shuttered their buffets during the epidemic, but El Torito saw it as an opportunity. Chefs and sous chefs stepped out to the front of the restaurant and made meals for guests on an individual basis and to order, forming little chefs tables.
El Torito CEO Randy Sharpe told the Register in 2020, “We have these great stations that meet or exceed what we’ve had in the past.” “On the opposite side of the plexiglass, you actually have a chef assisting you.” Brunch is offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at El Torito locations around Orange County.
Taps Fish House & Brewery
After a brief shutdown, the beloved Taps brunch is back, though it apparently never left the hearts or taste buds of Best of Orange County voters.
Sunny Reed, director of the service at Taps, which reinstated its brunch service in Brea ahead of Father’s Day, said, “We’re glad to have it back.” As of publication time, plans to reopen in Irvine were in the works.
Taps is known for its chilled seafood on ice, which includes shrimp, scallops, freshly shucked oysters, and a recently added seafood sushi roll. There are also cooked-to-order omelets, a carving station, and a hot buffet featuring all of the usual morning fares as well as changing fish entrees.
Without a large selection of handcrafted, award-winning beers and lagers, a restaurant called Taps would be incomplete. Brunch includes a couple of draught beers or “free-flowing” champagne. Also, don’t miss out on the balloon artist and picture booth.
Old Vine Kitchen & Bar
The Old Vine Cafe relocated to a larger area in 2019 and was renamed the Old Vine Kitchen & Bar. In the Best of Orange County survey, it is now one of the top three brunch selections among diners.
Unlike many restaurants’ conventional buffet-style breakfasts, Old Vine takes a different approach. Diners can choose from six distinct two-course options. Salads or mixed vegetable combinations are usually served first. For the second meal, there are sweet or savory omelets, waffles, crepes, or quiches to choose from, as well as fruits and meats.
High-end coffees, lattes, and espresso are among the beverages available. There’s also an enormous and superb wine list, as well as artisan cocktails like the Old Vine Bloody Mary, prepared with homemade Bloody Mary mix and house-pickled veggies, and mimosas in mini-carafes, as the name suggests.
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