Hours: Sunday buffet brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Restaurant is open daily 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on weekdays and Saturdays from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. A buffet is available most of the time, but the elaborate buffet is served only on Sundays.
Atmosphere: Motel decor, large buffet tables of food and a live radio show.
Price range: Sunday brunch is $5 for adults, $3.50 for children, for all you can eat.
Credit cards: All major cards accepted.
Reservations: Recommended for groups of five or more.
Special facilities: Easily accesible by wheelchair.
It may not be a picturesque Virginia hunt country inn, but the huge $5 hunt breakfasts served Sundays at a motel near the Pentagon and Crystal City would gratify any galloping gourmand.
The setting is the unscenic site of the future Pentagon City, now fields, an underground Metro stop, a bank and the 14-story Quality Inn motel - all surrounded by so many I-395 and Rte. [WORD ILLEGIBLE] overpasses and underpasses that from the motel's "sky dome" it all looks like a vast toy car-racing set.
An elevator ride to the sky dome after the medieval feast offered 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the motel's Coffee Mill restaurant provided our family with a cycloramic view of Washington.
The panoramic display of food in the second-floor restaurant was too large to inventory, but included eggs, sausage, bacon, grits, blintzes, homemade biscuits, fried chicken, smoked oysters and whitefish, crab cakes and caviar, fried apples and fresh fruits and melons as well as a salad bar and more fillers like doughnuts, Danish and pies than even out two sons, aged 12 and 15, cared to eat.
These buffet-brunch staples - all you can gorge on - plus another two dozen offerings, have been provided every Sunday since the motel opened almost five years ago.
During football season, the Coffee Mill is the scene of live, pre-Redskin game radio broadcasts on WEEL from 11:30 to noon. On the show, the score and other highlights of the game are predicted enthusiastically, but about as accurately as the weather. Last Sunday, before the Redskins eked out a 16-13 overtime victory over the Giants, commentator Herb Davis forecast the Redskins would shut out the Giants; former New York Jets linebacker Kevin Kiley, a regular on the program, picked the Redskins as 24-7 winners and guest Ann Nugent, wife of Redskin offensive guard Dan Nugent, concurred.
Other highlights of the Coffee Mill meal, at least for our boys, were the pinball machines in the motel mezzanine, where $2 was added to our family meal expenditure of $19.25 excluding tip. Not all customers leave tips, because they serve themselves at the buffet tables, but the waiter who brought coffee and milk and cleared our numerous empty plates was so nice we were glad to.
The only problem with such a glut of food is what to choose. It is physically impossible to eat everything, although several Gargantuan customers were having a go at it.
"I'm quitting at 800," my wife announced after praising the homemade biscuits, baked apples and smoked fish and adding up the calories on her napkin. That left her only 400 for the day, she told the table, but that turned out to be easy since even at 6 p.m. we were all still full from the morning buffet.
Our 12-year-old overdosed on doughnuts and pies, our eldest son overindulged in pinball and I felt I was the winner in a creamed-pickeled-herring-eating contest.
Overall we found the quantity of food more impressive than the quality - the soggy meat crepes and store pies were easy to put aside - but the fried chicken, sausage, eggs, fruit sections, tied apples and biscuits more than made up for the few disappointments.
And with such a vast culinary display you can always take a clean plate and make a fresh start.