Hours: Sunday Brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Price range: All-you-can-eat buffet, $9.50 for adults with unlimited champagne; $4.50 for children. Extra charge for coffee, tea or milk.
Reservations: For large parties.
Credit Cards: Most major ones.
Special facilities: Elevator service. Brunch itself is in step-down area. High chairs and booster chairs. Near Rosslyn Metro.
A Sunday brunch is a special treat for all family members. And a dressed-up brunch in a relaxed atmosphere with attentive chefs and waiters makes the experience even more special.
Hyatt Hotels somehow manage to instill a high level of professional pride in their brunch workers. On visits to other Hyatt Hotels, it has been the pastry chef who walked among diners, discussing recipes and creations.
On our visit to the Arlington Hyatt House it was the waffle chef who enticed guests to sample his creations. He proudly stated, "I made it all. It's fresh."
From two 1910 vintage irons came thick waffles with a faint taste of malt. A quarter of one of the waffles is a large portion. A variety of toppings from syrup to fresh fruit and sauces are available.
"You know what that silly man told me? That I could have ice cream on my waffle," said our daughter.
She then returned with a scoop of soft-serve vanilla ice cream with hot chocolate sauce atop a Belgian waffle.
Our son quickly found the wafle man, too.
There are, of course, other items besides waffles and ice cream, but the fact that there are vintage kitchen utensils still in operation and a soft-serve machine lends a special air to the total brunch concept.
A brunch such as this is an excellent place for children to see the food and select what they want. So often, young children are confused by a name and wonder what it will look like -- not a brunch problem.
You can savor California champagne, lox and roast beef. Or enjoy fresh fruit, beef stroganoff, eggs benedict or spareribs. There are salads, rolls, delicatessen selection, egg dishes, hot entrees and pastries.
Entrees change weekly, with a greater range of choice and often higher prices for holidays.
A chef stands ready to carve thick or thin, well-done or rare portions of beef from a 20-pound steamship round. If you'd rather, he'll make an omelette with your choice of filling and cook it to order.
Spareribs are available, but were disappointingly fat and swimming in grease. Other entrees were somewhat better. Lasagna is light with a hearty, thick tomato sauce. Goulash is served with a dark, properly seasoned sauce but some of the pieces of meat had gristle.
A few cold salads such as potato salad and cole slaw also are part of the buffet, but no special talents are in evidence here. There also is an unlikely looking delicatessen platter. The items are the liverwurst-bologna variety and seem out-of-place among the first-class items.
The platter is a strange neighbor to a tray of smoked salmon that is beautifully hand-sliced and free of bones. The salmon, with its accompanying cream cheese platter and its nearby fruit table, is more typical Hyatt approach. This is true of the large bagel bowl, too.
Steam trays hold bacon slices, sausage, hash browns, eggs benedict, blintzes and quiche squares. It is interesting that the English muffins for the eggs benedict have been sliced in half -- not so much an economy move as a realistic assessment of taste and waste. The eggs benedict fanatics will enjoy more topping and less bread.
A circular fruit table has been pleasantly arranged with watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydrew slices. Orange sections and whole fresh fruits outline the cornucopia arrangement.
Very few people will leave the brunch without a visit to the dessert table. Off by itself, it deserves high awards for the most creative fare of the day. Perfectly centered in the table is a beautifully presented, multi-layered whipped cream and strawberry torte. It offers a fine combination of fresh ingredients that tastes as good as it looks.
Assorted danishes and other smaller desserts are also available.
The little extras make the Hyatt a special brunch setting.