Legendary Buffet & Show Lives Up To Blogger’s Lofty Expectations
From nearly the moment I set foot to live in Los Angeles, I was told that I should go to the Sunday Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues.
I never did, tho, until recently. I was too stubborn to leave the beach, where I live, on a sunny Sunday.
But, as I so often realize, it’s always important to expand one’s horizons, and that’s exactly the way I felt when I finally got to the gospel brunch.
With a dynamic combination of incredible food and awesome music, it lived up to my lofty expectations. Heck I would go back for the food alone – it was like a Vegas buffet spread – but that just set the table, so to speak, for what was to come when the curtain lifted on the stage.
It was, in a word, awesome.
So much so that I felt like telling myself “what took you so long, you fool!? But instead I just sat back and enjoyed it. Actually, I sat back only briefly because suddenly, on impulse, I found myself standing on my feet clapping to the music.
It wasn’t exactly Deep South Baptist church revival stuff but the band definitely encouraged people to participate. I hear that some bands even invite people on stage to clap and sing with them.
This is somewhat as I had envisioned it, but not exactly. Being from the South, I expected people to be standing on the floor, stomping their feet and yelling out the words to the songs with hands held high over the head, but in reality it’s more civil than that scene.
For starters, people were seated at tables on the floor as well as around the perimeter and while there’s clapping and audience participation, it’s all about the entertainment, not a full-on religious experience. It’s a combination of the brunch and the music, perfectly paired together in a symphony of flavors and sounds.
The music was great – the quality of the band, the high energy, the sound system – was all top-notch. At any given time there were close to 10 people on stage, rotating in and out to sing, and they all had voices as golden as the syrup used on the buffet’s pancakes.
The energy is what I took away from it; you could not help but feel charged up and excited. What a start to your Sunday!
The crowd on this day was a good mix of people of all ages and it was quickly apparent this is something people do as a family or group gathering.
I was also impressed – very impressed – by the staff. They were super-friendly and came around frequently to refill your water and juice. I was never looking around for them to get a refill and they always kindly and gently asked before filling our drinks.
There’s a bar and one good add-on option is the bottomless mimosas for $15. If you do this, be sure and get there by 10 a.m., to take full advantage of it.
The Sunday Gospel Brunch Food
Okay, this alone would be worth going to the HOB. There’s a buffet, a carving station and an omelette bar where you pick out ingredients for a chef to make your omelette (and they are mouth-watering incredible).
The buffet has all you need to eat and then some: delicious and juicy sausages, super-crispy bacon, biscuits and gravy (yeah!), spicy potatoes, eggs, BBQ chicken and even chicken jambalaya. I loaded up my plate with one eye on the carving station and omlette bar and knew I would leave here very full.
If I had it to do again, I would skip most of the items on the buffet (but not the chicken jambalaya, after all, how often do you get this in L.A.!?) and save ample room for the brisket at the carving station. It’s was good I stopped listening to the band for a moment so my senses could fully concentrate on the brisket. Fantastic.
All this is available throughout the show, too, as it’s an all-you-can-eat brunch.
The Sunday Gospel Band
Good. Accelerating to great. The band comes on at approximately 10:45 and plays 45 minutes to an hour. The music is not overly “gospel-y” so you don’t feel as if you’re in church, but there’s definitely some religious overtones to the songs. It’s lively and high energy and the quality of the singing borders on phenomenal.
One thing I did not realize beforehand was that the HOB rotates bands, so you’re likely to get different experiences on different visits. Some play the music and others make it a napkin-waving, hands-above-the-head clapping experience.
House Of Blues Gospel Brunch Details & Tickets
• Time: Sundays, 10 a.m.-Noon. The singers and band are on stage from 10:45-Noon (appx.)
• Tickets: $45 (bottomless mimosas $15)
• Parking: Free (validated)
• Address: 400 Disney Way #337, Anaheim, CA
• Phone: (714) 778-2583
• Website: www.houseofblues.com/anaheim