Mother's Day brunch should be the Big Kahuna of your brunch calendar. This is not a drill. If you do this thing right, your family will be praising you until New Year's Day. Sleep on making a reservation or forget to toast the matriarch, and you'll be in the doghouse by Memorial Day.
Lucky for you, Hot Dish called around to five of our favorite brunch spots to make sure reservations were still available. But move fast, slackers -- most of the managers we reached said they expect to be full up by Monday.
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Before we dig into the Mother's Day recommendations, we have a couple of key pieces of advice for your party.
Get a Card. It's lovely that you are taking Mom out for brunch. Kudos to you! Mom still wants a card. And get it signed by everyone in your party before you show up for brunch. Flowers wouldn't hurt either.
Youngest makes the toast. We don't care if you end up eating Holiday Superstation breakfast sandwiches with your family, you still need to toast the mom. Find the youngest child in your party and clandestinely train him or her to give a great toast (sans booze of course). Moms love it.
Tip well. We understand that at most of these locations you're responsible for grabbing your own food. But trust us, your server is working plenty hard. Is your coffee warm? Did you get those extra napkins and extra syrup when you asked for it? Tip that server. And thank your server for working on a holiday.
Obey the rules and be kind. We're veering into life advice on this one, but bear with us. All of these restaurants are going to be quite full on Mother's Day. Wait your turn at the buffet, let folks who need extra time or assistance cut in line, and offer to help out if they need it. Treat every mom you meet on this day like you'd treat your own mother.
Dixie's on Grand
695 Grand Ave., St. Paul
This year Dixie's is offering its classic Mother's Day Champagne Buffet Brunch from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dixie's specializes in soul food from the American South. Don't skip the jambalaya, red beans and rice, or the addictive powder biscuits (ask for honey if it is not already at your table). Dixie's also pulls out a lot of high-end offerings for holiday brunches, including complimentary champagne or mimosas and a chocolate fountain. We applaud Dixie's for serving their Eggs Benedict to order. There are few dishes that fare worse in a buffet's chafing dish purgatory than a heavily sauced poached egg sitting on an English muffin.
5001 34th Ave. S., Minneapolis
Al Vento has been building a reputation for dinnertime cuisine, as well as the Saturday and Sunday European buffet, complete with eggs Florentine, potatoes, house-smoked fish, and more. The restaurant packs them in every weekend, and we are certain that Mother's Day will be no exception, so it might get a bit claustrophobic. But at $14, this buffet is a great price for a quality brunch. If Mom likes the sauce, this is the place: For an extra $6 you can throw down on bottomless booze, including bloody Marys, screwdrivers, and mimosas. It's hard to find a better deal than that in the whole metro.
1601 W. Lake St., Minneapolis
Amore Victoria is a south Minneapolis staple with a non-buffet option for Mother's Day. Their three-course Mother's Day menu is a great fit for families who want to spend the whole meal together with no buffet-run interruptions. The whole meal is priced at $25 per seat, and the first course comes with the option of soup, salad, or a small appetizer. For the main course, the nine options include numerous egg dishes as well as more lunch-oriented plates. The meal closes with your pick of a dessert crepe, tiramisu, or a flourless chocolate cake. Amore Victoria has a full liquor license and will be serving up drinks alongside their three-course special.
400 Selby Ave., St. Paul
Fabulous Fern's is an under-appreciated fixture on the year-round brunch scene, and they step it up a notch on Mother's Day without raising the price. Adults eat for $16.95, seniors 62 and over for $14.95, and children 12 and under for $7.95. Fern's scores extra points for putting out high-quality dinner-style entrees that keep their flavor on the buffet dish. Fern's also has two very distinctive room settings for your dining pleasure. If Mom is the type who wants to play darts and grab a shot with the bartender, make your reservations on the bar side. If you are looking for a more formal setting and some nice views of Selby Avenue, grab a table in the dining room.
1300 Lagoon Ave. S., Minneapolis
Bar Abilene is another great brunch option in the heart of Uptown with open reservations and some signature dishes that feature the Southwest flair Bar Abilene is known for. Their signature brunch dish is the chilaquiles, a Mexican breakfast favorite featuring scrambled eggs, asiago cheese, and sour cream on a skillet filled with cooked tortilla chips. Bar Abilene is also a great spot for anyone looking for a cheap deal on drinks. They serve up a $5 bottomless mimosa and offer a $5 visit to the build-your-own bloody Mary bar.
Whatever you choose, Hot Dish wishes you and yours a fantastic Mother's Day celebration. Remember, grab your reservations early -- May 11 is around the corner and these spots are filling up.