Friday, July 19, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 20
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Santa Maria Sun / Eats

Brunch at the Santa Maria Inn's Century Room makes everything else in life seem utterly inconsequential

NICK POWELL

How are wars still happening when we live in a world where brunches like this exist? I seriously don’t get it. What are we fighting about? Oil, that goopy black garbage? 


How the other half brunches
There’s no cheaper way to feel filthy rich than dropping $30 at the Century Room Restaurant at the Santa Maria Inn every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It buys you unlimited access to a feast fit for royalty, plus bottomless bloody marys or mimosas and decadent desserts. It’s almost overwhelming, so take your sweet time and really savor them flavors. Call (805) 346-7908 for reservations or just stop by 801 S. Broadway to indulge.

BENEDICT BREAKFAST BATCH
These perfectly formed portions of eggs Benedict came complete with thick-sliced ham, steamed spinach, and that tart and creamy hollandaise drizzle.
PHOTO BY NICK POWELL

For God’s sake, there are two rows of tables in Santa Maria where every Sunday, all manner of delicious food from heaven is artfully arranged so that any schmuck off the street with 30 bucks in his (or her!) pocket can shovel as much of it as possible into her (or his!) gaping maw. 

And, such schmucks can get buzzed off unlimited fizzy mimosas or spicy bloody marys between courses! There’s no need to fight, man. We’ve all already won. 

Look, I could use up all of my word space by just listing every item available at the Century Room’s Sunday brunch, but that would probably be boring. I will say they had way more than I was expecting at a higher quality than I’ve ever seen at any kind of all-you-can-eat situation. I’ve paid way more for spreads that were way worse in Las Vegas, and those buffets were still pretty darn good. Just not this good. 


TECHNICOLOR DREAM FRUIT
Look closely. This fruit medley has every color of the rainbow ... except blue and purple. Oh wait, the next table over has piles of grapes and blueberries. They did it!
PHOTO BY NICK POWELL

FLOWS OF AMBROSIA
I may be some sort of country bumpkin, but I ain’t never dipped fruit into no chocolate fountain wizardry till last Sunday. I kinda liked it.
PHOTO BY NICK POWELL

I exaggerate for effect sometimes—you know, a little artistic license, some hyperbole for the people—but this brunch is a literal treasure not even trying to hide in our very backyard. 

That fat jerk King Henry VIII was possibly the most powerful, wealthy hedonist to ever live, and I’m certain he never had a meal this good. First, bloody marys didn’t even exist until after his daughter Mary killed all those people, and second, he didn’t have taco bars. He probably couldn’t get a fresh tropical pineapple all the way back to drab ol’ England no matter how many shillings he showered on merchants, and no one had mastered the pump technology that makes chocolate fountains possible. 

But we have access to all of that, every week, for just a few hours of serf wages. 


BOUNTY OF THE SEA
I’m not an oyster man myself, but my wife loves the little buggers and seemed pretty excited about this table here. She thought y’all might want to see it.
PHOTO BY NICK POWELL

DAY DRINKING WITH CLASS
Look at all those blurry hot sauces in the background of this bottomless bloody mary bar. The choices are nigh limitless for you to concoct the perfect spicy cocktail to wake you up on a lazy Sunday, just before it puts you right back to sleep.
PHOTO BY NICK POWELL

In all sincerity, it’s an incredible time to be alive. Take a minute to appreciate that. 

I made the classic buffet mistake of getting too many of my favorite things—lox and capers, prime rib and horseradish, fruits, and cheeses—and not leaving room in my poor extended stomach to try everything. 

I missed the taco bar entirely, skipped the fried chicken and waffles, and merely gazed longingly at the resplendent omelet station. 

I did set aside some room for dessert, indulging in dipped strawberries, some sort of heavenly chocolate/caramel cake, and a difficult last bite of cherry cheesecake. 

I walked away a stuffed and groaning mess of gluttony, but I don’t regret a thing. 


LOTS OF LOX
Smoked salmon and capers are the best goddamned combination food has ever seen. And it was unlimited at the Century Room!
PHOTO BY NICK POWELL

Contributing writer Nick Powell is so full of lox he cannot stand up. Whisper gently into npowell@santamariasun.com, because it’s nap time, and we don’t want to wake the little tike. 

Powell’s Picks

• Get a little loose sipping suds while you loosen up stretching those muscles at Naughty Oak’s Beer Yoga in Orcutt on Sunday, July 21, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Class size is limited, so reserve a spot as soon as possible. Tickets cost $22 at my805tix.com and include an hour of fun, kind of silly yoga instruction for all abilities and your first pint of beer.  

• Really indulge your love of food with the Midsummer Eve Farm Dinner at Dare 2 Dream Farms just outside of Lompoc on Saturday, July 20, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Get to know how local food is produced with a brief owner-guided tour of the farm before enjoying a four-course meal curated by chef Ryan Shepard and made from ingredients sourced from the farm. Palmina Wines will provide the pairings, and the evening will finish with fireside conversation and star gazing. Tickets cost $125. Visit dare2dreamfarms.com for more information. 

• I grabbed a refreshing, light lunch at The Garden Mediterranean Restaurant and Cafe in Santa Maria the other day, and while we’ve covered it before, I can’t in good conscience not recommend it. It was too good. The place had lovely outdoor seating, jaunty old-world tunes, vibrant salad, soft pita bread, and a yogurt concoction with spicy sausage that really made my afternoon. You should go to there: 122 E. Boone St. 

• There’s a taco party—dubbed “Taco Festivus”—at Carivintas Winery in Solvang to celebrate its 10th anniversary on Sunday, July 21, from 4 to 7 p.m. It sounds fun and intriguing. Here’s the deal (as far as I can tell): There will be an amateur taco competition, but chef spots for that are already taken. Afterward, general attendees will be encouraged to cook and construct their own tacos at an open grill. No food will be sold at the event, but it’s a nice winery place where grilling surfaces will be provided. To attend, search Carivintas Winery on eventbrite.com and pay a $10 deposit, which will secure your spot and go toward wine purchases at the event. 

Contributing writer Nick Powell thinks all parties should be taco parties. Sprinkle some cilantro and onions on npowell@santamariasun.com.




Weekly Poll
How should Lompoc respond to the lawsuit claiming its ordinance restricting where registered sex offenders can live is unconstitutional?

The city should fight the lawsuit in court.
The city needs to repeal the ordinance and settle the lawsuit.
Most cities in California have already repealed similar ordinances.
Keep the ordinance. Residents need it for public safety.

| Poll Results