READERS' PICK: Sunday brunch used to be many people's idea of a religious observance in this town, but in recent years the fad has died down considerably. Not so, however, at Westin La Paloma, where each week the Desert Garden Bistro lays out a royal spread. At $24.95 per person including champagne (children 12 and under eat for $1 per year of age), this meal is served buffet-style from a dizzying slew of stations -- it's not for those interested in eating light. The carving station features roast beef, turkey, ham and lamb, though the exact menu changes from week to week. An omelet station allows you to custom call your favorite egg incarnations, and a pasta and seafood station (featuring the freshest catch of the day) provide additional tasting delights. A waffle station rounds out the options for those more interested in traditional breakfast fare. A knockout selection of desserts ranges from chocolate brownies and sweet breads to decadent mountains of sugary, buttery and creamy confections. Brunch hours are 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with reservations highly recommended.
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Loews Ventana Canyon Resort (The Canyon Café), 7000 N. Resort Drive. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each Sunday, the Canyon Café at Ventana Canyon Resort fires up flames and presents a buffet brunch of mammoth proportions. A carving station featuring prime rib, golden roasted turkey and sugar-glazed ham is just the beginning of an eating experience that can only be classified as highbrow gluttony. Beckoning from a bed of shaved ice is a seafood station that carries generous portions of Guaymas shrimp, mussels and caviar. A chef stands at the ready to fulfill your personal pasta requests, tossing a variety of noodles with a smorgasbord of ingredients to customize each dish. Specialty items like eggs Benedict, omelets and roast loin of pork also make an appearance, as do a variety of tempting salads. If you have any room left, desserts are marvelous, exhibiting every degree of indulgence from homey fruit pies to chocolate mousse. Cost is $24.95 per person, half-price for children under 12. Early reservations fill up quickly, so plan accordingly and call ahead.
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