Brunch at the Grand Concourse in South Side is perhaps one of the most classic and loved Pittsburgh experiences.
Although we'd visited several years ago, we recently made a return trip to refresh our memory on why this spot is so beloved by Pittsburghers.
It didn't take long to remember- the stunning and grandiose architecture of an old train station is a fitting backdrop to the decadence and grandeur of the buffet.
The Grand Concourse Brunch is an Experience
First and foremost, this is the kind of place where massive groups of 8, 10, 12 people or more gather before or after church or for family celebrations. Therefore, reservations are essential. Even with a reservation, you should expect to wait for a table.
If you've never been to brunch here, you should definitely ask for an overview of the buffet from your waitress, and make sure to survey the whole scene before committing. (If you're as indecisive as I am, the experience can be a bit anxiety-producing.)
Attempting to Try it All, and Failing Spectacularly
There are several different buffet areas, each serving a unique type of food. There's the donut station in the bar area complete with an automatic donut machine that plops out piping hot donuts that you can then roll in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. We tried a few of these and they were delicious.
There's an omelet station, where you can pick from several filling combinations from the menu, or build your own. I started off my meal by trying to be healthy and ordering something here, but then it quickly went downhill. And I loved every minute of it.
The main buffet area is full of traditional breakfast items like bacon, hash browns, and eggs, and at the end of the buffet is a massive meat carving station complete with prime rib, ham, and turkey.
Adjacent to the main buffet is an entire seafood spread full of peel and eat shrimp, smoked salmon, mussels, and more. We tried a little bit of everything and it was all good, especially for being on a buffet.
Next to the meat carving station is a cold salad spread, and behind that is an area with fresh fruit. If you've got kids, they will love the special buffet area just for them with things like chicken tenders and candy.
But I've saved the best for last: the bananas foster station. Here you can order pancakes or waffles and top them with rummy bananas foster – or bring a plate of whatever you want up to the station and have them top it with bananas foster.
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Despite being stuffed, we just couldn't leave without having some bananas foster. There's always room for dessert, right? We told the station attendant we were going to split a dish of ice cream with bananas foster, and he just laughed and gave us two.
You do not want to share this with anyone, it's so buttery, rummy, and banana-y.
And if you really want to go for it, check out the table with the sweets and baked goods. Grab an apple strudel or other pastry from this table and take it to the bananas foster station. Have them top it with ice cream and bananas foster, and prepare to be in heaven and then in a food coma the rest of the day.
Whether you're looking for a sweet, savory, meat-laden, seafood, or vegetarian brunch, you can find it at the Grand Concourse brunch buffet. It's such a classic Pittsburgh experience, everyone needs to experience it at least once. Or, in our case, many times more to come.
The Grand Concourse is located at 100 W Station Square in South Side and is open for brunch on Sundays (regular menu available on other days). As of 2017, brunch was just under $30 per person.