We couldn’t have had a more perfect morning to drive the 50 minutes out to Foristell to have brunch at Cedar Lake Cellars. I have been there several other times to enjoy a glass of wine with friends, but I was unaware that they served Sunday brunch until it was suggested that I try it. The setting is beautiful with a newly built indoor restaurant and bar that opens to an outdoor, covered patio. Next to the patio is a large grassy area with picnic benches, chairs, and fire pits that back up to a beautiful lake complete with a dock that offers even more seating. Live music is often playing when the weather is nice and a second outdoor bar makes it easy to access wine, beer, and wine slushies (that’s right, wine slushies!).
Brunch is served from 11a.m. to 2p.m. on Sundays for $18.95 per person and we arrived at around 12:15p.m. without a reservation, although it is recommended that you make one. The hostess found us a table outside and offered to move it into the sun for us which was appreciated. She instructed us that our brunch would come with a Bloody Mary, Mimosa, or a glass of wine and that we could find plates inside next to the buffet.
We went to the buffet right away but we were unable to find plates where we were told they would be. We asked a waitress who said that they were running out but that she would try to find us more. She did come back after a few minutes and we proceeded to fill our plates with food from the buffet since the omelet line was several people deep. Nothing on the table was labeled so I took my best guess at choosing vegetarian-friendly items. The bowl that should have been filled with biscuits was empty but the dish of macaroni was brought out while I was standing there so I helped myself to a serving of that as well as broccoli salad, marinated eggplant and onions, and potato casserole.
We sat down at our table and ate while we waited for a waitress to come take our drink order. The potato casserole and broccoli salad with poppy seed dressing, cranberries and pecans was good but just about everything else was disappointing. The marinated eggplant was spongy and had not been cooked while the macaroni was covered in sauce that tasted like Alfredo sauce from a jar and was cold (even though I watched it come out of the kitchen). My husband had beef stroganoff and didn’t touch it after the first bite. By now we had been at the table for 20 minutes and we were starting to feel thirsty but we decided to wait a bit longer, just to see what would happen.
We went back for more food and since there was no line at the omelet station, we headed that way. There were two pieces of French toast left sitting in a pan so I helped myself to one of those and then placed my omelet order. Since there were only 4 choices of toppings (cheese, turkey, red pepper, and red onion), the decision wasn’t difficult. My husband asked if they had tomatoes but the chef informed us that they “ran out a few days ago.” I know it is a small town but I have to assume that they have access to a grocery store every few days.
We went back to the table where our old, dirty plates were still sitting and decided to flag someone down for drinks. The hostess happened to be the closest to us and she apologized, took our plates, and promised to send someone over. We ate our rubbery French toast and omelets which were good, despite the odd toppings. After 10 more minutes without drinks, we asked to speak to a manager who proceeded to apologize and offer us our drinks as well as a free meal. While we waited another 10 minutes, my husband went to get dessert. He returned with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, fruit, and bread pudding. Since there were no serving utensils, he used his hands to pick up the fruit and cookies. Finally, 50 minutes after we were seated and 30 minutes after we first started asking for drinks, our Bloody Mary and Mimosa arrived from an apologetic waitress.
I can count the times that I have complained to a manager on two fingers and while it was appropriate that we did not pay for our meal, we could have left on our own without paying and no one would have noticed the difference. While I would return for a drink on a nice day with a group of friends, Cedar Lake Cellars is just too far to drive to ever give it a second chance for brunch. I have seen them host large events in the same space where brunch is held but they seemed incapable of serving the number of people that showed up this morning. Aside from improving the service, simply stocking the buffet would have easily made this a more enjoyable experience.
Cedar Lake cellars is located 11008 Schreckengast Rd Wright City, MO 63390