Thursday, November 22, 2012
Piero’s Corner Italian Restaurant, Fairfax, VA
9959 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22031
As dining service goes, buffets naturally put the service on the diner. Diners have to do most of the work by serving themselves. The bussing staff is generally relegated to cleaning up empty plates, the wait staff keeps the coffee cups full, the hostess to welcome the guests, and kitchen aids make sure the buffet is stocked and fresh. Sorry to say that Piero’s waiters, bussers, and kitchen staff did not live up to their end of the service. But it was the wonderful company of friends that was well-worth suffering through the bad service and (as you’ll see) mediocre food.
The hostess sat four adults at a table more accustomed for two (even though larger booths were available—and yes, we decided to occupy the larger booth). After a long wait to order drinks and have our first round at the buffet, we finally placed our drink orders. We proceeded to a well-stocked assortment of breakfast and lunch items (more on those later) and returned with “Round 1” well before our coffee, champagne was served. The champagne was on the sweet side (odd) and the coffee came with the customary 2 creamer servings, but no sugar. I for one was finished with “Round 1” before the sugar made it to the table. Oh, and I need a spoon to stir my coffee--had to ask for that as well. Thank goodness for a silverware set that was made up of 2 forks, a knife so I could at least use the other fork to stir the coffee.
Reflections on “Round 1”? The English muffins beneath the Eggs Benedict were soggy, the French toast was cold, and the scrambled eggs seemed like they were there all morning. Oh, and do you think coffee refills were automatic? Think again—we had to pull teeth to get a refill. The omelet station did not offer egg-white-only omelets and the selection of omelet ingredients was blah.
After figuring out what did not work in “Round 1”, “Round 2” was a bit more enjoyable (isn't it always this way with buffets?). I was able to catch a fresh waffle coming out of the waffle iron, so I pounced on that. The butter actually melted a bit; however, a shortage in the syrup server and waiting on them to refill it caused the waffle to lose some of its just-from-the-oven freshness. We were pleased to locate a server making a choice of four different salads. The three lunch entrees were pizza, chicken breast in an unknown sauce, and a seafood Diablo-type dish with mussels being the only recognizable ingredient.
All-in-all, Piero’s was not the best NOVA has to offer when it comes to Sunday brunch. We are very big fans of J. Gilbert’s Sunday buffet so our bias and measuring up to the McLean staple is a difficult one at best. We will not be returning to Piero’s as our brunch with friends place will always be J. Gilberts.