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A Gem in a Plain Setting

Fullerton's Four Points Sheraton concentrates on the food, not the decor, and the result is delicious.


Ignore the hum from the Riverside Freeway as you walk to the front door. Dismiss the restaurant's diner-like decor. And try to look past the fact that the Sunday brunch at the Four Points Sheraton in Fullerton takes place in a large, impersonal banquet room behind the cafe.

What the Four Points lacks in atmosphere, it makes up for with a reasonably priced, all-you-can-eat champagne brunch that doesn't cut corners.

Most buffets, for example, offer seafood, but there's a decidedly unappetizing catch: You typically must arm yourself for a wrestling match with your crab claw or peel and (gulp) devein the shrimp.

That's why the seafood table at first drew gasps of delight from our party, then, after we ate more than our share, rave reviews.

Plump, sizable shrimp--already peeled and deveined--are piled high alongside hefty crab legs sheared in half for easy access to the tender meat. All you need is a fork. The only drawback is that the cocktail sauce is on the sweet side and could stand more horseradish heat.

The staff takes pride in focusing their brunch on a few key dishes, then doing them well.

There are the typical brunch offerings: an assortment of salads, cheeses, eggs, lox and pastries, along with heartier dishes such as enchiladas, braised ribs and sunny-side up eggs served on deep-fried corn tortillas.


But a better bet is the side table where chefs wait to take your order. They'll prepare egg dishes to your liking or serve up steaming-hot waffles. The roast turkey was perfectly moist and the roast beef perfectly rare.

There are also a variety of dessert cakes on display, from chocolate layer cakes to shortcakes. But here's another tip: Save the calories for the buttery, crisp fruit cobbler, the white- and milk-chocolate covered strawberries or--best of all--the crowd-pleasing flambe.

A selection of the day's fruits--peaches, strawberries, cherries, bananas and raspberries--are sauteed in butter over high heat before the chef douses it all in a liqueur that immediately catches fire. The caramelized concoction is poured onto a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

There are several flourishes that attempt to draw attention from the plain surroundings.

A spectacular ice sculpture is at the center of the buffet table, surrounded by fruits and vegetables that are decoratively carved for added affect.

But the food, the relaxed atmosphere and a friendly staff are the real draws.

The freeway-close Sheraton was the site of several large--and loud--family gatherings on a recent Sunday. The large facility means there's no rush toward table turnover. Servers are quick to refill champagne flutes, juice glasses and coffee cups.

Those are just a few of the reasons we--and most guests--weren't at all bothered by the lack of a view.

* The Four Points Sheraton, 1500 S. Raymond Ave., Fullerton, serves Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Price for adults is $17.95, champagne included. Discounts for children and seniors. For reservations, call (714) 635-9000.

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