Wrigley Mansion Sunday Brunch- What I Liked
- Spectacular views
- Bottomless mimosas included
- Nice variety without huge, gaudy displays of food
- Good place to celebrate a special occasion
- Will attempt to honor special requests
- $10 club fee waived for Sunday Brunch
- Website not informative relative to brunch
- Parking situation an annoyance
- Dining room is noisy
- Dessert selections uninspired
- Closes for the summer
Sunday Brunch at Wrigley Mansion - The Mood
The dining room at Wrigley Mansion sits about 100 feet above street level, and, with it's large glass windows, is acclaimed for the lovely views of the Valley of the Sun.
Wrigley Mansion was built in 1932 by William Wrigley, Jr. of chewing gum fame, as a gift for his wife; it was an actual home, with 24 rooms. The objective of the mansion's restoration is to maintain that era of charm and sophistication, so to some it might seem old or antique-ish. Certainly, it appeals to people who have lived in the Valley for many years, people who appreciate a perspective from the past, or for those that enjoy a bit of unique history sitting in the middle of one of the largest cities in the country.
Resort casual attire is appropriate here. I even noticed jackets and ties on a few older gentlemen.
Sunday Brunch at Wrigley Mansion - The Damages
What I thought of Sunday Brunch at Wrigley Mansion
The first thing to mention about Sunday Brunch at Wrigley Mansion is that it can be a challenge just getting there! After you figure out how to get up the hill (see the map and directions, below) parking is an issue. You can self park, and walk up the hill, or you can valet park for a fee. I notice that some people complain about the design of the parking. Keep in mind that the mansion wasn't originally built as a restaurant! Still, I do find the valet charge to be a bit steep ($6 plus tip when I visited).
If you become bit frazzled after locating the place and parking, you will quickly calm when led through the buffet area to the dining room for brunch. A gorgeous view, tablecloths and immediate offers of mimosas set the stage for a lovely brunch. Be aware that some diners prefer to sit in the large dining room early in the day to avoid the sun that shines into the smaller dining room on the southwest side (although there are very effective shade screens there). The downside of brunch in the main dining room is the noise. It is a much larger room than the southwest room, and, since all the rooms have hardwood flooring, it is noisiest where there are large groups.
The food at our brunch was a mixture of delight and disappointment. It wasn't the most extravagant or luxurious brunch I have ever experienced, but it was reasonably priced and included items that you might not find at other brunches, along with typical brunch favorites. For breakfast, an omelet bar, scrambled eggs, breakfast meats -- the sausage was wonderful! -- fruit, pancakes, and traditional Eggs Benedict with a very light hollandaise sauce prepared to order. Salads held most of the highlights for me -- the Caprese Salad, pesto shrimp salad, a spicy chicken salad were cool and fresh and unexpected. Smoked salmon, cheese platter, berry assortment on a bed of honeycombs, and all-you-can-eat shrimp and crab legs will be enough to attract many to the buffet.
Quite a variety of cooked vegetables and sides were presented. I would pass on the mac and cheese, but the grilled asparagus was excellent. The hot foods were mostly acceptable. We arrived at noon, mid-brunch. Curried chicken and salmon were dry, lamb chops were chewy and bland. When meats and fish are served in chafing dishes I guess it's a matter of luck of how long they may have been sitting, overcooking, by the time you are ready to try them. The prime rib was an ugly cut with too much fat, but the meat was tasty. I didn't try either the taco bar or the omelet bar, both of which looked fine.
The selection of desserts was disappointing. There was fresh apple pie and an assortment of bite-sized pastries and mini-cakes. No chocolate cake, no carrot cake, no bread pudding, no creme brulee. Nothing that enticed me at all, so I skipped dessert. As we were leaving I noticed that a new selection, with mini-eclairs and some other more interesting bites, had been introduced. Also, as we left I had a hard time looking at the bacon on the breakfast side of the buffet, which was totally uncooked.
Back on a positive note, our server made it clear to all the tables for which she was responsible that if there were any special requests she would try to make them happen. For example, if special dietary needs are in play, or the kids will only eat french fries or chicken strips you are encouraged to ask for something else from the kitchen. I assume that if I wanted crispy bacon, I could have asked and they would have taken care of it.
When making your Sunday Brunch reservations, you can also arrange to take a guided tour of the Wrigley Mansion. There is an extra charge for the tour, but it would make an interesting addition to your occasion and provide the history and background to this unique property where you are dining.
I gave the Wrigley Mansion Sunday Brunch 3-1/2 stars because I like the concept of the historic nature of the place for a dining change of pace, but I wish I had been more excited about the hot entrees and the dessert selection. It is not unreasonably priced, considering it includes unlimited sparkling wine. The assortment is large enough that you'll be able to find your favorites, even if you are a vegetarian.
Tidbit: Unfortunately, you won't be treated to the stylings of the late Geordie Hormel at the piano during your brunch. I hear that it used to happen -- the heir to the Hormel meatpacking business, who purchased the mansion, was known to appear from time to time during brunch hours, even pajama-clad.
How to Find Wrigley Mansion
Wrigley Mansion Address:
2501 E. Telawa Trail
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Wrigley Mansion Phone:
It can be difficult to find the first time, so take a look at this map and directions.