Breakfast on the weekend is the enemy of the night owl. Paired with imagery of unwelcome sunrises, overworked farmers and obnoxious roosters in full strut, cock-a-doodle-dooing at offensively early hours of the morning, this meal requires folks to actually get out of bed after a late night out. It’s enough to make you want to throw the covers back over your head and return to slumber for another two hours.

And that is precisely why the concept of brunch is so fantastic. It offers all the greatest hits from breakfast and throws in lunch options while allowing you to sleep in and enjoy the whole experience at a reasonable hour.

And one of the best new brunch options in South Jersey just launched at Chart House inside Golden Nugget Atlantic City, a gourmet, buffet-style extravaganza that runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays for $49.99 per person.

If you haven’t been to Chart House before, we recommend a visit. Its location within Golden Nugget is a bit off the beaten path, just far enough away from the clamor of the slot machines, which immediately offers a sense of calm to enjoy a leisurely brunch. A visually stunning restaurant, Chart House boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that peer out onto the sparkling waters of the marina and the Atlantic City skyline. They also serve to bathe the room with natural light, while blues and greens in the carpeting and décor add punch to the aquatic theme. Chart House offers more tables with a view than just about any restaurant in the city, and the serenity of the scenery adds much to the ambiance of the meal.

If you associate buffets with inferior quality cuisine, let us just stop you right there. This is Golden Nugget, not Golden Corral. It’s fancy without feeling stuffy or pretentious, the kind of place you would feel equally comfortable bringing your wife on a date or celebrating the family matriarch’s 80th birthday. It’s appealing from just about every angle.

The specific items available on the brunch change from week to week, but choices are sure to be beyond plentiful no matter which Sunday you opt for. Of course with this many options, one of the hardest things is to figure out what you are in the mood for first.

At a buffet that only features one meal — say dinner — it’s easy to start with the salads, apps and soups, move on to entrees and finish up with dessert. But when both breakfast and lunch items are all up for grabs, one must put a bit more planning into the meal strategy. Do hearty items like bacon, french toast and sausage links come before soup? Sushi before eggs? It’s hard to say, but these decisions are unquestionably part of the fun when you have a buffet that is so fully loaded with options. In other words, these are good problems to have. We’ll explore your options further and let you map out your own route.

The buffet area is separated into various subgroups, with everything from fresh seafood to antipasti to breakfast favorites like french toast and scrambled eggs all living in harmony as neighbors. Uncommon buffet items like caviar, and a build-your-own poke bowl station, make for nice — and welcome — surprises. Traditional carving stations featuring lamb, prime rib and more are offered as well as a dessert lineup that needs to be seen to be believed.

No brunch is worth its salt — or salt rim — without eye openers, aka drinks. And the $49.95 includes bottomless mimosas and for $5 more you can add the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, which is really second to none. The do-it-yourself bar includes basically everything you would ever think of to make a truly spectacular — and memorable — Bloody Mary.

Horseradish, mango habanero pickles, cocktail onion, Dijon mustard, pickled beets, cocktail onions, celery, kosher dill pickles, a variety of olives including some that are stuffed with blue cheese, capers, cherry tomatoes, basil, jalapeno peppers, cucumbers, Vidalia onions and other ingredients are complemented with pepperoncini, bacon and other meats so you can create the most decadent Bloody Mary you ever had. And you can have as many as you want.

After you have a drink or two, hit the seafood bar so you get maximum value for your brunch price. A variety of sushi can be found along with king crab legs, oysters, clams, seafood shooters, shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon — perfect to go with cream cheese and fresh bagels — and more.

After you have your full of seafood, hit the breakfast station, which includes made-to-order omelets, breakfast staples like bacon and sausage and rotating entrees that can include everything from fancy versions of French toast to pancakes.

One nice bonus is that the Chart House offers some items that you order directly from your server, including Belgian waffles and eggs Benedict. This is particularly nice because there is nothing worse than crusty waffles or eggs Benedict that sat in the chafing dish too long. Ours came out fresh and perfect. Order some berries and whipped cream with your waffle.

If that wasn’t enough, you will find Chart House favorites like lobster mac and cheese along with a cold salad and antipasti station, carving stations featuring rotating items, such as prime rib and lamb chops, and a decadent dessert bar that will blow your mind with homemade selections, such as crème brulee, cakes, pastries, key lime pie and more. The specific items on the buffet change week to week, but you can count on a variety of steak, chicken and fish options along with veggies, mashed potatoes and rice.

Once upon a time, every casino had glorious Sunday brunches like this. With the addition of Golden Nugget’s, there are now only three remaining in the city. With a view this impeccable and service and food to match, The Chart House at Golden Nugget offers a destination brunch worth seeking out.

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Associate Editor, At The Shore/ACWeekly

Freelance reporter for At The Shore/Atlantic City Insiders from 2011-2015; Editor in Chief, MainStreetMarlboro.com,2014-2015; Writer for Zagat, 2013

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