Saz's State House - Bring on the Buffet

On a dull and dreary game day morning think about heading to Saz's State House to get your fill before heading to Miller Park. I recently made a trip to this Milwaukee favorite to see what people have been enjoying since 1976.  Along for this review was my friend, Adam, who is always up for checking out something new, and a buffet was right up our alley this Sunday morning.

Heading west on State street, Saz's is just west of the Miller brewery underneath the Hawley bridge. This restaurant, although tucked away, has a devoted crowd and even more so on Brewers game days. Walking into the restaurant is like walking back in time. The circular bar was packed with patrons. The Schlitz pilsner glasses and wood paneling made me think I was walking into a supper club in the Northwoods. The main seating area is behind a wooden partisan on one side of the bar with the buffet line on the other side. Navigating around the bar patrons, servers and other diners can be challenging.

Adam and I walked into the packed bar/waiting area for a table for almost 25 minutes. (The "Immediate Seating" sign must have been left on by mistake.) There was a shuttle that went from the restaurant to Miller park. It took sometime to fill the bus with all the fans, as they were finishing their beers and talking about the Brewers and Cubs game. Once the shuttle departed, the restaurant cleared out of a good portion of guests and we were able to get a table in the bar area.

Our server came up to the table and asked us if we wanted something to drink. I ordered my usual (coffee, water and mimosa) while Adam ordered a coffee. Then, our server looked at us and said, "You're here for the buffet? You can start whenever." Adam and I looked at each other with disbelief and got up to start at the buffet.

We squeezed by some servers and other diners to make our way into the room filled with the buffet. There were two sections to the buffet line: one with breakfast-style food and the other with more of a traditional dinner fare. Another section of the buffet had a salad bar, smoked salmon, assorted pastries, a tub of ice cream. Additionally, there was a ham and beef carving station and made-to-order omelette station, although the cook looked like he had a rough night before and was propped up against the well.

Adam and I surveyed over the grand display of food, devised our strategy and dug in. We took many of the same items, so for this review, I focused on my plates. My first plate I chose to take an Egg Benedict, corned-beef hash, chicken cordon bleu, bacon and a cup of Italian tortellini soup. With all the selection, I was really looking forward to everything I had placed on my plate. Unfortunately, I was not impressed. The benedict was over-cooked on the bottom with a cold sauce. The chicken cordon bleu was a pre-prepared and processed version of the same super market entree. Redeeming the plate, the corned-beef hash was delicious with the side of bacon. However, the soup was too salty for my taste with large chunks of celery, carrots, tomatoes and tortellini. Half way through this plate, Adam and my coffees arrived. My mimosa had not. In asking the server if I could have my drink, she replied, "Oh yeah, it's coming," and quickly ran off to another table. Once the drink did arrive at the table, it was terrible. The bitter drink was not sweet or smooth like others I had tasted. It was watery and bitter, as if the drink was only cheap champagne and a splash of orange juice on top.

Sipping my piping hot coffee, Adam and I decided to take a second-try at the buffet. This time I wanted to focus more on the second half of the buffet: dinner items with one exception a waffle. The tray of chicken tenders looked too good to pass up, so with that, I took one tender and a large potato pankcake. I also fished out some mixed vegetables out of a sea of butter and added them to my plate. Walking back to the table, I passed the dessert section and grabbed a chocolate-chip cookie bar. The waffle was soggy, even before the addition of the maple syrup, and the potato pancake was burnt on one side. I missed that when making my selection. The chicken tender was nice and juicy and although they were probably loaded with butter, so were the veggies. The dessert bar didn't last too much longer after the photo was taken.
 
Adam also agreed with the food. Although the selection looked and smelled delicious, the plates were not that appetizing. Coupled with poor and inattentive service, my experience at Saz's State House was not the best. Although the crowds loved loading up on the food before heading to the ball park, I would love to see some improvements to the service and food before I would plan a return trip. At $15.95 per person including all drinks, this reasonably priced buffet is designed for those that love those four little words, "all-you-can-eat."

What have been your experiences at Saz's State House? What are some other good items to get from the buffet? Respond below in the comments!

All the details you want to know: (on a five star rating)

Saz's State House (**)
5539 W State St
Milwaukee, WI 53208

(414) 453-2410
sazs.com
Saz's State House on Urbanspoon

Brunch hours:
Sunday: 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Atmosphere: ** (ok)
A hodgepodge building of many add-ons with a feeling of being stuck in 1965.

Food: ** (ok)
A barrage of traditional breakfast and dinner items along with a carving station, omelettes to order, salad and dessert bars.

Service: * (poor)
Never caught our server's name, but she never stood still when checking with us. It was almost "drive-by" service.

Drinks: *
Mimosa - * (poor)
Bloody Mary - n/a (didn't try)

Price: ** (ok)
Little more than $15 a person with drinks included in the all-you-can-eat buffet.

2 comments:

Lo said...

How disappointing! This looks like the sort of situation where a restaurant should stick to the things it does best -- in Saz's case: ribs, rather than brunch.

sharyncarlson said...

I was hoping to hear that your brunch went in a different direction, but unfortunately I am not surprised. We have had their brunch twice and have only had bad experiences. Inattentive service, cold food, overcooked items, and very cramped. We would gladly go back for ribs and fries, but we feel there are much better places for brunch.

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