Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gospel Music icon Kirk Franklin teams with Orlando's House of Blues on an all-new Gospel Brunch: Review

Courtesy House of Blues
Celebrated for over 20 years, the House of Blues Gospel Brunch experience combines renowned dining with spectacular, high-energy entertainment. Earlier this year, House of Blues announced that they joined forces with Grammy Award-winning musician and the biggest-selling Gospel music artist in the world, Kirk Franklin, to create a whole new Gospel Brunch experience.
As producer and curator of the all-new event, Franklin has put together an electrifying roster of talented gospel singers and musicians who will perform during Gospel Brunch, delivering his signature contemporary energy. Franklin himself will also make special appearances at select brunches throughout the year. Happening at House of Blues venues across the country, the all-new Gospel Brunch experience also features an ever-evolving buffet menu full of Southern specialties the whole family’s sure to love.

Orlando's Best Gospel Brunch Experience

Considered by many to be the most popular brunch experience in the country, Gospel Brunch at House of Blues is a non-denominational, participative celebration of gospel music to help wipe away the week’s troubles and inspire the week ahead. Kirk Franklin has been heavily engaged in creating the new Gospel Brunch experience, visiting House of Blues clubs in person and hand-picking electrifying new gospel singers and musicians and tailoring each show to fit the club’s individual market. His aim is for Gospel Brunch guests be treated to an uplifting live music and dining spectacle that will bring them to their feet, have them clapping, singing and creating unforgettable memories.  Franklin himself will also make special appearances at select brunches throughout the year.

The Food

The all-you-can-eat Gospel Brunch menu changes frequently to incorporate new flavors; but standby favorites include southern specialties and morning feast favorites such as cornbread muffins and maple butter, Creole chicken and shrimp jambalaya, chicken and waffles, carving stations, plus create-your-own Bloody Mary and mimosa bars.

The buffet starts immediately when you arrive. Grab a seat, and grab a plate quickly. The lines form right away. Buffet stations are situated at the back of the venue and wrap around toward the stage. A bar to the right of the stage serves drinks: tea, water, soda, bloody Marys and mimosas. This is brunch, you must drink mimosas.

There's a traditional breakfast station serving the staples: scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, and an amazing pot of crispy bacon - all you can eat bacon! The carving station sliced up some great honey-baked ham. There's also a dessert station, and a station serving Creole chicken and jambalaya. I didn't get a chance to try the omelets station, but the omelets they served up looked great.

The Chicken and Waffles station was my favorite. The waffles were cooked to order, and I dressed them with syrup, butter, strawberries and whipped cream. The chicken tenders were crispy, and the meat was quite tender. You'd think all you can eat chicken under a heat lamp wouldn't be that great, but I thought they were some of the best tenders I've had in a while.

Of course the bacon was my favorite dish, but the macaroni and cheese was also a winner. I loved the creamy texture, and the crunchy bread crumb topping.

How's the Experience?

I recently had a chance to experience the Gospel Brunch in person at House of Blues at Downtown Disney and had a great time. There really was no heavy-handed religious tone to the show. I sat with a table of Hindu and they enjoyed the show just as much as I did. I think anyone -- Christian, Muslim, Jewish or Atheist -- would enjoy and find inspiration in some of the songs. But let's face it, I was there for the food!

Orlando, Florida Downtown Disney

2 shows every Sunday at 10:30AM and 1PM

House of Blues

Founded in 1992, House of Blues are located throughout the United States and form the country’s pre-eminent group of intimate music venues. Each features state-of-the-art sound and lighting technology in one-of-a-kind custom designed environments aimed to bring fans as close as possible to the artists.  Every location’s restaurant and bar is adorned with signature original folk-art – part of the world’s largest collection – combined with the House of Blues legendary hospitality and tantalizing cuisine.

Note: I dined compliments of House of Blues

4 Hallelujahs out of 5

House of Blues on Urbanspoon

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