BBQ meets breakfast in Sundance Cafe brunch

From grilled asparagus and roasted yams, to pancakes, eggs and bacon, Sunday brunch at the Sundance Cafe at the Hilton El Conquistador has a variety for the entire family.

Thelma Grimes/The Explorer

Sunday brunch is a staple for family dining, finding a place that is not only affordable, but also has something for everyone to enjoy is not always easy, however.

Putting a new spin on the traditional Sunday brunch is exactly what the Sundance Cafe at the Hilton El Conquistador has started doing.

For those dressed up coming from church service, or those enjoying a weekend getaway coming in from the pool just outside, this take on brunch welcomes everyone. However, chef Vincent Renteria joked that those coming in from the pool must be wearing shoes.

The Sundance brunch is also liked by all ages. Children wanting breakfast have a large selection between the omelet station, to pancakes along with the traditional bacon and sausage selections.

However, to go along with the traditional breakfast choices, the Sundance Cafe has added a BBQ picnic-style selection of foods  that won’t disappoint.

The buffet-style brunch includes sonoran dogs, ribs, beer-brined chicken and a variety of vegetables that change each week.

On Feb. 9, the buffet included not only beer-brined chicken and ribs, but standout side dishes such as roasted sweet potatoes, which were roasted for just the right amount of time. By being roasted they dry out and caramelize, but are cooked just enough that they aren’t too dry, and the sweetness is present in every bite.

The chicken was also done to perfection, with just a hint of beer flavor, which isn’t overpowering like some beer-brined meats can be.

Why such a different take on brunch, Renteria said it’s fun.

“It’s also totally different from what anyone else is doing,” he said. “We want to give each outlet here at the Hilton its own identity.”

Besides traditional BBQ favorites, Renteria also serves up several dishes that are specialties to Sundance Cafe.

The buffet offers an obvious diner’s favorite chorizo-cheddar mashed potatoes, and with all the meats being served dry, there is a wide variety of barbecue sauces and Renteria’s special chorizo gravy, which he stressed can be poured over everything.

“We really had the summer season in mind when we created this style of buffet,” Renteria said. “We wanted something easy and friendly that would allow all walk-in customers. If you  are in the pool and have swim trunks on, you’re welcome, just wear your shoes.”

Also bringing in something new and unique, the Sundance Cafe’s brunch has a homemade pickled vegetable station.

From cauliflower to apples, there is plenty of pickled favorites to try. The apples will bring a diner back to childhood when eating small red-hot candy was popular. The heat and sharpness of the pickled apple make it one of the many adventures offered in the buffet’s wide selection.

Finally, the selection is capped off with several dessert dishes, which Renteria said changes every week. From carrot cake, to white cake and cheesecake, there’s plenty of flavors to finish off the meal.

Looking for something lighter, the menu also has a selection of refreshing fruit mixtures to drink. On Feb. 9, the fruit drink included broccoli, honey dew, spinach and agave syrup. 

The brunch is open to the public every week between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The cost is $26 for adults and children between 6 and 12-years-old are $13 each.

For more information, call 544-5000, or visit the website at

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