Functionality - horrific... this was the 2nd time I have been at Carmen's (once other for a breakfast and the waffle w/ fruit at breakfast was quite good). In both visits it took what felt like 20 minutes to check in and get seated (and this is when it is not busy in the restaurant). Not to mention the clueless family who were standing a good 8 feet from the hostess desk and did not decide they were in line until we stepped up to the hostess desk. No problems parking... restaurant obviously easy to find.
Comfort - acceptable... nothing memorable... way too hot in the restaurant. Seating is a bit cramped, but not bad. Linens seem old. Dishes and silverware felt cheap and flimsy. Piano player was a nice touch, except for the "Happy Birthday" interruptions - when will this tradition end?
Service - acceptable... There is a manager (the guy with the ponytail) who *always* looks grouchy. Our waiter ("Freddy" or Wilfredo on the receipt) was very good. Prompt, attentive.
Connected - acceptable... free wi-fi from the hotel is a plus. The Carmen's website is useless. I laughed when I saw they called out their 2008 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence - I stayed at this hotel about 2 months ago and ordered a bottle of wine for room service. Crappy glasses, and they had nothing on the wine list (I selected three different bottles and none were available.
View / Decor - good... the lobby of the hotel is very nice. Interesting stained glass over the restaurant. Definitely worth seeing...
Food - good and not so good... the primary dishes were quite tasty... we had french toast, bacon, potatoes, pork loin, crab bisque soup, beef loin, roasted turkey, chicken fillet, fresh salads... all very nice. Not overcooked, refreshed often, serving stations stayed clean. But a lousy bread selection... no cheese plates... average desert selections (chocolate fountain good... strawberries good... pretzel sticks WTF)... no sorbet... and the "Champagne"? Some asti brand I've never heard of... overall the foot was quite good for a buffet, but we would have appreciated some additional selections - and clearly some items were missing.
Value - very good... at $25.95 per person - this cannot be beat...
Would I go back? YES - in a heartbeat. Sunday brunch is all about lots of different food, excess, live music, fun atmosphere... the food is *not* meant to be outstanding, and the value of Carmen's brunch is very good. Go for a visit yourself... despite the nit-picks - this is a good meal (just skip the "champagne").
Visited Sunday, July 6 10:35 AM
Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel
700 Lackawanna Avenue
Scranton, Pennsylvania 18503