Pros: good food at appropriate temperatures and a variety of doneness levels, very inexpensive
Cons: opened late, utilitarian space
The combination of restaurant hours and shuttle service to Universal made it a bit difficult to eat breakfast during my recent trip to Orlando. Those days I tried to both eat breakfast and catch the early shuttle to Universal I wound up both staying close to my hotel and eating somewhat quickly. One of those mornings I ended up at the Great American Steak & Buffet on International Drive.
Offering a $2.99 breakfast buffet from 7am to noon (drinks are extra), Great American Steak & Buffet has one of the cheapest breakfast buffets I've ever encountered anywhere. For that price, I didn't expect much. I was pleasantly surprised.
The restaurant offers a rather large spread with scrambled eggs, fried eggs, hard boiled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, french toast, hashbrowns, beans, stewed tomatoes, texas toast, biscuits, cold cereals, assorted fruit, salad bar, ice cream, and chocolate cake.
The fruit was canned but everything else was fresh and excellent. Cold food was appropriately cold, hot food was actually hot and stayed that way long enough to eat even some time after it was placed on the buffet. The biscuits particularly were particularly good and the hashbrowns were shredded style, rare for a buffet but highly superior to other methods of preparation in my book. In general, the fried eggs were cooked to multiple levels of doneness as were the other dishes that can be such as the bacon. I didn't entirely eat my fill before I had to leave to catch the shuttle bus, but I had a nice sampling of food and it was all good.
I was a bit worried when I arrived at Great American Steak & Buffet because they opened a few minutes late. The manager let me in, though, and told me to choose a table. The waitress brought me a glass of water then, once the buffet had been mostly filled, some plates. I was able to get refills of both plates and water without too much difficulty, but not quite as quickly as I'd have liked given my rush. The service seemed to have a lull right after the restaurant officially opened, then improved again by the end of my meal.
The restaurant is filled with rows of plastic tables and cushioned straight chairs. It's very utilitarian, but for $2.99 I'm not going to complain.
Great American Steak & Buffet has a very nice breakfast buffet at a very cheap price. The service could have been a bit better, but it was certainly adequate. My only real complaint is that they opened late, exacerbating the "not enough time to eat breakfast" problem folks using nearby hotel shuttles are faced with each morning. I'd happily eat at Great American Steak & Buffet again given the opportunity.