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The saying goes like this: Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper.

It’s old wisdom, and I’m not sure how well it has stood up to modern nutritional studies. But to the extent it remains a good way of life, I recommend putting the proverb to work at the Mayflower hotel’s delicious daily breakfast buffet.

First of all, the king thing seems to fit at the Mayflower. Cafe Promenade, where the hotel serves breakfast is a really nice space, high-ceilinged and not noisy at all. On certain days, they even have some guy sitting on a balcony playing guitar. He takes very few breaks.

You’d think he’d be commuting to the breakfast supplies, like the rest of us. I’m not yet an expert on area breakfast buffets despite ambitions of becoming one, but I’d venture a guess that the Mayflower spread is highly competitive. Here’s the inventory from the hotel’s Web site:

Our Breakfast Buffet offers many breakfast favorites including: scrambled eggs, crisp smoked bacon, chicken apple sausage, smoked salmon, deli meats, pancakes, cereals, fresh fruits and an assortment of breakfast pastries including our award-winning banana nut bread. Fresh squeezed juices, hot teas and coffees are also included. Espresso drinks are not included.

Not sure what award that banana nut bread won—-it is good, though.

One of the common complaints about a buffet is that there’s lots of volume and no quality. Not my experience at the Mayflower. I easily get my $20 worth from this assortment. I make three trips, arranged by theme. First is the European, which features a bagel, less than two teaspoons of cream cheese, and some smoked salmon. Second is American, heavy on the chicken apple sausage, eggs, and perhaps a slight bit of bacon. Third is for the heart—-oatmeal with some raisins and such.

They keep you filled with O.J. and coffee. Nine times out of ten, it’s a better experience than dinner at any restaurant in town.

Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. Breakfast open daily 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.