As a native of Virginia Beach, I started to hear about Citrus Breakfast & Lunch, or just Citrus, a couple of years ago. It became an even bigger deal when they opened a second location in VB. On a trip home, my friends and I tried to get a table there. The hostess promptly informed us that the wait for the table was 45 minutes to an hour.
Me: “I think we’ll go somewhere else.”
Ain’t no brunch worth that wait.
So last month, on my last day in Virginia Beach before traveling back to Richmond, I snagged my dad into taking me for breakfast. It had flurried the night before, as in there was snow on my windshield, and it was a Tuesday. There better not be a wait.
Of course, when we arrived, even at 9:30 on a Tuesday (*Drake raps in background*), our hostess told us it would be five to ten minutes. But 30 seconds later, she called us over. Our table was ready. Obviously she knows I write for a brunch blog.
The first thing my dad commented on was the menu’s affordability. My dad can be a cheapskate (to my friends: this is where I get it from), but he liked these prices, which can be hard to find. Restaurants like to charge you $5 for three eggs when they paid $3 for 36. #capitalism
The drink menu also wasn’t bad. They have $3 mimosas. More interesting, Citrus advertises Burnett’s orange vodka in some of their drinks including the Orange Dreamsicle and Orange Crush. Now I’m all about citrus vodka if your name is Citrus, but Burnett’s? Is this freshman year of college? Am I in a dorm room? Unfortunately, I couldn’t order Burnett’s as I was driving back to Richmond in an hour.
At first the menu overwhelmed me. Breakfast menus often remind me of Mexican food joint menus, basically lists of varied combinations of eggs (one to three), sausage/bacon/ham, toast/biscuits/muffins, hash browns/grits/potatoes, pancakes/French toast/waffles, and coffee or orange juice. I felt dizzied by the combinations at my disposal. This feeling vanished, however, when I read the words “sweet potato stuffed French toast.”
Yes, you read right, too.
Sweet Potato French Toast
If this was a bus, I pulled the cord. “STOP HERE! I"M GETTING OFF!”
Flashback to five years ago: I went to a Cracker Barrel with Sara. She ordered sweet potato pancakes. I have never tasted bliss so good. Since that day I’ve roamed the planet Gaea seeking more sweet potato breakfast carbs. (Cracker Barrel tells me they’re a seasonal dish, but apparently we live in Westeros and the season hasn’t come back.)
Better yet, this was a healthy option: Two Whole Wheat Pieces of French Toast Stuffed with Spiced Sweet Potato & Pecans served with Sugar Free Syrup, Two Scrambled Egg Whites & Choice of Turkey Bacon or Turkey Sausage
This meal was made for me. Do we all agree?
I am known for asking for sugar-free syrup or egg whites, and here it was the default. Of course this option was under the “Healthy Choices” section, certified by the Jim White Studios. I’m not sure who Jim is, but I’m a fan. They also had carrot pancakes, which tempted me, because, like, carrot cake. However, my waitress said the sweet potato French toast was better.
Additionally, there are pumpkin pancakes outside of the menu’s healthy section. I almost asked for a to-go box.
My dad ordered the vegetable omelet. It was pretty standard. It definitely needed some hot sauce, which is provided on the table. The omelet also came with toast or a biscuit and grits or hash browns.
My dad: "Well, we're in the South so I have to get grits."
While we waited for our food, I reviewed how Smartphones worked with my dad. He asked me if he could delete iMessages.
Me: “You can, but why would you?”
Dad: “Why would I keep them?”
He hadn’t deleted his iMessages by the time our plates arrived. Mine came on two plates – one for the toast and one for the eggs and turkey sausage. The eggs were a bit tasteless, but that’s egg whites for ya. I recommend asking for cheese. Turkey sausage is a fave, so that was on point.
Now, as for the French toast: Very good! However, I’ve already given you the warning, which I failed to heed. This dish is in the healthy section. It is not as decadent as I was immediately expecting. But I adjusted my expectations and enjoyed it all the same.
The dish almost looks like grilled cheese because of the way the sweet potatoes are applied. Definitely use all of the sugar-free syrup they provided (all 10 calories of it!). Maybe add some butter. (I didn’t.) And come hungry because I was full after finishing only half the toast. But don’t you worry, I struggled through.
It’s no wonder Citrus always has a line. Affordable, tasty, healthy, and offering Burnett’s vodka, it’s hard to go wrong here. Definitely check it out. Probably make a reservation.