For the last month, Sara and I have had to up our brunch game. Richmond Brunch Weekend is fast approaching, and we’re trying to dine and review at all participating locations – or at the least ones we haven’t been to before.
On a recent Saturday, we decided to hit up Cary Street Café. I’m surprised we’ve never been here before since it’s so close to our current residence, but it’s like the time I tried going to the Rodin exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The VMFA might be 100 yards from my front door, but I never made it to that exhibit.
I went running before our brunch, because I’m toying with the idea of running the Richmond marathon in November, but thought I’d be done in time for brunch. Which I was done in time, but Sara had to meet someone at 1 PM, so I didn’t have time to shower before brunch. I literally ran into our apartment, yelled, “I’m ready!” while I chugged water, and then followed Sara out the door. I insisted we sit outside at Cary St. so that my smell was not restricted to enclosed quarters.
Everyone tells me Cary St. Café gets super busy, but we arrived close to opening (11 AM) and had every outdoor table to choose from. Our waitress, who also seemed to be manning the bar inside, promptly brought us menus and asked what we wanted to drink. She then proceeded to tell us about the special Massey Mimosa they were offering for $7 with $2 being returned to Massey Cancer Center. Cary St. Café’s mimosa features champagne (obviously), peach Schnapps, pineapple and cranberry juice. Sara and I almost swooned upon hearing the spiel because the Massey Mimosa is part of Richmond Brunch Weekend and it is that emotional to hear someone talking about your event. But we didn’t say anything.
I had just run seven miles so I wasn’t about to drink a mimosa (I had homework to do later and needed to not be under the table), but Sara did order it, bless her, and ohmygawd it is so good. Some people drink beer after marathons. I would want this mimosa.
Sara and I promptly Instagrammed, Facebooked, and tweeted about this mimosa while we waited for our food. For not identifying ourselves as the bloggers behind Richmond Brunch Weekend, we probably gave ourselves away since we were the only people sitting outside who ordered the Massey Mimosa and we were blowing up whoever runs their social media with photos of a Massey Mimosa at an outdoor table. #sorrynotsorry
Cary St. Café offers breakfast all day err’ day, but also has a special brunch menu aside from their regular offerings. On this was a breakfast pizza featuring ham, leeks, asparagus, and mozzarella and then a macaroni and brisket dish. Sara was split between these two, and I was eyeing the breakfast burrito, but I hadn’t decided by the time our waitress returned since I was so enamored with the Massey Mimosa. I asked our waitress whether I should order the pizza or the breakfast burrito, and she said, “Pizza, duh.” Which I want to say pizza is not always a duh choice, because sometimes pizza has too little cheese and too much sauce or is burnt or some other catastrophe, but in this case I took her advice. This threw Sara off, however, because she wanted the pizza, too. She switched to the macaroni and brisket, which personally I think is more her personality, so good calls all around.
The pizza came with the choice of home fries, fruit, or cheesy grits. Normally I opt for fruit because it’s almost summer, but that run had me craving some cheesy grits, and holy wow. You need to try these grits. Sara, who doesn’t like grits, even commended them. And the pizza. THE PIZZA. That’s just all I can say. Words deliver no justice for its savoriness.
Sara’s macaroni and brisket was similarly out of this café (as opposed to a ballpark). She didn’t finish the whole thing since the portion was ample, so I got to finish her last bites. I am personally upset with myself for never coming to Cary St. Café before, so I will definitely be back (but after Richmond Brunch Weekend because there are so many other places to brunch for the first time, too).
You should definitely check out Cary St. Café if looking for affordable brunch at a dive bar. And keep them in mind for Richmond Brunch Weekend! You can find their special brunch menu here.
If you're interested in dining at Cary St. Café, then mark your calendars for Richmond Brunch Weekend, which is May 14 and 15.