In the weeks leading up to this year’s Richmond Brunch Weekend, I found myself brunching twice a week, which doesn’t sound like much of a toil until you look at my bank statement. Also, brunch is fun and all, but when you’re dragging yourself out of bed repeatedly for it…well, there is not enough iced coffee in a day.
And the saddest part of all this is (I know, such first world problems, brunching and all), I never got to all of the participating restaurants. (There were 24, so please bear with me.) Notably, the Betty on Davis and Nota Bene (formerly Pizza Tonight) both evaded my stomach.
Thankfully, I got to right one of my wrongs when I ventured to the Betty on Davis a couple of weekends ago. The Betty was top of my brunch list (along with Nota Bene; I’m coming for you next), and on a Friday night at the VMFA, I found my friends talking about it. I promptly asked if they wanted to go on Sunday.
The Betty is situated on North Davis Avenue in a bright blue brick building between Broad Street and Grace Street. This isn’t a very original description since that is how the Betty herself describes her location on her website, but then obviously it’s a good description.
My friend and I walked over from our respective apartments and discussed the price of the new Fan homes on Robinson Street. Called the Huntt’s Row, they’re brand new, but styled similarly to older Fan homes. They start at $600K. (Yes, you can whistle.) Then again, this is the Fan. Your best bet here is to buy a foreclosed home at $250K and fix it up.
Anyway, back to the entrée of this post: my friend and I arrived slightly after 11, which is when the Betty opens for Sunday brunch. We had our pick of the tables and booths. Our server provided us the Betty's regular brunch menu, but also told us to look to the chalkboard for their daily specials. And, let me tell you, this is not a one special board. This board was a full supplementary menu listing French toast with lemon and cantaloupe puree, pulled pork omelets with painted onions and arugula, ice cream and berries, and other items that demand your full attention.
Then there’s the menu we were handed: cast iron biscuits, more omelets, chicken and waffles, steakhouse burgers and smoked chicken, benedicts and veggie hash. Which menu did we choose from?
My friend selected the veggie hash and the cast iron biscuit ($13+$4), which she split with me (bless her). I ordered the pulled pork omelet with home fries (versus grits), which came to $12. I originally asked for grits, then asked if the grits came with cheese, found out they do not, said I would still stick with grits, and then five seconds later called out that I would rather do home fries. I’m a very decisive person.
My friend and I both stuck with water, but we saw other tables treating with mimosas and bloody Mary’s that gave me some FOMO. We did inquire about iced coffee and were told the Betty doesn’t offer that. Our waitress said she could make it, but warned it obviously wouldn’t be the same thing. Which, thank you! Because amen. Putting ice cubes in hot coffee does not make iced coffee, and we should applaud the servers who admit that. If anyone ever tells you “iced coffee isn’t on the menu, but I’ll make you some,” you say, “No, thank you” – or you run for the hills. Maybe do both. That is iced coffee desecration.
The food didn’t take long. I put some Sriracha on my home fries. Everything tasted great.
The cast iron biscuit was not the sort of biscuit I was expecting, but I also neglected the words “cast iron” when reading and pictured something akin to a Hardee’s biscuit. This was better. It came with apple butter and reminded me of cornbread without the corn. You can definitely order one for two people.
My friend and I walked away, full and saying we’d definitely be back. And maybe not just for brunch. The Betty has great dinner options, too, and raving Yelp reviews about the creative daily specials and a small town bar vibe.