Last Sunday afternoon my friend and I headed downtown to Casa Del Barco for brunch. Casa Del Barco was one of the first restaurants to jump onboard for Richmond Brunch Weekend, and I had been looking forward to checking them out.
I had been to Casa Del Barco once before for a birthday dinner and enjoyed my meal then. I was pretty confident they wouldn’t lead me astray for brunch. If you can’t tell from the name, Casa Del Barco offers generally Mexican cuisine. While writing this review, I decided to Google what “barco” means. It means “boat.” (Obviously Spanish III freshman year of high school did not deliver necessary life skills.) So Casa Del Barco translates to “Boathouse.” This makes all the more sense since Casa is owned by the same people as all three Boathouse locations (who are also participating in Richmond Brunch Weekend, don’t you know?).
Casa Del Barco is a bit hard to find once you get to the general location. It faces onto Richmond’s Canal Walk, and parking is situated on the backside of the building. Their website is probably the best at navigating where to park and how to get there.
I made a reservation for brunch on Open Table the day before for 1:15 PM, but then I moved it back when I woke up because I wanted to work out (I moved the reservation to 1:30, LOL). Then my friend didn’t pick me up until 1:25 PM because she forgot where I lived (I know; what type of friend is she?), but that was okay because she lied and said she was two blocks away and I lied and said I was putting on a shirt when I was actually deciding what song to play while I got dressed. Somehow we made it to Casa at 1:35-ish PM.
When we walked in, we saw other brunchers, but not enough to justify having made a reservation. I debated not selling myself out for being so type A to have made a reservation, but then I didn’t want to be penalized by Open Table for missing a reservation, so I sheepishly said, “We made a reservation…but I don't think it matters." I should have not said that last part because I got emailed later in the week that I had missed my Open Table reservation, but they understood, because sometimes life gets busy.
Me: "I did not miss that reservation! I want my points back. I don't know what I use my Open Table points for, but I want them."
Open Table promptly rectified the situation and apologized for their mishap.
I guess my point is, you might not need a reservation if you show up in later afternoon (brunch is from 10 AM to 3 PM), but it never hurts. But make sure they know you made a reservation if you want those Open Table points (like I do). And you should probably make a reservation for Richmond Brunch Weekend.
We sat by window, which provided mucho opportunities for artistic Instagrams. There is outdoor seating at Casa, but the temperature was a bit low last weekend so instead we watched a single couple dine outdoors. Once it’s warmer, I’d definitely suggest asking for outdoor seating. You also should explore the Canal Walk after brunch. It includes that mural wall everyone takes photos of and acts like they're in the art ghetto of New York.
The ceiling of Casa is decorated with tequila bottles signed by customers who emptied them. The restaurant offers over 130 types of tequilas. I didn’t ask if that includes Aristocrat tequila. If it does, I recommend ordering something else. In college, my roommates and I filled a Patrón bottle with Aristocrat tequila and offered it to visitors. Hospitality at its finest, right?
For Richmond Brunch Weekend, Casa Del Barco will be offering a special brunch menu with items starting at $7. However, if you decide to order off their regular menu, do not worry: 10% of proceeds will be going back to Massey Cancer Center. You also should ask about their Massey Mimosa. A portion of the price is also returned to Massey Cancer Center.
On this Sunday, I ordered the chilaquiles ($11) – basically eggs, pork shoulder, black beans, and rice accompanied by a tortilla. It was very protein dense, and I would definitely order it again. My friend ordered the salmon pan con tomate (salmon, eggs, and avocado on top of a baguette). My friend let me have a bite, but I warn you, this dish is hard to cut. Inevitably I ended up taking a bite out of her baguette.
We also ordered a French press, which fills three coffee cups we learned. In other words, get your own French press. (My friend and I made the mistake of trying to share. Oh well.)
Truthfully, this is now one of my favorite brunch places. After I am done brunching at all the #RVABrunchWeekend joints, I’ll definitely be back. And I’ll sit outside.
If you're interested in dining at Casa Del Barco, then mark your calendar for Richmond Brunch Weekend, which is May 14 and 15. Reservations recommended.
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