Brunch Review: Back to The Camel

Sara brunched at The Camel this past December when The Camel first got involved in Richmond Brunch Weekend, but since then, they’ve updated their brunch menu, which called for another visit. I showed up a few Sundays ago with my old college roommate.

We decided to walk since it was a gorgeous (read: warm and sunny) Sunday afternoon. We went late, i.e. we started walking over at 1:40 PM. I figured it was a mile stroll. Just in case brunch stopped at 2 PM, I told my roommate we had to hustle. Inevitably, we showed up after 2 PM, but brunch was still going, praise be to the tater tots or whoever.

The Camel is also a music venue. This was technically my second time there, but the first time had been to see a high school classmate perform in a show at night. (We actually never stayed for the show because he didn’t perform until 10 PM on a Sunday, and grandpa me had to be up at 5:30 AM Monday. Sorry, we’re not all rockers here.)

On this particular Sunday, there was a Blues Charity Foundation function going on. Normally, brunch at The Camel has no cover, but since we showed up later and during this particular function, there was a cover ($5). I recommend checking online just to be safe if there might be a cover involved. Or do what I did and accidentally walk by the doormen.

My roommate: “Cazey! You have to pay.”

Me: “What? Oh.”

We ended up sitting outside, anyway, to cool the sweat from our walk there. I’m not much of a blues person, personally. I would say, after noon, the sidewalk seating tends to be in the shade, but this will be beneficial come summer when you don’t want to sit in the direct sunlight at 2 PM.

But to the subject on hand: Since I never brunched at The Camel before this day, I can’t compare their old and new menu too much, but I can tell you that this new menu is delicious. It’s not lengthy, but that’s to its benefit. You won’t be overwhelmed by options and teetering between choices. I readily decided I wanted the breakfast burrito ($9). My roommate ordered the red eye sausage gravy, which was even more awesome since that’s one of the Camel’s offerings during Richmond Brunch Weekend ($10 with $2 returned to Massey Cancer Center).

The Camel’s chef, Xavier, also gifted us with a plate of Breakfast Stars. These are a bunch of wontons stuffed with sausage, cheese (!!), eggs, and olive tapenade (which I had to Wikipedia because I didn’t know what that is; basically, pureed olives, capers, and olive oil). They come with Sriracha both on the plate and in a bottle to the side. Better yet, they are part of The Camel's Richmond Brunch Weekend special menu ($12.99 with $2 being returned to Massey Cancer Center).

My roommate and I had been discussing how we continually think of our lives in terms of “Broad City” episodes (hilarious show if you’ve never seen it) and debating which one of us was Ilana. Either way, we Ilana’d out over these breakfast stars:

By the time our actual meals arrived, I was almost full. But the breakfast burrito: I had never seen such a beautiful creature – cheese, eggs, sausage, onions and mushrooms, bliss – wrapped in a tortilla. I almost didn’t want to touch it. Almost. And the homefries are really just diced potatoes the size of dice and perfectly crisp and greasy and – sorry, I stopped taking notes because I’m chowing down.

Similarly, my roommate loved her red eye sausage gravy. She got her eggs over easy and appreciated both the addition of eggs to a dish that normally stars solely biscuits and gravy and the use of English muffins as opposed to biscuits. The coffee used in the gravy is from Black Hand. We both asked for to-go boxes because those Breakfast Stars were the stars of our stomach.

Our only critique of the food is, this is not for the health conscious. Not that Weight Watchers is hosting regular meetings here or brunch is supposed to ~*healthy*~, but everything we ate here came greasy. Delicious, but greasy.

Check out The Camel for Richmond Brunch Weekend. They will be offering four dishes that benefit Massey Cancer Center, ranging from $10 to $13.99. They also are offering the Massey Mimosa for $7 with $2 being returned to Massey. Or get a pitcher for $12.

If you're interested in dining at The Camel, then mark your calendars for Richmond Brunch Weekend, which is May 14 and 15.