If you read this blog often or follow us on Instagram, you likely know that one of Cazey’s favorite brunch spots in Richmond was Star-Lite, so when we found out it was closing, we immediately made plans to go to their final brunch service to say our goodbyes.
You know what they say, though: when one door shuts, another door opens.
That door happens to be to Brunch, the latest companion restaurant to Lunch | Supper. After closing Star-Lite, work began on renovating the inside of the building. When you first walk into Brunch, you almost forget what Star-Lite looked like. Brunch is a light, colorful restaurant with tables in place of the booths, a coffee bar, full bar and beautiful mural. It feels lighter.
We sat right in the middle of the restaurant to kick off the New Year. We were promptly greeted with a small novel (aka the menu). I was overwhelmed by choices and was terrified of having order remorse, so I began with the drink menu, which was also really large. Looking back on it, the drink menu actually is what impressed me the most about Brunch. They had a wide offering of alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic choices, including several types of cold brew and kombucha.
After careful consideration, I settled on a chai-spiced kombucha, but am rather excited to go back and try the nitro cold brew coffee that they have on tap. The kombucha was delicious, but the real drink star of the table was the spiced rum hot beverage. Had I not been still recovering from New Year’s Eve, I would have gotten one of those and one of the cereal milks. But like I said, I already know I’m going back so no need to rush into things.
Once we ordered drinks, we moved on to discuss what brunch starter we needed. We narrowed it down to the breakfast charcuterie plate or the lox board. Since there were four of us, we went with the charcuterie plate since it had more mass appeal.
The sausage patty was deliciously spiced and I loved the mustard. The sourdough bread was perfectly crisp. The one thing I did not love was the rillette. First off, I did not know what it was (it’s a pate) and it looked like pre-chewed meat that was covered in bacon grease. However, that did not stop me from eating it. I took a large spoonful and spread it on my bread. The taste was fine, but nothing that made me want any more of it. My preference would be a lot smaller of a jar of the rillette (it’s fun to try it), but I’d rather get more cheese and meat.
For my dish, I liked the sound of the waffle flight (since you get to try every waffle on the menu), but I don’t like doing full dishes of sweet food. Then I considered a brunch bowl, but I wasn’t in the mood for gravy, so that ruled out poutine, and grits aren’t my go-to, so I didn’t want the fire grilled chicken.
Chow Chow Super Chicken Sandwich
I kept moving through the menu and ended up on the sandwich section. The chow chow super chicken sandwich featured ham, fried chicken, red chow chow and aioli on a pretzel bun. I didn’t love that the side was chips, but decided to go with it anyway. Then, the waitress reiterated that I could upgrade to a wafflewhich, which satisfied my need for a waffle.
The sandwich was massive. It was a full waffle, cut in half to make a sandwich. I cut it in half again to make it more manageable, snapped a few quick pictures and dug in. The taste was excellent. I loved the chow chow and aioli. Plus, I loved how it basically became a fancy chicken and waffle. My one critique would be the ratio. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it was a whole lot of chicken. Specifically, it was a lot of chicken in the middle section and no chicken on the outer portion of the waffle. I loved the aioli, which also means I wish I had more of it.
I ordered a side of syrup so I had something to go with my remaining waffle that didn’t have any sandwich, which made it feel like I even got brunch dessert.
Smoked Turkey Sandwich
Cazey’s roommate got the smoked turkey sandwich, which was a heaping pile of turkey covered in brie cheese, bacon jam, apple and dijon. The brie and bacon jam was a hit, which added a delicious flavor to make the sandwich more unique.
Fire Grilled Chicken Bowl
Both Cazey and my boyfriend got the fire grilled chicken bowl. Because of who I am, I needed to try. My brief two bites were excellent. Despite not being a grits person, I truly liked these grits, as they were super cheesy and didn’t have the gritty texture I was expecting. The fire grilled chicken tasted just like the name implied: fire grilled.
Closing Brunch RVA Thoughts
With a name like Brunch, their brunch HAD to be good. I was encouraged by their expansive menu, crafted cocktails and beautifully redesigned interior. I do wonder about its general location, though. Star-Lite served a good brunch, but also largely catered to the late-night bar crawlers, which are abundant in that corner pocket with Helen’s, 3 Monkeys and Social 52 (which I want to test out again now that it’s been revamped). Since Brunch is a day thing, it seems almost out-of-place, especially since the Brunch Market will likely need to stay put due to space constraints. I also wonder / hope that Lunch | Supper will continue to serve brunch.
Either way, I’m not a restaurant owner, so my curiosities are just that.
Overall, you will find some similar dishes to Lunch | Supper, while a whole slew of new menu items. It’s definitely worth checking out.