The Black Sheep, 901 West Marshall Street, Richmond
Brunch Menu from Facebook (their website seems to be under renovation)
Karisa: Andrea and I brunched at Black Sheep once before, long before we started this little 'ole brunch blog. I remember waiting for our table on the back porch, happily sipping drinks, and playing Trivial Pursuit. Marin and I had a similar experience this time, although our wait was twice as long (over an hour, but that's what they quoted us.) Fortunately we enjoy each others company, so despite the momentary sprinkling of rain, the time passed relatively quickly. Once we were seated I noticed a bit of a change from my previous visit - the menu seems to have gained several vegetarian options! If I remember correctly (and it's very possible that I don't) there was only one menu choice for me before; this time there were several items to choose from. However, the No Mas Huevos Nuevos were calling my name. I'm not sure if the food was as incredibly amazing or if we were just starving from our long wait, but Marin and I both finished half of our meals before we started having conversation again. The avocado salsa was the highlight, with the eggs (hidden beneath the chili) creating a creaminess to the rest of the dish. The jalapeno grit cake added a slight spice, and the tortilla chips added a nice crunch to the many other textures. Was it worth the wait? Maybe. If you're with good friends, are thirsty, and willing to wait, take yourself on over to The Black Sheep - you won't be disappointed.
Marin: B.S. stands not only for Black Sheep, but also, it turns out, for Blissful Sunday. Blessedly Sumptuous. Borderline Sinful. What more can I say, but that the drinks were divine, the food was finger-licking good, and the desert - yes, I ordered desert - was delightful! We arrived around 12:30, and upon being told there would be an approximately hour-long wait, allowed ourselves to be ushered around the back where stood a patio waiting to receive us and a courteous waitstaff ready to serve us drinks. The patio was bedecked with a small bar, long outdoor picnic tables, trivia cards and enormous umbrellas, which came in handy this particular day when it began to rain. We hardly noticed the hour (and a touch more) had passed when they did eventually call our party's name. Inside, we perused the fabulous brunch menu - showing many traditional options as well as several unique ones - and while I had a hard time choosing between all of the tempting offerings, I eventually decided to order the french toast, which came complete with sweetened grilled peaches. It was incredible, and not so filling that I felt uncomfortable even after cleaning my plate. In fact, I ordered "the best cookie I've eaten recently" - the menu's quote, not mine! - and it was a tantalizing combination of butterscotch, sweet potato, and several other ingredients. A perfect end to a lovely brunch. Downsides? Of course. Nothing is perfect! It irks me when a place does not permit reservations, whatever its reasons; Karisa ordered coffee that never arrived and yet showed up on the bill (of course, they removed it when we kindly pointed out the error, and promptly brought her a cup to go); and the neighborhood isn't anything to write home about - that is, it's not the kind of place where you could brunch and then take a leisurely stroll afterward - you'd have to drive someplace else.
Food - Very Good. By far the highlight of the brunching experience. Maybe we were just starving at that point, but every bite was fantastic.
Service - Good. The server was nice and seemed knowledgeable about the menu. Unfortunately, he didn't offer much help in making brunching decisions and forgot the coffee.
Atmosphere - Good. We spent as much time on the patio as in the restaurant, so fortunately both have a comfortable atmosphere. Luckily it wasn't raining too hard, or we would have had very diluted drinks. Unfortunately, no reservations at this tiny little spot.
Coffee - (eventually) Good. We were impressed to be offered iced or hot options then medium or dark roast. Unfortunately, it never came. When we had to have the charge removed from the check, we got a to-go cup on the house, which was a tasty beverage for the trip home.
Mimosa - Good. Given our extensive wait, we were able to try the bubbly with peach nectar, orange, cranberry, and pomegranate juice. The orange and cranberry versions weren't particularly special, but the peach nectar and pomegranate versions were very good.
Bloody Mary - Good. We didn't try it ourselves, but three seemingly experienced Bloody Mary drinkers sitting next to us on the patio said it was "...good, pretty much the same one they serve everywhere."