Thursday, July 19, 2012

Water Grill

Water Grill, 3411 West Cary Street, Richmond

Karisa: Brunch this week was a special event - we were celebrating the birth of Andrea! Water Grill was a last minute change-of-plans option, but they were incredibly accommodating to our largeish party of eight (and several calls to change party size), so I had a good feeling about this spot before we even started brunching. Once there, our party trickled in slowly, and I was impressed with our server's attentiveness, offering of a gift table, and drink getting promptness. For my meal, I ignored the many vegetarian options and chose the comfort of my old friend the crab cake benedict (shocking, I know). I was pleased with the presentation and variety of colors on the plate, although I could have used a bit more fruit. Overall, I was pleased with this standard crab benedict, and the Hanover tomato hollandaise was a nice touch. As is my typical benedict issue, the eggs were a bit overcooked, but at least the yolks were still soft. From across the table I coveted Marin's California Huevos, and during the dish pass-around I coveted it even more... especially her runny yolks. Ah well, next time - and there will be a next time.

MarinI had patronized Water Grill once before, for dinner, back when it first opened, and I was terribly underwhelmed. Both the food and the service failed utterly to live up to the prices, the hype, and the locale. Well, apparently the place has found its feet in the last several months, because my brunching experience there on Sunday could not have been any more different! I ordered the California Huevos, and it was to die for. I didn't think I would find such a dish to rival Kuba Kuba's, but Water Grill's unique presentation (it came in a perfectly browned corn tortilla bowl!) and delightful combination of ingredients (corn and black bean salsa, avocado, white cheddar, cilantro, fried eggs and ancho ranch) added up to make this one savory brunch. The mimosa was similarly delicious, and the chocolate chip mini muffins to start were a nice prequel to the meal, though I might add they were a bit on the dry side and probably could have stood to contain a few (read: many) more chocolate chips. The decor was pleasant if not a tad bland, and the sound levels were perfect - neither eerily quiet nor frustratingly loud. Bottom line: two thumbs up!

Jonelle, out-of-town visitor and second time guest bruncher: For my second time as a guest blogger, I was quite excited to join the Official Group for the brunching. The Water Grill seems to be an easy location to reach for the locals and we found parking rather easily; additionally, the Carytown location provides a nice post-brunch stroll--which would probably be even better in weather that is not 1000 degrees with 1000% humidity..

I chose the Vegetarian Mexican Breakfast Omelet. Tasty, but not exceptionally flavorful, I was content with my choice, but I did not feel I won the plate choice of the day. During the Pass the Plates Tasting (really, a mini-olympic event in food tasting as we had 8 plates to taste and pass), I liked the slightly-spicy California Huevos best. My omelet did its job--just not with a lot of flair or anything to make it memorable.

Beyond the foodie bits, I liked Water Grill's environment--I always like exposed brick, and there seems to be a variety of seating options (outside, enclosed porch, upstairs, downstairs...), but I felt rather warm throughout the entire meal. I know it was hot-hot-hot outside, but I would have enjoyed some super A/C.

Overall, an enjoyable experience, nothing bad to say--just not a lot to rave about.

Rating: 4
Food: Very Good. With eight people (and seven different dishes ordered) we were able to try a lot of options - all very yummy!
Atmosphere: Good. Nothing particularly exciting. Nice Carytown location with exposed brick and several types of seating options (outside, patio, inside upstairs, etc.)
Service: Very Good. Attentive to our large, staggered arrival party. No drink went unfilled!
Coffee: Good. Nothing special.
Mimosa: Good. A little heavy on the OJ, but seemed to get better the second time around.
Bloody Mary: Good. Rimmed with salt and lemon zest. One bruncher wanted it a bit more spicy - but that didn't stop her from ordering a second round!

Water Grill on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I was thrilled to be able to join you all this week and help celebrate Andrea's Birthday. I must admit that I do agree the California Huevos were a very tasty dish. I intend on going back for that specific reason. The Bloody Mary was only OK for me. I like the citrus but it was a little bland and a tad on the weak side. I imagine the people watching from the porch or patio would be fun. We should sit there next time.