Menu? They don't even have a website...
Karisa: Zeus outshines the competition in all of the areas that typically bring down a brunching experience. The service was prompt, the ambiance was adorable with clever booth names and black and white tiled tables, the chalkboard menu individualized per table so as to not create neck pain or eye strain, and the mimosas abundant, served in big wine glasses. However, it utterly failed in the one place where it really counts - the food. With that, Zeus was eclipsed by many Richmond restaurants.
Since there were a several varieties of benedicts on our chalkboard menu, I didn't feel guilty ordering the crab benedict. After several clarifying questions, I realized the meal also included some ham, so against my typical ordering-exactly-off-the-menu rule, I went for it (with ham on the side for dear ham-loving Michele.) When it came out, the actual dish was sort of deconstructed, with the crabcakes, and eggs separate with hollandaise drizzled all over. Why didn't Zeus give me a bread product? I'm a pescetarian, not on Atkins. I need something to catch my egg yolky saucyness. Lacking a bread product, a unique hollandaise, or a very craby crab benedict (perhaps all the filler was supposed to be the bread) the dish was pretty disappointing. The potatoes were under cooked too. Fortunately, the mimosa was quite good; that's all we really needed before heading over to Oktoberfest anyway...
Andrea: Dinner at Zeus Gallery Cafe is not to be missed, so I was very excited about trying them at brunch. I really wanted to give Zeus a high score but ultimately the food just didn't live up to the expectations. The ambiance can't be beat, though - cute, intimate, bright local art, adorably named booths like "Toll Booth" and "John Wilkes Booth", with the menu written on a mini chalkboard that sits atop the table so patrons don't have to crane their necks or strain their eyes to read it. I had a traditional benedict with Canadian bacon. The hollandaise had good flavor and I liked the sourdough of the English muffin underneath but one of the pieces of meat had this casing or wrapper on it that made it impossible to cut through. The eggs were cooked a bit more than a usual benedict; I was okay with that but some other brunchers may have been disappointed. Speaking of disappointing, the side of hash browns (or, rather, cubes of potatoes) were a little cold and a bit bland in flavor. I thoroughly enjoyed the mimosa – tasted fresh and was really smooth. This week's brunch misstep won't deter me from coming back here for dinner, but I won't be rushing back for brunch again soon.
Michele: I've had an amazing dinner at Zeus Gallery Cafe. Our main motivator to come here for brunch this week was its proximity to the Benedictine Oktoberfest. Yes, we used brunch as a pre-game for an afternoon of drinking delicious beer and eating giant pretzels outside.
I ordered my requisite coffee and Bloody Mary. All of our coffee arrived in mismatched mugs, although I feel like mine was a little bit smaller than everyone else's. My first cup tasted like it was the last cup in the pot, the second was much better. The Bloody Mary was served in a stemmed glass, fancy! It tasted pretty standard to me, nothing super special but nothing terrible either. For my meal I selected the Fried Green Tomato Benedict from the list of specials.
My meal came, and it looked pretty tasty. The fried green tomato replaced the bread, then ham, then poached egg, and finally hollandaise covering it all. The country ham was sliced pretty thin, although I prefer mine to be sliced even thinner. It was sufficiently salty, and I ate most of the ham that came as Karisa's side in addition to my own. My egg yolks were perfect and runny. The fried green tomato was also cooked very well. The crust was nice and crispy. It was a little awkward not having a bread product to soak up the hollandaise and the egg yolk, though. I feel like if I were going to make a fried green tomato Benedict at home, I would stick an English muffin underneath or something.
Hash browns were supposed to come on the side of my meal. I will say, Kathy has specific standards for hash browns. My standards are a bit more relaxed. The potatoes that came out on this plate, however, did not even fit in with my loose potato morals - they were fried potatoes, without a doubt. I did not really note anything special about the potatoes, other than that they were very good at sopping up the hollandaise and egg yolk on my plate.
I'm not sure I will rush back to Zeus for brunch. I was satisfied with my meal, but some of the other ladies were disappointed with theirs.
Kathy: Zeus Cafe is set in an adorable neighborhood, and while I had a bit of trouble finding parking, I loved the short walk on a perfect fall day. The setting inside the restaurant is very cute, in a non-cloying way - it has a bit of an old diner feel with oldies playing softly, and I loved the checkerboard table tops and witty names for each booth. The ambiance charmed me, but unfortunately the food did not. I ordered the arugula and goat cheese omelet, and our friendly waitress allowed me to substitute sausage for the usual homefries it's paired with. The sausage was generic, and most importantly the arugula and goat cheese to egg ratio was insufficient. The egg, while not dry, was thick - almost as thick as a burger patty. There were simply not enough greens and cheese to match it, leaving my dining experience lacking in flavor. I also ordered tea and a mimosa, and really like that my mimosa was served in a proper glass rather than the non-classy tumbler usually used at Richmond restaurants. I very much appreciated the waitress leaving the tea selections at our table for the duration of our meal (I'm often annoyed that's not done more often - I want constant access to tea refills!), and refilling my hot water for seconds without extra charge.
Food - Fair. Poor eggs-to-filling ratio in the omelette, plain potatoes, forgettable grits, strange casing/wrapper left on the Canadian bacon...lots of little missteps added up to a subpar food experience. Several benedicts on the menu and some sweet items as well. None of us ordered the pancakes, but a small child at a neighboring table did and they looked massive!
Service - Good. She wasn't spectacular but she did check on us several times and told us right away what they were out of. Didn't have to wait too long to get the food or the beverages.
Atmosphere - Very Good. We all were enamored with the cuteness of this place. Named booths (we were at Festival of Booths); John Wilkes Booth was across the aisle. Small and intimate space that would be good for a date or a small gathering (although larger groups can be accommodated in the side dining room). Local art changes periodically; this week we saw adorable sheep oil paintings, some nice florals, and other assorted animal paintings.
Coffee/Tea - Good. With the tea refill, Kathy was able to get a fresh teabag, which she appreciated. Mismatched coffee cups were cute. Overall, the coffee wasn't great and seemed to get cold quickly, but the air was blowing directly on our table.
Mimosa - Very Good. Tasted fresh and seemed like it was high in alcohol content. Served in a wine glass, which made us feel very classy.
Bloody Mary - Good. It was fine, nothing outstanding, but nothing gross either. It was served in a fancy glass!