Toast, 7007 Three Chopt Rd, Richmond
Karisa: With my regular ladies out of town, I knew I could count on Cynthia to step up to the brunching plate to eat, drink and be judgmental. We both live in the West End and had a bit of a time limitation, so on a whim we decided to see if Toast (formerly City Limit) served brunch. Luckily for us and all West Enders the OPEN sign was glowing ...of course we probably should have figured that out with a name like Toast... or is that supposed to be a drinking reference... hm.
Anyway, the menu had several vegetarian options, which was especially good for us since Cynthia has recently become a vegetarian and I have a strict no-one-can-order-the-same-thing rule. I opted for the Huevos (I think this is my new brunching addiction) and she got the vegetarian benedict. I wish we'd ordered an appetizer because it took forever to get our food, and I was really hungry by the time it got there! Once our food did arrive, I loved the presentation - and all that avocado - but once again, my food wasn't warm enough. Ensuring nothing is wrong with my taste buds, Cynthia agreed. Whew. Aside from the tepidness, the flavors all melded together really well, and the eggs were sufficiently runny, although perhaps even a little underdone.
Overall, Toast didn't quite rise up to the expectations that it's cute decor suggested. I have no doubt that I'll return, however. It's super close to my house, looks to have great happy hour specials, a wide booze list, and sweet potato tots. I love sweet potato tots... I should have ordered those.
Cynthia: I really wanted Toast to be awesome and when I first walked in I was really pleased with the changes that have been made to the décor. You see, this is my neighborhood and I used to spend many a happy hour at the joint that used to occupy this space. The place is now brighter and tastefully decorated. I liked the photography on the walls and the rustic wood of the tables. I say I "wanted" it to be awesome because it wasn't long before I realized it wasn't going to quite meet my expectations. I debated between the Huevos Rancheros and the Veggie Burger Benedict. I opted for the Benedict and was not disappointed. It was flavorful, the burger was crispy and the eggs were sufficiently runny. I might actually say that the eggs were slightly underdone but only slightly. I wouldn't say the dish was outstanding but it was good enough that I would order it again if I went back. I wanted to get the French Fries with Parmesan and Truffle Oil but decided not to overdo on the calories. Next time...
My disappointment with Toast first came after we ordered and were waiting… and waiting… and waiting for our food. The service was painfully slow. Our waiter was adorable but we seemed to be waiting a lot. The second round of coffee also bombed. It was super weak. The Bloody Mary on the other hand was delish. It wasn't too spicy and had celery, olives AND citrus. I really liked the combination of brine and the brightness from the lemon. All in all I would say that I will be back to Toast for brunch or dinner or happy hour mostly because it is in my neighborhood and I think it deserves a second chance to wow me with good service. I hope it does.
Food - Good. Great combination of flavors overall. Cynthia loved her veggie burger, but both of us thought our eggs were a little undercooked. Karisa's food was a little cold.
Service - Good. We loved the personality of our server, but he was a little slow on drink refills and our food took a really long time to come out.
Ambiance - Very good. We loved the open space, rustic wood combined with industrial touches and the milk beaker couldn't be cuter.
Coffee - Fair. Our first cups were good, but the second cup was terribly weak, almost like water.
Mimosa - Good. Richmond style with a little something extra. Pineapple maybe?
Bloody Mary - Very good. Cynthia thought it had just the right amount of spicy with lots of extra pickled stuff.