Friday, October 26, 2012

Xtra's Cafe

Xtra's Cafe, 3322 B W. Cary Street, Richmond
Brunch Menu

Karisa: I enjoyed practically everything about my brunching experience at Xtra's. Admittedly, the weather, outside seating, and atmosphere of Carytown helped significantly, as did the as always wonderful company. The rather obnoxious group next to us couldn't even get me down - they made me laugh actually. The only thing I didn't like about this spot is the name. It's odd. It sounds like an arcade, not a fun place to brunch. Anyway, we sat outside on the porch in the sun with several other groups. A sunny and warm October day with very tasty mimosas - what's not to love? We took our time ordering, enjoying our coffee and conversation. We eventually got around to ordering, and I went back to my old friend, the crab benedict with tomato hollandaise. It was just as an old friend should be, comforting and just as you remember, with something new to keep you interested.

Andrea: Xtra, all about it! Brunch on the balcony is great, provided that you're surrounded by pleasant patrons! We ate at Xtra's on a gorgeous fall day. I arrived a few minutes late and was greeted by two of my girlfriends and a pitcher of delicious mimosas! Not a bad way to start my Sunday. I definitely had difficulty deciding what to order this week; I was intrigued by the bacon and cheddar waffle and the french toast panini in particular. Ultimately, I decided on the special, which was a chicken waffle sandwich with egg, cheese, and bacon. The accompanying amaretto syrup was just the right amount of sweet and I liked the combination of flavors and textures on the waffle sandwich. The dish lost a few points on the scale of awesome because the cheese wasn't sufficiently melted and I simply wanted more of it! I didn't go hungry, however, because the side of potatoes was a hit. Simple flavors and well-done potato - not too mushy and not too crispy. I loved the mimosa and wished that I didn't have anything to do or anywhere to go so that I could enjoy more of it. Xtra's is definitely a place I want to come back to for more drinks, more eats, and more people watching on the patio. Next time I'll remember my sunscreen.

Michele: I usually go to Xtra’s for drinks. They have fantastic drink specials every night, and it is one of the closest bars to my house. Xtra’s has one of the best balconies in the city. There is great people watching in Carytown day and night. I've eaten lunch and dinner here a couple of times, so I had an idea of what to expect. My previous meals here have always been hit or miss. Most of the meal is great, but there is one or two things a little off about it.

I ordered the requisite coffee and Bloody Mary. Holy smokes, Xtra makes a great cup of coffee! The Bloody Mary was pretty good as well. I believe there were two Spanish olives in there, and the right amount of spice.

For my meal I decided on the meat quiche, which contains steak, blue cheese, and caramelized onions. Mainly I chose this one because I saw someone at a table next to us order a quiche, and the side house salad looked pretty tasty. I was in the mood for some fresh, crunchy vegetables. My plate arrived and I dug into the salad. I was a little disappointed because the salad greens tasted old. The slices of green pepper in there were nice and crunchy, though, exactly what I was looking for. The pieces of steak in my quiche were huge and awkward to eat, and the meat was tough. I picked out the meat and chewed it down first (I hate wasting steak), and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the quiche. The blue cheese was wonderful, and the crust was flaky. Overall it was a typical Xtra’s experience for me, ok meal, excellent people watching from the balcony, and great drinks at a great price.

Kathy: Brunch at Xtra's should have been more charming - our waiter was handsome, we had a delightful spot on the balcony overlooking fantastic people watching on Cary St (We saw Ghostbusters. Actual Ghostbusters), and the menu was promising. However, the crowd at the table next to us got on my nerves, and while it's hard to pin which behavior annoyed me most, I'm going to go with one guy wearing his cloth napkin tied to his head. As my patience wore thin, the sun grew hotter and hotter on the balcony, requiring that Andrea and I change seats to give her a break in the shade. I'll say one thing - the mimosas were fantastic. At only $12 a pitcher they were very affordable, and were served properly sans ice in a champagne flute. They were neither too strong nor too weak, mixed with great OJ. Perhaps I simply needed to imbibe more to embrace the surroundings? I ordered a Greek omelette, and was incredibly pleased with the egg to toppings ratio. Most importantly, there was plenty of feta, the supreme cheese of all the cheeses. The egg was fluffy, but a little underdone in spots for my taste. In contrast, the sausage on the side was overdone, and practically flavorless. I'll end on high praise for Xtra's. I pretty much universally hate all potato sides I've ever been served in a Richmond brunch establishment. Xtra's potatoes were wonderful - salty, crispy on the outside, and soft in the middle.

Rating: 4
Food Good. Three out of four of us really enjoyed our dishes, but Michele's salad and quiche disappointed. We liked the side of potatoes and Karisa raved about her tomato hollandaise  Although there were a fair number of egg options, it was nice to see some waffles and French toast dishes too, done in slightly interesting ways.
Atmosphere Good. One of the best places in Richmond for outside dining. Great people watching on Cary Street. Case in point: the four people dressed as Ghostbusters who walked by (and it wasn't even Halloween this weekend!). Would have been rated higher were it not for a table of mostly young men who were loud, crude, and ridiculous (read: two rounds of car bombs, wearing a napkin as a headband... real classy). The music also was pretty great - mostly classic rock tunes.
Service Good. Our party was a little needy today as we took a long time to assemble the entire group and decide upon our meal choices (there were too many enticing things to choose from and there was much gossip to be shared!), but when we did finally order, the food took a long time to arrive and we were not offered many coffee refills.
Coffee/TeaVery Good/Good. Local brew from Carytown Coffee. One of the servers told us that they freshly grind the beans before making each pot. Only two tea options (Lipton black and Earl Grey) were available.
Mimosa Very Good. Excellent price for a pitcher ($12). Accommodated our wishes for both the traditional Richmond (with ice) and non-traditional (no ice) varieties. Freshly squeezed orange juice gave the drink an extra special taste.
Bloody Mary - Good. Right amount of spice, two olives.

Xtra's Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. I too dislike the name...but mostly because the word "extra" has become some form of urban-youth-insult..., as in, "you be actin' so extra." ?! But the patio sounds lovely. :)

    1. Really? That's a thing? Children are crazy. We'll have to enjoy the patio next time you're in town! - Karisa