Buddy's Place, 325 N. Robinson St., Richmond
Karisa: Michele and I were on our own for the last brunch of 2012, since the other ladies were out of town with their families. We were in a hanging out and gossiping mood, so we hit up Fan favorite Buddy's. I typically don't expect much from Fan bars in terms of food, but have often been pleasantly surprised (Curbside and 3 Monkeys come to mind.) Unfortunately, Buddy's food was just what I expected; worse actually. There weren't any vegetarian dishes on the menu that jumped out at me, so I went with my go-to brunch item, the crabcake benedict. It just wasn't very good. The yolks were rock hard, which the server quickly took back to remedy (and I got a free mimosa out of it!) but the new ones were still soft boiled, and the crabcake was mediocre at best. As hungry as I was, I think I only had a few bites. Luckily the potatoes and fruit were tasty, and I had several mimosas to fill me up. Overall I highly suggest Buddy's for a Sunday Funday... but would definitely go somewhere else for brunch first.
Michele: Brunch this week was sort of a last minute decision for Karisa and me. We didn't have a quorum of brunch club ladies, so we decided to go to a place that the others would not mind missing. We were in the mood for a Sunday Funday, so Buddy's seemed like a good choice.
Right off the bat, I was a little disappointed in the make your own Bloody Mary bar. I have particular tastes when it comes to a Bloody, but here's a little secret: I'm terrible at making them myself. A make your own Bloody Mary deal feels like a little bit of a cop out to me. When I give a rating for a make your own bar, I'm really just rating myself. The coffee was disappointing as well. It tasted like coffee that you would get, well, in a bar. The cups were small, and it felt like we were always looking for our waitress for a refill.
For my meal I decided on the corned beef hash with two eggs over easy. The texture of corned beef sometimes grosses me out, but our waitress assured me that their hash was popular and tasty. I was pleasantly surprised by the food on my plate. The hash was pretty tasty. The corned beef was cut up into small pieces and cooked with onions and other tasty things. The eggs were nice and over easy, so the runny yolks mixed in nicely with the hash. I scooped it all up on my wheat toast. The potatoes were cooked well. They were large pieces of potato, but they were crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside. The fruit on the side was a pleasant surprise. In addition to a couple pieces of melon, there were some orange and grapefruit slices. I feel like we've been to nicer restaurants that serve worse fruit on the side.
Overall, we were not very impressed with the brunch experience at Buddy's. It felt like we had two servers helping us, and we could never find either one of them. It was pretty crowded, but most folks were there to drink and watch football. We settled on a 2 for Buddy's. I don't think I would come back here to eat, BUT I would come to Buddy's after a nice brunch to continue drinking on a Sunday Funday.
Food - Fair. Karisa's eggs were hard boiled initially and not prepared much better on the re-do. The menu was egg-heavy (which is okay by us!) but fairly limited. The fruit was good, we especially appreciated the included grapefruit.
Service - Fair. We were generally confused as to who was actually our server, and weren't sure who to flag down about Karisa's eggs. However whenever someone was at our table, they were very kind.
Atmosphere - Good. This is very obviously a local Fan hangout packed with regulars. It's a great place to watch a game and enjoy some adult beverages.
Coffee - Fair. We're actually not sure about this one. We had our first cup and were never offered refills. When we asked for another round it was pretty terrible.
Mimosa - Good. It's hard to beat a $4 mimosa!
Bloody Mary - Fair. It was a make your own bar, and not a good one at that with only two types of mix, one type of hot sauce, and a few olives left by the time we got there. The glass arrived with a generous pour of vodka, and it's hard to complain about a price of $4.