Monday, January 21, 2013


Lunch., 1213 Summit Avenue, Richmond

Karisa: "Lunch." may just be the worst possible name for a restaurant ever. Try to Google it; I'll wait. See? 'Lunch Richmond' doesn't work, neither does 'Lunch restaurant Richmond.' The IT girl in me is annoyed by this name choice for a restaurant. As it turns out, the name isn't the only annoying thing.

I arrived to find a confused looking Michele standing outside, who said the hostess estimated an hour wait and didn't take names, just faces. That was odd. Then after 30 minutes watching a few other people, figured out we needed to just seat ourselves when others got up. Doable, but still odd. I'm sure the other ladies will describe the rest of our sub-par service once we sat down (no utensils, wait for drinks, hints of rudeness) so I'll leave that to them and talk about the food.

First of all, I'll say that I really enjoyed my meal. I got the A.M. Quesadilla without meat. I know, I know, I have a thing against augmenting the dish, but given my previous experiences with omelete dryness and not being a big fan of sweets, I was pretty stuck. It contained eggs, onions, peppers, and cheese all topped with pico and sour cream. It was also supposed to have avocado (which was the real selling point for me to begin with.) The missing avocado was rectified mid-quesadilla eating, but it had no flavor (I know, it's not avocado season) so the initially delivered version was what I ended up eating anyway. It was yummy! The salsa was flavorful and spicy, and the sour cream added a cooling effect to the spice. The only thing I didn't like about it was the red tortilla; it didn't add anything, and just made me feel like I was eating something with food coloring. In the end, the food was great, the service terrible, and the booze was lacking (although cheap). I won't hurry back, but perhaps it would be a good take-out spot?

Andrea: The moral of the story at Lunch is good food and great vibe, but the rest needs work. We were greeted with a little bit of a wait - they estimated 45 mins to 1 hour but it ended up being more like 20 minutes. Luckily, it was a nice day so we didn't mind hanging outside. The space is cozy and definitely felt like a neighborhood hangout where the staff would quickly learn your name and your usual if you sit at the counter. I was a bit overwhelmed by all the delicious-sounding things on the menu. I decided to go with the Last Stand - a breakfast burrito with eggs, pulled pork, onion, and pico de gallo on top. The pork was very flavorful and definitely the star of the dish. The pico was good too, but I wanted a little something extra to brighten everything up - maybe some cilantro or more lime. I also selfishly wanted a bit more sour cream (only a small amount was drizzled on the side). Whenever I see deviled eggs on a menu these days, I like to try them, so I ordered the deviled eggs du jour. They ended up being the original version, which meant very plain - chunks of pickle, with strong pickle juice flavor. Not the best I've ever had. I squealed with glee, however, when I saw the cold beverages were served in mason jars with my FAVORITE kind of ice...rabbit pellet know, the kind that are like little nuggets and are super fun to munch on and are amazing? Yeah. Those. Highlight of my day. Unfortunately, as described in the summary review, the service today wasn't great, and that definitely bumped my impression of the establishment down. Otherwise, Lunch is totally a spot that I'd like to come back to and try some more of their traditional lunch-type items. 

MicheleI was excited to try Lunch this week. It's pretty close to where I live, and the menu online looked simple. I arrived first this week and was told the wait would be an hour (!!). Excuse me, did I accidentally go to Millie's? In any case, we decided to stick it out. Thankfully we only ended up having to wait about 30 minutes.

I ordered my coffee and a Bloody Mary, which will only set you back $3.50 at Lunch. Unfortunately I was recovering from the flu this week and could not taste anything due to my lingering congestion. The drink had lots of coarse spices in it, which I normally love. Karisa took a sip of it and said it was pretty good.

For my meal this week I decided on the Train Wreck, egg, sausage, and a slice of cheese on a biscuit and covered in gravy. Again, I really couldn't taste much of the food, although could tell that the sausage was spicy. The grits on the side were coarse ground, which is always a plus, but I have no idea if they actually tasted good.

The inside of the restaurant is actually pretty cool. The walls are decorated with some cool black and white photography. The whole place feels like a neat little hole in the wall diner. I think we would have had a better time at Lunch if our service had been better. Only one server was working, and she had at least 7 tables to looks after, plus acting as the hostess, plus clearing the tables. The poor lady needed some help. We had to get our own silverware, which thankfully was right next to our table. We had to ask for a few items like our drinks multiple times. The most bizarre thing was that we were expected to keep an eye out for the table ourselves and have a seat when it was our turn. Again, our server was juggling many things that morning, so it was more the situation than an actual problem with her.

So to up sum it all up, I was a pretty worthless brunch reviewer this week. I couldn't taste any of my food, and the only feedback I can give is to whine about how crowded it was. I'm not in a huge hurry to go back to Lunch. I may try it in the future at a weird hour so that it's less likely to be busy.

Kathy: Upon realizing the wait time to brunch at Lunch, I accidentally swore in front of small children, so readers beware if you choose to go here, unless you don't mind delays or being obscene in front of kids. A Type A personality like mine didn't handle the waiting process well - nobody took our name and it was unclear if the waitress would have pulled us from outside when a table opened. We simply walked in to show our face as a reminder right as one became available. The service was lacking in general, as our waitress paid little attention to us throughout our meal. We even had to get our own cutlery from a basket on the side wall. That said, the food and atmosphere did not disappoint. The setting was cute, like an old time-y diner mixed with a hipster den. Despite my love affair with feta, I chose the Summit omelette with sausage, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and cheddar. It had a great ratio of egg to other ingredients, and was not too dry or runny. It came with a side of grits that were simply amazing, and not at all watery. I'll end with another disappointment though, given how crucial drinks are to the brunching experience. They only offered 3 types of tea, and didn't provide multiple bags - just one cup of hot water for the subpar tasting earl grey green tea I choose. The mimosas were cheap at $3.50, but it turned out that's because there's hardly any alcohol in it. I suppose I'd go back if I'm looking for a scene-y place that has good food, but otherwise Lunch will not be on my go-to brunch list.

Rating: 3
Food Good. Huge selection. Since the menu covers all the meal options, there's something for everyone. We all liked our dishes, but some of them could have used a little something extra to push them into the Very Good category. The deviled eggs weren't very special.
Service - Fair. Considering that there seemed to be only one waitress for the whole place, she was understandably busy. However, she forgot a lot and wasn't very friendly. We weren't asked for refills and she was hard to flag down when we needed something. We had to grab our own napkins/silverware because there wasn't any on the table. Conveniently, we were seated next to the basket o' silverware. Interestingly, they don't take your name at Lunch when there's a wait. We waited outside and when a table became available, we weren't told there was one ready....we just kinda sat ourselves. Don't know if that's standard practice, but it felt kinda weird to us.
Atmosphere Very Good. Super cute decor - like a tiny old diner but modernized. Traditional diner counter with five seats, retro sign with types of drinks that are served, drinks served in mason jars. Important to note that it can get a little loud because the dining area is small.
Coffee/TeaGood (C)/Fair (T). They serve coffee from Lamplighter. We usually love local beans, but our coffee drinkers this week had cups from different pots. The first cup was great but the subsequent one was a bit burnt. The tea selection was slim (three flavors). We weren't offered any refills on our water, and had to ask twice for lemon and milk. When the milk arrived, it was in a small glass container with no spout, which made it impossible to pour without spilling.
Mimosa/Poinsettia Fair. Cheap ($3.50) but very little alcohol. Served in cute mason jar with rabbit pellet ice.
Bloody MaryGood. It had lots of coarse spices, Karisa confirmed it tasted pretty good, and it's hard to complain about $3.50.

Lunch. on Urbanspoon

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