Karisa: There was a very rare sighting at our brunch table this week... Boys. I know, I know, we are ladies who brunch, not ladies & gentlemen that brunch. However, rules are made to be occasionally broken, and with the fun of Riverrock, we decided to invite our dudes along. They certainly don't get a permanent invite, but we enjoyed their perspectives (mostly that we're too harsh) and their company. Our initial brunch locale we deemed too dainty, and for the second time in brunch club history, the wait at Sidewalk was just too long. Thankfully, Metro was there to save our very hungry selves.
Shocking to absolutely no one, I went with the Eggs Chesapeake, which is really just good ole crabcake benedict, with grits on the side. The right pieces were there, but the execution was just a bit off. The eggs were slightly overcooked, leaving me with no yolk explosion to meld the dish together. The hollendaise was also a bit too tart for my liking. The cheese grits were very creamy, but had an aftertaste that was off-putting to me. Michele liked them though, so it was probably just a cheese I don't like. (Wait... a cheese I don't like? That can't be it... I've never said those words in my life...) To compensate for the underwhelming food, we had a good number of drinks, and well, a good time was had by all.
Michele: I've had dinner at Metro a couple of times prior to our brunch here. I had some amazing meatloaf one night that was wrapped in bacon. Yes, heavenly. I'm salivating thinking about that meatloaf again. I think that Metro has since changed chefs and/or owners, and meatloaf does not appear on the current brunch menu, so I cannot confirm if this divine meal is still available.
We rolled into Metro Grill with a large group of 6 this week. We squished into a booth that had room for about 2.5 people on each bench. I ordered my standard coffee and Bloody Mary. This particular morning, I had been up since 7, gone running, done a bunch of homework, visited Riverrock, and still hadn't had any coffee. I remember drinking a lot of coffee at Metro, but I don't actually recall if I liked it or not. I know for a fact that I enjoyed my Bloody Mary. It was a little on the spicy side for my tastes, but the celery seed in the drink made my tastebuds happy.
For my meal this week, I ordered the Chicken and Waffles. The plate arrived piled high with two waffles and a huge fried chicken breast. The dish was smothered in gravy rather than the typical syrup. The breading on the chicken stayed put on the meat, and I tasted honey on the outside of the breading. However, the chicken on the inside tasted a little bland to me. The gravy over top was interesting; I think I tasted parsley in there. Honestly, it's a little weird to mop up gravy using a waffle. I think I would have preferred syrup instead.
I'm not sure if I will return to brunch at Metro in the future. My meal was not terribly memorable, and I felt no jealousy towards anyone else's meal. Metro would be a great stop for drinks on a Sunday Funday up Robinson St. Now, a breakfast sandwich made with the Magical Metro Meatloaf, that would be something to write a blog about.
Kathy: We'd originally planned to brunch at the Urban Farmhouse Cafe, but realized with the boys joining our club for a guest appearance, the delicate, small portion menu there would not suffice. So, off we went to Metro, basically only because it happened to be near us and because they didn't have a wait. Since I'd mentally prepared for Urban Farmhouse, with all its cuteness, Metro's atmosphere disappointed me a bit. However, I ended up liking the quiet vibe, even though the space fully lacks charm. We had a cozy booth big enough to fit all 6 of us (and all our food), and nothing beats a good $4 mimosa (except a cheaper mimosa that's still tasty, and if you show me that, I'll show you my new home). The quality OJ and equitable champagne to juice ratio made up for the fact that they don't offer pitchers. The food was just fine, and left me a little heart (belly? same thing?) sore for the organic, fancy foods at Urban Farmhouse. I had shrimp and grits with bacon and sausage sides. I instantly became envious that Karisa's side of grits looked larger than the grits served with my entree. The grits were cheesy and creamy in just the right way, except the tomato sauce mixed in overwhelmed the flavor of my grits a bit. The bacon side only offered 2 strips, which, you know, fine, because bacon, but I would have liked more given that the sausage (patties, not links) were totally bland. I appreciated the large mug of tea, but I only had one option - early grey (which I do like) - and the waitress did not offer hot water refills.
As far as the food and drink went, I played both sides of the aisle and followed my bloody mary up with two mimosas (don’t judge). All three were pretty good – the bloody mary definitely used a mix though. Boo bloody mary mix, you suck. I personally enjoyed my food (the Southern Benny) - no complaints, although it certainly didn’t blow me away. Our server was about the same as the food – she definitely did her job, and we had no problems. The food came out quickly, as did the drinks and coffee, but occasionally you get that extra x-factor from your server that really adds to experience. There wasn’t any of that, but nothing was taken away from the meal by the service, and that was good enough for me.
Overall, I would certainly go back Metro Grill without reservation, but I wouldn't make an effort to seek the place out unless, in the words of Tim Riggins, I was nursing a “massive hangover” (for all you Friday Night Lights fans). My lasting impression was that it was acceptable, but unremarkable.
Mike, guest boy bruncher and the nicest guy you'll ever meet: First, thanks to the ladies of the RVA Brunch Club for inviting me along. I had a fantastic brunch mostly due to the company. The food was absolutely... adequate. I had the shrimp and cheese grits. The sauce, a tomato and sherry cream, overwhelmed every other flavor, but I liked the sauce so that was ok. The ginger ale was flat and tasteless. I loved the music (an eclectic mix to be sure) but could have done without the noisy patrons at the bar. Again, overall the brunch was fantastic, but that was because of the people not the food.
Food - Fair. A few of us found the food to be on the tepid side and somewhat bland. The cheese grits had an interesting taste (an atypical cheese perhaps?) that was outputting to Karisa, but enjoyed by Michele. The boys all enjoyed their meals and think the girls are too harsh.
Service - Good. Our server seemed to be on the new side (she didn't know if they served mimosa pitchers or not; they don't) but all of our 7 entrees arrived together, and boozy drinks were promptly refilled, although coffee service was a little slow.
Atmosphere - Good. We enjoyed the fresh flowers on the table and music selection. The restaurant is dark (typical of a Fan bar) which helps if you're hungover, but can be a bit depressing if you're just starting the day.
Coffee/Tea - Fair(C)/Fair(T). The coffee was served in glass mugs, which we know Karisa hates, and although the tea was served in a good sized mug, only one type (Earl Gray) was offered like no other tea exists in the universe.
Mimosa - Good. Although no pitcher option is available (get on that Metro!), we thoroughly enjoyed many of these mimosas with excellent OJ to sparkly ratios.
Bloody Mary - Good. Coarse spices in there, including celery seed, served in a big pint glass, a little bit too spicy for me, but heat lovers will like it.