It took me going out in public in my pajamas to realize that I have no acceptable sets—especially warm, winter pajamas. I was due at brunch at Virtue Feed & Grain’s pajama brunch, which happens the first Sunday of every month. It should have been as easy as rolling out of bed, putting my contacts in, and leaving the house. But it is never, ever that simple, is it?
The new restaurant from the owners of Eve has had a lot of buzz around it in the past few months. Touted as Eve’s younger sibling, full of attitude and spunk, the two-level restaurant is built in an old feed warehouse. Downstairs, the dining room and bar is cozy and inviting. Upstairs, you’re dining in a high-ceilinged room with big timber beams, swing porch chairs, massive projection screens, a long bar, and a set of angel wings hanging from the ceiling.
We had a big group at the October pajama brunch, and we were all dutifully clad in our fleece best, with super stretchy pants ready to consume a massive brunch. Everyone who wears their PJs gets 10% off their meal, and the restaurant makes it fun with a DJ spinning on the second level (though the music was way too low for our liking that day). Even the servers are in their own skivvies.
Here’s how brunch at Virtue works: You order your hot course, and then you load up on the “morning spread.” That morning spread is a small buffet of cold appetizers, which you get to load a plate from once—only once, they warn on the menu. So, I piled high the fruit, cereal, lox, bread, and pastries.
I had been there once before for dinner, and I knew I wanted the deviled eggs that are on the bar menu. Even though the servers are jokingly tough (to match the snarky menu attitude), they let it slide and put in a couple orders for our table. Those deviled eggs—amazing. They come three to a plate, nearly toppling over from all the filling.
The drinks aren’t included with brunch, but the restaurant does have an impressive selection of beers on tap (including Port City) and “hop-tails.” For brunch cocktails, there’s also a Church Tea, Honey Bunny’s Michelada, and a Toigo Orchards Bloody Hell. They sound complicated, don’t they?
The steak and eggs was a little sad. The steak was fatty and not that big. The potatoes that come on every dish were covered in oil and not tasty enough to make an impression. Likewise, the corned beef hash with poached egg was a bit fatty as well. It came mixed in with the breakfast potatoes.
The Irish breakfast was the most impressive dish, loaded with lots of different types of meat, including pork belly, bacon, ham, and other unidentified sausages.
The Benedict was a win, perhaps the best dish on the table. It came with big slabs of Canadian bacon on toasted English muffins. The eggs were poached perfectly and the hollandaise sauce was delicious.
The sausage, gravy, and biscuit looked like a big plate of throw-up, said the Bitch who ordered it. Not a visually appetizing plate, but it tasted hearty, meaty, and had lots of flavor. It had little bits of sausage broken up in a thick sauce, poured on top of two muffins.
So not everything on the brunch menu was as great as we were expecting. But, they prime you for this. They say it themselves on the menu: “If you are expecting a dining experience, a taste revolution, or to be pampered, then go to Restaurant Eve.”
Maybe I will do that. Or maybe I will just go invest in some new PJs.
The Bitches say: B. The food was hit or miss, but the concept of the brunch is way fun.
Virtue Feed & Grain
106 S. Union St.