Brunch at Simple Eats in Virginia Beach
From the moment you walk into Simple Eats, in Virginia Beach, you feel like you're in a chic farmhouse. That same feeling goes hand-in-hand with their farm-to-table menu. In April 2015, Sandy Schmidtmann transformed a dimly lit bar into this local eaterie.
Gals that Brunch Virginia Beach visited Simple Eats for the first time on Saturday, September 17. I was surprised at how big the inside of Simple Eats was compared to the outside. We sat at a long, handmade picnic table that was perfect for our large party. We spent the first couple of minutes gazing at all of the amazing artwork by local artists.
Their menu has six different categories: Early Risers, Salads, Sandwiches, Flatbreads, Simple Beginnings and Simple Plates. While the restaurant is called Simple Eats, their idea of simplicity is far from basic. Almost everything on their menu is locally grown from southern Maryland to eastern North Carolina.
We tried six menu items from the Early Risers section. Let's be real, 10 a.m. on a Saturday is pretty early.
The most popular choice among the brunch group was the sourdough french toast. It is topped with fresh berries and powdered sugar. It comes with a side bacon or local sausage for $9.
Another popular menu item was the breakfast bowl. A sunny side up egg over house-made salsa, avocado, spinach and homefries. This $10 bowl is on the lighter side and an excellent choice if you plan on going to the beach and want to avoid a food baby.
Our brunchies also enjoyed the Garden Omelet. This fresh omelet is made with local farm eggs, tomato, spinach, mushroom, red onion and cheddar cheese. It's served with a side of homefries and your choice of a biscuit or toast for $11.
One brunchie proclaimed that her go-to brunch item is always a breakfast burrito. Simple Eats' breakfast burrito has farm fresh eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries and cheddar cheese wrapped in a flour tortilla, served with house-made salsa and fresh fruit. This breakfast burrito will fill you up for $12.
I decided to go with the Loaded N.C. Shrimp & Grits. I've had shrimp and grits prepared two different ways, in a broth or thick and creamy. Simple Eats prepares theirs with a broth. By the time I finished my bowl (which only took me 10 minutes btw), I wanted a piece of bread to soak up the remaining broth. The dish is served in a wide bowl with North Carolina stone-ground grits, blackened shrimp, sausage, bacon, country stewed tomatoes and cheddar cheese. For $14, this was one of the more expensive breakfast items on their menu, but it's totally worth it. This dish is "happy dance" approved. (If you've never done a happy dance while eating food, you've never had a truly delicious meal)
We were all most intrigued by the Crabby Bennie. A crabcake eggs benedict is nothing surprising, especially for this area. Simple Eats serves two poached farm-fresh eggs, drizzled with hollandaise sauce, over tomato, spinach, avocado and house-made crab cakes. What made this $15 dish so different from any other crabcake benedict is that Simple Eats serves theirs on a Cronut, or so we thought... We spent several minutes debating if it was actually a Cronut or not. Our server later explained to us that it was actually a croissant bun.
Two of our brunchies wanted to venture out from breakfast food and try the sandwiches. You can tell our Gals have different palates because one burger is on the lighter side and the other is more savory.
The Blackbean Burger is one of Simple Eats' vegetarian options. For $11, you get a house-made black bean burger topped with avocado, baby greens, tomato and aoili, served on a croissant bun.
Contrasting the black bean burger is the Farmhouse Burger. When this burger, served on a wooden cutting board, arrived to the table, everyone oooh'd and ahhh'd at the size and plating. A grass-fed beef burger is dressed with cheddar cheese, bacon, baby greens and tomato. It is also served on a croissant roll with a side of homefries, mixed greens or a seasonal side, for $12. For an additional $2, you can add a fried egg or avocado.
Once we finished our meal, we all agreed that Simple Eats is somewhere we would definitely revisit. While there are several delicious restaurant choices on Shore Drive, Simple Eats is guaranteed to provide a relaxed environment and a farm-fresh menu.
Thank you to Francesca and the other brunch Gals for the photos.