Willaby’s: Brunch with a view and a Bloody Mary
by Madison White Franks
Craving breakfast on a Sunday but it’s approaching noon? Look no further, Willaby’s on the Rappahannock has you procrastinators and late risers covered.
The restaurant offers brunch on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and has a variety of dishes to satisfy any craving, from omelets to burgers.
At the foot of the Robert O. Norris Jr. Memorial Bridge, White Stone, Willaby’s offers beautiful views of the Rappahannock River.
Willaby’s began as a catering company in Urbanna in 1987 but five years later, owner William Barnhardt opened a cafe in White Stone. Following a fire in 2010, the café moved to 327 Old Ferry Road.
After church one Sunday, my husband Taylor and I made the trek across the bridge from Deltaville to enjoy brunch.
On the way, I accessed their brunch menu via cell phone and immediately knew I would order the Eggs Chesapeake. We had visited before and Taylor knew he would fill his plate from the breakfast buffet.
We were seated in a repurposed church pew booth next to the window with scenic water views and glimpses of families strolling on the beach after their meals.
Taylor helped himself to the buffet and returned to the table with a plate of spicy sausage, crunchy bacon, big and fluffy pancakes, scrambled eggs, biscuits and thick sausage gravy. Other items on the buffet included cinnamon rolls, grits, fruit.
I ordered the Eggs Chesapeake, two poached eggs smothering a sautéed crab cake, applewood smoked ham and an english muffin, topped with homemade hollandaise. I chose the home fries instead of the grits. They also have an oyster and salmon version of the same dish.
At first I was skeptical about having an egg on a crab cake, but trepidation disappeared with the first bite. The egg was soft, the ham was just to my liking (not too salty), and the crab cake had the perfect balance of crab meat and fillers. The whole dish was amazing and I will definitely be coming back to try the salmon.
Although my husband and I did not partake in their Bloody Mary bar, it is the talk of the town. The bartender offers a generous pour of vodka over ice and suggests a rim treatment of seafood seasoning, garlic powder, paprika with kosher salt, lemon pepper or none at all. The rest is left to your creative taste. There’s a variety of tomato-based juices and mixes and a host condiments: chopped garlic, bacon, horseradish and ginger; pearl onions, green olives, Kalamata olives, marinated mushrooms, jalapenos, pepperoncinis, pickled okra, horseradish pickles, mango habanero pickles, lemons, limes, celery stalks, and a selection of hot and tangy sauces.
Willaby’s also serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Taylor and I went to Willaby’s for dinner for our anniversary, May 24, and enjoyed the waterfront views, a gorgeous sunset, great food, and music by Jacob Vanko.
I was craving salmon and asparagus with a side of grits for my anniversary dinner. Taylor consumed a full rack of ribs and double waffle fries. Let’s just say my craving was satisfied and so was Taylor’s. It was a great dinner destination for our fourth wedding anniversary.
Willaby’s offers satisfaction, from a breakfast buffet, and Bloody Mary bar, to river views and a stroll on the beach.
327 Old Ferry Road
daily Serving brunch on Sundays. Lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays Dinner 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
On the Menu
Seafood • Ribs • Soups and Salads • Burgers • Pasta • Steaks
Did you know?
Willaby’s offers music on Thursday and Friday evenings.