Assemble serves up superb brunch and scenery

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By Kathy Chouteau

You’ve got to love a restaurant location that’s so perfectly situated, you can run, walk, bike, drive or even sail to it. When it comes to assembling at Richmond’s Assemble restaurant, situated right off the Bay Trail adjacent to the Craneway Pavilion, getting there sure comes easy.

And, as it turns out, the dining experience and stunning bay views make it well worth the trip.

Spurred by Assemble’s 5th anniversary, The Rich Life recently stopped by the restaurant to check out its weekend brunch.

Although our trio had been to this area of the Richmond waterfront many times before, our perch on Assemble’s patio afforded us the opportunity to really stop for a moment and take it all in: The beautiful, sunny day with intricate cloud patterns floating above us in the sky; the breathtaking bay views in almost every direction; the numerous boats sailing by; the stunning East Bay hills; the people-watching of those walking by on the Bay Trail and entering the Rosie the Riveter Visitor’s Center; and the seagulls flying overhead…

Suffice to say, Assemble’s patio is an opportune spot to take a breather and appreciate some of the simple delights life has to offer—not the least of which included the delicious meal we had.

While two members of our group couldn’t resist the Buttermilk Pancakes (one order topped with strawberries, the other with blueberries and both with a dollop of whipped cream), our third member sampled the Assemble Breakfast, including two eggs, a choice of apple sausage or bacon (he got bacon), home fries and toast. The pancake people also ordered sides of bacon and home fries. For drinks, two Bloody Marys and one lemonade rounded out our brunch selections.

Overall, everything tasted top-notch and was served promptly. The pancakes were fluffy, the fruit fresh and they were served with the perfect accoutrements of soft butter and maple syrup. Likewise, the eggs, etc. dish was fresh and delicious with a special shout-out to the restaurant for its home fries, which were flavorful and crunchy with just the right amount of “give.”

Also notable was the restaurant’s incarnation of the Bloody Mary, which included eye-popping glass toppers such as celery, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, lemon and lime attractively arranged. The drink itself tasted just as good as a Bloody Mary should.

The only minor negative of our experience was some difficulty attempting to contact the restaurant the week preceding our visit to make a reservation (after being unable to make one online). However, we visited around 11:30 a.m. on a Saturday and were promptly seated on the patio.

While Assemble’s indoor space doesn’t boast the full-spectrum patio views, it is very attractively decorated in an industrial chic décor. The indoor room was lively with patrons during our visit, as was the patio, which allows well-behaved dogs.

If you haven’t been there, Assemble’s a must-visit. This reporter highly recommends the weekend brunch and patio area. It’s located at 1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond.

Assemble serves lunch Tues.-Fri., 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and brunch Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more info, visit the restaurant’s website or call 510-215-6025.

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