After volunteering at the Cook Book Festival, Sarah and I met up with her family for what the kids these days are calling brunch. With a few options in the area, I think we ended up wandering towards the Blue Plate Diner without really making a conscious effort; it just seems to fit the bill on market days. As we approached, there seemed to be a line out the door, which I thought would be a bad sign at this time of the day. Yet, as we got closer, our dreams of sitting down with a cup of coffee were realized sooner than later, as the commotion was a group of well fed patrons on their way out.
The only downside to our growing group (we needed 8 seats at this point), was that we’d have to sit at two different tables. With a good amount of floor space between the available tables, we decided to take the chance and broke our selves into groups. Sarah, Becks, Hurricane, and myself took one table while Sarah’s brother, mother, Drummer Man and Grandmama took another. Feeling the age difference sink in, Sarah’s brother quickly evacuated from the older table and took up residence at the end of ours.
Almost not needing a menu, I was given a swift kick to the jewels when I realized the only menu choices available were brunch. You see, I was fully prepared to order their amazing, never-lets-you-down veggie burger. I know, I know, this coming from the guy who just made gargantuan medium rare burgers. Let me tell you though, this place does a mean veggie burger (I think the beats are what takes it over the top). Discovering that it would be at least another hour until the regular menu was available, the hobbit into me was going to have a second breakfast. But first, an order of water and coffee. Which in their individual cups add to the funky atmosphere. Too bad Sarah flipped hers over to find a dirty interior.
Sarah’s little brother attempted to conquer the large Stack Of Cakes. Working his way through 90% of the dish, he seemed quite happy to be filling his belly with maple syrup and pancakes. I also think it was nice for him to be spending some time away from the ‘old’ table. With a hankering for pancakes as well, Becks ordered the Pancake Breakfast, which came with two pancakes but added eggs and bacon. A more balanced meal when compared to the stack if I say so. The bacon seemed crispy and the scrambled eggs didn’t seem to have the volume beat out of them.
Hurricane threw down the gauntlet with her Tofu Scrambler. Opting out of the cheese, it seemed this tofu dish, like so many before it, was rather bland and could have used some spices or marinade to bring the dish up a few notches. The potatoes, which looked crunchy to me, were not at all, and to boot, were also bland. Sarah and I both ordered the Big Breakfast. Sarah opted for bacon and over easy eggs, while I went with poached eggs, a side of ham, and fruit instead of potatoes.
Just like Hurricanes potatoes, I found Sarah’s to be soft and unseasoned. I know that’s just a personal preference, but I really look for those crispy edges on my breakfast potatoes. The rest of the dish seemed to be put together nicely, yet we both suffered from over buttered toast. Any time your bread arrives with a pool of butter melting…not a good thing in my book. Again, it’s just personal preference, as I like to taste the bread and not have it slide down my throat. When I ordered my poached eggs, I specifically requested my eggs to be poached soft. To my dismay, they came poached firm and left me without the glory that is a yolk soaked piece of toast. Argh! The ham was great, with a good amount of crispness from the flat-top, while the standard fruit mix was fresh.
Maybe it was my high hopes after so many good meals here, but there were a few hiccups that really bummed me out on this day. Service was spotty, making the coffee refills non-existent, which could also be said about the water. On top of that, Hurricane’s soy latte arrived at some random point, and well into our time at the table. And I know I already mentioned it, but my eggs coming out firm, was a bummer…even more so, because I was hoping for a veggie burger from the moment our group walked in to the diner. I suppose we all have bad days, but who knows what kind of first impression this can make on those who’ve never had the good time I know this restaurant is capable of.