Blue Plate Cafe

9 Oct 2010
Cheap Eat (up to $7)
Downtown Huntsville
4 out of 5

Melanie’s Take

As regular visitors to the Blue Plate for breakfast, Shane and I knew exactly what we wanted to order. I always get the Big Blue, which includes two pancakes, eggs, and cheesy browns. Shane chose the Blue Plate Special, which includes sausage, eggs, cheesy browns, and a biscuit with gravy. The pancakes are the best I’ve ever had inside the walls of a restaurant. They are always slightly crispy and buttery around the edges and are fluffy enough to soak up all of the syrup you can throw at them. The other must-try at Blue Plate is the cheesy browns. I joked to a waitress one time that I just wanted a plate full of them as my meal, and she said that a regular customer actually orders that.
The service at the Blue Plate is average, but there are a few exceptional waiters, if you’re lucky enough to be seated in their areas. The prices are nice at breakfast and the portions are huge. You won’t leave here hungry. We typically leave for $15. Another nice feature is the decor. They have a 1950s diner look with historic pictures of Huntsville lining the walls. Their bread and butter is supposedly lunch, but I think their breakfast is the meal worth trying.

Shane’s Take

Our weekend excursion through the Steak-Out/Rosie’s restaurant empire continues! On Friday night, we tried Shaggy’s and found ourselves wanting something better. On Saturday morning, we returned to the Blue Plate, one of our favorite breakfast haunts before I cheapened (even more) and insisted that we share a biscuit at McDonald’s or Bojangle’s on Saturdays. Let it be known that we like the Blue Plate a lot. It’s not a perfect restaurant, but it’s pretty good. The food is solid. I always order the Blue Plate Special, and it’s reliably good. The eggs have a good flavor, are hot, and are cooked over easy without being raw or dry (although this Saturday they were a little dry, which has never happened before). The sausage is flavorful, too, but a bit pedestrian for my tastebuds, which were trained by hot Tennessee Pride sausage. I also enjoy the cheesy and oniony goodness of the cheesy browns. Blue Plate claims that all its recipes came from the owners’ mothers and grandmothers, and the browns are the one food that make me think “somebody’s grandma came up with this”. The biscuits are an unfortunate let-down. I don’t know how they’re prepared, but they come off as frozen. They don’t have a great flavor, and the texture–which is where biscuits live or die–is tough. The biscuits at Burger King are just as good at a much lower price. (As an aside, we don’t usually talk about beverages, but Blue Plate’s coffee is worth mentioning. It isn’t gourmet, but it has a pleasing restaurant-quality flavor and is a reasonable strength. Plus, their mugs are a pleasure to hold and to drink from.)
I also like the atmosphere. The lighting is cozy, and the black-and-white photographs are interesting and relaxing. I’m also amused by the bar seating and the old school aluminum backing. I also appreciate the easy availability of a booth. Although it’s not an old restaurant, Blue Plate feels comfortable like a place that’s been around for a while.
So, all things considered, I recommend Blue Plate. Except for the biscuits, the food is good. Occasionally, the service is lackluster, but a good server is not hard to find. Overall, It’s a pleasant place to eat.
A few closing notes:
  • Try the cocoa biscuit (“A Special Saturday Treat”, they call it) sometime. It’s an amusing diversion.
  • As Melanie said, the pancakes are really good. It is all you could want in a diner pancake. I’d like one right now, in fact.
  • Something should be done about the biscuits. If I were the Blue Plate owner, I’d drop by Gibson’s on the Parkway about 4:30 one morning with a fistful of cash and make an offer their biscuit makers couldn’t refuse.
  • Another nice diversion from the standard eggs and sausage is the French toast, which is delicious.
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4 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    I love reading about your restaurant experiences! Since we’ve only been in Huntsville for a couple of years this is very helpful. I’ll be looking for more great articles and detailed suggestions for dining out. Question? What is Gibson’s on the Parkway? Will you be writing about them since they obviously have great biscuits?

  2. Shane & Melanie

    Gibson’s is a barbecue restaurant between Drake and Airport on the east side of the parkway, but we love their breakfast. We’ll probably post about them in the next couple weeks.Thanks for your comment!

  3. annemorton

    I am enjoying reading your blog… I like reading reviews of local restaurants, even if they’re out of my area! In Elizabethtown there is a definite lack of good food- ONLY fast food and our “nice” places are Ruby Tuesday and Cracker Barrel, haha! Louisville has some good stuff but it’s a drive, and with Madeline we’ve been going there to eat less and less. It is interesting to find that most good places have one glaring flaw- like the biscuits you mentioned here. Good biscuits are not difficult to make… doesn’t it make you wonder why an owner or manager wouldn’t fix a simple problem like this?

  4. Shane & Melanie

    Anne– So true about the one flaw in most places. You would especially think a place claiming to have authentic southern food would kill it with the biscuits. Glad you’re reading!

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