Breaking habit the morning of saturday last, I left the farmers' market laden with satsumas and headed neither to Surrey's nor to Rue for my usual morning ritual. It was slated to be a long day of toil and radioactive struggle in the lab, so I knew i would need to be fortified for the tasks to come with more than a juice and coffee, so I diverted up Melpomene or Erato or whichever muse it is to Prytania, and arrived at the Blue Plate Cafe, along with about half the city. Every table was filled, and there was a line out the door, so i almost called it off. But i was already there, and i was hungry, and the place just looked too interesting (not to mention, there were delectable smells wafting out the door every time someone entered or exited). Well, i'm glad i stayed.
The room is a bright mix of bold colors, decorated with plates and other pieces of pottery----and even with all the tables full, it wasn't obnoxiously loud. I don't know how they manage to make so many different colors and patterns work together, but the place remained cheery without being overwhelming.
The menu was a comprehensive survey of diner standards, though most were slightly reinterpreted though a gourmet filter, and many selections were given names that were geographically/culturally appropriate (if perhaps a bit overly whimsical) for NOLA. I forget what my breakfast was called, but the plate comprised a split biscuit, topped with 2 nicely poached eggs, finished off with a delicious beef and mushroom stew/gravy, with nice oniony hashbrowns on the side. My breakfast companion had a standard Southern breakfast of bacon, grits (which were creamy and not at all gloopy or lumpy), eggs, and a biscuit. Coffee, the culinary low point of the meal despite being bottomless, was thin and pale, and came with creamer, though milk was provided at request. The total bill was still just $20, a bargain, imo.
The plates that i observed en route to other tables all looked pretty good, especially the omelets, and the fresh fruit actually looked fresh and made in-house, which is always a plus. The lunch side fo the menu looked equally appealing, and the specials that were being chalked up on the board sounded pretty tasty, too.
Certainly worth a repeat visit for breakfast, and the lunch bears further investigation. I have a feeling they might make a mean cheeseburger.