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report on Blue Plate

Celeste | May 1, 200309:24 PM

Speaking of a lack of reports on blue plate, here's one from my visit there last friday night:

A group of four of us went to blue plate last Friday night for my friend’s birthday.

Perhaps it was because we were ravenous, but each and every thing on the menu appealed to me on paper. I took longer than usual (which is already quite a long time) deciding what to get because I simply could not eliminate anything for quite awhile.

Most of the food I would categorize as “comfort food” – there was a brisket main dish, a meatloaf, and a good solid pork chop as three of the six or so entrée options.

I finally settled on the grilled romaine salad with applewood smoked bacon bits and tomatoes for starters and the pork chop entrée, which came on a bed of polenta with a pan jus sauce.

The grilled romaine salad was pretty good. I’ve actually had a better one recently in Oregon, so perhaps it just suffers by comparison, but the way the romaine was grilled as a whole heart, the inside leaves, which comprise 80% of the lettuce, were not dressed. The bacon bits were very tasty and I wished there were more, and the dressing was also tasty – just not enough to cover the rest of the leaves once you cut into the romaine mass. Grade: B

The pork chop was huge! And slightly overdone. The polenta it came on was perfectly cheesy and fluffy. I ate the whole pork chop but did wish it was a bit juicier. Grade: B

I also shared a side of their macaroni and cheese with drunken Spanish goat cheese. It was somewhat uninspiring – I am a mac and cheese nut. It was kind of congealed, like unperfect home mac and cheese and lacked the additional flavor note that would have made it delicious - I would rather have Home’s mac and cheese (which too is imperfect but has a great cheesy texture). Grade: B-

Other dishes – my friend got the meatloaf. They put a good two inch chunk of meatlof on the plate. Holy moly! It was decent meatloaf, I wouldn’t mind having it if I was craving meatloaf and didn’t want to make my own. Grade: B+

My other friend got the brisket – I had a small bite and approved. Memory is hazy on the sides/sauce so I’ll refrain from further judgment.

Dessert: I had had a few glasses of wine at this point (including a nice Oregon pinot – Bethel Heights – the wine list is fairly limited but has good selections, all hovering at around $40 a bottle) so I can’t remember the details of the dessert. :-) It was very gooey, chocolatey, possibly banana-y with some ice cream in there. The four of us split it and were fighting for the last bites after about 1-2 minutes. Whatever it was: Grade: A-

Overall: A good neighborhood joint. I’ll probably be back despite my quibbles as it was a pleasant space and good enough food to be a good option in the neighborhood. It’s not on my list of top restaurants in town in general but it makes the grade as a neighborhood place in my opinion. The portions are big, the prices decent. Our server was nice and answered all our questions admirably but we had trouble getting attention throughout the night and felt a little ignored sometimes.

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