The Blue Plate Restaurant // Hits the spot

It took a little while but Mother Nature has finally decided to make fall feel like fall. It wasn’t without its ups and downs, and unfortunately, the changing temperatures created havoc for many. I also became a victim suffering from “the crud” earlier this week. Sadly, when you’re sick, it’s often hard to identify what you’re in the mood to eat. With the cooler temperatures and a head cold from hell, I decided that soup was in my future for lunch. I wanted to go somewhere I hadn’t been in a while, concurrently on a mission to avoid soups that were made at some corporate facility and shipped to one of the many franchises in Tuscaloosa.

I aimlessly drove down McFarland Boulevard and barely noticed The Blue Plate Restaurant to my right. It had been a few years since I’d been to Blue Plate, so I pulled in hopeful I’d find what I thought I was craving. Pulling in at 10:58 a.m. as a VERY early diner, I was concerned when I was only one of two cars in the parking lot, especially when I recall seeing the place packed any other time I drove by. Noting that the business and lunch service started at 10:30 a.m., I was relieved to see that the restaurant was indeed open.

The lack of early patrons gave me the option to sit almost anywhere. As a solo diner I was tempted to sit at the bar and stare at desserts, but I finally opted on getting a little booth all to myself. As I plopped down and took a peek at the menu, I was delighted to see the consistent trickling in of older folks into the restaurant. One man’s glance my way gave me the impression that I had taken his normal booth…oops.

It only took .35 seconds for me to look at the menu and see exactly what I wanted. A bowl of beef and vegetable soup with a grilled cheese sandwich sounded like the mostly heavenly thing on the planet. Shoving my menu at the server with a big smile on my face, I told him I was ready to order. Thirty seconds later he came back with a basket of cornbread and biscuits for me to enjoy all by myself. I snacked on a fluffy biscuit with butter in order to save my cornbread for my soup. Within 10 minutes, a generous bowl of beef and vegetable soup was laid before me along with a nicely sized grilled cheese sandwich. Monstrous pieces of potatoes, tomatoes, and green beans confirmed that this bowl of soup had no former existence in a can or frozen. My grilled cheese sandwich had a perfect balance of cheesiness without being overly greasy.

Viewing the dessert display upon my arrival, I knew I wanted to save room for something sweet. My server shared a few of the dessert options including cobbler, sweet potato pie, coconut cream pie, and various cakes. Though sweet potato pie is my favorite, I finally settled on having a slice of homemade chocolate cake with fudge and walnut toppings. Warm, gooey, and nutty, the cake itself had the nostalgic flavors of homemade cakes that grandma used to make. It was a perfect ending to the earliest lunch I’ve had in a long time.

The Monday lunch experience I had at The Blue Plate Restaurant confirmed that this place would be on my rotation of regular lunch locations. The pricing was unbeatable and the homemade touches to everything that came to my table were perfect. Thank you Blue Plate Restaurant for hitting the spot just right.

The Blue Plate Restaurant is located at 450 McFarland Boulevard in Northport.  Tweet us @ThePlanetWeekly and let us know where you are eating!

Sheena Gregg, MS, RDN,LD is a registered dietitian and local “Filipino foodie.” Follow her on Twitter @TheThriftyRD

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