Many people rant and rave about Blue Moon Café and I suppose I couldn’t be a proper cheapskate connoisseur without throwing in my two cents (which is all I have at any given moment, anyway). First off, there seems no getting around the wait. One tactic I’ve employed is put my name down on the list then head across the street to Liquid Earth, share a healthy and tasty vegetable smoothie with a confidant of some sort, and play a game of Fluxx or two.
If not, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the weather and the breath taking scenery of Aliceanna St. while up and coming comedians will practice their routines on the captive audience as they park their vehicles, view the accumulated crowd, then announce, “The place is closed! Everyone go home!” then smirk at their own wit as they walk inside to add their names to the list. This will happen about two or three times.
Once the powers that be decide you have wasted away in purgatory long enough, you will be permitted to enter. If you’ve never been here, you maybe disconcerted by the lights shining up through the gaps in the floorboards. Will the dining area full of patrons crash through at any moment? I’ve been there about a half dozen times and it hasn’t happened yet, but the gaps combined with the constant creaking did unsettle me a little.
In the dead of winter, you wouldn’t want to be seated by the door. The place is small with no breezeway so patrons will be hit with an arctic blast every time new additions to the surrounding crowd come in to put their names on the list. The atmosphere, other than cramped, is ‘eclectic’. The eerie paintings and wiccan-esque nick nacks are hopefully enough to keep those sympathetic with Fred Phelps and his ilk away. There’s a small dry erase board up near the ceiling with a daily 80s trivia quote and once upon a time, a prize of a free coffee would be presented to anyone who correctly guessed which movie/song/tv show that was quoted, but the proliferation of smart phones also lead to a proliferation of cheaters, so a correct guess will only get you the satisfaction of being reminded of living through the 80s. Many on staff have an impressive display of body art. I am by no means judging (well, I look down my nose at this guy’s tattoos. I judge thee, sir!), I enjoy looking at intricate tattoos as much as tattooed people liked to be stared at by strangers. I was particularly impressed with a very detailed scene of the rumpus from a childhood’s favorite Where the Wild Things Are covering the upper arm of one of the workers.
Now, finally, to the food: is it worth the wait? The menu has a nice range of ‘cheap eats’ and some pricier selections containing crab and salmon. In all my times here, I’ve tried the Cap’n Crunch French toast, and in the fall, the pumpkin French toast. These are very sweet selections, but I grew up slathering my pancakes with peanut butter then soaking them with maple syrup, so I likes me a sweet breakfast. However, today I had the chorizo with three scrambled eggs for $8.95. They came with a side of hash browns and a flour tortilla. I was hoping the chorizo would be on the hotter side of spicy, but it only registered ‘slight zing’ on my patented sausage spice calibration kit, but it was alright. The scrambled eggs were good: fluffy and not overdone. I didn’t bother with the tortilla, just eating my sausage and eggs with a fork. I did like the hash browns quite a bit. The portion size was pretty large and the potatoes were sizzled to a crisp on the outside, with the tender little strips of hot potatoes on the inside. Just sprinkle with salt to taste and you’re in hash brown heaven, baby.
Is this alone worth the wait? Well, honestly, depends on how large the waiting crowd is. For simple breakfasts, Pete’s Grill is a good rival, but Pete’s Grill also has a space issue and there’s a wait sometimes, but I’ve never waited as long as I had at Blue Moon.
But wait, I’m not finished with that lukewarm review of my meal. There is one thing at Blue Moon Café that I love: the home made jam. Most breakfast places have those little packages of gross grape jelly or might add to their impressive selections with little packages of strawberry jelly, and if you’re really lucky, little packages of orange marmalade. Today, their jam du jour was blueberry and it tasted like the warm innards of homemade blueberry pie. A side biscuit or toast will add $2.25 to your bill, so if you want to keep your status as a proud cheapskate, order a menu item that explicitly states it comes with toast or a biscuit.