Still the best Eggs Benedict in town
Review by Austyn Luberda, student writer in the University of Alberta WRITE 297 program
Blue Plate Diner Brunch Review
On a Sunday morning, everyone has different routines. Some prefer going to church, others sleeping in, others recovering from a wild night out before. I am someone who enjoys going to a spin class in the morning followed by brunch with some pals. I like to consider myself a brunch specialist. On this specific Sunday, I had just finished a workout and was headed to brunch with my brother Jaryd and our friend Marcelo. The place selected was Blue Plate Diner.
I have previously been to Blue Plate Diner numerous times (we are talking bi-weekly) at the downtown location; however, they recently relocated to 124th street. Their new address is 12323 Stony Plain Rd. NW. I remember finding out about their relocation and was rather shocked because they were at their old location for 15 years. They were forced to relocate because of the proposed “Mackenzie Tower” being built downtown. I had yet to visit since their relocation, and figured it would be a prime opportunity to try it and take these lads there for their first time.
We arrived at around noon and parked just a block behind the new building. Although it had underground parking there’s free parking basically everywhere on Sundays, so no point in trying to find a parking spot in their underground lot. We walked around to the front entrance and noticed there was quite a large clump of people waiting to be seated. They were waiting inside the restaurants entrance so it was rather warm and comfortable, as opposed to being outside on a brisk October morning. We told the hostess at the front that we are a party of three and she said it should be no more than a ten-minute wait. She was very efficient in making sure the people waiting were heard, the tables were quickly cleaned, and the patrons waiting were given a table in a timely and efficient manner.
While we were waiting I could take time to admire the aesthetic of the place. I enjoyed the previous location’s interior design and overall look very much. The interior was a combination of the old look with many furniture brought over in addition to making some more modern adjustments. The flooring was black and white patterns giving it a hip and trendy appeal while, there was plenty of bar seating and you could see pretty openly into the kitchen from where we were standing. The furniture brought over included the tables and chairs allowing it to maintain a slight retro feel that the old Blue Plate Diner atmosphere maintained. Overall, it is a very well blended transition of both the old Blue Plate appearance with a small modern enhancement to the original retro appearance. Very tasteful look and atmosphere.
Roughly ten minutes later we are offered a table and the hostess informs us it is a smaller table but, we are allowed to wait for a larger one if we would like. We all agree that any table is fine with us. Once we are seated I immediately noticed the funky lamp on our table. At Blue Plate, I always appreciate the unique and different small lamp at each table. It adds a large amount of character to the place. We have a rectangular lamp that is giving off a red-tinted light.
The menu they offer is friendly to both vegetarian and vegan dietary restrictions: they are very accommodating to all. As I frequently visited the old location, I had had their veggie sausage numerous times and it is extremely delicious. I however, was a huge fan of their eggs benedict and was very eager to see if the new location lives up to the high expectations I had going in. I browsed over the menu a couple of times, even though I already knew what I was going to order – my personal favourite, the eggs benedict. Their brunch menu is decently sized and I like to think they are better known for their brunch; however, I have never been outside of brunch time.
When the waitress arrives she informs us of the drink specials, which are mimosas and caesars. I order a grapefruit mimosa, as does Marcello, while Jaryd takes the alternative and orders a caesar. The drinks arrive quickly and the mimosa is not in a champagne flute like I anticipated; instead it is in a regular wine glass. A pleasant surprise. Having delivered our drinks she takes our food orders and leaves us to drink and socialize.
The mimosa is refreshing. A great mix of both grapefruit and champagne. I am someone who does not like pulp in their drink and this beverage had minimal pulp while maintaining an authentic grapefruit flavour. The colour was a light pink gradually fading into a rosier pink. Multitudes of ice cubes in the mimosa and there was even a slice of orange in there. I was extremely satisfied with the beverage choice, as was my friend Marcello. We both enjoyed how it wasn’t overpowering with grapefruit or champagne. I asked Jaryd how his caesar was, he said: “it’s alright”. A man of few words.
After socializing for about eight minutes the food arrives and we are able to dig into our meals. Marcello ordered the southwest breakfast burrito ($14), Jaryd ordered the gonzo (three eggs, three sausage, toast & grilled grapefruit) ($18) and I ordered the back bacon benny ($16). The food all looks extremely pleasing to the eye and it smells even better.
I grab my cutlery first, stab a smashed potato, and dip in some hollandaise sauce that has leaked off the poached egg and onto the plate. It is very good. The potato is a little too salty but the overall cook on them is fantastic. I slice through the poached egg and watch the yolk drool out of it and onto the back bacon and english muffin, merging with the hollandaise sauce. It is a beautiful sight for any egg lover. I cut off a bite, so I get a taste of all four crucial elements to the eggs benny, and it is a delightful. The egg is poached to perfection, the hollandaise sauce is delicious and does not overpower the bite. The english muffin is crunchy and toasted adding a bit of texture in your mouth. The back bacon is a little too fatty for my liking however it is cooked thoroughly and adds that salty element needed to tie the whole bite together. The whole meal was delicious and I wolfed it down my gullet more quickly than I am willing to admit.
My first experience at the new Blue Plate Diner location was extremely pleasant. The aesthetic and appearance was a beautiful blend of the old retro style with a few tasteful modern additions. The drinks were refreshing, light and well mixed for a Sunday afternoon, but the food was just sublime and the icing on the cake. Both visually appealing and deliciously tasting, the eggs benedict checks all the boxes. Eggs benedict is my go-to brunch order and Blue Plate Diner has continued to provide me with the best eggs benny that I have had in Edmonton.
If you were a visitor of the old Blue Plate Diner location and have not checked out the new location I would strongly recommend it. It definitely has maintained the bar that the previous location had set. I am a self-proclaimed eggs benedict aficionado and even though the Blue Plate Diner has switched locations it still maintains its elite Eggs Benedict.