Hangover Helper: Long waits, enormous cinnamon rolls, and massive mains at Blue Moon Cafe
By JENNIFER WALDERA
Jul 17, 2015 | 5:59 PM
There is perhaps no breakfast spot more notorious for its weekend waits than Fells Point's Blue Moon Cafe. At any given time, its less than a dozen tables (and four bar seats) are filled with couples, families, and groups scarfing down what the cafe has rightfully branded "bad ass breakfast." Feeling less than bad ass ourselves after a night of beer sampling at a newly opened local tasting room, we braved the brutal Baltimore heat in hopes of soaking up last night's suds.
As we expected, tables were in short supply, so we tried our best to stand out of the way of servers while taking in the newest local artwork on the wall and displays of tongue-in-cheek humor (like the Orioles shirt for sale that reads: "Show Us Your O's Face"). The brief wait yielded the best of results when we scored the (literally) coolest seat in the house: a four-top directly in front of the window air conditioning unit.
With our coffee cups filled with a blend from Zeke's ($3), we spared no time ordering a cinnamon roll ($4.95) to keep us content while we waited for other dishes to arrive. Steaming hot, the spiraled roll was no less the size of a baseball—this is a fork and knife experience, people. Warm soft dough filled with layers of cinnamon and drizzled with sugary icing could only be described as "breakfast comfort food." Before we could barrel our way through the roll, the mains arrived.
Earl's Vegetarian Benedict ($12.95) was our nod toward an attempt at a healthy—or at least healthier—start to the day. Spilling across the standard English muffins were ample quantities of broccoli, tomato, peppers, and onions, all sauteed yet still crunchy and bright in color, topped with glistening poached eggs and a slightly-thinner-than-typical hollandaise that was just enough to add the standard lemony richness to the dish. Served aside the benedict was a generous portion of grated hash browns. These were the type that had been spatula-pressed so that the potato slivers on the top and bottom fused together to create a golden crust that crunched when we pressed into it with a fork, revealing the buttery, softer bits inside.
The creamed chipped beef ($8.95) was served over either biscuits, toast, or hash browns. We chose biscuits which, like their sweet counterpart the cinnamon roll, are absolutely enormous. The two split housemade biscuits swam in the smooth and creamy white sauce with plenty of the salty meat pieces throughout. Though it appeared to be pricey at $19.95, the Sweet Baby Jesus was worth every penny. Grated hash browns, covered with melted cheddar cheese, line a substantially sized plate and are topped with diced tomato, poached eggs, hollandaise, and a more-than-generous amount of lump crab meat, then seasoned with Old Bay. Points to the kitchen for the heavy hand with the local seasoning.
Their take on sausage gravy and biscuits ($6.95) was one of the best renditions we've had. Large crumbles of well-spiced sausage mingled in the creamy sauce that, frankly, we would eat soup-style if no one was watching.
Naturally, the star of the sweet main dishes at Blue Moon is the now-famous (thanks, "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives") Cap'n Crunch French Toast ($12.95). Thick slices of egg-battered bread are coated in bits of the fruity cereal that, once cooked, almost masquerade as nuts in terms of texture. The three slices are stacked with fresh seasonal fruit, like strawberries and blueberries, spilling from the top through pillows of housemade whipped cream. Every bit as decadent as it sounds, it's a shareable breakfast—if you're into that sort of thing.
As we rolled out, almost an hour before their 3 o'clock weekday closing time, there was still a 20-minute wait for a table. We can only hope that the restaurant's upcoming second location, in Federal Hill, might ease the need for a waitlist, but we're actually content with standing in line for breakfast like this any time.