The Blue Plate – “It Tastes Like Chicken!”

Friday, December 28, 2012 - by Willie Mae
Blue Plate's Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Blue Plate's Buttermilk Fried Chicken

My friend Lois and I were out and about early and neither of us had eaten breakfast but it wasn’t quite lunch time. I suggested that we try somewhere that served breakfast so we headed over to a place I had been told about called Aretha Frankenstein on Tremont Street.

Lois never goes downtown anymore and she has no idea what restaurants are available. Sometimes I think that we are the blind leading the blind!

When we found the address, Lois got nervous. There were old houses that didn’t look very well-taken care of. Lois thought it looked rough. The restaurant itself looked like one of the houses. If it weren’t for the sign – we wouldn’t have known it was even a public place. We knew why they named it Frankenstein. I told Lois that I at least wanted to take a peek and we could leave if she wanted.

Once inside, there was barely enough room to sit, plus all the tables were taken. Lois was relieved when I told her we’d go somewhere else, but I am always game to try something different. As we were getting in the car a man across the street was cutting wood and I teased, “Hurry Lois, that man’s got a chainsaw!” I don’t even think she heard the words I was hollering, but she sure did get in the car fast.

We headed towards Chestnut Street. I had never tried the Blue Plate and I knew we could get breakfast there. Lois liked the looks of this place. Once we looked at the menu we both decided that we really didn’t want breakfast so we decided on an early lunch.

We saw the “Buttermilk Fried Chicken” for $13.25 and spoke of our mothers’ fried chicken they used to fry up. On the back of the menu I had noticed that this place supported farms or got some of their ingredients from local places.

I had bought a chicken at the Farmer’s Market from River Ridge Farms before and I assumed that the chicken came from there since they listed the farm on their menu. You can really tell a difference from the chicken at the store and a farm fresh chicken! Lois and I both ordered it with the whipped potatoes but she got turnip greens and I got the grilled green beans.

We were served our meals with creamy gravy for the chicken and brown gravy for the potatoes. Neither of us liked gravy on our chicken, but being the one that would write about it, I wanted to try it.

The chicken was wonderful and there was no need for the side gravy, but it did have a good flavor together for those that like gravy on chicken. The potatoes were farm fresh too and my green beans were grilled perfectly! Our meal was scrumptious! The little corn muffins were on the sweet side; I expected that. I have only found one place so far that makes the buttermilk cornbread I like and that is in Ooltewah at Countryside Café. I tasted a sweet flavor a little different in this cornbread though; I got a closer look and knew why I wasn’t fond of the muffins… it had corn. I hate corn, but a lot of folks might like that little touch. Lois liked it.

The one thing Lois and I had both agreed on - the chicken was too salty. If they backed off the salt just a bit, either in the breading or on the chicken, it would have been perfect.

Lois wanted that hot, vinegar-pepper sauce to put on her turnip greens. We were going to flag down a waitress, but a man behind the counter heard us talking and brought us the exact thing she wanted.

I was a little jealous because I didn’t have anything that I would put hot sauce on.

After our meal, Lois wanted to share a coconut pie for $3.50 for dessert. I think it came from the Bluff View Bakery. I was trying to be nice and let Lois eat on the pointy side where most people start and I got a bite from the other end. She snapped, “You’re going for the good part!” The end I was eating from was the wide end and she still had room to eat on the other side.

Breakfast, lunch or dinner and good food … really good. If you have never tried fresh and delicious at Blue Plate, go visit them and tell them Willie Mae sent you.


Blue Plate's Coconut Pie
Blue Plate's Coconut Pie

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