I recently had the opportunity to accompany J on his work conference in Baltimore and had a fantastic time! After doing much researching (like urbanspooning/yelping/tripadvisoring) of different restaurants and food stops I could hit, I realized just how many of these places were featured on shows off the Food Network. One in particular was the Blue Moon Cafe. The Blue Moon Cafe was featured in Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, and I had to write about it just because it was such a great experience in all ways possible.
Located a short distance from our hotel, we thought going at 9:30 AM on a Sunday would be early enough for us to stroll right in and get a table. When we approached however, we already noticed a sizable crowd waiting outside the restaurant.
“How long for a table for 2?” I asked
“You’re looking at 1 hour and 20 minutes” said the host.
“…Okay,” I obliged, and we waited.
And waited. And waited.
I don’t know about you, but usually when you are given a waiting time for a table, 9 times out of 10 it usually ends up being shorter than they say. So not the case here.
At almost 11 am, we were finally seated, but even then the menu cover warned us to be patient with our food since all things were made fresh. I started worrying if this meal was going to be worth the time investment. And at this point you might be wondering how could I possibly be raving about it. Here’s why:
1) Fab Service: Our server was awesome and super friendly. He advised us of the specials in mouth watering detail. He told us of their two signature dishes that weren’t featured in the menu. Those dishes were the Captain Crunch French Toast, and the Sweet Baby Jesus (I actually laughed when he said the dish name), both of which were featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Drives.
We knew we wanted the Sweet Baby Jesus, but I was torn with the french toast because they were offering a weekend special of a Cocoa Puff French Toast which sounded nothing short of epic. Our patient server accommodated us and said that we could order the full order of the Sweet Baby Jesus, and he would make us a short stack of both the Captain Crunch French Toast, and the Cocoa Puff French Toast to share. Done and done!
2) It’s the Thought that Counts: While we waited for our food, it was only then that I noticed that patrons outside waiting for a table would periodically come in, go to the back of the restaurant where the counters were, help themselves to coffee, then head back out. We later on realized that this was a complimentary gesture offered by the Cafe to keep the waiters slightly warm as they waited outside. Nice touch!
3) OMG: When our food finally came, it was nothing short of fantastic, picture perfect, and I whipped out my camera and took my 298,374,983 obligatory food shots.
The Captain Crunch French Toast, is exactly as it sounds like, bread dipped in Captain Crunch batter topped with fresh whipped cream, cinnamon, fresh berries, strawberries and apples. It was seriously a party in my mouth, the bread was crispy on the outside and warm and chewy on the inside.
The Cocoa Puff French Toast was just the same in terms of awesomeness, but a richer flavor, with the bread dipped and rolled in Cocoa Puff Cereal, with layers of Nutella in between and on top, topped off with fresh whipped cream, and sliced apples and bananas. I couldn’t pick a favorite, they both rocked. I refuse to pick a favorite. Refuse.
The Sweet Baby Jesus was a badass concoction of layers of hash browns and jumbo lump crab meat, topped with fresh tomatoes, two over easy eggs, covered in hollandaise sauce and their Old Bay seasoning. Yeah…
When we finally took our first bites, the first thing I said to J was “This was SO worth the wait.”
4) Going that Extra Mile: This was the kicker. We finished every last morsel of our fantastic brunch. We were ready to roll our bods out of there, already leaving with a great experience in our minds. However, our server (who learned we were visiting from Canada during our meal), came back one last time with a grin on his face and a take out box in his hands as we were getting ready to leave:
“I know you guys are full, but I wanted to send you guys off with one of our home made cinnamon buns since you guys came so far to visit us. Just pop it in the microwave when you’re ready to eat it, and it’s good to go.”
That my friends, is customer service.