I recently had a free day to myself (not easy when you have summer classes as well as a couple of jobs) and decided to go to the Blue Bay Diner for a late lunch/early dinner. I got there just in time for the Early Bird specials and was probably the youngest diner in the place. And kind of wish I hadn’t.
My last few experiences at the Blue Bay were lackluster at best. On one very memorable occasion, my cousins and I stopped here for dinner, and one cousin ordered fried chicken. What was presented to him was a cut up fried…Cornish game hen. When we brought it to the manager’s attention, he actually tried to convince us it was fried chicken! Okay, first of all, who the heck FRIES a wee little Cornish game hen and then tries to pass it off as chicken? Just because it’s in the same family does not actually make it chicken! Absolutely unacceptable as well as insulting to our intelligence.
But I’m one who gives places multiple chances just in case I happened to have gotten them on a couple of bad days. And so I found myself back at the Blue Bay Diner.
Their menu is scary-extensive. They could easily trim it down by a third and still have plenty of options for everyone to choose from. And I noticed their prices have gone WAY up. Like a plate of linguine with olive oil, garlic and broccoli rabe is something like $14. I think that’s kind of outrageous for a local diner, but that’s me.
This place serves thick-sliced challah instead of rolls and sliced French bread. I love challah and was very pleased to find it was warm and moist.
I opened one of their butter packets to find it was kind of grainy. Because I was not born with the sense God gave a goat, I actually tasted this grainy butter. And immediately regretted it. I’m totally unfamiliar with rancid butter because it never languishes long enough in my house to actually go bad, so my only conclusion for this particular butter experience is that it must have been rancid. Rest assured I will not be adding rancid butter to my pantry anytime soon.
Prof. S, if you’re reading this, you may want to skip this next part because I ordered….
I was really surprised by Blue Bay’s fried calamari. These were slightly greasy but tender and crisp rings of squid-y goodness. I really enjoyed these, and also noticed there were no tentacles, which was nice because I typically get a plateful of fried tentacles at most other places. I pretty much gobbled these up.
I sometimes get a Cobb salad in diners to see what they put in their versions. Blue Bay’s Cobb salad is interesting. The romaine lettuce was crisp and fresh, as was the chopped cucumber and… green bell pepper. I’ve never seen green bell peppers in a Cobb salad before but I went with it.
I’m afraid I wasn’t happy with my salad overall. *cue litany of complaints* As you can see in the picture above, the boiled egg was overcooked and the avocado was a little brown. As cliched as this sounds, you do eat with your eyes and my eyes were not pleased. Don’t hurt me but I actually felt like there was too much bacon. I was also dismayed to find that despite being in season, the tomatoes were pale and insipid. I know I don’t love plain tomatoes but I would have eaten it with all my extra bacon! And am I the only person who hates salads made of GIANT pieces of lettuce? I certainly don’t expect salad to be finely chopped but I felt like I had to work extra hard to eat my salad; I shouldn’t need to use my knife for every bite. I really regretted my choice of main course; it was so unsatisfying, I actually left half of it on my plate. My friends and family can tell you I never leave that much of my meal uneaten.
I want so much to love the Blue Bay Diner. It’s conveniently located, one of only a couple of diners in the area, and the wait staff is pleasant, attentive and thoughtful. But unless I’m looking for breakfast (or fried calamari), which they do well, I’m going elsewhere. Sorry, Blue Bay Diner, you’ve disappointed me one too many times.