Ria’s Bluebird, Done Right Their Way

Ria’s Bluebird, a breakfast institution in the heart of Atlanta known for world-famous pancakes. Only a few miles away from the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca Cola. We read in countless articles that many writers put Ria’s Bluebird on top ten list of best breakfast joints across the United States. It was our time to decide the validity of these claims.

We arrived on an early Monday morning in September, much to our delight the place was not hopping yet. We were able to walk in and stake our claim to some good day starters. Before we jump in about the food, I have to make note of some observations I made while waiting for breakfast. Ria’s Bluebird is kinda on the small size on the inside, a very limited amount of seats. I can easily see how a line of people outside the door waiting to hear “Next” on busier days of the week. In our readings of Ria’s Bluebird, we came across a comment that stated “Hipsters frequent this establishment often” . No bother to us, we did see one patron that fit the hipster bill. A very interesting gentleman with very short cut off blue jean shorts and classy handle bar mustache. He helped himself to some coffee with a cup he brought in himself, walked around for a few minutes talking with the locals, and constantly grooming his fine tuned mustache. This only added to the very interesting atmosphere of Ria’s Bluebird. Now lets get to the food.

Looking at half the seating available at Ria’s Bluebird. Get there early.

Shawn: I was originally going to order the famous pancakes with pecans/bananas but I saw an old friend on the menu that I had not seen in a while. Mr. French Toast, my favorite breakfast buddy, who I had not sat down with for some time. The plate was piping hot and loaded with maple syrup. They did not cheap on the syrup, it was actually overflowing the plate. The bananas and maple syrup was the best part of the dish. The best maple syrup I have ever had, granted that I never had maple syrup from local Vermont maple farm. The bananas melt in your mouth with goodness. All bananas should be served this way. I’m not a breakfast person in general, but this dish could make me do it on the daily. I’ll give this dish 9/10 losing a point for just average french toast slices.

French Toast ~ Myer rum dipped brioche with caramelized bananas

Nick: He had the special omelette of the day which was bacon cheddar with mandatory sides. Ria’s Bluebird has strict rules against substitution of sides. The Ria’s standard with special: 1 meat, 1 starch, and 1 bread. Nick’s standard with special: 2 starch and 1 bread. Denied because the chef feels the dish has been perfected the original way and should not be altered for integrity of guest experience. We always give respect and it prove to be a non issue.

Nick’s Feedback “As soon as the waitress told me the special was a bacon cheddar omelet I was sold. It was the best omelet I have ever had in my life. However, I am deducting two points from my rating because I was unable to substitute a side. I simply wanted extra potatoes instead of a meat. I don’t like sausage and there was already bacon in my omelet. My rating is 8/10. Amazing food and definitely a fan of everyone sleeved with tattoos!”

Special omelette of the day: Cheddar Bacon with skillet potatoes, bacon, & warm biscuit

Overall:

A great experience with the added luck of being seated promptly. A lot of good menu items, some people could view the pricing on the high side. But I always felt, the price you pay always matches the quality when it comes to food. So for us the pricing is justified. It’s too early for us in our adventure to call this place “Top Ten” but it definitely left a long-lasting memory.

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Hominy Grill, Good Breakfast Leads to a Great Day

Back in spring we decided to go to Hominy Grill in Charleston for breakfast. We had heard that they serve the best breakfast in the country and we had to test that rumor out. The challenge was trying to get to Hominy Grill without going crazy. Like most historic towns, Charleston has numerous  one way streets and a shortage of parking spaces. The Garmin GPS we were using had no clue where to direct us once inside Charleston and the catchphrase “Recalculating” repeating over and over again was ruining the good tunes from our ipod. Once we got to Hominy Grill comes the parking portion of the challenge. The Hominy parking lot can only hold about 10 to 15 spots and being such a popular place they were already taken. We went around the block once looking for street parking but the people living in the area had those spots on lock down. I considered us very lucky though because on the second attempt at the parking lot a spot was available. Time for some breakfast at the Hominy Grill.

Outside the Hominy Grill

There was a small line formed outside the Hominy Grill’s door and we figured we will add to the back-end of the line. After a minute in line the nice couple in front of us informed that we needed to put our name on the list. Without that knowledge, we could have been outside for a much longer period of time. So as a reminder: Put your name on the list when you arrive. The space inside the Hominy Grill is small, not much room to navigate around the tables. Must be a challenge to be a server there. The building back in the day was a barber shop and it definitely has that old school feel with the hardwood floors and one person bathroom. Let’s get to the most important part, the food:

I had the strawberry pancakes (it was the special and not on the menu) with a glass of orange juice. I was giving them a task of making me a believer by what I ordered. In general I’m not a fan of oj or strawberries. The only kind of orange juice I care for is the no pulp version. The only time I can handle strawberries when I have them with a little sugar and whipped cream. The Hominy Grill’s orange juice is about as fresh you can get and has a very high pulp volume to it. The orange juice was alright, I know there was nothing artificial about it. The strawberry pancakes were awesome, they used nice whole slices of strawberries in the pancake. It was just the right portion amount and they kept the ingredients simple and fresh. The pancakes were so good I did not need to kill them with maple syrup which is rare for me. Overall I had a very good breakfast.

I asked each guy to write one sentence sum up the menu item they ordered.

Josh had something of the daily special (he has short-term memory) : I forgot what I ordered there. HaHa All I remembered, it was good and the sweet tea was excellent.

Jerry: Big Nasty – It was perfectly fried chicken breast with a hint of spice in the gravy to even the dish out. It was the perfect portion, very authentic place on the sidewalks of Charleston

Nick: Big Nasty – The menu is like any other breakfast place, but the Hominy Grill has one thing you won’t find anywhere else, the Big Nasty!

Big Nasty: Biscuit with Fried Chicken Breast, Cheddar Cheese and Sausage Gravy

Overall we thought that Hominy Grill was a great place to have breakfast. We recommend if allow go during the weekday for crowd reasons.