Cozy Blue Moon interior with fire in the winter.I haven’t been looking forward to writing this review since a few friends told me that Blue Moon Diner was their favorite place in town, and then menacingly asked if we had reviewed it yet. So as fair warning: in the ancient blue brunch battle of Charlottesville, my loyalties lie with the Bluegrass Grill. Sorry Team Blue Moon – I know there are many of you – and you may want to stop reading now.

There is good food to eat and good things to say about the Blue Moon Diner on West Main. The ingredients are local and fresh, the coffee mugs are basically mini thermoses, and the brunch menu is interesting and playful. I thought for sure they would win my heart over when I saw the blackboard featuring the artisan bacon special of the day. But as a metaphor for my broader Blue Moon experience, it sounded good and I loved the concept, but the actual experience was less than satisfying. The bacon, like the service, was just too salty and tough.

Hogwaller Hash.My biggest problem with Blue Moon is it seems as if we don’t know the secret hipster code word to gain acceptance. Other regulars wearing cooler clothing appear to receive prompt, friendly service, and perhaps better food, so I can only blame our own lameness for the disappointing experience. Or maybe it’s just that if we were cool, we wouldn’t mind waiting nearly an hour for our food.

Despite this, since its reopening in 2006 we drift back there every few months because there are good brunch options to be had. The omelet combos are great and feature some untraditional fixings (granny smith apples, aged gouda, sweet peppers). The Hogwaller Hash (scrambled eggs with bacon, sausage, or ham, hash browns, and bell and jalapeño peppers) is tasty although the consistency is a touch too carb-heavy. The french toast is one of the best in town, and Jed tried a burger on our most recent visit and thought it was better than average with a great bun. Dessert even includes a Local Grills-With, which is grilled Carpe Donuts with Chaps ice cream and chocolate sauce. My only serious food complaint, and it’s a significant one, is the potatoes. The hash browns are tragically limp with peppers dominating all flavor. The sweet potato fries should not be advertised as fries, as they’re actually huge potato chunks with no crisp to be had.  If only the fries were saltier and the service sweeter…

Jed says: “For me, this place is summed up by the t-shirts that the employees once had to wear – ‘my farts smell like bacon,’ they said. Irreverent, ballsy, and bacony, but also a little irritating and unfunny – not as good as it should be.”

award_star_gold_3 16Rating: Erin: Jed:

thumb_up 16 iconPros: Fresh ingredients, fun menu, bottomless big coffee mugs.

thumb_down 16 iconCons: Slow, indifferent service.

money_dollar 16 iconPrice: Breakfast sandwiches $3.95-$4.95, omelets $5.95-$8.25, breakfast platters $5.75-$8.50.


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