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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Breakfasts over the top at Baltimore's Blue Moon Cafe

There's usually a wait for a table at the tiny Blue Moon Cafe in Baltimore's Fells Point neighborhood. But it offers a good time to examine the very comprehensive menu.

The extraordinary quality, variety and settings for the food was one big surprise on my recent visit to Baltimore.This time most of my visit would be with the Baltimore Convention &  Visitors Bureau with a focus on museums.

  I had already been impressed with the food since I visit my daughter and grandson there several times a year, and she's a real foodie and a wine expert to boot. So when I visit we always go out to eat at least one night and I've eaten at some fine places, especially near her home in suburban Columbia, Md.

This trip I arrived at 7:30 a.m.on a Friday and after my daughter picked me up at the airport we headed for Fell's Point,a downtown neighborhood near the water,  to try Blue Moon Cafe, a place where we'd been defeated by long waits on my past weekend visits. "This place almost always has a wait, but this time we'll be there early on a weekday, " she said. "It's so popular they're open 24 hours on the weekends."

The Blue Moon  is housed in a 1700s brick building with just 36 seats, including those at a counter near the kitchen. It was about 8:15 a.m. when we arrived and already would-be diners populated the benches set up out front at 1621 Aliceanna St. The guy at the door told us it would be about 20 minutes, which was fine with us. So we took a seat on a bench around the corner and grabbed a menu for a look. They're known for the Captain Crunch coated French toast, which was showcased when this place was on Guy Fieri's TV show, "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."

I knew French toast was not going to be what I ordered, so I examined the menu carefully.Among the menu items not often seen were potato cakes, eggs with salsa burritos, eight different omelettes, five variations of  eggs Benedict (including two with crab) and a scrapple and egg sandwich  I knew I'd be having plenty of chances to order crab when I joined my hosts later that morning for my weekend explorations, so I ordered creamed chipped beef on homemade biscuits, ignoring my daughter's suggestion that perhaps I'd be happier with a half order.

When I headed to the ladies room to wash my hands I discovered a unisex loo with an autographed poster of Guy Fieri on the wall. I'm not usually squeamish about unisex washrooms, but the man there before me left the seat up. Thank goodness the men in my life have better manners.

When my breakfast arrived, I was stunned with the size and good as it was I only managed to finish less than half of it.  I ogled the breakfasts being served at nearby tables, amazed at those Baltimore appetites. But I can recommend   the Blue Moon Cafe for anyone with a large appetite  and the desire to dine in historic quarters..

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