The blue moon is the second full moon to shine in a single month. This doesn't happen too often - therefore, the expression "once in a blue moon."
The Blue Moon Dining House, opened just two months ago in Fells Point, is a rare find worthy of its name. It serves modestly priced breakfast, lunch and dinner and is especially adept at the morning meal. Ethereal biscuits, gooey cinnamon rolls and crisp hash browns are certainly "heavenly bodies."
Blue Moon's menu is printed with the command, "Support our space program," the front door bears a poster for the Hubble Space Telescope, and the bathroom is home to a cool glow-in-the-dark moon.
While the restaurant was clearly named for the rare astronomical event, it could just as well be named after the popular song "Blue Moon": "You knew just what I was there for, you heard me saying a prayer for . . ." delicious and affordable breakfast in Fells Point.
A block off Broadway's main drag, Blue Moon is a charming, small rowhouse space. Just a handful of tables fill the front of the dining room; a long cooking counter takes up the back of the room. Brick walls and clean wood floors give the simple space a homey feel, which is reinforced by the warmth of the service.
Our waitress took our ravenous party's disjointed order, and then suggested we begin with a cinnamon roll while we waited for our meal. Take her advice. The colossal coil of tender dough, specked with cinnamon and glistening with sugar glaze, was reverently passed around the table amid "ahhs" of approbation. Luckily, just as we reached the last bite, our breakfast arrived.
The kitchen obviously has a magic touch with pastry, because the biscuits that came with several of our entrees were feather-light and delicious.
The griddle jockey is also somewhat of a virtuoso: Side orders of hash browns are perfectly salted, golden on the outside and pale BTC and creamy on the inside, and delicious pancakes are heaped into towering fluffy stacks.
As is customary, eggs take center stage at breakfast. Eggs Benedict, that famous dish popularized at Manhattan's Delmonico restaurant, is given careful treatment at Blue Moon. The hollandaise is piquant, the eggs softly poached, and the Canadian bacon and English muffins crisp.
Omelets are tall and fluffy. A veggie version came stuffed with chunks of fresh broccoli, mushroom, green pepper, tomato, onion, and a liberal sprinkling of Cheddar and Jack cheeses. A scrambled egg dish was also dotted with crunchy vegetables, but was a bit overcooked, making the eggs dry.
The morning's special of creamed chipped beef on a biscuit suited the person who ordered it. To my way of thinking it was a bit salty, but folks who've served in the armed forces claim this dish is always salty. To each his own.
Coffee is strong, orange juice is fresh tasting, and daily special fruit smoothies make great desserts. We ordered a blueberry banana version aptly named Purple Haze. Brilliant purple, it might have been better with less ultra-sweet pineapple juice.
Blue Moon Dining House
1621 Aliceanna St.
Hours: Open Wednesdays to Saturdays for breakfast, lunch and dinner; breakfast and lunch only on Sundays and Tuesdays
Credit cards: Major credit cards
Prices: Appetizers $2.95-$6.95; entrees $7.95-$16.95
Pub Date: 10/24/96