Okay, so technically Blue Ribbon Cafe isn’t in Chattanooga….but it’s in Soddy-Daisy, which, in my opinion, is close enough. Besides, I’m from Soddy-Daisy, so it’s only fitting that I start my Chattavore adventure there.’Blue Ribbon Cafe is one of my most favorite restaurants in the world. I am so happy that such a fantastic restaurant is located right here in good ole S-D. The food is fresh and homemade….which makes me ecstatic. I’ve never had anything I didn’t like there, and I’ve had several things on their menu. Chicken fingers (handbreaded) and fries (skin-on) are a no-fail option…..so is The Hippie (shaved rib-eye on a pita with cheese, grilled onions, and grilled peppers) and Whatta Pig (BLT on grilled sourdough with cheese). Of course, the daily specials are a huge hit, ranging from hamburger steak to chicken and dumplings, plus soups and an ever-changing range of desserts written on the chalkboard (I just LOVE restaurants who write their specials on a chalkboard!).
So anyway, BRC often posts their daily specials on their Facebook page. Friday’s special is always cheeseburgers and fish tacos-two of my favorite things. I’ve been dying to go on a Friday specifically for this purpose…..but that darned job thing is always getting in the way (we don’t go out to eat on Friday nights very often because of crowds…..and fatigue)! Good Friday provided the perfect excuse….so off we went.
Something you should know about me is that cheeseburgers are like a religion to me. I don’t just go anywhere and order a cheeseburger. I have to eat at a restaurant a few times before I take that step….but if you can win me over with your burger, well, you’ve won me over. Clearly, I had to get the cheeseburger. Secretly, I hoped that Philip would order the fish tacos so we could share, but he decided on the burger too. Oh well. Summer is coming up, so maybe another Friday trip is in the stars.
Let me tell you about this burger. It was gigantic. The buns are homemade, and they were the size of our heads! There was nothing fancy about this burger….no aioli or parmesan cheese crisp or onion jam. No need. Meat on a bun with nothing (Parks and Recreation, anyone?)…well, with a melted slice of cheese. The owner, who took our order, brought out a bottle of mustard and a bottle of mayo before our food came, and there were a few pieces of onion and some lettuce, tomato, and pickles on the plate (I skipped the onion, as is my usual practice). The burger, when all was said and done, probably weighed at least 3/4 of a pound, maybe more. And I ate almost all of it. I could have finished it, but I have a weird thing about cleaning my plate in a restaurant. Somehow I think the meal will not make me gain weight if I leave a few bites on the plate….so I left about 3 bites of the burger and maybe 10 (amazing) fries. Philip finished his burger….but he ate fewer fries than me, so I think we’re even.
The total cost for the two enormous burgers was $16 and some change. The service was great, and if I had any more space I would have loved to have shoveled in some Coca-cola cake….but that will have to wait till next time. And there will definitely be a next time!
Some other popular menu items at BRC include hand-battered chicken tenders, served with coleslaw and fresh-cut fries; Curly Joe, a pasta salad with sliced almonds, grilled chicken, and parmesan cheese; the Jimmy Buffet, a mixed green salad with mango-pineapple vinaigrette; the Hippie, shaved ribeye with melted cheese, grilled onions and peppers, and tzatziki sauce served on a pita; and the Wednesday special, chicken and dumplings served with a roll. The dessert menu is reason alone to visit, however. It features ever changing and always fabulous treats like Coca-Cola cake, Mountain Dew cake (To. Die. For.), banana pudding, Rocky Road cake, Caramelicious Brownies…..I could go on for a while.
Update: On July 22, a friend came over for an informal breadmaking class. As “payment” for the class, she treated me to lunch at Blue Ribbon (she lives in Murfreesboro and was excited about trying the restaurant, especially since it was cheeseburger Friday). You know what that means-cheeseburger Friday is also Fish Taco Friday! So, I finally got to try my fish tacos. I should have asked what type of fish they use, but I forgot. It was very mild, so I am guessing it was tilapia or cod or something of that sort. These fish tacos were somewhat different from my fish tacos. There were a few strips of fried fish and some lettuce on each flour tortilla (I make mine with cabbage and corn tortillas). There was a pink sauce that was very mildly spicy. It was actually pretty similar to my mayo & sour cream based sauce. It was served with a side of pineapple salsa, black bean and corn salad (black beans, fresh white corn, red onions, and tomatoes), and rice. Everything tasted great. I am sure that purists would argue that they were “not authentic”, but I wonder what is really considered authentic. I really enjoyed the black bean and corn salad. I snapped a picture with my phone…I wish I had thought to take a picture of my friend’s cheeseburger! She was extremely excited about it, especially since she’s a bread snob like I am and the buns are homemade. However, I was almost certain she was going to go into a food coma when we got back to my house!
Blue Ribbon Cafe is located at 9705 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. They are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can reach them at 423-332-5005. Oh, and they do special orders for their baked goods-hooray!
For a more recent review of Blue Ribbon Cafe, click here!