Blueplate

The instant Portland’s famously weepy skies cloud over and the rain begins to pelt the windows, my Pavolvian response is to crave Blueplate’s hearty grilled cheese sandwich dipped in piping hot tomato soup…and a brown cow made with creamy Cascade Glacier ice cream.

The instant Portland’s famously weepy skies cloud over and the rain begins to pelt the windows, my Pavolvian response is to crave Blueplate’s hearty grilled cheese sandwich dipped in piping hot tomato soup.

grilled-cheese-and-tomato-soup-illustration

Blueplate isn’t just cooking up supremely satisfying comfort food, it’s providing a nostalgic haven—a classic little soda fountain with a long scuffed wood bar, hodge podge of affectionately mismatched booths and tables, eponymous daily specials of mid-20th century lunch counter lore with a Pacific Northwest twist (think grilled meatloaf sandwiches on Texas toast with basil mayo and local pork chops with scalloped Yukon gold potatoes), and vintage glass jars of old-time sweets like root beer barrels, Sweet Tarts and Mary Jane’s that will send you back to the office with bulging pockets and a guilty candy-eatin’ grin.

Tucked into a narrow space in the historic Dekum building along a busy downtown artery, this tiny diner is easy to miss—watch for the cheery blue and yellow sandwich board outside the front door. Executive Chef Jeffery Reiter’s menu reads like Mom’s home cooking, except my Mom’s meatloaf wasn’t this rich, her brisket wasn’t this tender, her mac ‘n cheese did not have bacon and mushrooms in it, and she was far more interested in keeping me captive at the table until I ate my salad than inquiring as to whether I’d like a three-scoop caramel apple milkshake, a housemade hibiscus and star anise soda, or a strawberry ice cream sundae with marshmallow whipped cream and the works for dessert.

At least now that I’m all growed up, I can go to Blueplate anytime I want, and I never have to finish my dinner before I order dessert.

Details

Cuisine: American

Executive Chef: Jeffery Reiter

Atmosphere: Bustling old-fashioned downtown soda fountain

Outdoor seating: No

Best Seat: At the counter, overlooking Chef Jeff’s domain

Noise Level: Energetic

Dress Code: Casual

Bring the Kids: Definitely

Parking: Blueplate’s in the heart of downtown, so a metered parking spot can be nothing short of a miracle. There’s a nearby SmartPark at SW 3rd & Alder.

Beer: No

Teetotalers: A list of delicious house sodas, shakes, iced tea, sweet tea, lemonade, limeade, chocolate or strawberry milk

Coffee: Stumptown

Tea: Lipton

Ideal Meal: Tomato soup and grilled cheese, and a peanut butter and chocolate milkshake and/or a P.R. Nelson--huckleberry ice cream blended with house made purple haze hibiscus syrup

Vegetarian Friendly: Yes

Vegan Friendly: Not really

Good for the following occasions: Out to Lunch, Meal With Friends, Dining Solo, Kids Included

Reservations: No

Take-Out: Yes

Delivery: No