I am normally a big fan of both diners and places with daily specials, but my recent lunch at Blue Plate left me completely underwhelmed.
Their drink menu is certainly impressive, with a number of interesting in-house sodas, shakes, and even sweet tea. Their food menu is a bit sparse, consisting of two rotating dishes and a couple other mainstays. Picky eaters should check out the daily specials beforehand.
My lunch choice was one of their specials, what was essentially a french dip. Their sandwiches were cooked on a couple of consumer-level griddles, possibly the Presto griddles available at most department stores for around $20-$40. This may have been the reason my sandwich was not the most pleasant experience - the meat was tough and bland, and the bread may have simply been a store-bought hoagie roll. The sandwich was edible, but not something I would order again. The mashed potatoes alongside it were better than fast food or instant potatoes, but need some seasoning.
I also tried the butterscotch shake, which ended up as a vanilla shake with some butterscotch syrup glued to the side of the glass. The shakes are a bit pricy, at $4 for a small and $6 for a large, but the small was easily enough to satisfy. I wish I had instead opted for one of their interesting sodas.
While I did not have a bad experience with customer service, I understand the complaints here. There are only two employees who take care of everything from cooking to washing dishes to cleaning tables and handling the register. While not rude, they did not exactly seem friendly either, likely due to the frantic pace they keep during busy times.
As a whole, the place seems like it wants to be an old-time diner, but is really hurt by a lack of initial financing. It could be a great place with an actual kitchen and a couple more staff members. As it stands now, I will probably give it a second chance but it is not somewhere I would show off to friends or out-of-towners.
Update: Went back a week ago for the meatloaf sandwich on a Friday - much better overall experience. There was a third employee there so the service was better and seemed a little more relaxed, plus the sandwich was fantastic. Glad I gave it another shot, and will be back to try a few more items.
Pros: Good selection of sodas and shakes
Cons: limited seating