Blue Spoon

My husband and I love breakfast...when others cook it for us. I consider myself an adequate cook and baker, but breakfast is not my forte. Sometimes Rock will make us pancakes for dinner, which are something I have never quite mastered. Mine are either too gooey or burnt. His are lovely and fluffy. When we travel we always try to find the funkiest breakfast restaurants. After we arrived in Gulf Shores this spring we ate a local hangout tucked into a strip mall. Kittys Kafe was a joint jammed with funky art, fabulous Southern accents, and legendary Bloody Mary’s. Whenever we stumble upon a great breakfast place, we feel as though we have uncovered mysterious hidden treasure. Some people experience joy from gambling; we get a kick out of discovering sublime eating establishments.

One of our favorite joints in town is Blue Spoon. This tiny (12 tables) cash only spot is just open for breakfast. That’s its niche and it is successful. You can’t find a place to stand on a Saturday. The crowd overflows out to the street as couples and families wait for a table. The menu is eclectic with many of the dishes named after servers, cooks, and loyal customers. Biscuits are baked when the owner is in the mood. The nooks located on the brick wall are stacked with assorted books that range from The Athiest’s Bible to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The customers are a diverse mix of hungover Millikin students, young families with children, and older geezers like us.

Donovan is a former colleague of mine who gave up the classroom for a grill, eggs, and sausage. He’s a character who doesn’t have reservations yelling at customers to shut the door when it’s cold, or barking at his servers to take care of tables. Most of his waitstaff are former students who jumped at the chance to work for him. Whenever Rock and I eat there, he regularly drops by our table to regale a story or two.

Locally owned restaurants in smaller towns offer a sense of community. You always know what’s on the menu. You often recognize others as you eat. Some come over to your table to chat. Others just acknowledge you with a nod or wave. The owners know you, worry about you when you’ve missed a couple weeks, and acknowledge your quirky eating habits. Decatur is fortunate to have many of these restaurants. Everyone has their favorite. Ours is Blue Spoon. Now if Donovan would just give us preferential seating on Saturdays...