10145 104 St., Edmonton – Website
Date of Visit: July 11, 2015
When I was planning my visit to Edmonton, I made a not if this place as the online menu listed a Shepherd’s Pie actually made with lamb instead of beef. I rather forgot about while exploring other places but then came across it as I was strolling through the summer Farmer’s market one morning. It was actually well over an hour until the lunch service began (and I’d had a breakfast), but the place has a number of local beers on tap and so I was happy to wait…
Ambience and Service
The Blue Plate Diner certainly seems to be a popular spot on Saturdays as it was crowded already at 11:15 and I had to wait for a spot. The interior is very colorful, with some interesting paintings on the walls, but it was also very noisy with the late breakfast customers and i was luck to get a seat outside on the small patio where I could read somewhat peacefully and watch the strollers at the farmer’s market stalls.
I was served by a very pleasant young man who was clearly kept hopping but was not too busy to cheerfully answer all my questions. He was also more than happy with my stated plan to sit and just nurse a few ales until it came time to order. The menu, both breakfast and dinner, are not large but the latter is eclectic, with a little something for everyone. They also do a vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with black beans that sounded interesting enough to try, but I was after the real deal…
I was pleased to see that the restaurant had thoughtfully placed 5 or 6 water dishes for dogs on the sidewalk and that two patrons had dogs tethered to the railings as they ate. It hadn’t struck me until then but there were a LOT of people walking dogs in market area that morning.
Real Shepherd’s Pie – The menu described this as ground lamb with grilled veg (onion, corn, and red pepper) in a stout beer reduction, baked with restaurant’s signature Dijon mashed potatoes. It also comes with a choice of sides ( soup, salad, or fries). I had no interest in soup, nor the salad, and I merely ordered the fries as I hated to miss out on something I didn’t have to pay extra for. As it turned out, they turned out to be excellent and I ate them too.
The pie was also very good and included peas and corn in addition to the other veggies on the menu. Restaurants have to make a buck and some filling us expected but, here, the focus was definitely on the meat. To be honest, it probably could have been beef as much as lamb for all the difference I could taste, but the overall flavor was really good and I enjoyed every bite. I gave this a 4 out of 5.
I had a very pleasant time at the Blue Plate Diner. The service was excellent, the atmosphere relaxing, and the meal very satisfying. It deserves a rating of 4 out of 5.