Blue's Cafe pies

“The Chouinard family has operated Blue’s Cafe since 1954. They are well-known for their homemade pies and home-cooking,” said Tinker Parker, Best Bites.

“Breakfast is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day, a continuing life.” — A. A. Gill

Did you ever watch those television shows from the ‘50s and ‘60s for instance, “The Donna Reed Show” or “Leave It To Beaver”? You know the ones with Moms wearing lace aprons and pearls while preparing a beautiful breakfast for their family? Clean kitchens, perfect children and always time for talk over pancakes.

But how many people have time for a leisurely breakfast in the morning? I certainly don’t! During my week it’s grab-and-go. Sometimes I skip the grab and just go!

We live for weekend breakfasts, especially when we can go to a local restaurant for some fantastic breakfast foods. I was able to enjoy breakfast at one of our local west Kankakee favorites — Blue’s Cafe, family-owned and known for their breakfast.

I stopped at Blue’s one morning to have a quiet breakfast (yes, I do like dining alone sometimes). What I noticed first was their comfortable ambiance, delightful smells from the kitchen and those mile-high pies on the counter.

Glancing through the menu I knew it would be a tough choice. I’ve heard that Blue’s serves some amazing biscuits and gravy. Of course, I couldn’t pass up the chance to try them. Krystal, my server, actually said they make their biscuits, grind their sausage and make everything homemade from scratch.

I do judge a restaurant by several things — one being coffee; it has to have some gusto and be smooth. Blue’s passed the test — the coffee is wonderful.

Next, the servers — they have to be friendly and helpful. Ditto, they passed this with flying colors. These ladies knew the names of just about every one of their customers and took the time to chat with them. The service was great, too!

Finally, the food — I would have bet my grandma was in the kitchen cooking. It’s down-home, good old-fashioned cooking. Even my grandma would have given it five stars.

The biscuits and gravy were amazing. Rich, creamy and flavorful with tasty sausage pieces and fluffy biscuits. Don’t even think about reaching for the salt and pepper shaker because it is perfect.

While dining I ran into an old friend, Dale Stevenson, Kankakee, who I invited to sit with me so we could catch up. He is a Blue’s regular — that was obvious since just about every server came over to say hi to him.

Dale ordered the French toast and bacon. I had to restrain myself from reaching over and grabbing a bit of his French toast — covered with warm butter, powdered sugar delicately sprinkled on top and drizzled with warm syrup.

Other breakfast specialties are the Blue’s Belly Buster with French toast, eggs, choice of meat and two pancakes. Another is the Blue’s Skillet with ham, onion, cheese, potatoes, with two eggs on top with toast.

Other breakfast entrees are Eggs Benedict or the Blue’s omelet with meat, onion, tomatoes, pepper, mushrooms, American cheese and topped with their famous sausage gravy.

The Farmer Skillet with smoked sausage, green peppers, onions, potatoes, pepper Jack cheese and two eggs on top will also keep a person energized for the day.

This is one entrée I will be trying the next time I return — the Blue’s breakfast wrap with meat, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, American cheese with gravy in a tomato basil wrap.

Yes, you can have dessert after breakfast — if there is any room left! Just take it home for later. Thanks to Krystal’s recommendation, I was grateful to get one of Mrs. Chouinard’s homemade apple dumplings.

I brought it home to share with Dave, warm and with vanilla ice cream.

The Chouinard family has operated Blue’s Cafe since 1954. They are well-known for their homemade pies and home-cooking. Julie Chouinard, co-owner, is at the restaurant every morning around 1 a.m. to bake their famous mile-high pies.

Dale Stevenson said if you want a pie for a holiday you have to order early — they go quick.

If you can’t make it for breakfast, stop in for lunch — homemade soups, meatloaf, sandwiches, salads and more are available.

Blue’s Cafe is located at 1190 W. Station St., Kankakee. Hours are 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday; closed on Monday. Call 815-933-5315 to order to-go food or pies.

Highly recommend!

Tinker Parker is an adjunct communication professor at Kankakee Community College and Governors State University. She can be contacted through The Daily Journal at editors@daily-journal.com or directly at bestbites@daily-journal.com; TinkerP91@yahoo.com; or Best Bites Hotline 815-802-5101.