If ever a place has earned the moniker of ‘local landmark,’ it's Blueberry Hill. Long the cornerstone in the decades-long revitalization of the U-City Loop, the venerable restaurant and music venue just celebrated its 40th anniversary, and shows no signs of slowing any time soon. Earlier this year, Blueberry Hill revamped its menu somewhat, putting it out in color and adding some new items. Between the anniversary and the new bill of fare, it was high time to head down to the Loop again to revisit this old favorite.
The interior of Blueberry Hill has undergone some expansions over the years, but it remains one of the most eclectic, fun and funky spaces around, with a ton of music and pop culture memorabilia lining the walls, along with photos of owner Joe Edwards posing with a veritable who's who of actors, athletes and musicians and vintage music posters advertising venues and acts long gone.
With the proliferation of craft beer lists in bars and restaurants in recent years, it's easy to forget that Blueberry Hill has long boasted a fine selection of beers. The current list included 62 bottled brews and 18 beers on tap to choose from, including a couple of our favorites, Anchor Steam ($5) and Big Sky Moose Drool Brown Ale ($5).
The new menu still had a plethora of sides and apps to choose from, and we went with an old stand-by, the Zucchini Sticks ($5). The strips of squash basically served as a delivery vehicle for the deep-fried goodness of the batter and in truth, didn't impart much flavor, which didn't prove to be a problem at all—that's what the ranch dressing was for. We also indulged in a cup of the French Onion Soup ($4), which had more cheese than some bowl-sized versions we've had around town recently.
Blueberry Hill's burger has always been a fan favorite, and the updated menu featured a couple of new variations—an 8-ounce burger and three 2-ounce sliders—that included wagyu beef as the centerpiece. We opted for the full-sized burger, which came topped with a slice of Canadian bacon, American cheese and a fried egg (one of our favorite burger adds), along with a side of tater tots. Our server neglected to ask how we wanted the burger cooked, but luckily, the lean Australian beef came to the table nicely rare. We've been fans of the good ol' classic burger for a long time, but the new kid on the bun gave the old-timer a run for its money.
Breakfast for dinner is one of our favorite concepts, and Blueberry Hill has always been known for Breakfast All Day. We ordered up the All American Platter ($7), with three scrambled eggs, tater tots (we can't get enough tots, ever), three strips of bacon that struck a delicate balance between crisp and fat and sourdough toast. We had the choice of sausage links or patties instead of the bacon; and for a buck more, there was a choice of buttermilk biscuits or a pancake. Nothing fancy here, just good, straight-ahead diner food.
The menu also had a good selection of vegetarian options, plenty of sandwiches and a handful of Specialties, like Fish & Chips and Chili Mac. Whether you're just dropping by for a pint, or looking to chow down after catching a show, Blueberry Hill remains the place to go in the Loop. Here's to 40 more years!
--Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Blvd., 727-4444, blueberryhill.com