Monday, May 14, 2012

Blue Collar Restaurant

If I had to imagine where Barney Miller, Sanford and Son and Laverne & Shirley would go for lunch in between chasing bad guys and living out their signature antics, I'd imagine them coming here for some wholesome American comfort food. In the middle of the MiMo District, alongside the Biscayne Inn Motel, we find the setting of my next lunch adventure: Blue Collar Restaurant, located at 6730 Biscayne Boulevard.  A word of advice....don't let the neighborhood's reputation deter you; it's no longer about getting a quickie but about satisfying your taste buds.

Once we walked into Blue Collar, I could feel the passion Chef/Owner Daniel Serfer felt when he envisioned his restaurant. A cozy place, featuring blue painted counters with small tables and white art deco chairs, Blue Collar is more reminiscent of a neighbohood diner than anything else. A large chalkboard hangs straight ahead, displaying the Dailies and the Veggie options, while vintage lunch pails decorate the wall. Chef Serfer proudly creates his dishes inside the open kitchen, as he chats with his patrons and occasionally walks around and says hello. It's a very relaxed, casual ambiance that makes you feel like you're family.

I had one item in mind that I wanted to try as an appetizer and that was the Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Croquettes, which came served with Pomegranate Fig Jam on the side. They're not part of the lunch menu but Chef Serfer was kind enough to make them for us. The croquettes were tasty, with the mushrooms prevailing in flavor. They paired very well with the jam, which added the sweet kick I love. However, I didn't taste as much of the goat cheese as I would've liked.  I had envisioned a more creamy texture inside, with the signature boldness of goat cheese, which it didn't have. Regardless, they were pleasing.

Shrimp and Grits
Next I ordered a menu item that caught my eye. It was the Shrimp and Grits. You can't get any more down home and blue collar than that. The grits were made with Trugole Cheese, Neuske Bacon and a New Orleans style spicy BBQ sauce that rocked my world. Add to this a good portion of seasoned shrimp, that were a tad bit sweet in nature, and I felt like jumping up and yelling "Schlemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated.."  (Can you tell what channel I tuned into on Tuesday nights in the 80s?)  Delicious! It turns out Serfer gets his shrimp from no more than 15 miles away from the Florida coast, allowing him to serve up the best of the best.

Veggie Plate
Noticing the menu offered a large selection of vegetable dishes, which is rather rare, we opted to also order their Veggie Plate. The Veggie Plate comes with your choice of four vegetable items, providing a healthy alternative selected from their Veg Chalkboard. We picked the Mango Chow, Curried Cauliflower Puree, Sauteed Wild Mushrooms and Roasted Artichoke Hearts. While they were all good, my favorites were the Cauliflower Puree and the Roasted Artichoke Hearts. The Cauliflower Puree was smooth and flavorful with bits of roasted cauliflowers. So incredible! The Roasted Artichoke Hearts came with lemon aioli which gave it a tantalizing taste I really enjoyed. The Mango Chow had a nice refreshing twist, combining citrus and jalapeno; and the sauteed wild mushrooms were well, sauteed wild mushrooms. Unlike my friend, I am not a vegetarian but I would definitely come back here and have a Veggie Plate again because it was that amazing.

Bread Pudding
Although we were full, I had heard their Butterscotch Heath Bar Bread Pudding was to die for so I wasn't about to walk away without giving it a try. When I sunk my spoon into the warm, moist delight, I momentarily closed my eyes and savored each bite. I think Chef Serfer actually caught me a couple of times. It comes with a dollop of Chili Spiked Whip Cream that will make you say "Bam" so watch out. A bit spicy but oh so good! It's their way of balancing the sweetness of the pudding made from Challah bread; and it works.

We walked out of Blue Collar with satisfied tummies and happy hearts at the friendly service and good food we experienced. Too full to order a thermos of Panther Coffee, I'll have to save some room for it next time. Because Chef Serfer...there will be a next time. For more information, you can call 305-756-0366 or visit their website at

Blue Collar Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. I'll love tasting that veggie dish! Mango!

  2. Yes!! The veggie plate was one of my favorites and their selection is great. There are a couple of other vegetable dishes I didn't get to try that sounded amazing. If you get a chance to sample them, I'd love to hear all about it! :)