The Salt Lake Scene

Roxanne, you don't have to put on the red plate . . .

Blue Plate Diner Interior

“Roxanne, you don't have to put on the red plate. . .” Try Dee’s and The Blue Plate.

I want to talk about food. Specifically the type of food that my good friend calls, "Slutty food," the type of food that is not trying to dress up nice or be called by fancy names.

No, this is the food that strongly appeals to our most basic and primal desires—big fat food in big fat portions. You know, it's the same type of food that Grams and Gramps used to serve before they both died at an early age from congestive heart failure.

Here are two Salt Lake City original restaurants that I've been known to frequent which serve this delicious yet sometimes promiscuous food.

Dee’s Family Restaurant

Dee’s is not one of those places that will give you vegan, vegetarian, or other healthy alternatives. No, this is the place where “healthy alternative” means a cup of canned fruit cocktail in light syrup or ordering the apple pie instead of the chocolate crème pie because at least there is fruit in the apple pie.

Dee’s is the type of restaurant where your waitress usually knows most of her customers by name, doesn’t look at her order slip when she writes, and can calculate her tip by how many times she calls you either “hon” or “darlin’” during your visit. I overheard my waitress say that she’d been waiting tables at Dees for 31 years!

Lumberjack BreakfastIn case you didn’t get that, she’s been at Dee’s since Gerald Ford was president, only 2 years after the Vietnam War. If I’m in the mood for Dee’s I don’t mess around. I go straight for the Lumberjack Breakfast.

The Lumberjack Breakfast is more of a phenomenon than a meal. It comes with three eggs, two sausage patties, two strips of bacon, hash browns, three huge buttermilk pancakes, and a hefty dose of heart burn. I ordered all this (they throw the heart burn in for free) plus an orange juice to wash it all down for under $10.

Apparently the prices haven’t changed much since 1977. Perhaps Dee’s might consider creating a coffee creamer that uses Pepto Bismol as its main ingredient. There’s even a YouTube video featuring Dee’s, sort of boring but the kid is cute. The video does ends with a shot of the waitress of 31 years in the background serving food probably her 4,809,335th table. Reviews. Map.

The Blue Plate Diner

The “Blue Plate” as locals call it is simply a pleasure to visit. The circa 1950’s décor hits home with a live juke box playing Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash, and more Elvis paraphernalia than Graceland.

Unlike other locals haunts, The Blue Plate also serves health-conscious food . . .but in a slutty-food kinda way. The Blue Plate menu unapologetically lists their solid-foods staples like their 1/3 lb. hamburger, Buffalo Burger, and Blue Burger, next to their soy, vegan, and garden burgers.

There are many other vegan substitutes on the menu, which don’t substitute healthy for flavor. Breakfast is served all day. My favorite is their Traditional Blue Plate Benedict, eggs served over English muffins, Canadian bacon, and hollandaise sauce. I add a couple of pancakes on the side. I’m getting hungry as I think about this. Reviews. Map

Bon appetite! Or should I say, “Come ‘n git it!”