When I head up to my cabin, I always try to stop for lunch at the Blue Bird Cafe. The Blue Bird is one of those places, those very American places, that are steeped in diner tradition. This little spot in downtown Arlington offers all the components that make for, in my opinion, the perfect old-fashioned diner.
There is the dry erase board propped up just by the front door, listing the specials of the day.
Entry ambiance and specials board....check!
It has the right look, too. Big, well-used booths with the benches somewhere between too bouncy and too squishy. They are just right....Check!
The hamburger deluxe is my burger of choice. It has just enough veggies to fool me into thinking it's not all bad for me....and is good enough that I didn't remember to take this photo until I'd already eaten half of it!
Perfect burger. Check!
For a proper, full on diner experience, you need a dining companion, one who also is highly invested in a perfect burger. And mustard and catsup, too, of course....
The Blue Bird scores on both mustard and catsup and I supplied the dining companion.
Check and check!
There must be onion rings. REAL onion rings, made with real onion slices, not those horrid chopped and reconstituted onion rings you get some places. They have to be real onions from real onion rings and they need to be lightly breaded and very crispy, but not greasy.
The Blue Bird has these. Check!
The Blue Bird also supplies these little sheets with esoteric trivia questions and horrible old jokes for pre-burger dining. (Too keep the patrons, the anxious and hungry patrons, from banging silverware on the tabletops and chanting, "Me want food! Me want food!" Just enough reading material and drinks delivered to the table practically immediately too keep us in line.
The Blue Bird is darn near perfect. Check it out for yourself the next time you swing through downtown Arlington and see for yourself.