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Looking for a great little local restaurant to snag some breakfast, brunch, or lunch? You have to try The Blue Berry Cafe in Bellbrook, OH! I’ve been twice now and it has quickly become a favorite of mine. But beware, it appears to be a favorite of many people; especially on the weekends.

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The cafe is only open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the busiest times seem to be between 9 and 11. Both times I went on weekends, and while it was packed, I was seated in about 30 minutes. Bonus points go to the little free coffee bar set up in the waiting area! Also, if you’d rather spend some of that wait time at home, they have a call ahead waiting list. However, it’s only good if you plan to be there within 30 minutes of calling. Either way, not a bad deal if you want to skip some of the line.

Once you get a table, be prepared to EAT! I’m warning you now, the portions are huge. They don’t bring out plates, they bring out platters. Like literally. I wasn’t able to finish my food either visits and neither was my husband who is typically timg_20161210_123928706he human equivalent of a trash compacter. Seriously, I have no idea where he puts half of what he eats. He’s also incredibly picky so any place that makes food good enough for him to polish nearly all of it off gets and A+ in my book! Anyway, with all the yummy food you get, you’d think it would pretty pricey. Not so; most platters range from $8 to $10, with drinks being $2 or less. It’s also really good (think home cooked diner food) so you’ll be too busy stuffing your face to worry about the check anyway.

My first trip there I got the Pancake platter (which includes eggs, a meat choice of bacon or sausage, and hash browns). I say pancake, singular, because that’s all I got – One pancake. But don’t read that as a bad thing! This pancakes was bigger than a traditional dinner plate. No joking, it was at least 14 inches in diameter. Did I mention that portions were big?! Perfectly cooked, it was heaven. My next visit I tried the Belgian Waffle platter which is pictured above. Again, there were no complaints other than my stomach couldn’t hold anymore.

My other favorite thing about the cafe, quite possibly more than the food, is the Muffin Man! I can’t say whether or not he creates the mounds of deliciousness himself but he sure has a presence thavzm-img_20161210_130932t is undeniable. You’ll be enjoying the feast before you or minding your own business in the small waiting area when suddenly you’ll hear this voice shout above the din, “Good Morning, Ladies and Gentleman! It’s the Muffin Man here!!” He’ll then go on to introducing the day’s muffin choices to the enraptured customers – Complete with overflowing muffin pans as examples. Of course there are the typical flavors like blueberry and such, but there are also the more creative ones like Pineapple Upside Down and Red Velvet. Each day features a new creation. We walked out with a Peanut Butter Cup muffin that was, you guessed it, ginormous! One note: the muffins don’t usually come out until around noon and they go fast, so jump on it if you’re even the slightest bit tempted.

Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t inform you of some of the negatives so that you’re aware (not that there are many). First, understand that this is a small, locally owned establishment in a small community. So the parking lot is relatively tiny as well as the dining area. While you’ll have your own table, be prepared to feel a little cozy with your neighbor. Also, you’ll be seated in the order that they take names. So if 5 people call ahead and place their name on the list before you get there, they’ll be seated before you. I’ve noticed some people giving negative reviews about this practice so I just wanted to throw that out there too. Personally, being able to sip some free coffee and peruse the menu while I waited was enough to satisfy me. Finally, it is a bit off the beaten path. The closest interstate is I-675 and it’s about 10 – 15 minutes from that so don’t expect to catch a glimpse or advertising from the highway. Google Maps will be your friend here.

All in all, I’d highly recommend it if you’re in the Dayton area! According to Yelp, Facebook, Trip Advisor, and Zomato most people agree too. Ratings range from 4 to 5 Stars. So if you’re looking for an alternative to the IHOPs, Waffle Houses, and First Watches; head to Bellbrook and visit the Muffin Man at The Blue Berry Cafe. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

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