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Klein: Blue Collar's Honestly Good; Pesce Elliott: Blue Collar Needs Work

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Lee Klein says that "Honest American comfort food is as hot as a welding iron. Sell it at prices affordable to the toiling masses and you have quite a timely little concept. That's precisely what chef/owner Daniel Serfer has at Blue Collar." The vibe is cool, Klein says, adding "the atmosphere is coffee-shop casual — a nice little neighborhood spot." He likes the food, too, and says the grits are the most "flavorful version this side of Kris Wessell's Red Light. He also says the fried flank steak on the vaca frita topped tostones was "seriously delicious," the "cheeseburger rocks," and the vegetable selection is "unparalleled." And although he says that the "entrees are, on paper at least, less than inspiring," he seemed to like those too. Bottom line: he enjoyed the meal "very much." [MNT]

Victoria Pesce Elliott's on a different page when it comes to Blue Collar, saying "Blue Collar fills a void in the area as evidenced by weekend crowds of eager young regulars. They must not mind leaving smelling of the smoke that billows from the open kitchen, where cooks shout to each other over a head-banging sound track of The Clash, Dead Boys and Amebix that I doubt even Sid Vicious could eat to. This down-home diner doesn’t deserve a pink slip, but it definitely has its work cut out for it." Bottom line: 1.5 stars. []

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