In a city like Alexandria, known more for amuses-bouches, tapas, and organic wild mushrooms, how is the Blue and White Carryout still around?
Just try the food fried chicken, pork chops, or half-smokes slathered with ketchup once, and youll know. Blue and White is great.
Theres always a line, from early morning opening to closing time at 3:30 p.m. The line consists mostly of construction workers, delivery men and women, teenage girls in puffy coats. On one afternoon a man in suit and tie waited in line with his equally besuited companion.
They walk into the tiny building on the corner of N. Henry and Wythe streets. They line up outside when the inside fills up. Inside, theres a narrow walkway, a counter, and a tiny kitchen with glass windows. You can touch the inner wall and the glass without stretching.
They shout orders in the general direction of the windows. Somehow, magically, food appears.
Not even the owner, Alexander Truitt, is sure when the place opened. He bought the place from his uncle, who bought it from whomever had it before that. Even The Washington Post, which traced the origins of the building last year while digging through Alexandrias records, hit a dead end.
Its an institution, thats for sure. Charles Smith, whos served food and worked the register at Blue and White for 11 years, guessed its at least 70 years old.
In the morning, its breakfast sandwiches. Herman (who didnt give his last name), eats breakfast and lunch at Blue and White almost every day, and says the sausage and egg wiches are the best. Clarence (who also didnt give his last name) prefers the egg and bacon: They dont just give you three little strips of bacon, he said. They slap it on there.
After breakfast, its fried chicken, hamburger steak, half-smokes, pork chops, and bean soup until the restaurant runs out. Usually it runs out.
Sometimes we sell out of chicken breast, sometimes we sell out of chicken legs. The pork chops always go, Charles Smith said. By closing time, theres hardly a thing left.
Tuesday is chicken liver day, and its usually sold out by 11 a.m., mostly because some people make off with enough to feed their entire office.
Which, at Blue and Whites prices, would be about $10.