The Blue Sky Cafe is a small eatery on the Southside of Bethlehem that showed a lot of promise and charm from the exterior. I had high hopes and expectations going into the cafe due to an outstanding sample of butternut squash jalapeno soup I sampled from Blue Sky at the Taste of the Valley event back in August. I was unfortunately let down due to poor service and sloppy practices.
I visited Blue Sky Cafe on a Friday night to find it moderately filled. I sat down at the counter area since I was by myself and there weren’t any small tables available. It took quite a while for someone to even take my drink order, and when they did they returned about 10 minutes later and asked, “You wanted a glass of water, right?” So after 15 minutes I finally received my glass of water and attempted to place my order. When I asked what soup they had, they stated they were out of soup despite the fact that it was still displayed on their chalkboard menu on the wall. If something isn’t available any longer and you have the ability to quickly erase it from your menu, it’s expected you do so.
I ordered a Stella Blue salad, which consisted of greens, red onion, feta cheese, apple, walnuts, and a homemade blueberry vinaigrette. While sitting at the counter you can get a clear view of the chef preparing your food which is a nice treat. The chef at Blue Sky is definitely skilled and he prepared a delicious meal. After observing him for a while it’s clear that he’s experienced and knows how to execute orders with quickness and efficiency. Despite this, the bar experience was fairly subpar. When I sat down there were receipts for the business, old newspapers, boxes of food, and various other things crowding the counter. Eventually the box of food was moved from right next to me, but the left-hand side of the counter was messy, cluttered, and extremely unasthetic. There is also no glass or barrier between the counter patrons and the food prep area, leaving it wide open for someone to sneeze all over a meal being prepared.
As I sat waiting for my order and observing the staff, I noticed my waitress wipe her nose with her hand and proceed to serve food and drinks without washing her hands. This is a HUGE no-no and severely detracted from my experience. You’d think with the H1N1 paranoia and everyone and their brother being sick that people would be more mindful of their hygiene, but apparently not.
Besides the service, the salad was delicious. They have a decent selection of tea and the entire menu looks like it would be tasty. After I was done eating, the bill took absolutely forever to get. I was waiting to leave with some friends that had joined me and it was extremely frustrating to see my plate completely empty and the lack of attention on behalf of the staff. Even as I was eating I wasn’t asked once if everything was okay or if I needed anything.
The food gets good rating, but the service does not. Perhaps I put Blue Sky Cafe on too high of a pedestal going in, but the service shouldn’t have been so terrible. Unfortunately the food doesn’t make up for the disgusting lack of hygeine I witnessed and I’d have to recommend that you sit this one out.