After reading about the impending closing of Bluebird Cafe, I began to wonder about how important such neighborhood cafes are to the fabric of the city. By all accounts, the Bluebird served a good breakfast but nothing spectacular (though most regulars would argue that the huevos rancheros were worth waiting in line for). But just because the food is not cooked sous vide, doesn't mean that such places are not vital to the New Orleans dining scene. Restaurants are more than just a place to eat. They serve as memorials to certain occurrences in the past. This anecdote from a comment on the above linked Times Picayune article is a perfect example:
I met President Jimmy Carter while waiting in that line one Jazz fest weekend, back in 1997, if I recall correctly. We were waiting and waiting and waiting. It was a jazz fest weekend so I didn't think much of the wait. Then these men in sunglasses and suits stuck their heads out of the door. They looked around, and then waved their hands inside the restaurant. Jimmy Carter and Roselyn Carter came out. He was nice enough to stop by and shake all of our hands. After he and his wife left, me and my partner were allowed in. We sat at the same table as Jimmy Carter. The waitress showed us where he signed the check.
No other event in the history of the city has created so many similar memories than Hurricane Katrina. I'm sure you have all read about how Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski served recovery workers from Herbsaint with the help of their banker friend turned dishwasher. Stuff like that brings a smile to my face everyti,e. The owners of Slim Goodies (no website but menu here) were crowned similar local heroes reopened their Magazine Street diner basically at the same time the first wave residents were allowed to return.
Back then there was no menu because the only thing served was a basic breakfast, but Slim Goodies has been in full swing for a while now dishing out unique breakfast dishes. Above is the Tex Mex Slammer of shredded hashbrowns, black beans, cheese, scrambled eggs, salsa, sour cream, sliced avocado, fried plantains, and corn tortillas. Sounds like a lot of food - and it is, especially for just $10 - but the best part is how the ingredients harmoniously come together. As for the extra waffle I ordered for a whopping $5, it's a ripoff and you don't really need it anyway.
Goodies is very cool spot with walls covered with pictures of regulars and local art. There is usually a wait on the weekends, but the food is worth it. More than likely you'll end up sharing a table with some strangers because the benches along the walls cannot change a quad to a deuce. It's part of the charm of this neighborhood diner, carrying on the breakfast traditions of the many places that have come (and soon will be gone) before them.
Slim Goodies - Birdie.