When I first walked into the ruby slipper, I was almost instantly floored by the amazing smells that filled the entire dining area. There were only 3 full tables in the entire restaurant, but somehow it smelled like they were cooking a feast in the kitchen. I arrived there at around 11:40am. I decided to get there before noon so I could witness the lunch rush madness. I ordered some tea and a delicious omelette and sat by myself observing everything. And sure enough, right at around 12:15 the place started to quickly fill up. It seemed like every minute, the waitress had to seat a new table. The front dining area filled up and people were being directed to sit in the back of the house. I asked my waitress if this was a normal weekday lunch crowd. She said it was a little busier than usual, but not completely uncommon. The crowd was mostly filled with young professions and students. I saw two girls doing homework while they ate. It was nice to see I wasn’t the only one!
The atmosphere was very nice and comfortable, but I have to admit—the omelette was delicious! It is no wonder why the people come in droves. It was a simple omelet with mushrooms and cheese, yet it tasted divine. Then I remembered that The Ruby Slipper proudly uses locally made products, and locally-based food sellers. According to their website, their, “sausage (pork breakfast links, chorizo, chicken sausage patties, andouille, and more) is made right in Mid-City, New Orleans by Creole Country Sausage. Their Dairy products come to us from Kleinpeter Farms Dairy; a Louisiana-based, family owned and operated dairy. Their breads are all locally baked and delivered fresh to our door by Leidenheimer, Wild Flour Breads, and La Louisiane Bakery”. The Ruby Slipper also has a garden across the street from their Mid-City location, where they grow many of the herbs and vegetables used in their kitchen, as well as using a local recycling service and composting coffee grinds. So that’s what made this omelet better than the one at IHOP! Well, that and the service is much better. The Ruby Slipper is definitely not your typical breakfas joint.
Since my last blog entry, I have done some research on the location of the Ruby Slipper. The only thing I have been able to find out is that before it was converted into the Slipper after Katrina, it was a rundown cornerstone that was famous for its many loiterers. This makes me wonder what the neighborhood was like before the Slipper. From I could see it was a pretty normal New Orleans neighborhood—there was street parking only, it was relatively quiet, and the sidewalks were pretty torn up. Did the neighborhood like that the corner store was closed down, or do people feel resentful that a neighborhood gathering place (of sorts) was tuned into a hipster eatery?