3322 Magazine Street
summary: typical diner food with some not-so-typical veg options; vegan options available if you ask to remove the dairy; try the Garden Slammer
rating: three of five fleurs
I'm not sure where the name Slim Goodies came from. If it wasn't for the flying fried egg on the sign out front, one might take this nomenclature to indicate a health food establishment.
Well folks, healthy it ain't. Slim Goodies (on Magazine, just off Louisiana) is a diner - no doubt about it. But they've got something a little bit special going on. You won't feel like you've stepped into Dot's, for example. A haven for the hip and to an extent the veg, Slim's will serve you up a tofu scramble any time of day. Not night though, because they close at three.
So what about the veg offerings? I couldn't get a clear read on what was there from the available internet info, so I had to go and see for myself. Here's a summary of my findings:
-The tofu scramble is vegan, but it is seasoned almost exclusively with turmeric and salt. I believe what popped into mind when tasting it was "turmeric-a-riffic!" This may have been the particular cook or the particular day, but based on that experience (as well as my second visit) I would say the scramble is a skip on its lonesome.
-The veg chili is vegan, and it is delicious. Get it. Eat it. Love it.
-The hash browns are vegan, and they are awesome! They are exactly what I want in hash browns. All too often what you get is something more like home fries: potatoes that have been cubed or diced. While tasty, that's a different dish. Slim's hash browns are the real deal, shredded and fried with just the right amount of salt and grease.
-The "fake soy bacon" is vegan... because it's tempeh. I'm not sure why they don't just say so. I'm not a big fan of tempeh, but this stuff is really tasty! Well seasoned and perfectly fried. Sometime in the near future I hope to ask them to make me a TLT.
-Soymilk for your coffee is no problem.
-The grits are technically vegan as the butter isn't added until after cooking. HOWever, there's no margarine in the house - butter only. Something to keep in mind. (Sneak in some Earth Balance?)
-I did try to find out whether the veggie burgers were vegan, three times now. Phone responses: "they might have eggs in them," and "I think they have breadcrumbs." When I asked my waiter, I simply never got an answer (it wasn't what I was ordering to eat). So if you're interested in a burger, I'd ask to see a label.
-There is NO vegan cheese or sour cream in house, which is really a pity as one or both of these feature in nearly every dish. Even so, I'd love to ask them to veganize a number of the plates in the "More Goods to Eat" section of the menu like the Guatemalan, the Tex-Mex Slammer, and the Popeye, and just omit the dairy.
The bottom line: you can definitely get a good vegan meal at Slim's. It may not blow your mind, but it will surely be ten times better than what you could scrounge up at, say, Camellia (a Coke and fries, for instance). My vote: go for the Garden Slammer. Mediocre scramble aside, the other components make the plate more than worthwhile, if not particularly picturesque. Enjoy the colorful, uber-hip atmosphere, and nevermind that foolish flying egg.