Breakfast at the Ruby Slipper in Pensacola
When you are heading for the early service (AdventureMan calls it Episcopal Church Express) a lot can happen at the last minute. Write the check for stewardship. OOps, it’s raining, where is the umbrella? But it might not last long, where are my sunglasses?
We hurried, hoping to slide in under the wire, before the procession, when my friend stopped me at the door.
“There’s a new restaurant you will love! It opens early!”
“Where is it?” Restaurants that are open early on Sunday mornings are sparse. They exist, and they are full.
“It’s called Ruby Slipper, and it’s just down the street at Palafox and Main” she told me, and we scrambled to our pew before the procession started.
After church, we thought we’d give it a try. Was not hard to find – the streets are empty, and then there are all these cars parked, and there is Ruby Slipper.
I love the name. When I see sparkly shoes, I smile. Judy Garland searched for those shoes to take her back home to Kansas when she was eager to leave Oz. The name reflects how happy the restaurant was to re-open in New Orleans after the great flood and devastation following Hurricane Katrina. Ruby Slipper has four restaurants in New Orleans, and now this one in Pensacola. We are arriving on Day 2 of it’s opening.
I’m surprised – and delighted – to see how big it is, how spacious. For all the cars, there are four separate seating areas, one outside, one just inside where the coffee bar is, one large seating area and then one more private area in the back. We are greeted at the door, and shown to a table. Service is cheerful, and enthusiastic, and everyone looks very happy to be working at the Ruby Slipper.
The menu is extensive. It’s just two sides of one sheet of paper, but so many choices that sound SO good. We know we will have to come back several times. It takes us a while to choose what we want today. I had thought to go with the ‘signature dish’ Eggs Cochon, but it seemed so rich.
AdventureMan ordered the Costa Rican breakfast, which he loved. Eggs on beans and rice, and very tasty. Enough for two people. Easily.
I ordered the Smoked Salmon Bennie, and it, too, was enough for two people. It also had very good smoked salmon, the hearty kind, like you can sometimes find canned in Alaska at the specialty stores. Oh YUMMM.
We are greatly impressed. When we arrived here, Palafox was quiet. Not much was going on, and when night fell, nothing was going on. An amazingly generous couple ‘not from around here’ has made an enormous difference, investing in downtown Pensacola, buying derelict buildings and polishing them up, putting in cute little restaurants and boutiques and specialty stores. Someone put in an Al Fresco dining area. Someone else started up a monthly Gallery Night, which brings huge crowds to downtown one Friday night each month. All it took was a little vision, and soon Palafox, the main artery in downtown Pensacola, was voted one of the best main streets in the United States. Woooo HOOOO on generosity, and a little vision and investment.
Ruby Slipper has a great location and a varied menu. We wish them well, and welcome them to downtown Pensacola, where they brightened a rainy, dark and dreary Sunday morning.