New Orleans is known primarily as a night-time, stay-out-late-and-party town, especially in the French Quarter, but now there’s a great restaurant catering to folks who get up early and want to eat. Ruby Slipper Cafe was opened after Katrina because Erich and Jennifer Weishaupt, two engineers with Shell Oil, wanted to do something nice for their area. According to their website, the name was inspired by “a powerful sense of homecoming when we returned to New Orleans after Katrina.” And they felt that Dorothy, wearer of the famous ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz had said it best, “There’s no place like home.”
When the Weishaupts opened their first cafe in Mid-City, they were quoted as saying, “We hope it doesn’t lose too much money.” They quickly stopped worrying because they had found a need that needed to be met, and they did it deliciously. Presently, there are four locations in New Orleans, one in Pensacola and one in Orange Beach. All are doing well. Ruby Slipper Cafe is open for breakfast, brunch and lunch 7:00 – 2:00 on weekdays and 7:00 – 3:00 on weekends.
The menu lists such specialties as: Barbecue Shrimp and Grits, Eggs Blackstone and Bananas Foster Pain Perdu. In our case, Steve chose a Build-Your-Own Omelet with goat cheese, avocado, and red pepper.
And I chose the Southern Breakfast with bacon, grits, scrambled eggs, a fried green tomato and a biscuit.
We were able to walk about a block from our hotel to the nearest location on Canal Street. Ruby Slipper has a noisy, pulsating vibe and the service is prompt and polite. I would definitely recommend it.
P.S. Ruby Slipper also has two other features I’m sure the locals appreciate. 1) A Rewards Program where frequent diners can earn discounts on future meals. 2) A nowait app. Using your smartphone, you can get on the waiting list and plan your arrival for the estimated time your table will be waiting. Genius idea.