Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Goody's 2-- The New Digs

You may remember Goody's from my stellar-nearly journalistic quality-review of the last night of service at its original location. It certainly took long enough, but Dinerwood finally made it to the new Goody's location in El Monte.

Goody's now resides in what was formally called the "News Cafe" next to El Monte City Hall. I'm pleased that they kept the original font for the sign. It may not be as grandiose at the original Googie sign,but it works. That font is one of the few familiar things they were able bring to the new location.

Another is the sad-sack chef fixture on the wall. I love this guy: his lazy eye--or is it a wink? I don't know; the plate of buns or coffee beans or moon pies; the shovel. He's a schlub. I love him.

The News Cafe was a more modern, more shiny coffee shop. It was next to City Hall for crying out loud. It needed to be a beacon of progress for people looking for a cup of coffee after filing a property lease permit or getting a cheapy wedding. The old Goody's was like your grampa's den.

#1 Diner Companion Antoinette, my folks, and I came in last Saturday morning for breakfast. We were seated and then kind of forgotten about for a little while. I was just getting to the point of flagging someone down to at least take our drink orders when the waitress finally came back to us.

She was nice and chatted with us a bit. In fact, she chatted with everybody a bit, which is why it took so long to get drinks. We asked how things were working out in the new location. She said "fine," and then looked at us a little oddly and asked if we used to come in at night. She's worked at Goody's for 17 years and didn't recognize us. We explained that our first time was actually the last night. She then left to get our coffees.

The coffee was good. The cup and saucer were adorable. It looks like they also took the dishes with them to the new space.

On one hand, I was a little disappointed that they kept the old menus. Our waitress had let me take one when we left the original restaurant and I thought I taking home a priceless artifact. On the other hand, I see that it provides a safe continuity for those old regulars coming to the new location. The same sweet message of "To serve you is a real pleasure" greets you on the cover, and you know that although you drove a different way to get there, it's still the same ol' Goody's.

Before our food arrived, our waitress brought us each a small dish of peaches. These were certainly not from a can; they actually still tasted like peaches and not syrup. I'm not saying Goody's jarred them themselves, but at least there was an effort made for quality.

They also brought all of our bread out in one basket that we then had to sort out. I should mention now that in the morning they do not have the small loaves of fresh baked bread that Antoinette fell in love with at the old location. They only have those at dinner time.

My parents ordered basically the same thing, so I only took one picture. My dad ordered the hash browns "extra, extra, extra crispy." The tops and bottoms were fine but he said they were a little too mushy in the center. The eggs were good, but the ham was a little dry. Overall, good though.

Antoinette ordered the bacon and eggs with a side of home fries. Everything was good except she became really worried about the bacon. "It tastes weird. Like, maybe rancid?" No one wants rancid bacon and nobody wants bacon to go to waste. I tried a bite. It wasn't rancid. It tasted like a crispy pork chop. I think it was just maybe overcooked a bit.

I ordered the Creamed Chipped Beef on Biscuits. I had never ordered it before anywhere. It's something that you see written on placards of restaurants in old movies. Depression era food, is how I see it.

When it came out, Antoinette and I immediately saw the problem. I hate hard boiled eggs. They gross me out. This dish was covered in hard boiled eggs. She graciously offered to trade me her eggs and weird tasting bacon. I wanted to power through and try it....and if it came down to it, I could try to eat around the eggs. One thing I had to keep in mind was that this wasn't gravy over biscuits and dried beef and hard boiled eggs. It was a cream sauce with a very different flavor. Luckily it usually overpowered the egg taste. It was a nice experiment, but I don't think I will ever go down that road again.

I'd be really sad if the new Goody's just didn't feel right or if the food was bad. Luckily, it was basically the same as it was that first time; it was just in a new location--"old wine, new bottle," so to speak. It's a little too far for us to make it a regular stop, but I'm glad it's out there in the world. I hope it's there for a long, long time.

Food: Good.
Service: Friendly
Price: $6-$11
Pie: Yes.

Goody's Restaurant
11357 Valley Blvd.
El Monte, CA 91731-3227

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