January 25, 2011

Loui's Restaurant in Providence, RI

Darlene - Doc Box and B. Fresh, 12" (1990)
Easy Groove - B. T. O, 12" (1977)

The connection between popular music and popular breakfast joints works as follows: someone suggests a preference to you, you are hesitant, you go or listen, you are uncertain, you go or listen again, and after much uncertainty you find yourself more or less in a kind of love. Then it becomes your shared moment with your loved ones in turn.

That is all fine. Poker Face and a familiar breakfast have plenty in common. Far rarer is the restaurant that changes you in its changes. It is not so much that you become used to it, or that you accept the grease and the often-cigarette-laden toilet. Nor even that you find these things comforting, familiar, and reliable.

[You have to listen to the entirety of Darlene, by the way.]

There are the comfortable restaurants and songs, and then there are the ones that abruptly change you. Its not that hand-handled homefries are familiar, it is that you find yourself wanting them. Not that water with no ice in little school style plastic cups is appealing, but that you have to have it. Suddenly you burst forth, not lulled by the monotony of the normal, but freed by the strange. The dinner for breakfast option. The huevos rancheros covered with cold cheese and salsa. The hot dogs at 6:30am. The mimosas. The honeydew. The homemade granola, bread, muffins, hot sauce, and the Aunt Jemima's syrup.

It is the cornucopia of the first Thanksgiving briefly transformed into a Prince song, eaten, and then turned back into natural crap. It is country music written by George Clinton. Having eaten, and now leaving the restaurant, your feet fall heavily onto Brook St. and you realize you are a modern man, and that Loui's is the most modern food you have ever eaten.

1 comment:

  1. I love how at Loui's you can substitute ANY side of a meal for something else. Like my friends and I used to swap out toast for a pumpkin muffin and potatoes for veggies. You end up with a totally different meal. And it's still like 3 dollars.