Goody Goody’s breakfast menu includes omelets, egg-and-meat sandwiches, pancakes, waffles, and French toast as well as boneless catfish filets and one amazing dish known as The Wilber. “We’re bringing a popular St. Louis diner breakfast to Connelly’s,” the menu notes in its description of The Wilbur. Known in other local diners and chili parlors as a slinger, The Wilbur is an omelet filled with chili, fried potatoes, peppers, onions and tomatoes.
The chili that gives The Wilbur its avoirdupois can be ordered as a side dish. It is stout and salty, made with chunks of beef, and it is the fundamental element in a once-popular but now rare Midwestern diner dish, chili mac. Goody Goody’s chili mac is prepared with authoritative hash-house style: well-cooked spaghetti noodles are topped with chili and crowned by a mass of shredded cheddar cheese.
“We’ve changed many items on our menu over the years,” the Good Goody credo goes. “But the way we prepare our hamburgers will never change. They’re not fancy – they’re just GOOD!” We agree. Regulars and doubles, patty melts and cheeseburgers, slawburgers and barbecue slawburgers all are very good, available with sides that include onion rings, French fries, cheese fries, and, of course, chili. Each burger is mashed down hard enough on the grill that it becomes a rugged patty with a lacy-crisp circumference, its brawny nature nicely gentled by the soft yellow bun in which it is served.
The Goody Goody opened for business as a walk-up root beer stand in 1931 and became a hot-food drive-in in the 1940s. By the 1950s when Herb and Viola Connelly bought the place, it had turned into a favorite scene for hot-rod cruising after dark. The Connollys’ son Richard added the family name to Goody Goody (which supposedly came about because that’s what children used to holler when their parents brought them here to eat back in the ‘30s). Richard, who started work as a car hop, vows “We are not fast food just good food as fast as possible.”