Connelly’s Goody Goody Diner

Review by: Jane & Michael Stern

***THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED***

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.”

What To Eat

The Wilbur

DISH
Biscuits

DISH
Chicken and Waffles

DISH

Connelly’s Goody Goody Diner Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Connelly’s Goody Goody Diner?

3 Responses to “Connelly’s Goody Goody Diner”

Rich

September 28th, 2021

FYI, Goody Goody has been permanently closed due to a fire.

Reply

byron coley

October 24th, 2015

The Goody Goody seems to be under new management, but the menu is the same and the place was jumping when I stopped by for a Saturday lunch at 12:30. Squeezed into one of the last empty seats at the counter and checked around. People were tucking into fried chicken and fried fish and mac & cheese and grits with relish, but I wanted something less fork-oriented.

Ordered the BBQ Slaw Burger and a small side of Chili-Mac. Burger was a great slab of thin patty generously garnished with a tangy BBQ sauce and good mayo-based slaw. Once I picked it up I realized I’d never be able to put the sauce soaked bun down and successfully raise it again, so I just gobbled happily and tried to appear abashed at my eating speed. The waitress was amused at how quickly the burger disappeared, but it was GOOD!

The Chili-Mac arrived soon after, and was really a bit more like a Cinci 3-way chili (at least in my mind). Spaghetti noodles, a nice beef chili, shredded cheese and chopped onions (these last a special request). Came out piping hot, with a spicing level I’d call “friendly.” A great stop, although I’m also very curious about the old-school Chop Suey places I passed en route. Next time.

Reply

Tommy Saunders

January 8th, 2006

We stopped by one day at breakfast. It was every bit as good as the Roadfood review stated. I took the plunge and ordered a “Wilbur”. Our waitress set it on our table and gave me that look you get when you order something that just screams “heartburn”. The fillings were terrific and the chili topping gave it a nice spicy kick. It was by far the best breakfast of the trip so far!

Reply

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