Any good foodie knows that sometimes the best restaurants are the tiny hole-in-the-walls that only the locals know about. Magnolia’s Dinner, located on Bossier Street, is owned by Cora Franklin, who is also the head chef of the establishment. When you walk in to take your order, she will be the one greeting you with a kind smile and, if you’re lucky, even a compliment.
The food is set up on a warmer that displays a few options that are rotated daily. This particular day was what we all know to be Fish Friday, so of course this was my entrée of choice. I went with loaded mashed potatoes and stewed green beans for my sides. Franklin heavily doled out my food and threw a slice of bread on top—very old school, traditional cooking style. I was offered ketchup for my fish before I sat down, which I accepted and began my meal.
Before eating, I had to noticed the room was hot. Like, exceptionally hot. After a moment of looking around the small one room eatery, I realized that there was no air conditioning, and it was only being cooled down by four fans scattered around.
I dove into the meal, immediately deeming it “what Vic’s wishes it could be.” The loaded potatoes were filled with cheesy and bacon-y goodness that made my little Southern heart melt, and the green beans were heavily seasoned in the best way. The catfish was a thin fry style and very crispy.
I was surprised and delighted at how delicious everything was. At one look, the place is surround by broken-up parking lots and stores that don’t even seem to be open. But their food is killer.
Overall, this is not the place you go to expecting service and atmosphere, though Franklin is kind and does a great job. The biggest miss for me is the lack of air conditioning. I love a good Mom-and-Pop restaurant, but I also like staying cool. The food was tasty but I was sweating the entire time. Simply put, Magnolia’s Diner is a straightforward place with delicious Southern food, but needs a little something to take the edge off of the heat. Maybe take a visit around winter?
Rating: 2.5/5 pitchforks
Photo by Cassandra Phillips.