SLIMS/Vout Closed

It came across the Foodnews wire a couple days ago that SLIMS (and Vout) restaurant on Hamilton Avenue in Northside has closed. Checking their website ( and the outgoing message on their phone confirms the closing (“…please do not leave a reservation”) .

It’s sad when any restaurant closes, and SLIMS/Vout will be missed. SLIMS and Vout shared the same physical space – part of the week the restaurant was called SLIMS and part of the week it was called Vout – the two restaurants were conceptually different but concentric. I’m not sure diners clearly understood the concept or the differences between the two places – nor that the concept was clearly understood by anyone other than those at the top levels of the restaurant. The most concise description I saw was “SLIMS is prix fixe; Vout is a la cart”. I don’t know if it’s an accurate description, though.

I had the pleasure of dining at SLIMS many times, and working there for a good many months with Chef Joanne Drilling. On its best nights, SLIMS thrummed with an urban energy that was addictive. There were long community tables that actually seated the community (perhaps the only community tables in the area that worked), and the food was hearty, a little elegant, and well-prepared. We put out “real comfortable food” and served the guests well. People liked the food and the vibe.

I’ll miss SLIMS. I don’t know what will happen to the space, but I’d love to see another restaurant concept in there. Maybe just one concept the next time.

DESIDERATA by Max Ehrmann

This poem really speaks to me, where I am right now. Also, for an aural treat (in all it’s 1970’s production glory), check out this video on YouTube of the late, great Les Crane “performing” the poem.

by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all it’s sham drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Thanks to my friend Alicia W. for reminding me of this poem at this time when it really speaks to me. I hope it also speaks to you.