Goldies is THE PLACE! Goldie’s is a little dive literally around the corner from my studio. It’s only open for breakfast and lunch…until 3:00. You can get anything that you could ever want at Goldie’s. Name it and they have it…I mean good, basic eats. Huge, ample servings. …or carry out as well. (I don’t work for Goldies!!!) No mesculin or “eurogreens.” Think good old iceberg lettuce….crunchy and cold. This is NOT a tea room! I noticed, when I was there the other day, that everyone seemed to be a regular. Such a cozy place. Kind of a ‘50‘s attitude. Everything happens fast…tables cleaned, orders taken and food delivered….always friendly and in good cheer. Always efficient and to the point. Sayings are stenciled on the walls that remind you of how to live your life…. not a religious thing…just niceties. Typically I see neighborhood tradesmen. policemen, firemen, contractors, some quirky old couples, and a large table of jovial men who play tennis daily and cool down for lunch at Goldie’s. The servers seem to know all of the patrons and quickly bring them their regular favorites. I like to go there with my students. The highlight of my teaching session in my studio is a celebratory end-of-season-lunch at Goldies. We sit at a big table, make lots of noise, and just love that our congenial group can laugh, share, and eat hardily together. Sometimes, midway through lunch, I start eyeballing the crowd in an attempt to snag a new model for next year…By now, my students are beginning to goad me until I shock them by acting shy! That just makes them laugh louder! But typically I just enjoy the warmth of our group…umbrellaed by the warmth of Goldies.
The “season” has ended now and Naples is beginning to quiet down. My husband and I were out doing errands, and he said “how about Goldies for lunch?” “Perfect,” I said. Even though the town is quiet, Goldie’s was packed. We were lucky enough to grab the last table. And there was Diane. Now isn’t she just perfect? Who couldn’t love this lady? Peppy, happy, efficient, friendly, and plain old down to earth. After the “what’ll ya haves” Diane asked about my gang of students and then asked “how’s your painting goin?” To my own surprise, I told her the truth and replied, “Hard, actually.” And Diane said, without skipping a beat, “Well, why don’t cha try paintin by numbers…it might be easier!” What a hoot! After my super sized cobb salad loaded with bacon and my husband’s juicy, rare burger with fries, I began to think that I, too, just might be a “regular!”