Someone Moved My Chowder

I was in the downtown wine shop Simply Grape the other day, chatting with owner Nick Keeler. Between pleasantries and selling me a great bottle of gewürztraminer, he delivered some sad, sad news. “You know Heidi’s closed, right?” he asked. And I whipped my head around to peer across Queen Street. Sure enough, the space where Heidi’s Downtown Bistro & Deli had been was empty. Oh no!

Heidi’s truly had something for everyone, whether you were looking for a healthy avocado sandwich or needed to bury your stress under a big, fat muffin.

Heidi’s saw me through the Atkins phase, when I’d order the cauliflower, mayo and shrimp salad. I can’t say this was actually that tasty, but it made me feel virtuous. And I can’t tell you how many of my morning-sick girlfriends I’d taken there for the healing powers of the salty, corn-and-potato chowder. That and a side order of the steak fries? It was like a visit to Lourdes, with pregnant women casting aside their green pallor and again embracing life.

The décor was wilted, tired and silly—1980’s teal and rose, with a trellis here and a fake plant there, wicker and mirrors. But that was part of the charm. Heidi’s was always there for me when I needed a grilled cheese and gossip. I can’t think of a better place to spend a rainy lunch hour. Heidi’s, I’ll miss you, teal and all.