Bagdad Cafe is gone. A Castro institution since before even my time. Oh my! As a crotchety old-timer I thought it passed it’s prime a few years ago when they started accepting credit cards. The food itself was never special, but the corner location, light-filled seating area and anything goes decor really made it into more than the sum of it’s parts. Bagdad was a meeting place, one of the few 24 hour joints in the Castro (the entire City, for that matter), and felt more like “Queer home” than the much newer LGBT center down Market Street.
All good things…. blah blah well Bagdad has ended her reign as Queen of Queer Diners, and she left a pair of drag-queen-sized glittery pumps to fill.
Enter, Criolla. I passed by while doing some research around the corner at the Library. Workers were painting, and getting things ready inside and out. Opens today at 6pm, say the signs. Soul Food, by way of Cuba and Portugal. BBQ. Red beans and rice. Chicken and Waffles. This is not your typical gay fare. This is serious NOLA influence.