Sunday, March 05, 2006
When we went to Florida just over a year ago, we found a magical little breakfast place nearby that the kids absolutely loved. It was called Bagel Dream, and it was run by a one-of-a-kind lady who rode a Harley and knew all her customers as well as we know family and best friends. The banter was fascinating to watch, and it reminded me of what we're losing as franchises and chains gradually pave over the small-time entrepreneurs who used to define the local retail landscape.
Alas, when we returned this past December, the place had closed down. We'll never know if it was the hurricane, retirement, or whatever. No goodbyes or forwarding addresses...just an empty storefront.
The kids were quite upset. So we set out to find a new favorite haunt. Shelby's comes close. Handwritten menus say so much, I think, as do servers who hover over the table and take the time to chat with their clients.
The banter isn't quite as boisterous as the old place, but the comforting charm of the folks whose names were written across back of the the manual cash register quickly won our little people over. We'll be back next time we're down there.
Until then, we have fleeting glimpses like this picture to remind us why places like this are special. And wherever the now-former-owner of Bagel Dream is, I hope she's found a breakfast place as welcoming as the one she ran for so long.
Your turn: Are there any Bagel Dreams and Shelby's out there in your neck of the woods? What makes them such captivating places to have breakfast?