November. Those of you that know enough of National Novel Writing Month, one thing sticks out to you when you first read about this. 50, 000 words in a month. No way. Some walk away – but if you think THAT is what makes NANO WRIMO, guess again. it is a bonus of sort if you restrict days for yourself to reach 50, 000 if not more. Yet, all is not lost if 50,000 words is not achieved – because so much in between is what matters – and again, the 50,000 words is a goal but not everything.
For example, the people you meet and the places you discover, whether in the story so may writers explore, discover or on the edge of, or finding the perfect place to be inspired, share, and move forward in your novel – I was lucky enough to find such a place.
On November 26th, Dawn, a fellow Nano Writer, Dawn, from Delaware and I went into the Main Street Cafe. The annex onto the size of the restaurant from the outside allows you to wonder how large of an establishment you will enter, but also you see a welcoming mix of holiday that you are sure, and hope – leads to more from within.
As I went in, meeting the writer I never met before, Dawn, I felt this rushing forward of the interior as I walked into the door, almost as if a shrinking of the room, but, I realized it was the sense of a space fitting to a comfort level. I almost could SMELL the wood burning, which is based on the wood decor that makes you feel as if you are entering the warmest cabin . Seeing alot of items that jumped out at me as Americana, I found the closest booth but, a personal attraction to all things wood jumped out to me – from the walls, to the floors, to all things that seemed to make up the interior. After promptly being welcomed and introduced to the menu, I kept expecting the difference in seeing English and Spanish, still an adjustment of moving from Mexico to the states and this still comes back to me.
Seeing the selection of pancakes, blueberry, I was hooked. The cordial waitress seemed to be providing list and list of extras that came with the meal, choices of three meats – and I hoped the meal itself would be as enticing as my mind was hearing through my ears. The orange juice coming in Mason jars matched the style and feel of the decor, and was delicious. There was a low hum of families and couples taking in the early morning, and everything was relaxed to say the least. In asking to speak to the manager to obtain some information on this establishment, enjoyed the ease and feel of a small town inside the Main Street Cafe, and it just felt as a sheltered place, away from all the distractions that I could find myself into, to be able concentrate on way neglected period of writing I did find other countless to do’s to interrupt. There were nearby electric plugs as well to equip writers with devices as needed.
The meal came and wow – enough to cover the plate, I forgot how generous America portion breakfasts could be and this was no exception. The syrup slid over the hot pancakes and as delicious as you could hope for, and the exact same for the sausage. It was a challenge to finish simply the order of pancakes and sausage itself.
If this is not filling to you, it is due to it being several days you have not eaten then, otherwise, you will find yourself stuffed.
After some conversation, I was able to meet Beth Carmac owner. You immediately received a sense of someone with a very direct purpose, busy, and concerned with many things. Turns out that would be correct. Hailing originally from Maryland, affiliations with racehorses in their family, Beth is no stranger to Delaware community. Once, Carmac managed a restaurant named The Old Country Skillet, and the legacy today has been three former employees now working at The Man Street Cafe in Harrington. American owned, all homemade meals, Carmac has a to do list that has everything to do with community. Her involvement and suggestions at City Council meetings, always keep the direct community in mind, and it is satisfying to know a business owner isn’t just about the business at hand, but about the community this business supports.
Dating back to when this business was Burtons, a slaughter house, and even at one point had sock hops at this establishment. One can see the history of this within the cafe as you sit at a booth to the right. You are reinforced with the at home feeling at The Main Street Cafe when you see the bar and cashier area, and don’t be afraid to ask what that is made out of., as well as taking in the baked goods within. All inside has been meticulously thought of and constructed with care.
The history of the train through Harrington and neighboring towns, as well as the history, formerly a slaughterhouse, coincides with her philosophy of preserving the past, and reigniting the passion for buildings tat exist already, using what we have, and bring life to buildings and structures that have breathed breath from years’ past. This is evident in her participation on City Council meetings, pushing for a reignited life for all main streets, and her passion of using creativity to preserve the past. Her insistence of more individuals taking a heightened interest in their community and having a voice on ideas to improve awareness, coincides with truly making America great with a renewed interest in reinvesting each other in improving community after community by being present and active.
Having an intense love for cooking, being tied to this location as this is her home above the Main Street Cafe, always been an Eastern Shore girl, with the visions to expand the outside dining area for bands, expanding to a buffet connected to the menu, as well as currently open Friday and Saturdays for dinner, the Main Street Cafe has much to look forward to with the coming Delaware State Fair, definitely being a great place and hub for National Novel Writing members of Delaware, and preserving the very history that surrounds us, there is not much you would WANT to miss in heading to The Main Street Cafe.
When asked what is the coveted dish to test out, Carmac shared us a story of going through 12 gallons of cream of crab soup, in ONE DAY. Being able to order the cream of crab soup and crab cakes year round, this easily settles that choice from the menu if you are uncertain. If you mix all these characteristics into one establishment, there is not much more you would need to allow a satisfying experience, add a bit of writing and editing for NANO, and you have quite an experience that if you haven’t checked out Main Street Cafe, you should if you consider the Eastern Shore home or are curious what the Eastern Shore has to offer.
Add to this the exquisite homemade jelly and candles available for Christmas, this allows a gift to be given to individuals to tease them in, and after visiting Main Street Cafe, you will be providing a piece of home no matter where they are from. Back to that element of being active in your community? After the interview, you would have had a difficult time keeping an eye on Beth Carmac, she was busy taking care of the storefront,on the side of the restaurant with holiday decorations, and mingling with local community members, testament to her belief in being an active participant in the community around you. Involvement is as involvement does, and it truly seems Main Street Cafe is a hub of all mentioned above, in homemade and NANOWRIMO style.