Don't know about anybody else who lives in our 'hood, but Joe and I have been thirsting for such a long time for a nice little "luncheonette", a place where we could get breakfast for under thirty dollars, and a quick lunch. Our needs were simple. Nice decor. Friendly staff. Owners who appreciated our business, good coffee, cleanliness and a feeling that this was a place that would be here for a while. We've seen so many food businesses come and go. We know the look..
We have been back, living here on Cape Cod for almost seven years. We're not novices at this lifestyle. We came here forty one years ago and settled down with two babies for thirteen more years before returning to New York and living in a suburban city a mere thirty minutes from Manhattan. We both grew up in that area and there are things that we came to, shall I say "take for granted" and now bitterly miss. For instance, after a movie, we're still craving a diner. Give us something, anything, open later than seven o'clock, that serves coffee. Once in a while, we need a real bagel with cream cheese and lox. Stop and Shop, we love you, but those are not real bagels and you know it. I personally have a hard time suppressing my desire to hop into my car and make the four hour trip to Bloomingdale's or Lord and Taylor for a dose of plain frozen yogurt, the tangy stuff, topped with fresh strawberries. Oh, and I miss Papa Razzi, the one we used to walk to for dinner, our home-away-from-home, with our very own waiter. We think about you every day Alberto.
There is not one friend here on the Cape that I would consider trading for a two cent seltzer, so life is not exactly unpleasant. New York days, filled with career moves, were never as personally fulfilling as those that I get to spend here with my highly creative and fun playmates. So, when Big Al hung out his shingle, we got very, very excited. A new "luncheonette" within a mile of our house. Open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch. They're up early, ready to roll. From Day One, Al and Laurie have not disappointed. They're friendly, the place is decorated the way a luncheonette should be. It's clean. The coffee is good and hot. The food is good and they know, as soon as they see me walk in the door, that there will be egg whites in action very soon. A dream, come true. A meeting spot. I think my friend Linda and I actually have our own table, the one next to the magazines. If one of us is late, the other one waits and if the waiting is too long, the whole crew worries. Yesterday, I walked in and Bill, "our" waiter, said, "sit there where the tea is, she's in the restroom". I don't think Alberto would have done it so well.
So, here's to you, Big Al. You came along just at the right time and it looks like you will be around for a long time to come. We will not allow you to leave, get sick or retire. We've even met your kids and we love them. Your wife is our friend and we need her to make sure you don't run out of egg whites. Oh, and Al, smart move on your part, putting your business right next door to the thrift shop. Bam!