My Uncle died this week. He was 86 and outlived the woman he loved and cared for until her death by eight months. I couldn’t make it to her funeral, so I made sure I could make it to his. That led Greg and me to Malone, New York – the North Country as it has always been called in my family. This isn’t an unknown diversion. I’ve been here many times in my life, but each time I find some new little hidden gem in this village on the Canadian border in northern New York. This time, it was Nancy’s Village Café.
We had to get breakfast before heading to the funeral and “Nancy’s” was in the directory left in our motel room (yep – I said MOTEL!). What a perfect surprise! The little seat-yourself café is nothing to look at. It’s a lot of small-town kitsch.
But what it lacks in décor it MORE than makes up for in flavor. Our waitress, she never gave her name, started out with, “We’ve got fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls that just came out of the oven and we’ve got chicken-fried steak and gravy with home fries today.”
OK, I’m not a big fan of chicken-fried steak, but Greg’s eyes lit up while just the mention of fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls was enough to win me over. When that cinnamon roll got to the table it was still warm … DROOOOOL! It was soft and fluffy and crammed full of sticky cinnamon and amazingly NOT coated with icky, sicky-sweet glaze. There was a small container that we thought was glaze to add as we wished, but no, it was butter – real, fresh, whipped butter! OH MY GOSH! Then she brought out our eggs with homemade toast. I think I died and went to heaven just for a minute.
Lesson learned – never judge a little diner by its cover and always order the local specialty (“We have whatever it is fresh and hot from the oven!). It wasn’t a real happy day … but at least it started out with a little something special.