Funky & Magical Dining

I’m not much for fancy restaurants. I have never felt entirely comfortable in them. I feel like I have to be on my best behavior, like a little girl in her very best dress, ham-strung with warnings not to get a stain on it or spill anything.

If I have a choice, it will always be for comfortable and funky. The funkiest restaurant I’ve ever seen is in a little town in our area. Yesterday, Don and I took a little drive and had lunch there.

Every single inch of space – walls, ceiling, floors – is covered with paintings, decoration, tchotchkes, you name it. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s so whimsical: part souvenirs, part Asian influence, part decorative painting, part dumpster diving treasures, part sparkle and glitter.

Hubcaps on the ceiling.

Paintings on the wall.

Our table was a painting: trees, water, horses.

And the food is unbelievably good.

Don drinking his Decaf.

Me, sans makeup, looking a wee bit sleepy. Don took this and really likes it, so even though I don’t like photos of me without makeup, here goes. Me: on the cusp of a big birthday.

This is on the wall in the entry:

I love these words. After some googling, I found the source.

Isn’t the restaurant magical and wonderful? I wish I could have taken even more photos (all of them via the iPhone, by the way) but I didn’t want to intrude on the other patrons.

It just might be one of my favorite places to eat.

Happy Sunday.

Comments

  1. Diane says

    Wow– great place, great looking food, great advice– and it pleased me to know I do most of the suggestions on that print. Maybe I should tack a copy to the corner lightpost! :)

  2. Cranberry Morning says

    I think I have a bit of repressed hippie in me, for I’ve always thought places like that were so much fun. Looks like you had a great time! I think I need to place a copy of that poster on the wall above my desk. Nice post, Claudia!

  3. kim says

    That looks like a fun restaurant and whatever you were eating looked fab! BTW – you’re so pretty you don’t really need makeup anyway.

  4. Linda @ A La Carte says

    That looks like such a fun place to eat and the food does look good!! You look wonderful and I must say you have a beautiful face. On the cusp of a big birthday let me say you look ‘ marvelous darling! ‘

    hugs, Linda

  5. Poppy says

    Hi Claudia,

    You and Don look so very comfortable together ( Manhattan train ride, and other pics), like you actually WERE made for each other! How lucky you are. From the posts that you have shared, I can honestly say that you give new meaning to the phrase, ‘significant other’. And because of this bond, you will always feel magical, wherever you are!

    Re: your ‘natural look’…it becomes you!

    xo
    Poppy

    • Claudia says

      Thank you, Poppy. He is definitely my soul-mate. I know that is overused these days, but it really holds true for us.

  6. Regula says

    This place is so beautiful. I’d love to sit there with you and have a bite and talk. :-) We are going out to Constance, Germany tonight having dinner in a Greek restaurant called Pan. I haven’t been there for three years. I don’t like fancy restaurants either.

    • Claudia says

      I wish you could visit, Regula – I’d make sure we stopped in at this restaurant. Have a nice night out tonight.

    • Claudia says

      Don had the meal in the first picture. Can’t remember what it was but it had chicken in it. That homemade bread was great – I think if was banana bread. I had the other meal and it was Spinach and mushroom quesadillas.

  7. Sandra @Beneath this Roof, Within these Walls says

    How cool is that?!!!! I love it, and the food looks so good! I think one could spend the whole day there just looking at everything. Can you IMAGINE the work that goes into keeping all that clean and dust free?
    I gave up wearing anything that is not comfy a long time ago, and if I have to dress up, I would generally rather stay home.
    I think the last time I put makeup on was for my daughter’s wedding in May. Who decreed that women should paint their faces, curl their hair, stuff themselves into uncomfortable clothing, jam their feet into shoes that distort their feet, etc? You are lovely, just as you are!!! As am I, as are we all!

  8. Nana Diana says

    What a great place you found there- I just love it. What a lot of wonderful artwork and whimsy to surround yourself with. I love it. Great photo of you. Don did good!!! xo Diana

  9. Pat says

    Claudia! Don’t you just love places like that? The ceiling in there with the hubcaps is so, so cool! The artwork is neat too.
    I read every single thing on that poster. I love it! All good advice and wonderful suggestions.
    Glad you shared it. Also glad you shared the photo…you are a beautiful woman. Happy Birthday my friend! ~Pat

  10. Paula says

    What a fun place! The food looks great as well!

    I have to get one of those posters! Thanks for linking to the website! It is perfect for our small town, and describes the community feeling here so well!

  11. Charlotte MacDiarmid says

    Claudia you and Don were made for each other.. You two are so blessed to have each other. It’s great that you enjoy the same type of things, places. The restaurant looks like it is very interesting and the meal you had looks scrumptious..
    I like to go to Cracker Barrel because of the food and the interesting decorations that are on the walls and the ceiling. I love country things. Is there one in your town ?
    I send my best wishes to you for a very happy birthday week and an especially nice birthday day. Did you know that your blog is on Susan Branchs favorites list ?
    Birthday hugs,
    Charlotte in Va.

    • Claudia says

      Yes, I did know that, Charlotte and I’m honored. I mean… Susan Branch likes me??? Yay!
      We don’t have a Cracker Barrel in our town but we do have one about a half an hour away. We go there occasionally – love their biscuits!

  12. Jane says

    I love places like this, Claudia. When we find a cozy comfortable restaurant, we stick with it! I read a lot of restaurant reviews…with the high cost of eating out, we can’t afford hit or miss. I love the decor here and the food looks fabulous!

    Great pics of you and Don. You both look content and relaxed! Have a great day!

    XO,
    Jane

    • Claudia says

      Thanks, Jane. Yes, I know wat you mean about money – we don’t eat out all that often, so when we do we choose an old, reliable favorite.

  13. Cindy Powell says

    I love the “how to build community” words. I clicked on the link you provided and they have it on a bookmark. I love, love, love bookmarks. I’m going to order some as stocking stuffers! Thanks for sharing.

    • Claudia says

      What a great idea, Cindy! I have to return to that site because I didn’t notice they had bookmarks.

  14. Donnamae says

    Looks like a fun place to eat out! What exactly did you have? My idea of dressing up is a clean pair of jeans and a nice top! You look great without make-up! Enjoy your day! ;)

    • Claudia says

      Don had something with chicken in it – I can’t remember the name of the dish and he’s taking a nap right now. I had the dish in the second photo and it was Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas and it was YUMMY. Don’s meal also had some homemade banana bread, which I, of course, had to have.

  15. rebecca says

    Funky & Magical. What a great combination. I really, REALLY like this place! And the two of you look very relaxed and happy here. I’m sure I would be totally fascinated, too. I’d love to see it in person. (And Happy Upcoming Birthday!)

    • Claudia says

      Thank you, Rebecca. Yes, I bet you’d love it there. All that atmosphere and great food besides!

  16. Melanie says

    That is my kind of restaurant! I love funky and unique ~ even better when the food is delicious. (And yours certainly looked so!) There’s a place like that in the town that my husband grew up in (Evanston, IL). It’s called The Lucky Platter and has funky decor all over like the place you visited. Unfortunately, we don’t get to Evanston often – just a few times a year. But we always have to have lunch at The Lucky Platter!

    • Claudia says

      I bet a lot of towns have something funky and fabulous. When we are in San Diego, we go to The Big Kitchen, this wonderful funky place with fabulous breakfasts run by Judy ( who is a wonderful person and an activist for all sorts of important causes.) That’s our favorite place.

  17. Annette Tracy says

    That is my kinda restaurant. The food looked amazing. And yes, it looks like it would be fun to linger over a cup of coffee and soak in the environment. I’m sure they had so much fun decorating it. You look so peaceful in that photo. I’m sure you’re going to have a wonderful birthday week!

    • Claudia says

      I hope so, though Scout is under the weather and we had to take her to the Vet today. They are running all sorts of tests on her. I am obviously really worried about her. Say a prayer for her, Annette.

      • Annette Tracy says

        Oh dear, I certainly will. You and Brenda are certainly having trying times with your pupsters. Sending prayers for Scout to get better fast.

  18. Beverly says

    It definitely looks like a place we would enjoy, too. We’re always looking for local places in our town and out of town. I really don’t enjoy chain eating.

    Great photo, Claudia, and great one of Don, too. You re a great blessing to each other. My husband and I are so blessed, too.♥

  19. Sue says

    The food looks delicious Claudia. The restaurant looks like it was decorated by hippies ( as a hippie I can say that is a great compliment). I agree with Don that is a lovely picture of you.

  20. Shanna says

    Cute place. With all of the Mexican and Asian influences in food and decor, these owners must have done some time in the Southwest before ending up in the Northeast…very Santa Cruz looking. Made me a tiny bit homesick for a minute.

  21. Laura says

    I can tell I would love everything about that wonderful restaurant and for pete sakes, Claudia, you look amazing without makeup. Done is right, it is a great photo.

    Hugs,
    Laura

  22. Ann says

    Oh my gosh Claudia, I love places like this! How wonderful that you are close to it and can enjoy it every so often. It reminds me of a little place we used to go to in Orlando called The Dandelion Communitea Cafe. Lost of local art work and whimsical decor. And the food the best! It was vegan and I am not, but I loved their food – just goes to show you, you miss out if you don’t try another way of eating. Your picture is lovely. The last time I had make up on was at my son’s wedding Sept 2011. I just don’t wear it! Ann

  23. Mrs. Magpie says

    I enjoyed the tour of the restaurant. I always love artsy places like that. Bohemian Chic. Did I spell Bohemian correctly? Sorry. I don’t know how to use spellcheck on Fred’s Ipad. ;-0

    There was a restaurant in Brookesville that always reminded me of Green Gables. I expected Anne to come out and greet us. The house had a storybook feel. Two friends and I used to drive there on occasion to eat and always enjoyed it so much, but it burned some time back. It was called The Fireside Inn. I really miss it so I understand how you could love that special place. There is another restaurant that is in Florida that has a very unique look, and it is the Chalet Suzanne. It’s in Lake Wales and is charming, too, but not quite as artistic as the one you shared with us.

    And I love the pictures of both of you. And what birthday is this, Claudia? You look young for any age!

    XO,

    Sheila

  24. LuvWheaties says

    Oh, that is so my kind of restaurant! The food looks really terrific, too! The next time I am in San Diego, I will have to try The Big Kitchen. I’ll ask my nephew if he has eaten there, and tell him I understand they have fabulous breakfasts. Love the building community poster, too. Thanks for the link.

    • Claudia says

      The Big Kitchen is fabulous – the owner is “Judy the Beauty on Duty.” – I think I have that right!

  25. Sandy says

    Sounds like a lovely afternoon! This looks like my kind of restaurant. I like the pictures of you and Don. You both look relaxed. Love the wall saying about Community.

  26. Leann says

    How cool I love places like this! the food looks wonderful too!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Leann

    PS – Looks like you are going with the celebrity trend of photos with no make-up:)

    You look great BTW!

  27. Mary says

    Hey, who needs a Thanksgiving dinner this week after those portions, ha! ha! I love good veggie quesadillas – I could have shared that one with you, looked amazingly tasty! Don looks so laid back – just needed his guitar – I could imagine him strumming quietly in that cozy, colorful restaurant as you enjoyed coffee. When one comes across a place such as this it’s a keeper – just too many cookie cutter chain restaurants around these days – same in every town.

    You look lovely Claudia – I’ve been using less makeup on my travels. As we age I think less is often better – we look smoother and brighter without it.

    Here’s to a happy week dear – Mary X

    • Claudia says

      The portions were huge. I probably ate too much. All I know is that I was full for quite a long time!

  28. Haworth says

    Oh! what a magical place, Claudia! If I lived nearby I would stop there at least once a week for a cup of coffee, just to be absorbed into all that whimsy. You’re so lucky to have it so close by. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

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