Saturday, December 01, 2007


Living in Lake Wobegon

Sitting in the Cottage Cafe over a recently "warmed up" cup of coffee, I stared out the plate glass window while an inch of snow accumulated, I realized that if I don't live in Lake Wobegon, I don't live that far from it either.

The Cottage Cafe is an authentic diner of this region. Not an old-time railroad-car style diner, nor a 50s style diner, nor a breakfast nook of a place with cozy booths, the Cottage has a large, square dining room filled with formica tables and bathed in the cool glow of flourescent lights. The warmth of the place is provided by a combination of well-made comfort food and friendly waitresses who volunteer just a wee bit more than you want to know about them.

In the entrance-way "air lock," where we button up our coats on the way out into the snow, we a bulletin board covered in tacked-up leaflets advertizing such matters as used dairy equipment for sale, and a "meat raffle."

Lake Wobegon's Chatterbox Cafe undoubtedly looks like this. It resembles the Hollywood version of a warm and cozy diner about as much as a real gen-exer's New York apartment resembles the huge New York loft apartments of the movies.

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