New England Dining Reviews >>> Main Street Cafe, North Easton Village, MA
Main Street Cafe in North
Easton Village, MA, Brings us Back to Another Time and Place (CLOSED)
Article and photos by Eric H.
Sometimes, life offers no explanation to the way we instantly connect two places that seemingly have nothing to do with each other.
The minute I parked our car in front of the Main Street Cafe in North Easton Village, MA, the scenario immediately brought me back to happy childhood memories of running into the Colonel's Bakery, located in the beautiful Mt. Desert Island harbor community of Northeast Harbor, Maine, for perhaps a moon pie or muffin. Now I couldn't run into the Main Street Cafe like a kid because, at age 46, this type of move might have appeared to be quite odd. My mind, however, started running energetically while trying to figure out the warm and peaceful association between the two businesses.
At second glance, the Main Street Cafe and Colonel's Bakery differ greatly. Here in a suburban Boston town with no harbor and a faster pace, the Main Street Cafe serves breakfast and lunch with just a limited offering of baked goods. The Main Street Cafe's small-town, downtown location resides in a historic district, perfectly framed by open fields, trails and scenic ponds. The Ames Shovel Company made North Easton Village famous (providing shovels which laid the Union Pacific Railroad and opened the west in 1862) as well as H.H. Richardson's stunning Romanesque-style buildings that grace the historic district, to this very day.
The Colonel's Bakery had operated, until a tragic fire temporarily closed the business last July, as a bakery with just about every baked good under the sun. You'd be hard-pressed to find better-tasting, fresh, homemade baked goods, anywhere. The Colonel's also happened to feature a cozy restaurant in the back of the building with some amazing lobster dinners and clam chowder (and a memorable made-from-scratch Anadama bread). The short walk to the harbor and its perfect tranquility at scenic Clifton Dock always served as a second dessert, of sorts -- a real sweet treat to the senses.
Perhaps what creates memories of the Colonel's Bakery while eating at the Main Street Cafe can best be rationalized by the combination of historical charm, old-fashioned downtown wholesomeness, and an innate knack for serving perfectly-done comfort food. For the Colonel's, it might have been that sweeter-than-sweet fresh moon pie or muffin, and for the Main Street Cafe an unbeatable omelette, club sandwich, burger, tuna melt or homemade soup. Because there's always a sugar connection somewhere in life, perhaps the Main Street Cafe's hot fudge sundae equates, in a different form, to the Colonel's moon pies and muffins.
The Main Street Cafe's interior look also has a nexus to the Colonel's former appearance with plain, worn wood floors, a ceiling fan, a welcoming hometown wait staff, and detailed moldings that can be appreciated best in an older building or home. Additionally, Northeast Harbor and North Easton have somewhat of a similar look with a stretch of historical buildings that, pleasingly jar against each other, and thankfully, look out of place in today's vanilla strip mall dominance.
Life throws us curveballs in every inning of our blessed lives, so while similarities exist between the Main Street Cafe and Colonel's, there's ultimately no full logic in categorizing two businesses that operate differently and are located within completely opposite topographies. That's all right, though, as the Main Street Cafe brings joy to our breakfasts and lunches, and the Colonel's Bakery will do just the same in its baked goods glory when it reopens sometime this year.
The Main Street Cafe and Colonel's Bakery being "separated at birth" might sound far-fetched, but why fight and deny the way our minds work? You just have to go with the initial impressions, the possible rationale of those thoughts, and down a few moon pies, muffins and club sandwiches along the way!
For comparison's sake...
Colonel's Bakery, in Northeast Harbor, before the tragic fire...
And again, the Main Street Cafe
Northeast Harbor, Maine...
and North Easton Village, MA
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