Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fullbrooks Cafe

by Annie Beecham

Fullbrooks Café in Nelsonville lies one block east of the beaten path of Route 33. The three miles of the notorious highway, littered with fast food restaurants, gas stations and beer drive thrus, encompassed the whole of Nelsonville that I’d ever known, until I made a sharp right at the Rocky Boots Outlet one bright fall morning and landed in a place I had heard of, but never been: the Historic Nelsonville Square. The Square is void of chains and traffic. Instead, art galleries, gift shops, a few restaurants, the Stuart Opera House and the Fullbrooks Café, a one-room coffee shop, line the edges of the Square. In the center is a strip of grass and a fountain; thin streams of water tumble from its spouts. The few people milling around—adults perhaps on lunch breaks, adolescents riding bikes aimlessly—contribute to the feeling that time is moving slowly.

Passing through Fullbrooks’ farmhouse-red door, the first thing I notice is the café’s petite size. Fullbrooks takes up just a corner room of the historic Dew House Hotel, built in 1830, which is now divided into assisted-living apartments. A tantalizing spread of homemade cookies, muffins, breads, pies and quiches rests on the counter. They’re baked fresh daily by employee Jennifer Abbott, who dreams up the recipes herself—the cookies are so popular, she sometimes has to restock with a new batch midday. Two person tables, paired with red chairs, line the room, and music emanates faintly from a sound system. The café serves breakfast (bagels, English muffins, oatmeal) and lunch (soup and fresh sandwiches with all the toppings: deli meat, hummus, pesto and more), and of course, brews coffee and every other warm beverage one would expect from a cafe. I order a large latte and fresh banana nut muffin, drizzle a bit of Mesquite honey atop, and find a table near the window to watch the Square, a sweet respite before I return back to campus and class.

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