aunt mary’s cafe, circa 2015

On November 6th, 2022, Aunt Mary’s Cafe opened its doors for one last time, ending an era of about 14 years as a breakfast and lunch joint (with a couple of attempts to add dinner) in the Temescal neighborhood. The last few weeks leading to the last day were filled with emotions for all of us, staff and customers alike. We had been down to the barebone of staff working days in days out for months, due to the employment shortage, yet all of us came in to work with such an abundant energy — the driving force was that we were going to see this through to the end and go out with a bang. And it sure felt like it: the line was out of the doors every days for those last two weeks. Regulars, some of whom we had not seen since Covid hit, came in with flowers, cards, concerns, good wishes… Families with kids who had been in mommies’ tummy now teenagers came to have one more time their favorite dishes. Lots of hugs, lots of appreciation, but the most frequent question folks would ask was that “where am I going to get that [pie, dish,…]?”

Jack and I had always been thinking of putting together an Aunt Mary’s Cafe cookbook, ever since we had become established in the neighborhood, but it was always in the back burner, together with other projects that we wanted to do for the cafe but less priority than, say, hiring a new staff, doing an emergency store run, or trying to find somebody to fix one of the waffle irons or the refrigerators… Anyway, those last two weeks had confirmed for us that we need to sustain the legacy we had started, through sustaining the dishes that we created, modified and were loved by the community. So here it is, after a year of hiatus and rest, I finally managed (in a leisurely pace) to share our most-loved dishes here, as a way to appreciate Aunt Mary’s folks, who had come and cherished us over the years in the neighborhood. It’s no fanfare, just simple and straightforward recipes — I have tried fool proofing some of them (I have no cooking background) and will continue to do so within the limit of our home kitchen.

Hope you enjoy them. Try them at home and let me know what you think? Thank you and do hope to run into some of you around town! Nu

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