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  • Writer's pictureDoug Dunmire

The Little Village Cafe

Friends of Doug have been wondering: How is he surviving without his daily visit to Celts? Here is the answer....

A quintessential small town, corner diner survives American modernization in Fairhaven’s Little Village Café. Mitch welcomed me with a head nod from his regular spot at the end of the counter/bar on my first visit. After a bit I ask if he comes here often (an obvious yes since everyone knows his name and his order). He tells me he comes here daily and has lived around the corner since ’63. Before he leaves, he makes sure I notice his placemat - the only placemat in the Café - with a subtle smile of pride letting me know he’s the VIP of the place.

Everybody knows an authentic comfort place when they walk in; it’s affirmed by a smile and welcome from a server who still uses terms of endearment. The breakfast menu further confirms the comfort seeker’s hopes with bacon and eggs, waffles and pancakes along with a few Portuguese and Irish surprise embellishments (no surprise though, to anyone familiar with the ethnic influences of the area). The lunch menu with hot meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, meat pies, all with fresh vegetables to ease the guilt, continues the comfort theme.

All of the homey charm would easily make this anyone’s favorite and it’s certainly become mine (besides the fact that it’s the only breakfast and lunch place in town).However, an inquiry about the origins of the light airy bread roll “Pop” revealed Monica as the source of the Little Village’s magic.Monica tells us about the pops she orders and picks up in the mornings from a Portuguese bakery in New Bedford.Well, the idea of a local bakery got me thinking about the hardworking craftsmen at the Fairhaven Shipyard Marina (and perhaps my constant craving for bakery goods) and I thought maybe they would enjoy a sample of Portuguese bakery items.She quickly agreed to pick up a dozen or so of her favorites.The next morning she placed a huge box of pastries in front of us(no charge) opening and describing each delicacy.After a delivery tax, we left the box with Bryan at the shipyard, who assured us there would be plenty of takers as more than half the crew at the shipyard were Portuguese or like himself Poirish (half Portuguese and half Irish).All day long, and for days after, craftsmen were nearly stammering describing their favorite cannoli-like pastry.Monica’s knowing smile as I told her the reactions completed the circle of kindness and warmth that is the magic of Fairhaven’s Little Village Café


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