Somewhere Over the… Railroad Tracks

My home away from home.

I’ve always wanted to be a regular somewhere; one of those people who can walk into a restaurant and have everybody know my name (cliché, I know) and my order. After years of tasting disappointing food and meeting my fair share of creepy people who I’d rather not have remember my name, I’ve finally found my place, Dominick’s Bakery Cafe. It’s nestled on the corner of one of the busiest streets in Staten Island, but everything slows down inside.

As soon as I walk in off of New Dorp Lane and through the brick entrance and flowing black and white curtains, I find my first prize for having dodged the loonies lurking outside the train station across the street: the smell. Dominick’s is a bakery/restaurant, and the aromas from the kitchen in back, the coffee bar across the small, dimly lit room, and the enormous bakery counter up front are divine.

I usually snap out of my cookie coma just in time to be greeted by a handful of friendly faces. At first I found it strange that these people are always so happy, running around like madmen serving people in this cramped little corner restaurant. The more I came back, though, the more I understood that it’s impossible to be anything but happy here. If everyone were fortunate enough to have a boss as friendly and hard working as Dominick, who makes a point to introduce himself to new patrons and reward his employees with sweet little baked gratuities, a mass of loyal customers, and a sweet smelling and looking environment to work in, there would be a lot less cranky workers out there.

Anyway, once I manage to tear myself away from the bakery counter, only after planning out my dessert and which baked goods I’ll be sending to friends and relatives, and plop myself down at the table closest to the coffee bar, I rarely wait more than a minute before having a big black and white mug (my favorite colors, for the record) of coffee placed down in front of me by yet another smiling waitress. I wave away the menu since I’ve had it memorized since the place opened about a year ago, and I order one of my twenty-or-so favorites.

Don't be deceived by its simplicity.

Now, I may only weigh in at a whopping ninety-eight pounds, but I assure you, I can and do eat quite a bit. Dominick himself has called me a bottomless pit; I take it as a compliment. Most often I’ll tackle a huge chicken marsala hero with a salad on the side, followed by a slice of seven layer cake and some black and white cookies for the road.

“Enjoy that metabolism while you can, Sweetie. And keep enjoying it here,” the sweet elderly counter-woman told me last week. I can assure her and all others who may care that I will do just that.

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1 Response to Somewhere Over the… Railroad Tracks

  1. Sabrina says:

    The thing about clichés…they are often true. I’ve always wanted that myself. Aah, I’m still searching.

    I love how well you paint this picture for me. It’s wonderfully written.

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