In between running errands, wife Kathy and I-always in search of a better diner-stopped in Chelmsford’s Vinyl square, parked just beyond the shop advertising “LIVE BAIT”, and went for the 1st time ever to Rosie’s Diner. One of the “off shoots” of the diner empire begun by the various sisters of Lowell’s 4 Sisters “Owl Diner” fame, immediately recognizable as such when Rosie herself, sizzling up a storm in front of the griddle, turned towards the door–and recognized us in the way that Lowell people tend to recognize folks (and then tell you who is married to who and whose sister used to be married to whose cousin, “you know her, she’s the daughter of…”) as she shouted with a huge smile; “Hi honey! How are you two doin’ honey?!”
Rosie does it right. For starters, the table greeting came from a waitress that I imagined was a starving actress, working a diner in NYC maybe, trying to pay the rent. In my fantasy world, on this day, she was “in character”, practicing her next role as “sheepish and adorable”. Because, it is hard to believe anyone could actually be so, naturally. She had naturally red hair like you only find in the Lowell area (and Ireland), and a sheepish and adorable smile that you can’t mistake if you go.
Coffee tableside, as soon as we sat down, from one of her team mates.
The minute our menus closed, the order was taken, within minutes the eggs were delivered steaming and delicious, and the whole perfect diner experience was topped off with a visit from Rosie herself. Working the tables like the best restaurant owners do; with genuine joy and welcoming.
From that point on, our coffee cups were full always (made so by 3 servers) our water was full always, our creamers were re filled, our status checked on constatntly; “Are you ok honey?”, “How you doin over here?”, “Do you guys need anything else?”, as all three servers worked the room in an improvised but purposeful dance between tables, one circling behind the next without interruption, delivering food, resetting tables, clearing plates, and greeting new arrivals. All guests belonged to each, and nothing went unnoticed.
Finally, when doing the whole Lowell/Boston bean thing with breakfast, blow off Cote’s Beans and go with Rosie’s!
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