Wednesday, July 26, 2017

More Than Pleasantly Surprised by the Pleasant Cafe, and Other Local Good Stuff

A couple of weekends ago we had the luck of having a date night. Our daughter was at a birthday party sleepover and we were faced with a whole day of time to ourselves. I wanted to keep it local, but I also felt like I wanted to do something different.

We dusted off our tandem bike (it hadn't gotten out last year), and took the rail trail toward Stow. We even took it up into parts of the Assabet Wildlife Refuge.

While on the trail, we stopped to check out the new kayak launch at Ice House Landing. It looks really cool, and it's great that there's a parking lot just across the rail trail from it. So you can park your car and just walk your kayak across the trail and you're in the water. Kayakers have told me that one of the selling points is that you don't have to get your feet wet to get in the water. (If only there were a place that rented kayaks in town. How about near Ray and Sons, and they'd cart them over for you? Wishful thinking.)

Our nice, long bike ride led us to another Maynard Must—riding to Erikson's for ice cream. They were getting ready for their 80th anniversary celebration the next day.

In the evening there was an opening at 6 Bridges Gallery. The place was packed and people were having interesting conversations all around. There was the work of about 20 artists in this, their most recent, juried show with the theme of "connections," and many of the artists (from around the region) were in attendance.

Since we were sans kiddo, we decided we could really adult and have dinner at 9:00pm. That's right, the hour before 10:00! My husband wanted to have steak, and we needed to find a place to eat that would be open and serving at that hour. That's how we ended up at the Pleasant Cafe—they had steak tips on the menu, and they were open late. Let me just be honest here, I have lived in Maynard for twenty years and I had never been inside the Pleasant Cafe. I know, I know, shame on me, but my husband and I aren't really bar people, so unless the food is good, we're not going. Lucky for us, the food was excellent.

I had clam chowder to start, and he had a caprese salad. My chowder was good—a slightly tangier version than what I've had, but I liked it. The salad was great. But the steak tips were really, really, really good. We weren't that hungry, so we shared it, and that was plenty. We got to choose two sides, and I might have to say that the onion rings might be the best in town. On a whim I figured I'd make a healthy choice and order some green beans, not expecting much. They were bright and crisp, and obviously very fresh. I was totally impressed.

It was a little loud in the cafe during our dinner because when we arrived there was a DJ setting up. By 9:30 people were hitting the floor dancing. I don't dance, but I live vicariously through others, and we were lucky enough to have Bruce Davidson and Nicole Kosersky there cutting the rug. Have you ever seen that woman dance? She's the one who has led the flash mob during the Spring ArtWalk, and dancing seems to be her vocabulary (though the flash mob video doesn't show her talent).

As I said, we hadn't ever been in the PC before, and didn't get to see it before it was remodeled, but I like the way it looks. There's a nostalgic feel to it, with their old sign hung on the wall and the tin ceilings. There were a lot of younger patrons, but there seemed to be many regulars. There was a nice mixed-age feeling in the room.

We had a really nice day in Maynard all around, and I'm certain we'll be heading back to the Pleasant Cafe again soon. You can follow them on Facebook, too. Here's a link. 


  1. You rebel, you! Dinner at 9:00? That's time to start wrapping things up for the night! LOL! Never been to the PC, either. It's always appeared to be a bit of a biker bar/pool hall, so it wasn't on our to-do list. Thanks for the info!

  2. Glad you like the dock--the happy result of investing in good wastewater treatment and getting a cleaner river. Next date night, come in a kayak!

  3. One more thing to look forward to upon my return. Can't wait!

  4. I hadn't been to PC since high school. I follow their fb and loved what I was seeing for food. On a recent visit home, I had lunch there. Loved it! Good job Frank.