CORN ON THE CURB

Actually at the Garden Cafe on Junius in Old East Dallas they call it “Parking Lot Corn,” to be replaced soon by the “Back Yard Corn” in the big produce garden behind the little cafe that has the hominess of an East Texas diner but a lot better food.

Today the cafe was serving said corn, fresh-picked from a sliver of garden space in the parking lot adjacent to the cafe, as long as it lasted. Which didn’t appear to be long, judging from the crowd. How fresh is it? This morning, fairly new chef Bill Dietrich, formerly of the Lakewood Country Club, had to chase away a woman who had been filling up a shopping basket with purloined ears. He said they have so many would-be corn filchers they have given them a nickname: “crows.”

My lunch of fresh corn, freshly sliced carrots in butter sauce, cornbread, and mom’s meatloaf, at under $7, was maybe the best choice in the city today. At least anything that involved hand-picking on the spot.

I’ve been trying to persuade my cohorts here that Garden Cafe is one of the great finds for breakfast or lunch (not to say monthly poetry night) in a neighborhood setting anywhere in town. So if you agree, let us know. Better yet, drop in for a bite. Next fresh batch is likely in a week, says owner Dale Wooten.

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