When you walk into Elmer’s store in Ashfield and pick up a menu, you begin to get a sense of Nan Parati’s sense of fun. It’s her menu–filled with double entendre, puns and jokes that harken back to her New Orleans roots.
Ashfield has never been as cool as it is now, what with this wonderful place to dine and catch up with friends, and now, a festival called Winklepicker, planned for mid February that will bring big name Cajun stars to this little burg for two days of gumbo and fun. Chris Smithers will join Buckwheat Zydeco and there will also be cooking classes and a town full of Crescent City merriment. The goal is to create enough fun to chase away that terrible February feeling we all get about then. It’s set for Feb 17-19. Jim Olsen of Signature Sounds is organizing the music at the Ashfield Town Hall, and after-parties will fill Elmers with revelers. Not sure if beads are a part of the festivities but bring them anyway.
Whenever I sit down at a table at Elmer’s, it feels like I”m in the right place at the right time. Inevitably, someone I know will walk by, and inevitably too, my dining partner and I will be happy with our big breakfasts and the servers will make us feel welcome.
In the summer, I visited a friend with a vacation place up in Ashfield, and we drove past the crowd some sitting at tables outside of Elmers and others waiting in line to get in. We were headed for another Ashfield landmark, the Lake House, where the food isn’t nearly as good but the ambience always makes it worth the trip. We thought, we should have eaten at Elmer’s, but then getting a chance to take a swim in the lake at night made the Lake House a good choice too.