Saturday, October 30, 2010
Eating out in the Chesters: Marilyn’s Cafe
If you love great food and reliability, you can count on Marilyn's Cafe in Chester to be open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day of the year. And if you happen to like Marilyn Monroe, that's just an added bonus.
"On Christmas day, every single thing in this town is shut up, even the diner," says owner Marilyn Masaitis. "We're more than happy to stay open for our customers."
Masaitis, a grandmother of eight, may just be the hardest-working woman in town.
"I'm here almost 365 days a year," Masaitis says. "I might get four days off a year with all my grandchildren. I have eight grandchildren, and I spend one week a year with them."
The rest of the year, she's making sure her tiny cafe is pumping out great food that might even put most diners to shame.
"I don't want my girls to give 100 percent," Masaitis says. "I want them to give 110 percent."
And they do, bringing out a diverse menu of things that range everywhere from steak and eggs to fried chicken. The menu even features scrapple.
"Scrapple is every end of every piece of pork that's compressed into a piece of meat," Masaitis says. "It sounds bad, doesn't it?"
But the people here love it, and Masaitis attributes its popularity to the mere fact that most people in the area have never seen it on a menu before.
"People don't sell it," Masaitis says. "It's like a Southern item, and you just don't go to places to get scrapple."
Besides the excellent food, Marilyn's has a very homey feeling everyone can enjoy.
"It's very family-oriented, and everybody knows everybody here," Masaitis says. "The place caters to the people, more than a diner."
It's also dolled up much more than a diner, too, with the walls covered with memorabilia of everybody's favorite blond bombshell, Marilyn Monroe.
"The Marilyn's theme is because I am Marilyn," Masaitis says. "I was born in 1957, and I was named after Marilyn Monroe. I was supposed to be a boy and ended up to be a girl, and that's the reason for the theme."
Masaitis has been in town for more than 20 years and has warm feelings for her customers and Chester in general.
"I just love the people, and I just want to thank each and every one of them for keep coming, even during this bad time," Masaitis says.
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WHERE: 21 W. Main St., Chester
TELEPHONE NUMBER: 908-879-4340
HOURS: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day
PAYMENT: Cash only
THE SCENE: This cozy place has Marilyn Monroe memorabilia up the wazoo, and it's wonderful
ATMOSPHERE: This family-friendly shop is the perfect place to enjoy an excellent breakfast or lunch.
CATERING: Small jobs only, up to 30 people
PARKING: Plentiful parking in the shopping mall lot
OWNER: Marilyn Masaitis