While I was driving into Celebration one morning last week, I was struck by how well the community has grown up. I recall when Celebration first sprang up, back in the mid nineties, and everything looked too new, too manufactured, too plastic. The white rail fencing that lined many of the roads was indeed plastic. There were the inevitable references to Stepford Wivery ways. Orlando Sentinel columnist Greg Dawson wrote about an encounter he and his wife, Candy, had with a young couple out walking the dog in one of the then-new neighborhoods. The two couples stopped to chat and during the conversation Dawson came to realize that the couple with the dog had been hired to stroll about to give the place a homey air. I don’t know if that story was ever fully verified, but I also don’t recall anyone ever disputing it. On the other hand, one of my references to the aforementioned plastic fencing resulted in several calls from Disney brass and the eventual publishing of a well-crafted (and surprisingly pre-vetted) letter to the editor of Florida magazine.
I looked closely at the fences last week and I couldn’t tell they were made of anything but white-washed wood. And the once bare boulevards now have tall trees and mature landscaping. Celebration now looks as though it has been around for decades. Why, last year it even had its first case of murder, placing it right alongside just about ever other community in the state.
So there was no reason to expect fake friendliness at Market Street Cafe, my breakfast destination. But it would have been nice if someone had pretended they were happy to see a customer come in the door. It would have been nicer if one of the two staffers standing behind the counter right in front of where I had taken a seat had said, “Good morning.” Or, “Someone will be with you shortly.” Or, “Could I get you a cup of coffee while you wait?” But no, I was not their concern, so there was no need to acknowledge my presence. I would have to wait for the fellow who looked after the lunch counter to finish what he was doing.
By then I knew what I wanted, and, now rushed for time to make a morning meeting, blurted out my order.
It was for the country omelet, which had chunks of sausage, chopped peppers and cheese — American cheese, which probably indicated the country in the name. It was a nicely formed omelet and had ample amounts of fillings. The home fries that accompanied, however, were disappointing. Perhaps a bit too much cooking.
From the perch on my counter stool I had a good view of the behind the counter scene, which I found to be unnecessarily unkempt. But, I guess that’s all just a part of Celebration’s new unofficial motto: Don’t expect too much from us; we’re just like every place else.
Market Street Cafe is at 701 Front St. (you thought I was gong to say Market Street, didn’t you), Celebration. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. This link will take you to the Market Street Cafe Web site. The phone number is 407-566-1144.