Monday, August 1, 2016

Dinner & Destruction in Ellicott City

A typical date night for my husband and I… back in the day, was to go to Cacao Lane or Chez Fernand  for dinner. These eateries were the backdrop for our romance. They were both fine dining establishments on that main drag… that flash flooded in Ellicott City, Maryland over the weekend. Our hearts are so sad. It is a beautiful little historical town nestled in the heart of Howard County. And when you visit you are enamored. At Cacao Lane  we spent many a weekend and New Years Eve, upstairs where the music was. And downstairs at the restaurant… where we always ordered their Coquilles St. Jacques and Black Bean Soup. It was exquisite. The front window at Cacao was reserved for special occasions, and when you were lucky enough to nab one,  you could see the whole downtown alive with people. And buildings that had the character of the 1800's. Once… my husband and I were caught in a torrential downpour in Ellicott City due to the remnants of a hurricane that had hit the coast. That night we found sanctuary inside Cacao Lane... where they surprisingly gave us a window seat. We ordered our standard fare and watched as the street outside began to flood. Water rose above the curb and spilled onto the sidewalk coming dangerously close to the door. It was scary. But... we eventually made it home, by going uphill away from the river, after we finished eating. (That flood was nowhere near as bad as the one the other night.) I understand that window tradition for special occasions still remains, though Cacao has completely changed their menu, since we frequented it back in the 70’s. At Chez Fernand I learned to eat my first escargot. I couldn't handle the utensil they gave you to do that. It was spring loaded. So I somehow managed to shoot the snail shell across the room... over the heads, of other diners who were not amused. My husband and I could hardly contain our laughter. However, it was not the place for such antics even though it was unintentional. The French cuisine there was delectable and would rival Julia Child any day of the week. I heard the place burned down in 1984. The significance of this town to us personally, can not be overstated. It was where we ate, where we shopped, where we played. We have walked up and down that scenic hill, a million times over (where this devastation took place) and it was there... we both said , “I love you” to each other, for the very first time.”  Our hearts are heavy, as we watch the evening news and see this special place we love so dearly, totally in ruins. We are there with you in spirit Ellicott City… as you begin to rebuild what Mother Nature’s fury so cruelly obliterated.

If you want to help merchants and residents

Here are some YouTube videos

Back in the day cell phones did not exist and taking pictures when you courted was not a widely accepted practice. So we have few if any. So I do not know what the protocol is for sharing these things. I got the 1st picture from the Cacao Lane Facebook page. And the last pic from a govt site via Facebook too. The links to the videos were directly from YouTube.  Please forgive me if I overstepped any boundaries. 

PS) Once again my blog post is not showing up in the feed until hours later. What's up with that Blogger? 


Susan said...

Oh Taryterre, that is so sad. I am so very sorry. You and your hubs had special times in that place. Thank goodness you have your memories. I also want to take this time to say thank you to you for stopping by my blog. I appreciate every single visit soooo much. Susan

Jon said...

What wonderfully warm and pleasant memories. I can only imagine how sad you must feel seeing the recent destruction of the city. I hope the damage won't be permanent and things will eventually blossom again.

Google is definitely still behaving very strangely. My posts sometimes don't show up on the dashboard until hours after I post them.
I'm starting to doubt if this ongoing problem will ever be fixed.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

With wonderful memories like yours it's no wonder you're upset over the news of the flooding there. I hope they are able to restore things. Flooding does cause a lot of devastation.

Summer said...

How sad... But lovely to hear your wonderful memories ♥

jack69 said...

Well stated my dear, memories are so important in our lives. Sad occasions, suchvas this, also have a beautiful point, exhorting those memories. (but I cannot see the escargot thing, LOL)
BUT all in all sweet memories, from a sad occasion!

betty said...

Wonderful memories of a very special place for you and your hubby. Such a shame it was flooded so badly! I do hope their rebuilding efforts go smoothly.


Mevely317 said...

Laughing so hard about your escargot incident! It's been years and years, but I can still imagine their buttery, garlic-y goodness.
Coquilles St. Jacques? That's how I discovered I'm allergic to shellfish. :(

Loved this poignant post, Taryterre. What would we be without our memories!

Bobbi and Gracie said...

With your beautiful discription of how it was back then, you do not need pictures... I felt like I was there watching that snail shell sail across the room and I could feel the love. Beautiful post... And I am so sorry for the people and the town and all those who held close memories such as yours. Thanks for sharing!!

Red Rose Alley said...

Taryterre, what a special and sentimental place that you and your husband used to eat at. So sorry it took a turn for the worse and was destroyed from the floods. I think that window seat was meant for you and your husband. You know, I've never tried escargot before, and not sure if I want to. ;) How funny that it flew across the room when trying to eat it hahahaha. That is a classic story for sure. This place is so charming, I can see why it saddens you to see it go. But you have all the memories of it tucked away in your heart.

love, ~Sheri

baili said...

oh dear sorry for the loss but thank god you both have each other dear and that city will last in your hearts forever

Back Porch Writer said...

lol...on the snail shell flying across the room. lol lol lol