Dagsboro Café offers family recipe for good eats

Anyone who has driven through Dagsboro on a Thursday evening may have noticed a giant chicken dancing outside the Dagsboro Café. Those inclined to investigate further may have met Kathy Parrish and her family, the new owners of the café.

Coastal Point • Kevin Roberts: The Dagsboro Café chicken mascot poses next to the restaurant’s sign on a recent Thursday evening.Coastal Point • Kevin Roberts
The Dagsboro Café chicken mascot poses next to the restaurant’s sign on a recent Thursday evening.

Open Tuesday through Sunday, right on Main Street, the Dagsboro Café offers a variety of old-fashioned American eats. Whether diners are looking for a friendly place to grab a quick breakfast of eggs and pancakes, some homemade soup for lunch, or the famous chicken-and-dumplings, they’ll find it at the Dagsboro Café.

Though the economy can be rough on small businesses, Parrish and her family keep their spirits high and their customers happy.

“We have several regular guests asking us to please stay in business. So many people enjoy our food and our friendly, family atmosphere,” said Parrish. “I’ve always loved to cook. I used to make so much food for family parties that my children would ask, ‘When’s the army coming?’ We recently were honored to cater an event for the National Guard, feeding about 800 honorable men and women; so I finally got to feed an army!” she noted with a laugh.

The Parrish family loves to make food so much, in fact, that they have reached beyond the walls of their family business.

“We keep our prices low and our portions high, and we make sure that nobody leaves hungry,” said Parish. “Feeding people is such a pleasure. In fact, I use the broth left over from chicken-and-dumpling night to make soup for the Dagsboro Church of God soup kitchen. We’re also working with the Just Soup Ministry and have a local farmer that stops by to pick up scraps for his animals. We try to waste as little as we possibly can. We all need to work together to weather these tough economic times.”

There’s more to the family feel of the café than just atmosphere, too. Parrish’s entire family plays a role in the operation of the business.

“We’re family-owned and -operated, so there’s always a member of the family here in the café,” Parrish noted. “My son Steve has been managing, cooking, waiting and washing dishes; but he’s still always smiling. I work a full-time job elsewhere, so I can only be in on weekends and evenings, but with my husband’s assistance we make homemade soups, meatloaf and roll our own meatballs.”

“My daughter Ginny is our baker,” Parrish added. “She has a bachelor’s degree in medical and research technology but has always enjoyed baking.

“She started ‘My Brother’s Bakery’ to specialize in making cakes that are allergy-free. She just made a cake recently for a child who is allergic to eggs, nuts and milk,” Parrish pointed out. “For the first time ever, this child will be able to celebrate her birthday with a special cake made for her that she can actually eat! What a pleasure to put a smile on that mother’s face!

“My older son, Bill, is our financial consultant,” Parrish said. “He’s always been the practical one in the family. Bill keeps me grounded, reminding me that this is a business with lots of bills to pay.”

Dagsboro Café offers a wide selection of food, from their Friday-night pasta specials to their mega breakfast combos featuring eggs, pancakes and a choice of breakfast meat.

“Our specialty is comfort food, but we’ve been introducing some healthy choices to our menu as well,” said Parrish. “Our subs are the best in town! We put plenty of meat and toppings on our subs, and they definitely require two hands to eat. Steve is running a buy-one-get-one-free sub deal on Friday nights (for a limited time).”

The café offers breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner on Thursday and Friday from 4 to 9 p.m.

“Our pancakes are becoming famous around town!” Parrish exclaimed. “I’ve actually had a few guests tell me they had dreams about our fresh blueberry pancakes and couldn’t wait to come in! Our waffles, served with fresh berries and cream, are also popular, along with our pulled pork, beef stew, macaroni and cheese and, of course, chicken and dumplings.

Parrish said the café is thriving on input from its patrons and is doing its best to bring in return visitors and new ones.

“We love to hear from our guests about what should be served, and we offer comment sheets for suggestions,” she said. “We also have an e-mail list where we distribute a bi-monthly newsletter. Everyone, of course, loves to see our chicken man on Thursday’s chicken-and-dumpling night.”

Dagsboro Café can also help with parties and business events.

“We offer catering services for large or small groups,” said Parrish. “If you have a special event or meeting to plan, just let us know. We’ll even arrange special hours here at the restaurant, outside our normal business hours.”

As if the food were not enough of a reason to check out the café, there are a number of events planned as the weather warms up. On April 4, from 8 to 11 a.m., they’ll be having breakfast with the Easter Bunny. There will also be an Easter egg hunt that afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

“We’re asking that parents register children for the hunt by March 31; and request that large parties call in advance,” Parrish noted, adding, “In May we’ll be planning a Mother’s Day brunch. We’re also planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the near future, as well as scheduling some community projects.”

“I want to thank all of my family, friends and, of course, my guests for their prayers and support.” Parrish concluded. “With God’s help and our friend’s support, we can continue to enjoy our restaurant and provide all of our guests with good food and great service!”

Dagsboro Café is located at 33168 Main Street in Dagsboro. Additional information can be located online at www.dagsborocafe.com or by e-mailing dagsborocafe@verizon.net. They can also be reached at (302) 732-9070.