Friday, March 27, 2009


It can't be a lovelier day for this time of the year- the sky is a bright, cloudless blue, there's a nice brisk spring breeze but nothing unbearable, and the sun, oh yes, the sun :) And Jude and I kicked it off with a lovely breakfast at Selma Café. We've been meaning to go there for a couple of weeks now but only managed to do it today. Selma Café runs out of Lisa Gottlieb and Jeff McCabe's beautiful light-drenched home on the west side of Ann Arbor and is aimed not only at supporting seasonal and local foods but also creating and sustaining a community of people committed to the same ideals.

What draws Jude and I to Selma is the warm, down-home Ann Arbor vibe and also the fact that the whole outfit is completely volunteers- and donation-run. All proceeds go directly to the local farmers and producers that supply the ingredients and to non-profit groups working to expand access to healthy, sustainable food resources. Every week, people who'd like to help out can sign up online and help with the prep work on Thursday night and as wait staff on Friday mornings. The chefs (as well as the menu) rotates weekly and these are people who are either presently or formerly chefs in some of Ann Arbor's swankiest restaurants (like Logan or Eve) volunteering their services at Selma.

And all this out of a house, not that it's an overly huge house at that. The house was B-U-S-Y, many eating, many cooking, many serving, and all were in a great mood. Apparently, on busy days, they serve up to 160 meals out of Lisa and Jeff's kitchen. And not just milk and cereal- we're talking all-American breakfasts, big waffles, bacon, and fruit, and this morning, Spanish tortillas with chorizo, and house-cured ham with biscuits and gravy. The food was great— hearty and delicious. And there was granola, milk, bread and eggs for sale if you wanted. But even greater was the obvious fellowship and the sense of being connected to a community and the way in which the room buzzed around the shared love of food and place.

Jude and I will be back for sure- both as patrons and as volunteers. On top of joining the CSA this year, we think this is another good way for us to support the local food community and to reinforce our commitment to eating and preparing food more thoughtfully and wisely :)

1. Breakfast: Spanish tortillas with home-cured chorizo, 2. Self-serve bread, eggs, and firewood station, 3. Menu for 27 March '09, 4. Selma Cafe

1 comment:

panchobush said...

Hi Jude, Hi Serene,

So lovely to stumble across your post on Selma Cafe. Sounds like you had a fun time. I jumped in to the kitchen scene that day, trying to help us get through the extra 20 or so guest meals we experienced. I did not get to chat as much as I would have liked to.

Though our volunteer ranks are some 45 strong, we still struggle to fill all the time slots. We would love to have your efforts, your ideas, your creativity. We will be gearing up as well for our next Diner for a Day event, Sunday May 17 where will serve breakfast and lunch to about 200 people.

Hope to see you again soon. Jeff McCabe