An unassuming location sandwiched between a cash advance joint and a Budget Rental Car isn’t exactly the first place I look to find a community-supported, locally-sourced restaurant in a town where the chain restaurant is king. I suppose that’s part of what makes Lell’s Cafe so appealing; the location gives it that diamond-in-the-rough allure, and the owner’s faith in our farmers and community makes it an irresistible stop for anyone with an interest in supporting local food.
Lell’s is a Community Supported Restaurant (CSR), which means it doesn’t receive loans from banks. Rather, members of the community make financial investments in the venture in exchange for food and drink. But it’s so much more than money and food. To me, a CSR has a far greater mission. It’s about preserving the forgotten singularity of the American town, about supporting the economy and about becoming intimately aware of what real food is, where it comes from and why it’s important.
To say that I’m excited about this would be an understatement.
I had the veggie wrap above, which has hummus, spinach, carrots and (in the winter) a sun-dried tomato tapenade. Fresh tomatoes are only available when fresh tomatoes grow. I love that.
Stew started with a dirty chai, which is a chai latte with espresso, and a Tastes Like Summer sandwich, which is mozzarella, roasted red pepper, spinach and basil (only in season).
Stew also rounded the meal out with a ginger truffle.
This restaurant is exciting, inspiring and (from the looks of it when we were there) thriving. I look forward to many more visits and (hopefully) many more CSRs popping up around the country.