Peabody Main Street board member
Peabody folks love their food. They love getting together, seeing old friends, and meeting new ones. Whenever they hear about church fundraising meals, school banquets, or concerts in the park, everyone shows up. Now no one has to wait for one of those occasions, because anyone can get three squares at one of three restaurants in town. They are either new establishments or under new management.
Pop’s Diner is in the building formerly occupied by Sharon’s Korner Kitchen. Years ago, Tim Peterson cooked for Sharon, but now he owns the place. The showstopper breakfast is the big meal for Peterson. He opens at 6 o’clock every morning, and those in the know get there early for the homemade waffles and strawberries.
Jylle Wilson is the baker and makes the pies, creampuffs, and other desserts. Peterson makes the cinnamon rolls. He says his most popular meals are Swedish meatballs, Peabody sausage, and “anything chicken-fried.” Old-timers home for a visit will recognize a familiar face on the wait staff — Bobby Saylor, who keeps order among the coffee drinkers at the long table and serves up the food orders. Pop’s is open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Farther down Main Street, Toni Chapman has opened Mendoza’s, a Mexican restaurant where Chapman does the cooking using old family recipes. Mendoza’s is a long colorful space with Mexican décor.
Chapman said she has been asked to hold dances in the space, and she is considering the idea. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., closed on Sundays and Tuesdays.
The restaurant has free wi-fi and Chapman said people are welcome to come in the afternoon to sit and enjoy the wi-fi and quiet.
Suppertime is her busiest time, and she thinks her most popular meal is pork burritos. The word is that the salads also are spectacular. On Wednesdays, the special is Italian food — cook’s choice.
Chapman is planning “walk away” food for May 26 — wraps and ice cream cups, things people can eat while they walk Main Street and take in the sights. She promises cherry limeades for the warmer weather, too.
Away from downtown Peabody, but still a part of the community, is the Coneburg Grill and Pub, now owned by Lindsey Marshall. The atmosphere is less beer-joint than it has been, and the menu is more varied, although Peabody still loves its fried food.
Wednesday nights the special is Cajun food. Weekend nights, there is a good chance live music is on tap. Sunday the Coneburg is open early for breakfast. Regular opening hour is 2 p.m., closed Mondays. The décor is interesting black and white old-time Peabody photographs that former residents should examine to see if they recognize anyone from their past.
The Coneburg will host a light lunch at noon in Santa Fe Park for the convenience of classmates and families who wish to gather for a picnic-style meal and visiting.
Peabody Main Street will host the evening meal under the tents on the Marshall Auction lawn, with musical entertainment and visiting among longtime friends and classmates.
The restaurants have coordinated their hours with none trying to be all things to all people. Something is always open, they all accept credit cards, offer a variety of food, and have friendly accommodating help.
During Memorial Day weekend, people back for reunions or Operation Celebration might add a gourmet’s tour to their plans. Everyone still should go to PBHS for the traditional Memorial Day luncheon, but perhaps this review will help pinpoint what else is available.
Choices, choices. What to have, where to go? Whatever you choose, connect with old friends and new experiences in your hometown. Everything old is new again, familiar stuff, old friends, a lively Peabody. Welcome Home!