Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sam's Cafe II

I've blogged before about Sam's Cafe in downtown Champaign, which is open on Thursday and Friday nights for authentic Lebanese food, made by Sam's wife, Dody.

Every other day of the week, it's your standard American-fare diner, open for breakfast and lunch only. I've never made it in there for lunch, but I loooooove their breakfasts. $3.40 will get you 2 eggs, sausage or ham, and toast or pancakes. I like the atmosphere: I love the cook and the waitstaff communicating to one another from across the room. I love that Sam knows everyone's name. I love the old-timey white coffee cups that remind me of my dad taking me to coffee shops in the late 60s. I love that you have to squeeze in and around, and no one minds.

And look what Sam's doing to his ceiling: He's letting his clientele advertise right there on his ceiling tiles! Oooo, I got so jealous when I saw those ceiling tiles; I immediately asked Sam how I could get my own. What would he charge me?

HE charges nothing, he said; it's just a fun way to decorate his restaurant and give his customers some recognition. The guy that makes the tile? They will charge me, depending on the design. Text? Graphics?

I raced home and emailed SDO Graphics, in Monticello. I was so sure I wanted a ceiling tile that I just sent them the text, the graphics, and everything, and said "give me a price for THIS!"

SDO Graphics left a message on my answering machine. "The price," the message said, "is nothing. We think what you're doing is great, and we're going to donate the tile, the text, and the graphics. It will be in on Saturday."

Look! There we are! Couldn't you just hug everyone?!

C'mon. Scrape up $3.40 (+ a tip, don't forget) and go see our tile! We're famous now!


  1. ^5 to Sam and to SDO Graphics!

    TfT is really getting out there =)

  2. I guess you couldn't take a right-side-up picture?

  3. Not sure that I needed to stand on my heid this early in the morning :)

    It is good that you are getting such widespread support from your local community.

  4. StFarmer8:22 AM

    Nice things happen to nice people.

  5. That's AWESOME. I've always wanted to stop at Sam's and now I will make a point of it.

  6. Larry: I could have crawled over people, Larry, but you know how shy I am. I considered flipping the photo, but then the ceiling was on the floor...

    DBA: Just turn your monitor upside down. Easy!

  7. That is super cool. I can't believe all those years I worked downtown I never went there. I really want to do Lebanese one of these nights ...

    Thanks for a feel-good story.

  8. Oh, I am so going to Sam's! I've been wanting to find a cheap but yummy breakfast spot besides Sammy's Cafe. I mean, I LOVE me some Sammy's, but it can get a little pricey! I love what he's doing with the ceiling adverts. Too cool. And TOOOOOO cool that SDO did that for free!

  9. Greato, about the tile! That's fabulous. And -- I had NO idea Sam's serves Lebanese food on Thursdays and Fridays! I need to check that out.


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