N.D.G. gets its groove back with Mariposa, a 1960s-style café with live music
We were surprised as we walked up the few stairs to Mariposa and attached the mellow, folksy voice we heard to a face we knew: David Sherman, playwright, journalist, editor and teacher, singing original songs to a small audience.
Looking at the half-dozen wooden tables with benches and chairs facing the piano and David on acoustic guitar with Paul Paré on electric guitar, I was brought back to the coffee-house scene of the 1960s, where we ate and drank anything but alcohol, listened to live music and give the art and artist the attention and respect they deserved. We soaked up every word, note and nuance. Remember? There’s nothing quite like Mariposa. It’s got atmosphere, it’s cozy and the food and drink are served at your table. There are Indian ceiling lamps and local artists’ work is on display.
The dinner menu is written on a small blackboard. There are five or six choices at $12.95 including salad. The homemade hamburger of olden days that Irwin ordered and my exotic, spicy Thai tofu and rice dish are secret Mariposa recipes that will have me going back for more.
Victor, the owner, says they use the secret sauce on their ribs on Thursdays for Ribs and Blues night. Other offerings included the sweet chili carson salad, the manicotti with fresh pomodoro sauce and the newly added chicken brochette.
Sherman’s music is folky and romantic and the lyrics speak to me of my youth: “I know I’m not sane but I try over and over again …” and, “When I find my love/she’ll look just like you/vampire and angel/kisses sweet as the sea” and my favourite, written to the woman who is obviously the love of his life, Francine: “If there’s no forever, I’m gonna love you right here.”
While David was wrapping up his hour-long set, Irwin and I finished our dinners and ordered latte and maple rooibos tea. Victor and Sue (his partner in work and in life) offer a variety of specialty teas including Moroccan mint and ginger and cinnamon.
Later we moved outside to a picnic table with an umbrella to cool off and sample two of the small homemade desserts, a tasty vanilla cupcake and a lemon poppyseed muffin, just like mama never made. These morsels are a taste of the past, as is Mariposa, which is named after the Mariposa folk festival in Ontario. It means butterfly in Spanish. Victor saw James Taylor and Joni Mitchell in 1969 at the festival, then held on Toronto Island. I indulged in my own memory of seeing James Taylor in Burlington in 1990.
If you’re sad you missed this special evening, you can replay it and better Friday, June 10. Sherman performs at 7:30pm, opening for Stephen Barry and Andrew Cowan playing Blues at 8:30pm. Thursday, June 9, Victor C. sings and plays guitar before the open mike begins at 8:30pm. Saturday, June 11, Different Hats, a five-piece cover group, performs light rock from the 1960s and 1970s. Mosey on down for groovy grub and great performances. Mariposa is open four days a week. Weekends, enjoy brunch from 10am to 3pm.
Thursday and Friday, 3pm to 11pm; Saturday 10am to 11pm and Sunday: 10am to 4pm. Memorize those hours. We’ve got a date to hear Sherman play again! Groovy!