Wal-whatevers and golden arches." The Dixboro General Store, the Button Lady at Gibbons Antiques, the Lord Fox, the nineteenth-century church-they've long lent the hamlet its unique flavor.
But these days, the relative newcomer Moonwinks Café seems to be literally and figuratively the heart of Dixboro. Owners Roberta and Andy Tankanow, mother and son, opened their lively coffee shop in October 2006 in a former saddlery converted into small shops and offices and called Dixboro Shops at the Green. With deep ochre and red walls, upholstered banquettes, well-padded armchairs and well-spaced tables replacing the tack and leather, the café attracts a steady flow of customers.
They probably come for the mood more than the food. But the food's not bad-it includes wholesome lunch and breakfast choices as well as decadent sweets. You order at the counter off a chalkboard menu. An army of mainly teenaged girls rolls up wraps, tosses salads, pulls espressos, and ladles soup.
This is more assembling than cooking-the combining of various goods, many from familiar local sources. The one major exception is the soups, most of which are made on-site. Those I tried could use some tweaking. My butternut squash soup had a velvety texture but was overly sweet. A better choice was the respectable, although somewhat oversalted, chicken noodle. I paired my soup with a crisp salad of greens and water-packed tuna, accompanied by a small cup of mustardy vinaigrette.