by Janet Stoica
Webster – Brian Estabrooks has run his breakfast and lunch café at the busy intersection of North and East Main Streets for 22 years, and now it’s time to file away his tasty recipes and retire his well-worn chef’s hat. For the last five years, his daughter Amy, has been at his side serving up some of the tastiest homemade foods in Webster. The establishment’s last day hasn’t exactly been decided, but it’ll be very soon—and that day will be bittersweet for sure. If you haven’t sampled some of D.E.B.S. Place’s tasty and delectable homemade fare, now is a good time before it becomes a Webster memory.
You can’t beat their prices--with food among the best around: several scrumptious “All You Can Eat” breakfasts like pancakes for $6.50 every day or the same deal on eggs, pancakes, and French toast for $10.95. You can add a side of bacon or sausage for only $1.50. If there’s no place like home for a home-cooked meal, Brian says, “I’ve always tried to be different. There are many homemade specialties that I make like a roast beef meal, meatloaf, Swedish meatballs, and they all come with homemade mashed potatoes and another vegetable with three to pick from. We also have spaghetti and meatballs—and our shepherd’s pie that is made with hamburger, corn, and potatoes with my own special blend of seasonings. I even have a homemade chicken pot pie that’s cooking in the oven right now. All these meals are only $5 each.” And, if that seems like a best-kept secret, you might also like to know that Brian began these $5 meals as a way to offer senior citizens a good meal at a good price. They proved so popular that he began offering them to all age groups; they became an instant hit.
The D.E.B.S. Place moniker came from the names of his family: Deborah, his wife; Elizabeth, his daughter; his own name; and Sara, his daughter. Unfortunately, they couldn’t figure out how to fit the initials in for the other two children, Amy and Eric (but it’s the thought that counts, right?) “I knew I wanted to be a cook and restaurant operator since I was 12 years old,” Brian said, “even my dad knew I wanted to be a cook and wanted to set me up in my own place.”
Brian grew up in Thompson, Connecticut, with his family and then settled in Webster when he was 20 years old. He worked for several food brokers and distributors when, at age 30, he decided to open his own restaurant in Foster, Rhode Island. After 20 years in Rhode Island, Brian found himself taking over at his current location. Interestingly enough, a good portion of his customers hail from Dudley, Charlton, and Oxford. “Webster has 15-20 places to eat, but you have to be the best,” Brian states, “we’re probably the smallest place around, but always felt we were the best.” Right now, Brian believes it’s a good time to retire citing some serious building issues that involve his current landlord and the Town of Webster. He’s sold a lot of equipment already, keeping enough to carry on at his present pace, making economical, homemade meals for his customers to enjoy.
D.E.B.S. Place still offers a great deal on grinders “Buy 2 get 1 Free.” The Italian grinders are the real thing filled with capicola, genoa salami, pepperoni, and cheese—along with their homemade roast beef, and freshly-roasted turkey. Various additions include banana peppers, regular peppers, tomatoes, onions, pickles, or lettuce. They also make their own dressings. Desserts like apple, cherry, and lemon meringue pies are still on the menu too.
“I’m going to miss my loyal, faithful, and friendly customers the most,” Brian says, “I’ll miss coming in here and seeing their familiar faces, waiting on them, and seeing them smile when they win the lottery or keno but most of all, I’ll just miss offering good quality food at reasonable prices. I’m hoping that once the building is repaired someone will come back in here and have the same type of business and that they become very successful.”
4 East Main Street, Webster MA 01570
(508) 943-9771. Hours: 7am-3pm, Tuesday-Sunday.