A hobnob is a cookie, or "biscuit," as the English call it.|
When Pauline, Lou and Gale Dean opened a downtown Biloxi cafe, that's what they called it in honor of Pauline's English background. They searched two years for the perfect location and in 2004 rented The Fisherman's Cottage, an 1860s house in Pirates Alley.
The HobNob Cafe's patronage increased quickly and sometimes they didn't have enough seating - 40 inside, 24 more on porches in good weather.
Blame the overload on the food, for all three Deans are adept in the kitchen. The menu included crab cakes, Asian salad, The Philadelphian, quiches, po-boys, apricot pound cake, and whatever else they felt like cooking that day.
Above the HobNob threshold the Deans hung a sign: "There is no love more sincere than the love of food." Above other doors were such witticism as "There are five elements: Earth, air, fire, water and garlic."
Katrina claimed all the signs, all the equipment and furnishings that made the little eatery popular, especially with the downtown lunch crowd. The Fisherman's Cottage is gone, too.
"We drove down there the second day after the hurricane and I couldn't believe what I was seeing," said Lou Dean. "It took awhile for it to sink in that it was gone.
"Our own home was 50 percent destroyed."
Dean says the owners of the land have it up for sale. He and his wife have retired from restaurants, and Gale has found a good job working with a computer company.
"It's time to hang up our hats now," he said. "We enjoyed it while we had it and we've gotten in touch with a lot of our regulars customers. It became like a family over there."
"We're just going to rebuild our house, enjoy life and travel."
- KAT BERGERON