Foley Eats: Calypso, A Temporary Oasis

Mom About Town blogger Stephanie Donald shares her experiences of things to do and where to go in Foley. But make no mistake, she makes sure each featured destination is perfect for any age.

Anyone with a child dreams of giving them something better. Even if you’ve had a relatively charmed life, as I have, the moment you look into your child’s eyes you dream that you can make the world a better place for them or find a place for them that can keep them safe and happy. A place like Calypso, a safe escape from all that brings you down.

The last few months have been tough to say the least. Even if you’ve led a relatively charmed few months, it’s been tough. But the last few weeks more than ever. Somehow we went from we’re all in this together to neighbor versus neighbor. I was making dinner the other night and asked Alexa to put on my favorite station, Mellow Folk. What’s she do? Hits me with Lori McKenna’s “When You’re My Age”. Suddenly I found I was seasoning my sweet potatoes with salty tears.

“When you’re my age, I hope the world is kinder than it seems to be right now. And I hope the front page isn’t just a reminder of how we keep letting each other down.” The lyrics just kept running over and over in my head.

Calypso offers a cheery, laid-back atmosphere.

Like most moms, I feel the pressure every day of making the world a better place for my child. Look at parents trying to figure out the coming school year. No matter what they choose there is a line of people standing in judgment of their choice. Everything is either too much or not enough. To the whole world, parents today just can’t seem to get it right.

That’s a pressure that’s seemed to amplify over the last few months. Those lucky enough to still have jobs wondering if they’re in danger of losing them. Those who’ve lost their jobs not sure how to move forward. Every day as you move through the hours, that baggage is always there.

I have to admit, it was weighing heavily on my shoulders as I pulled up to Calypso to meet one of my incredible mom friends for lunch. One child out of the house and another in high school, she is often my glimpse of the future. A mom who has gracefully balanced it all, I definitely try to use her as an example. I felt like a lunch date with her was just what the doctor ordered.

We decided to try Calypso near the Glenlakes Golf Club on County Road 20 because neither of us had been and there was just a need for a breath of fresh air. A new place means you don’t recall what life used to be like, you only look at what life is like from this day forward.

Masks on we entered an oasis. Bright colors and a lit tiki bar meant you couldn’t help but smile. Now in this COVID-19 world, you look around and notice the cleanliness and every other table had a reserved sign to keep people from sitting too close.

We were seated by a man with a kind demeanor and no doubt a smile breaking out beneath his mask. He showed us to a table, got our drink order, and let us know what the specials that day were. My friend immediately set her menu to the side as soon as he mentioned chicken shawarma.

For those of you that haven’t had shawarma, imagine a deliciously Mediterranean seasoned meat on a soft warm pita usually with some lettuce and almost always with tzatziki sauce. What tzatziki sauce? To oversimplify, and hopefully, I don’t severely anger people with this, it’s the world’s original ranch dressing, but better. Yes, there, I said it, better than ranch dressing. It’s usually a cucumber, garlic, dill, and Greek yogurt sauce. It’s a sauce that you could probably put on just about anything and I’d give it a try. I love tzatziki sauce.

I was heavily considering following my friend’s lead but our first time at Calypso I felt like I should try something different. When I saw jerk chicken I was intrigued. When I saw jerk chicken on nachos it was over.

Orders placed we started letting our hair down. My friend and I started discussing absolutely everything from our kids and our jobs to the state of the world. It was as though everything we’d held on our shoulders over the last few months fell away at that quiet table in Calypso.

We shared stories of how scary things have gotten. Then we shared stories of how strong our daughters are growing to be. If the midst of all this craziness, somehow they are finding their way.

Chicken Shawarma and Jerk Chicken Nachos were delicious!

When our food arrived it was just what we were hoping for. Luckily I got a few photos before we tucked in because by the end there wasn’t much left. My nachos were just the way I like them, every single chip had some sort of delicious topping to dress it. When I finally came up for air I noticed my friend’s shawarma was gone. I did not need to ask if it was good when I observed her dipping her fries in the tzatziki sauce that had dripped off.

After we finished our talk resumed. Our drinks were somehow never empty and while the bill appeared at our table there was never any pressure to pay and move on right away. The world sank away that afternoon amongst nachos and shawarma. Only now am I realizing how funny that sounds- nachos and shawarma, but at the time it just made sense, like the menu knew what we were craving and it just appeared.

After a long conversation and a delicious meal, we stepped back out into the world and donned our masks once more, but this time with a bit more spring in our step. Calypso was our temporary oasis. A place that was clean and following all the guidelines so you felt safe not only eating there but taking off all the baggage the world had recently given you.

On top of that, the food was outstanding. They offer something different from anywhere else in Foley, things you didn’t know you were craving until you took the first bite.

But it’s not just the food that’s a comfort, or the atmosphere, or even the company. It’s that feeling that you can just let go, even temporarily. There’s a belief somewhere in between bites that things will get better. That there’s hope out there not just for us, but for the kids we worry about every single day.

It sounds crazy, I know, but with the right food and the right friend, anything is possible. I know that statement will always hold true, even when my little baby girl is my age.

Enjoying the blog? Catch up with all Stephanie’s Mom About Town adventures on her website.