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Good times at the Nomad Café

I suspected open mic night at the Nomad Café would be quiet and unassuming, mostly a backdrop to the cafe’s regular’s grabbing tea and cornbread; enough people said something along the lines of, “that place is open?” when I mentioned stopping in that I was convinced it wouldn’t be too much of an event.

The Nomad Café goes for a cozy vibe, but their sitting room filled up quickly as the music started. Photo by Ty Gant.

Well, the Nomad proved me wrong. The evening’s festivities - like each of their open mic nights, regularly held every other Thursday - kicked off at 7 p.m., with the doors opening at 6:30 p.m. to let folks get seated and signed up. The parking lot was already filling up by the time the doors opened up. Like most of the other attendees, I took the opportunity to grab something to warm me up on a windy afternoon - something herbal with lemon in my case - as well as a snack. I had heard of the Nomad’s signature corn bread, but it didn’t seem there was a batch available, so I got pretty close with an elote muffin. Guess I’ll have to try again next time!

If this week’s event was anything to go by, returning for a second attempt is fine with me; the performers were passionate, the performances were varied and in general the evening defied the open mic night cliché of “people who only think they’re talented singing at a captive audience.” Rather, I was quite pleased with the performances I was able to witness - I wasn’t able to stay for the whole evening, but the samples I got were enjoyable.

Now, this series is technically supposed to be about the food offered in various places in Kanab, and I’m far from qualified to critique performances - frankly, I’m far from qualified to critique food, but a little less so than music and drama - so I’ll stick to the plan here. It’s clear to me that the staff at the Nomad know how to bake. The muffin I had was textured pretty much to perfection, and good cornbread dough is all about texture. The savory flavor was a little much for my palate - I’m more of a sweet-tooth when it comes to pastries - but for anyone who enjoys subtle green and red pepper, I’d recommend you give it a try.

The tea that went with my muffin was prepared with care and precision, which can be hard to taste in tea, but it’s not hard to see when the staff prepares your beverage right in front of you. I appreciated the specifics in this case - the staff member who prepared my order confirmed what I wanted, gave me options where they were warranted and there was barely a wait once the order was in.

My opinion on the service only increased when the folks behind me approached the counter, and the kind lady behind the counter greeted them both by name and offered them regular orders; a personal touch like that is exactly what an open-mic night needs.

I extend my gratitude to the folks at Nomad Café for hosting me, my admiration for the boldness of the performers who treated the audience, and I look forward to trying that cornbread on the next open-mic night - scheduled for April 13, if the schedule continues as it is now. Keep an eye on Nomad’s social media to confirm scheduling for this and other events.




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