Corner Café’s Waffle Sandwich

  • Terry Bouchard of the Corner Cafe in Trailhead Outfitters in Orange Center makes waffles. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Corner Cafe Waffle Sandwich made with waffles, eggs, bacon, cheese and drizzled with maple syrup and butter. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Terry Bouchard of the Corner Cafe in Trailhead Outfitters in Orange with her Waffle Sandwich made with waffles, eggs, bacon, cheese and drizzled with maple syrup and butter. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

For the Recorder
Published: 2/28/2020 4:24:14 PM

Terry Bouchard loves her work. Since July, Bouchard has helmed the Corner Café, a homey eatery that serves breakfast and lunch from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. It is located on Main Street in Orange, inside Trailhead Outfitters and General Store.

She took over the small restaurant, formerly known as Millers River Cafe, in mid-July and promptly changed its name. “My husband picked (the name) out,” she told me in a recent interview. “I’m kind of partial to him.”

Bouchard, who lives in Athol, came to the cafe with significant experience: She worked at the former Johnson’s Farm Restaurant in Orange for 15 years. “I just love people and food. And the combination is great together,” she enthused.

When Johnson’s closed a little over a year ago, she wasn’t sure what she would do. “I didn’t go looking for it. It came to me. I had to think about it,” she said of the opportunity to run the cafe. “Every door just opened and I had to step though.”

Bouchard received help from a number of people when she took over the business, including two of her former employers, Diane and Steve Johnson. In fact, Diane Johnson comes to the cafe every Tuesday to make a recipe or two she used to serve at the old restaurant.

The Millers River Cafe concentrated mainly on sandwiches and soups, according to Bouchard. The Corner Cafe has continued that tradition but expanded its repertoire.

“We’ve been doing a lot of baking. People love the baked goods,” she told me. “We also offer a hot meal every day. That part is different. I’ve gotten great feedback from everybody. A lot of people have told me they’re very happy.”

Her recipes are mostly family favorites. “My mom and I wrote a family cookbook,” she explained.

I asked whether running the cafe had given her any surprises.

Some were administrative, she told me. “The background that you don’t think about. Ordering. The timing of things. What people like…. There was a lot to learn.”

She also encountered physical issues. “We had a lot of equipment breakdown in the beginning. That was difficult, but we got through it,” Bouchard recalled.

A couple of weeks ago she decided to work proactively. She closed the cafe for a few days to get the wiring updated and install some new shelves. “It was most important to me to utilize the space I have and get a better flow with the kitchen,” she remarked. “All the changes have really helped a lot.”

With assistance and encouragement from her customers, friends, and family members, Bouchard believes that she has hit her stride. Helpers have included Diane and Steve Johnson, Bouchard’s mother, a cook who used to work at Johnson’s, and a young woman named Lisa Sargeant, who does a lot of the baking.

“I haven’t tasted anything I haven’t liked that she makes,” Bouchard said of Sargeant. “Every time I turn around, somebody’s helping me somewhere. Everybody wants to see me do well.”

Bouchard enjoys the mixture of young and old eaters her business attracts. “A lot of them are customers that I served at Johnson’s Farm, which is wonderful to see again,” she enthused. Nevertheless, she notes, she has met a lot of new people in her eatery.

The Corner Cafe seats 24 people between the counter and tables. Customers come up to the counter to order and their food is brought to them. “It’s very casual, very relaxed,” Bouchard said of the atmosphere.

She may make a few changes as time goes by, but for now Bouchard says she is content with her lot.

“I love it, love the people, love the customers,” she concluded. “Some days can be very long days. But a lot of it’s getting used to the routine. It’s a good tired at the end of the routine….

“I just feel so blessed with the support of the community and friends and family. That’s wonderful.”

Corner Cafe Waffle Sandwich

This filling treat can be eaten for breakfast or lunch. Some people eat it as a sandwich. Terry Bouchard herself likes to think of it as an extra delicious waffle.

For the waffles:

1-3/4 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

For each sandwich:

2 waffles

butter as needed

1 slice cheese (Terry Bouchard prefers cheddar)

1 fried egg

3 slices bacon

First make the waffles. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Gently stir the liquids into the dry mixture.

Preheat a waffle iron and cook the waffles until they are golden brown and crispy. You should end up with 8 to 10 waffles, depending on the size of your waffle iron.

To make a sandwich, butter 1 side of each of your 2 waffles. On the unbuttered side of 1 waffle place the cheese, followed by the egg and the bacon. Cover with the other waffle’s unbuttered side. Place the sandwich in a panini maker and cook until the sandwich is warm and melted.

Serve with butter and maple syrup. Serves one.

TinkyWeisblat is the award-winning author of “The Pudding Hollow Cookbook,” “Pulling Taffy,” and “Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb.” Visit her website, tinkycooks.com, for more information.


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