The Perfect Local Spot
When it came to walking through the door of Isabell’s Café, for me fourth time was the charm. Despite the café being closed on Sundays, then closed for vacation the second time I tried, and then me not realizing they only accept cash or check, I was enthusiastic to try the cute and modest spot set on the corner of E. Thetford Road and Route 5 in Thetford, VT.
So last Tuesday, my husband and I went for a breakfast date before work. We arrived around 7:30 a.m. and found just a couple of other cars in the parking lot. The owner, Bev Hodgdon, welcomed us as we stepped in.
We sat down at a booth and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of space inside, with tables spread out so there’s low chance of bumping elbows with your neighbors. Local artwork featuring area landscapes decorates the walls, while sunflower tablecloths set off a cheerful glow from the tables. Soon after a coffee and an orange juice were delivered, Bev stopped by with a small vase of fresh lilacs she had just assembled.
I had heard the name Isabell was taken from a family member, but not until I read the back of the menu did I learn it had been Bev’s mother’s name, and that she had died from breast cancer at the age of 36. A sweet homage, if you ask me. A note showing support for local farmers, businesses and artists and a poem about kindness were also there, which supported what I was already witnessing – that most of the other patrons who began to file in were on a first name basis with Bev. Not going to lie, it made me a little sentimental for my childhood and breakfasts out in my hometown. There is a wholesome familiarity about being a local.
After just a few minutes, our food was delivered and my three-egg veggie omelet looked perfect. Inside I found pieces of broccoli, onion, tomato, spinach, mushrooms and green pepper, and lots of melted cheddar cheese. The vegetables were fresh and I quickly realized it was a filling dish. A buttered Wolferman’s English muffin and strawberry jam had the perfect sweetness to end with.
We agreed this place was worth our past attempts, and now I want to go back enough to make myself a regular. It’s a comfortable vibe, our food was great and the people are friendly…all packaged up into one sweet little café. As we left, which was around 8:15 or so, the parking lot was filled with at least ten cars and more were coming in. On a Tuesday! Confirmation that the Hodgdon family is doing something right.
Isabell’s Café is open Tuesday – Saturday, 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. with full breakfast served until 11 a.m.
You can even call ahead for takeout.
And remember, they don’t take credit cards – cash or checks only.
Coming up – a new café and bakery will be opening in August in downtown White River Junction. Calling itself Piecemeal Pies, they’ll specialize in meat pies, soups, salads and sweets. I hope to have more info for you soon – stay tuned!