Granby cafe offers healthy food – ranging from Indian to Mediterranean
May 9, 2008
Some exciting changes are happening to the cafe at the corner of 4th and Agate street in Granby, now called Carrie’s Corner Cafe.
“I just wanted to take a new approach and let people know of the changes,” said Donna Wilhelm-Hudson, five-year owner of what was formerly the Columbine Cafe, bought the place from Ed Murphy in May 2003.
She searched far and wide for a fitting mountain business property and chose Granby for its beauty. The town is also close to her daughter Christine and son Ged (and Donna’s twin granddaughters) who live in Fort Collins.
She worked in several food and beverage businesses to put herself through school and embraced the challenge of learning how to run a restaurant. She now celebrates the business’ fifth anniversary this month and said the experience has been very educational.
“I’ve learned a lot,” she said. “One of the most important things is to have a fantastic staff who can take care of things.”
Hudson, an almost-retired lawyer, said it was the restaurant’s green chili recipe that caught her attention.
In April, when she re-named the restaurant and re-vamped the menu and atmosphere ” she was sure to keep the green chili on the menu.
Menu changes came about because she wanted to serve some healthier food items, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables. She said she hopes people come in, “get away from all that fried food,” and have an enjoyable dining experience at the corner cafe. “I hope people will try the new things … that are probably better for them.”
Her establishment has also added dinner three nights a week.
“(The new cafe) is very versatile,” said Brad Classen, chef who has been working in kitchens for 20 years and added his Mediterranean, classic and Indian styles to the menu. If the chicken tikka masala or seafood marinara are any testament to what Classen is capable of back in the kitchen, then Carrie’s Corner Cafe can look forward
to a promising future.
Just a few of the new items on the menu that are already making heads turn are the sweet potato pancakes, crepes, tomato Benedict, and several vegetarian options (including quiche and lasagna). Locals who have been going to the corner cafe for years will also still find the popular breakfast burrito, biscuits and gravy, burgers and steaks.
Classen also makes a lot of the items for the cafe’s Continental buffet from scratch and is offering two types of “fish du jour” each night ” poached, broiled, or blackened ” and all cooked without oil.
“We wanted the Granby area to have a choice of some pretty spectacular dinners at reasonable prices,” Hudson said.
The cafe’s new name is in honor of dining room manager, Carrie Abeyta, who’s been working there for four years and whom Hudson said is “pretty fantastic.” Her name also fit with “Triple C,” a cattle brand that is burned into the front of the establishment’s historic bar. There’s also a caribou trophy mount inside that some like to call “Carrie.”
“I’m very flattered and feel very appreciated,” Abeyta said.
The crew is gearing up to offer several special items in celebration of Mother’s Day. During breakfast this Sunday, Carrie’s Corner Cafe is offering a prime rib hash special (made to order) as well as its Continental buffet and full menu options. For lunch, and until Classen said people stop coming in on that day, customers may try out one of five specials: orange-cranberry-glazed, baked half chicken; fettuccine carbonara, wild Atlantic salmon with a dill cream sauce, oven-roasted prime rib, or for the young ones Classen will have chicken fingers and homemade macaroni and cheese. The cafe will also have a small token of appreciation for moms who come in on the special day.
Next in line for Hudson is sprucing up the outside of the cafe. A new sign with the new name was placed on the front picture window in the past two weeks and she’s already picked out a new paint color for the exterior ” soft, complimentary hues of a coral color. She’s also talked about installing a sound system in the dining room, establishing a Web site, and possibly redesigning the dining room (maybe as early as this fall).
“We’re not in any hurry to leave,” she said. “We’re going to make this place rock.”