If you’re out for a drive and feeling a little peckish, head down Alderdale Road in Powassan, roughly 10 minutes from downtown Powassan and you’ll soon find the Alderdale General Store.
Inside you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find a café offering up some down-home comfort food.
Store owner Victoria Perron compares the smells and flavours coming out of her café to memories of grandma-approved recipes made with tender loving care (TLC).
“What I’m striving for is if you were to go to your grandma’s kitchen. So, it is homemade, freshly made items.”
During the week, lunch consists of breakfast sandwiches and wraps.
“Our bread is freshly made in-house.”
With the arrival of colder weather, soups have been added to the menu.
“For instance, today we had chili, and yesterday we had potato bacon soup, and then we’ll have the classics like chicken noodle soup,” explained Perron.
“Everything is while quantities last because we want the ‘less waste’ approach. We make quite a bit, but if something runs out, we always have other things to offer. We’ll always fill your tummy if you come here.”
Fridays are extra special in that people can wrap up the work week with a special dinner of freshly made pizza.
“Every Friday we do smoke stone pizzas. We do a sourdough for our pizzas. Our best-selling pizza is our barbecue chicken with caramelized onions and bacon. We baste the crust with garlic butter before putting it on the smoker. The barbecue sauce is made in-house, and the bacon comes from a local farmer,” Perron shared.
“If people like it a little bit hotter, I do make candied jalapenos so you can put it on if you like heat to it. But we have your classics; deluxe, meat lovers, pepperoni, Hawaiian, cheese, and things like that.”
Due to slot size, Perron is limited to the number of pizzas she can do at once.
“We can only do three pizzas on a smoker at a time, so we always suggest people call ahead to place an order. Chances are you can come in during the day and get a pizza right away, but if you want to be locked in, call us. All pizzas are the standard 12-inch size, but you get eight slices out of it.”
Pizzas were added to the menu in August and Perron says the response from customers has been phenomenal.
The pizza sauce is also homemade using tomatoes grown in her garden.
“We slow roast our tomatoes in the oven, and then we puree them with local garlic in it, and that’s pretty much all it is. And we do emulsify it.”
The pizzas can also be purchased frozen to have on hand for whichever night works best.
The staff embraced the new menu item and even had a little fun with it.
“During the summer I had a little artist work for me, so she would put jokes inside the box. She would hand draw in the boxes and people were loving it. When she’s back from break we’ll start doing it again.”
While there, be sure to check out the desserts.
“The chocolate cake is my classic grandma’s chocolate cake. I’ve been making it for years. Like the customer coming to get one today says, it reminds him of his mother. It is just my go-to. It is what I’m really good at. It is chocolate with chocolate butter cream and caramel in the middle,” grinned Perron.
It is best washed down with a cup of tea or a big glass of milk.
“We also do loaded brownies that have cut-up chocolate bars and homemade caramel on top. People love my cookie pie. It is cookie dough baked in a cake pan, and I fill it up with peanut butter and a whole bunch of other things and it gets baked together and cut up like pie slices. That is a hot seller.”
And then we do a mix of cookies. Right now, we’re doing the classic apple pie cookie with caramel drizzle on it. We like to change things up.”
The butter tarts are plain, no raisins.
“Our butter tarts don’t have any corn syrup in it, instead we use local maple syrup and brown sugar in it and heavy cream.”
Customers can also order baking for the holidays.
“So, at Christmas, we’re going to offer cookie trays if people want to do some preorders, or if they just want to, they can preorder say our carrot cake, people love it as well. We can do that.”
It is also a good time to stock the freezer with fruit and meat pies for the long cold nights ahead.
“We do frozen meat pies the French-Canadian way, half beef, half pork with a little bit of spice. We do frozen chicken pot pies and shepherd's pies.”
All pie crusts are made in-house.
“My mother comes and helps me do it. She’s really good at that.”
If you can’t get there through the week, and breakfast is more your style, swing by for a full breakfast served up fresh on weekends; Saturdays starting at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m.
“We do your classic hash browns and eggs, with your bacon and your sausage. And we always do an extra little special like French toast or pancakes, a sweeter side,” explained Perron.
The owner is also looking forward to hosting a couple of music events.
“It will be a family-style dinner, so like spaghetti and meatballs, and we have a couple of local artists who are going to come and play music. I’m going to try and do it twice a month until Christmas.”
Snowmobilers from around town, and those visiting the area make it a point to stop by and warm up with a nice hot meal.
The owner prides herself in creating a comfortable atmosphere where people can sit and enjoy a meal or treat, or just have a beverage with friends.
“I like that it is not perfect, but it feels like you’re at home because we have odd tables and chairs and everyone who does come in here says it feels like home and that’s what I strive for. I don’t want perfect, but I want you to feel like you’re back at grandma’s kitchen or at your mother’s kitchen having a cup of tea and enjoying social time with friends.”