The Iron Horse Coffee House is wowing them in Willards

Iron Horse

The town of Willards has a new restaurant, cozy and welcoming in the center of the little town and nestled in the former train station.

Named for a literary term for a steam locomotive, The Iron Horse Coffee House & Eatery opened Jan. 22 and is owned by Molly and Vanessa Founds. Vanessa’s brother, Andrew, is chef.

Customers feel at home when they arrive at the corner of Main and Market streets and walk into the building the owners completely remodeled inside and painted gray outside. Decks were built, but the structure, less than 500 square feet, maintains its train station character.

Positioned on the corner of one deck is a black horse’s head, a gift from a friend, Vanessa Founds said.

All three Foundses have been in the restaurant business for years, but this is the first establishment they’ve owned.

Breakfast items, salads, sandwiches and soups are on the menu, including vegetarian selections.

The Farmer John Powerhouse sandwich has vegetables including cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, tomato and sprouts, with Muenster cheese on whole grain bread.

There’s also a vegetarian hoagie.

Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., The Iron Horse has breakfast sandwiches including The King, grilled bacon, peanut butter and banana on multigrain bread; The Queen, a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onions and capers; a classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, with avocado if desired; and an egg sandwich.

Muffins, baked every day, include cranberry lemon and bacon, banana and peanut butter.

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Among sandwiches are The Iron Horse, warm thinly sliced roast beef, grilled onions and peppers and melted provolone cheese on a roll; and, The Boss, a burger weighing a third of a pound, with homemade pimento cheese spread and bacon on a brioche bun with lettuce and tomato.

The chef also makes carnitas tacos, corn tortillas filled with roasted pork, chopped cabbage, radishes, pico de gallo and a spicy lime sauce.

One recent afternoon, customers were chatting like old friends as they sat at the counter and the two tables, spooning into hot bowls of soup and ordering shots of various flavors in their coffee.

“The people who come in say they like it,” Vanessa Founds said.

“They say everything is good.  They’re glad we’re here.”

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