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Side Dishes: The Café Window, 97 Blakely Road, Suite 5, Colchester, 652-2444


Published February 16, 2011 at 7:35 a.m.

The Malletts Bay section of Colchester is populated with pubs and snack bars specializing in fried food. Customers at the Café Window will find nothing of the sort. With an emphasis on more wholesome choices, the place doesn’t even have a fryer.

Fiancés Jess Werkheiser and Chris Cline began serving lunch at their new eatery on February 14. Both have a background in the restaurant business — Werkheiser in the front of the house and Cline in kitchens. According to Werkheiser, when the Colchester location came up for sale late last year, the pair jumped at the chance to open a restaurant together.

Tom Nguyen, owner of M-Saigon, opened the original Café Window in the spring of 2009. He served a mix of American sandwiches and ice cream, along with Vietnamese pho and bubble tea. Werkheiser and Klein have added the article “the” to the restaurant’s name to distinguish it from the space’s former incarnation.

Don’t expect to see Southeast Asian food at the Café Window. Werkheiser describes her offerings as “fresh, thoughtfully prepared, casual fare.” That means soups, sandwiches and comfort food incorporating as many local ingredients as the season allows. Werkheiser says she hopes to gain Vermont Fresh Network status in the near future.

All dressings, sauces and soups are made from scratch, says Werkheiser, including beef-and-bean chili made with green chiles. There’s a meatloaf sandwich, sloppy Joe sliders and pulled pork, but the co-owner says she’s particularly fond of French Onion Dipped, a French dip sandwich on Junior’s bread with a side of homemade French onion soup for dunking. By the time the Window has its official grand opening on the weekend of February 26, it will also serve daily comfort-food specials, including chicken pot pie.

The café’s previous incarnation was known for its ice cream take-out window. While it’s cold, The Café Window is sticking to vanilla creemees. But those with a sweet tooth should get ready — a sign near the freezer announces the countdown for the May opening of an on-site ice cream shop.