Outside, the bright blue awning, outdoor tables and walls of windows beckon you.
Inside, a waitress from any hometown diner in the country greets you.
She seats newcomers, hands out water and menus, offers coffee and beverages. She moves to another table and you hear her ask, “The usual?”
The cozy dining room features electic decor with a Formica-topped counter seating six and table and booth seating for about 35. It offers little privacy, but that is part of its charm.
At the next table a woman tells two friends, “I’ve never had a bad meal here.” The customer who ordered his “usual” is reading a newspaper and stops the waitress to share a story. She comments and smiles without slowing.
At the next table she asks loudly, “What would you like,” waiting on an elderly gentleman with trouble hearing. She bends over and puts her ear close to the gentleman’s softly speaking wife.
This is clearly a local’s favorite.
The food is good and worth the stop to step back into a classic American small town diner with a classic American small town waitress. She was great.
“Almost everything homemade,” the waitress told us, including beef and turkey roasted on the premises.
My husband ordered a beef dip sandwich with potato salad ($9.25): thin slices of tender roast beef on a soft ciabatta roll and a not-too-salty au jus for dipping. The potato salad had a subtle pickle flavor.
I ordered the “Turkey in a pink cloud” sandwich ($8.75), a generous portion of their thinly sliced roasted turkey, tomatoes and on both sides of the sourdough bread, the pink cloud of cream cheese and cranberry spread. It was delicious. I didn’t want fries or potato salad, and I was offered fresh fruit of melon, cantaloupe, oranges, pineapple and grapes.
The menu offers several large salads including spinach, shrimp, Caesar (with a homemade dressing), chef and taco (served in a tortilla shell). Half salads are available, too.
There are hot and open-faced sandwiches (hot beef, hot turkey and shrimp au gratin) and several burgers, chicken strips and fish ‘n chips.
On the breakfast menu (served all day), there is a full page of omelet choices ($8.95-$9.95), corned beef hash, crab Benedict, Jo’s special (ground beef, spinach, onion and eggs scrambled with parmesan cheese). To appeal to the kids: pigs in a blanket and Mickey Mouse pancakes.
This small town restaurant was homey and casual with service and a menu to please everyone.
Wayne’s Corner Cafe
8614 271st St. NW, Stanwood; 360-939-2300.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Vegetarian options: Yes.
If you are craving a sweet treat after your meal, walk a couple of blocks to Stanwood Cupcakes, serving Cascade Glacier ice cream, Boehm’s chocolates and housemade cupcakes.
My husband passed up the chocolate cake filled with angel cream and ganache frosting for an angel food lemon zest with lemon butter cream frosting cupcake ($2.75). It was an individual angel food cake with a sweet filling and a tangy lemon finish. It hit the spot as did a scoop of ice cream for me. Gluten-free and vegan cupcakes are available by special order.
8719 271st St. NW, Stanwood; 360-926-8241; www.stanwoodcupcakes.com.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.