Local restaurant’s menu is all homemade

Published 8:55 pm Thursday, January 17, 2019

Even as the lunch hour drew to a close, a steady stream of customers were met with a friendly greeting from Cheryl Duval at Dirt Roads Café on Thursday.

“My favorite thing is greeting the people, getting to know them, feeding them good food and seeing them walk away happy,” Duval said.

Dirt Roads Café serves a variety of soups, sandwiches and desserts at its location on Commerce Avenue that Duval, the owner, started with her sister, Carla Woodall.

“Our menu is all homemade,” Duval said. “It is all from scratch, and especially this time of year when people have New Year’s resolutions, we have huge salads with homemade salad dressings. We also have big, beefy sandwiches.”

Woodall makes all of the soups, and she said that there are already crowd favorites that the café features as weekly specials.

“We try to keep them homemade and put in as much as we can to make them really thick and flavorful,” Woodall said. “We turn out some pretty good soups. We get a lot of requests.”

Those requests have only been coming in for a relatively short time, however. The restaurant held a ribbon cutting and grand opening with the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce near the end of October.

“It has been a whirlwind two months, and we have had a wonderful time,” Duval said.

“LaGrange has really embraced us, and I just love the community. I love the comradery. We are thrilled to be here.”

Duval and Woodall grew up a short drive away from LaGrange and consider the area home.

“These are our old stomping grounds,” Duval said. “My sister and I graduated from Manchester High School and live in Talbot County, and [we] are thinking about moving to LaGrange.”

The inside of the restaurant is decorated with photographs of dirt roads, but they aren’t just any random roads. They are the dirt roads that Duval and Woodall grew up on, framed with wood from a 200-year-old barn.

“We opened this because we grew up on a dirt road,” Duval said. “In fact, all these pictures that you see around here are from Fike Road where we grew up.”

Duval said she hopes the use of the images will honor family members that could not be around to see the restaurant. 

The sisters hope to see more people come into the restaurant and hope those customers will talk about their favorite menu items.

“We love to have the community input,” Woodall said. “We want to know what they are enjoying, what they are not enjoying so much and try to make it suit the community and the people who come here.”

For Duval, being a family restaurant means giving customers a place where they want to bring their children.

“We want it to be a family-oriented place,” Duval said. “We beefed up our kids’ area with a foosball table and LEGOs and Lincoln logs and coloring books. We want this to be a family oriented place where you can come and relax, have good food and good companionship. When you come in, we really do want you to feel like you’re family.”

Dirt Roads Café features specials, including a deal where kids eat free on Tuesdays with the purchase of an adult entree, Wine down Wednesday with $3 glasses of wine and 10 percent off beer, Thursdays where students with a college ID receive 10 percent off, $2 mimosas during brunch on Saturdays and 10 percent off on Sunday with a church program.

Dirt Roads Café is located at 157A Commerce Avenue (near PetSense) and is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

To learn more about the restaurant, visit @dirtroadscafe on Facebook.