Cozy Corner Cafe owner Troyce Hudnell

Cozy Corner Cafe owner Troyce Hudnell,center, shown in his Mesa restaurant, Monday, July 20, 2013, with wait staff members Hayle Griffin,left, and Amanda Eldridge.

[Photo by Tim Hacker/Tribune]

Troyce Hudnell is the owner of Cozy Corner Cafe, 5901 E. McKellips Road, Mesa, (480) 830-6305 or

Q: Tell us about your restaurant.

A: It’s a breakfast and lunch cafe. We’re open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week (and for dinner on Fridays and some Saturdays), and everything is cooked to order. I make my potato salad, coleslaw, sides, soups — they’re all homemade, and we don’t use frozen anything. It’s family owned, family-operated. My kids work with me on the weekends, and I’m here all the time, in the kitchen, out on the floor.

Q: What is Cozy Corner Cafe known for?

A: I do a fish fry every Friday night from 4 to 7. Through the summer months I also feature a prime rib dinner that’s $13 for four courses. You go to Scottsdale, and the same dinner would be $30. I have ten omelets that I serve, and I’ll make them any way you want, if you want to invent something. But my spinach omelet is a top seller. And then my avocado omelet and my Southwest omelet, which comes with fresh chorizo that I’ve been getting from a little market in Tempe for years. They make 1,200 to 2,000 pounds of it a week.

Q: Where do you and your family like to eat out?

A: I live in Scottsdale, so most of my dining experiences are on that side of town. I love Randy’s Restaurant and Ice Cream over on Chapparal and Hayden. I call it a mom-and-pop shop, but they’re bigger than we are. It’s home cooking, the price points are right, and I can depend on the quality. My kids are very finicky, and that’s one of the reasons I go there; there’s something for everyone.

Q: What are some of your favorite things to order at Randy’s?

A: On Tuesdays they have an outstanding pot roast with red potatoes and glazed carrots. I grew up in the Midwest, and I love pot roast. They make a chicken and dumplings that they serve only on Friday, and it’s unbelievable. I love their soups. They’re homemade. The cream of chicken with rice and beef barley are to die for.

Q: What about the “and Ice Cream” portion of their name? Have you tested that out?

A: Oh, yes. They have a thing called Pike’s Peak. It’s a fudge brownie with hand-dipped Dreyer’s ice cream and hot fudge and whipped cream and things on top. They make fresh pies, too, and they’re outstanding.

Q: Are there any other places you like?

A: My wife and I like P.F. Chang’s and Houston’s. They’re corporations, they’re huge, they’re chains — but they know how to do it. The quality and consistency is spot-on every time. Our favorite Italian restaurant is Nick’s Italian in North Scottsdale. I love his lasagna. My kids like the pizzas. And one of my wife’s favorites is a grilled vegetable salad, where they put the vegetables over an open flame and put a little char on them.

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