By Kathy Johnson
What do a Brontosaurus, a Buffalo Bird, a Fuhgeddaboudit and an Asian Persuasion have in common? They are all among the new signature sandwiches available at the Plank Road Exchange, a café/market, that opened on April 21 in downtown Batesville.
The “soft opening” at the location of the old and popular Batesville Store is already bringing in passing tourists, locals and passersby to try out some of the Plank Road Exchange’s ‘grab and go’ items, sandwiches, and desserts, as well as lasagna and the always popular macaroni and cheese.
Aris and Jessica Cuadra are the new chefs and owners and they, along with their three-and-a-half-year-old son, Rocco, are excited about their new location and the opportunities it presents. Rocco spends most of his time visiting with customers and providing the official welcome while his parents share duties behind the counter.
The Cuadras anticipate approval of their ABC On and Off permit shortly. They have plans for live music on weekends and also offer WiFi. While a maximum of 15 guests at a time are welcome to dine in, to comply with state agricultural department regulations for country stores, the Cuadra’s will also specialize in grab-and-go prepared meals for dinner.
Moving here from Page County, where they owned and operated a casual fine dining restaurant, the couple will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at their new location. Saturdays they will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Breakfast items include toasted Bake’mmm® Bagels with cream cheese, specialty bagels, sausage biscuits, oatmeal and Trager Brothers Coffee. Guests at lunchtime may choose to build their own sandwiches from a large assortment of Boars Head deli meats, cheeses, breads, toppings and condiments; select from one of their signature sandwiches; or try out one of their salads. Special desserts (like Blue Berry Brown Butter Tart) are served daily.
Plans also include carrying local area produce. “We’ve talked to some of the local people and hope to have a variety of things when they are available,” said Cuadra.
With over 20 years of restaurant experience, the couple moved to the Batesville area specifically to open the Plank Road Exchange. Their nearby home will allow them to become a real part of the community. They have planned their grand opening to coincide with Batesville Day celebrations May 19.