As you head south of Boston--especially along Routes 24 and 138 toward Fall River, New Bedford, and the South Coast--you tend to see more and more of a Portuguese influence when it comes to restaurants, and even in communities relatively close to Boston such as Brockton and Stoughton, you find hints of Portuguese cuisine in some of their dining spots and bakeries. Stoughton in particular has eating places with Portuguese leanings, including an old-fashioned breakfast and lunch spot called Corner Cafe that, while really more of a classic American breakfast joint, has just enough of a Portuguese influence to make breakfast meals a bit more different than what you might expect at your typical greasy spoon.
Corner Cafe used to be located on Route 27 just west of Stoughton Center, but it moved to its present location on Route 138 just south of the center in 2013. The place is housed in a little strip mall with a couple of other businesses and is very easy to miss, especially since Route 138 (which is also known as Washington Street) is a bit of a speedway as it heads south toward the Easton line. The interior of the eatery has "breakfast spot" written all over it, with a counter to the right that has several stools and a few rows of tables that take up the remaining space. The dining spot is mostly a local place that isn't known outside of the neighborhood, so long waits are rare, even on the weekends.
Corner Cafe has a couple of things going for it that put it above many other breakfast spots, including the fact that most items are freshly made and (as mentioned earlier), there is a subtle but definite Portuguese tilt to the food here. A few of the offerings include Portuguese muffins, which look a bit like English muffins but are sweeter; egg sandwiches which can be made with the Portuguese muffins and ordered with bacon, sausage, or ham; a savory omelet with chorizo, peppers, and onions; a huge corned beef hash platter with house-made hash, toast, home fries, and eggs, all with a serving of hollandaise sauce; three slices of French toast with home fries and chorizo; a hash scrambler with peppers, onions, and eggs; and fluffy chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream and butter (the pancakes are huge here, by the way). While people tend to come to Corner Cafe for breakfast, a number of lunch items are also available, including "stuffies" with clams and chorizo, salads, a variety of hot and cold sandwiches, and specials such as pork chops, New England boiled dinner, chicken parmigiana, a fried smelt plate, American chop suey, and a fisherman's stew. [Ed note--the Portuguese version of the sausage is spelled chourico, but the restaurant uses the Spanish term chorizo.]
There are plenty of breakfast places in the Greater Boston area and there are also a decent number of Portuguese restaurants, but very few spots can be found that serve breakfast with a nod toward Portuguese cuisine. That is one thing that makes Stoughton's Corner Cafe such a good place--along with the use of fresh ingredients to create their scratch-made meals. And it also happens to be the ultimate hidden gem in a way, being a spot that is frequented almost exclusively by locals and getting almost zero press from Boston-area media outlets. If you love breakfast (and who doesn't?) and also like Portuguese fare, it is tough to beat this little eatery a half hour south of downtown Boston.
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