A couple weeks ago we took a short trip up to Londonderry, Vermont to attend the wedding of our old graphic designer (and Alli’s sister) Lauren. The town is somewhat remote, which meant our dining and drinking options were limited. There’s the big ski resort in town (Stratton), which had several bars and restaurants but anything else was at least a 20 minute drive away. The point of the weekend wasn’t really to find destination dining options, but we will be going back to Vermont in July and plan on traveling to Burlington and really exploring the food options out there.
That said, we actually found a couple quality places in our short time in Vermont that has us really excited for our trip back in July.
Meulemans’ Craft Draughts: Vermont is crazy about their beer. As we were driving down the 90, we sent out a tweet asking our followers to recommend what Vermont breweries we should be on lookout for when grabbing a pint or perhaps checking out a beer store. We had about ~75 responses, including tweets from Magic Hat, Long Trail Brewing, Woodchuck Cider and various Vermont beer fanatics. Luckily for me, the town had a pretty great local craft beer store. It was about half the size of our local shops like Aurora Brew Works or Village Beer Merchant but still had over 100 different bottles of craft beer and even some taps for growler fills.
I asked the employee to find me something that was local and hard to find back in WNY. He pointed me in the direction of an awesome Douple IPA by Foley Brothers that was apparently a limited edition release. It was really smooth but with a satisfying amount of hops and bitterness, I’ll be on the look for more of their beers on my next trip. We also grabbed a few bottles of Citizen Cider, including their flagship Unified Press and Wit’s Up. I brought the bottle of Wit’s Up to a friends house to share with other cider fans and they were very impressed, the Belgian beer yeast really gave the cider a unique texture and flavor. (Side note: The 7-11/gastation in town had an above average liquor/craft beer/wine selection, I was quite impressed)
Vermont Country Store. I’ll be honest, I initially had zero interest in visiting the Vermont Country Store. I was assuming the store would be incredibly boring and touristy and end up looking like a Vidler’s mega store. At first glance, that appeared to be the case. There was a clothing sale going on outside that looked like it was geared towards the Duggar demographic and there was a lot of 5 cent candy and random knick-knacks…but then I took a turn and discovered an entire room or beer, cheese and maple syrup. We went crazy inside the store. Alli and I picked up several different types of cheeses (they were all available to taste), I picked up some hard cider, we grabbed some local dark maple syrup (after taste testing about 8 different types), we grabbed really good potato chips and some dip mix. I was surprised how much good food was inside and I plan on going back on our next visit.
Taylor Farm. Considering we were visiting a remote area of Vermont, Alli and I really wanted to try and find a local farm to visit on our short trip. We ended up going to Taylor Farm, a 180 year old dairy farm that offered a variety of homemade cheeses, raw milk and chicken eggs. It’s not a particularly large shop but the place felt very authentic. There was a rooster at the front door, cows that were within sight of the building and a general ‘farm’ smell in the air. They also have a cheese making room where they offer classes and kids can enjoy a wagon ride around the property. We bought some of their homemade gouda and cream cheese, which were both excellent.
Mildred’s Dairy Bar. Sitting right outside the Vermont Country Store was a burger stand that was advertising burgers made from local, grass feed beef. Walking up to the window, we noticed a framed article from Men’s Journal calling their Bacon Cheeseburger one of the 18 Best Burgers in the Country. We wasted no time and ordered one. Served on a soft egg roll, this burger was juicy and very flavorful. No extra condiments were needed. The chocolate milkshake that Alli ordered was thick, creamy and made with ice cream made in Vermont. It was a pretty excellent snack and also a place I want to stop back at on our next visit.
Bobs Diner. On our way home, we drove down the mountain and stopped at Bob’s Diner for a late breakfast on Sunday morning. This breakfast diner is literally everything you could want from a small town diner. They place smells like breakfast when you walk in, they have a large selection of various egg/bacon/cheese combinations, every server knew every customer in there and you can get $1 PBR’s on draft all day. Unfortunately I was feeling a little ill after the previous nights festivities and couldn’t properly enjoy my Cornbeef Hash that morning (although they were great the following day). Alli however was feeling fine and crushed her Eggs Benedict. Fingers crossed that I will be able to enjoy my breakfast on my next trip.
Overall, our 3 day Vermont trip was a success and we can’t wait to go back. This July we are heading to the Stratton area again as well as Burlington and then Portland, Maine. If you have any recommendations for great food stops, please let us know in the comments!