A few days ago we wrote about our fun eating adventures in Portland, Maine. But that was just the first part of our trip, the second was traveling through Vermont and checking out their incredible craft brewery scene and some local eats. We decided to stock up on as much cheese and beer as we could find and thanks to some help from our friends (again), we did pretty well…
Misery Loves Co. Our buddy Brad recommended Misery Loves Co. as a place to grab a bite after (hopefully) getting some Heady Topper (we did). On our second day we stopped by early for lunch. The restaurant is very hip with a large open kitchen and large chalkboards with the daily menu. We ordered a few different dishes to try. To start, the chicken liver pate was presented beautifully and had a smooth, rich flavor. We of course also ordered the ‘Really Good Grilled Cheese Sandwich’ which was actually really good. I ordered the Vonnegut, a messy but delicious sandwich that had pork belly, a fried egg on a fantastic brioche roll. The dinner menu is a little bit more adventurous but the lunch menu is a steal for the quality of food served.
American Flatbread. Our first proper meal of our Vermont trip took place at a restaurant that I never thought I’d enjoy, a restaurant that specializes in flatbread. I’ve basically hated every flatbread that I’ve eaten in Western New York. The texture of the dough is usually horrible and the cheese is just as bad, if not worse. American Flatbread blew my expectations out of the water. The crust was outstanding; thin and crispy and executed perfectly. This particular location (they have three) also has Zero Gravity Brewing attached and their IPA and Saison were both really great. I’d go back just for the beer but the food is a great addition and their large outdoor patio is a perfect setting for a relaxing summer night.
Prohibition Pig. We traveled to Waterbury for one purpose, to eat and (more importantly) drink at Prohibition Pig. It doesn’t hurt that this town also is the home of Alchemist Brewery, the makers of the legendary Heady Topper. Their menu looked interesting and the smoker outside smelled great but I was mostly focused on their insane draft selection and which beers I was going to order. Food wise, we ordered the pork rinds which were still sizzling in the mini cast iron pan. I’ve never had fresh, warm pork rinds but these were a perfect snack while drinking great craft beer. Alli ordered and enjoyed the GLT which came with a big fried green tomato and thick housemade guanciale. I took a risk and tried out their Carolina BBQ and was pleasantly surprised. The sweet and sour vinegar was really good and the pork had a great smokey flavor. But the stars of the show were the beers on draft. After trying out (obviously) Heady Topper, some Lawson’s Finest Liquids and Hills Farmstead, I was in heaven.
Barrows House. Barrows House is an Inn and restaurant that’s located in a gorgeous old house in a remote area of Vermont. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think it was a large southern home from the 1800’s. We walked into a packed restaurant on Friday night. We luckily made reservations and avoided a long wait. The restaurant refers to itself as a gastropub but their menu isn’t that exciting. Yes, their Duck Wings are unique but their Burger, Brick Oven Chicken and Steak Frites were pretty standard. I added some Vermont Cheddar, local bacon and onion jam to spice up my dish and it satisfied my burger craving. The restaurant is very pretty and they have a good beer and cocktail list, but the menu is expensive and most of the food wasn’t that special.
Shelburne Farms. We knew that we had to visit a farm on this portion of the trip and heard only great things about Shelburne Farms. This place is gigantic. We took a tractor ride to the giant barn where you can watch cheddar being made, order some baked goods, pet some animals or order a burger from their food shack. We picked up some really good two year aged cheddar and some house made blackberry jam at their general store. The place is definitely geared towards kids and unless you really love farms, you might think it’s a little corny. But the buildings and surrounding area is really beautiful and worth checking out for a mid day stroll.
Cilantro. After two days in Burlington, we made our way back to Stratton to stay with Alli’s sister Lauren. We didn’t have anything planned so we made an obligatory visit to the Vermont Country Store, checked out the West River Farmer’s Market and grabbed a quick bite at Cilantro for lunch. I was skeptical ordering tacos in Vermont but these were really great. I ordered street tacos (pictured above) that were served in crisp corn tortillas and topped with cilantro, tomatillo and chili sauce and onions. This was also one of the cheapest places to eat in this touristy town and probably some of the best food I’ve had in Southern Vermont. That was until we ate at…
SoLo Farm & Table. When my sister in law moved to a remote Vermont town, I never thought we’d be dying to drive up to their town just to try a restaurant. But when SoLo Farm & Table opened just ~10 miles away from their apartment, we were suddenly really excited. The restaurant is run by the husband and wife team of Chloe and Wesley Genovart. She is the former maitre d’ of a little restaurant called Per Se and he was the chef at Degustation. They moved to the remote Vermont town of Londonderry to open SoLo and it appears they made the right decision. Looking at their press section on their website and you’ll find articles about the restaurant in GQ, Bon Appetit, Esquire, Wallstreet Journal, NY Times and more.
After looking at their menu and realizing that Alli and I needed some extra stomachs to try as much as possible, we invited Lauren and her husband Ted to join us. The restaurant is in a former house and aside from the addition of white linen tables and a wine room, it still feels like a house. The menu, as you would guess, heavily focuses on ingredients that are grown either right on the property or directly from the Vermont area. We started our meal with one of the best burrata dishes we’ve ever had, a housemade charcuterie plate with excellent beef, a spicy n’duja like sausage and some liver pate. We also tried their housemade lamb merguez sausage (pictured above) with fresh tomatoes that was just outstanding. We split their lamb shoulder, potato gnocchi (again, some of the best we ever had) and chicken breast for dinner. The entire table devoured everything. The service was fantastic, very attentive but kept the meal at a comfortable pace. I can’t wait to go back again, this will be required dining anytime we are in the area.