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biggirlco's Profile

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getting to au peid de cochon's cabane a sucre

I'm coming to Montreal with a group of 10 for the weekend and we have a reservation for the sugar shack on Friday night. We like to drink and don't want to drive back from St.Benoit after drinking but also don't want to pay $100 an hour for a van to get us to and from St.Benoit. I'm not getting very much info from the hotel on cab prices and cab companies, so far, seem to be not much better in terms of giving me a price. Any ideas on cheaper transport for a really nice fun loving group of ten?

Mar 19, 2014
biggirlco in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

authentic Thai or Vietnamese in Vermont or New Hapshire?

Burlington area has 3 Vietnamese places, Pho Dang in Winooski (best Pho), Pho Hong in Burlington (best rice dishes) and Pho Houng in the New North End (best Spring Rolls). We have a refugee resettlement program that focused on Vietnam in the 90's so it's pretty authentic... I find the Thai options lacking, I'm not a fan of Tiny Thai in an authentic sense, it's fine but not great but The Royal Orchid in Montpelier is better.

Oct 03, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Weekend trip to Burlington and Montpelier, VT

I see your point in some ways but if I took my kids to Olive Garden they would complain about the crappy food... although we've never been, i can imagine. Also, if you don't bring your 3 year old to a nice restaurant and show them how to behave how will they ever know how to behave? Lastly, I have taken my kids to Shelburne Farms, just this summer and they were perfectly fine... as well as L'Amante. I'm assuming someone on Chowhound might want the better stuff than Olive Garden.

So I'll amend it to dinner at Flatbreads or A Single Pebble for the more casual "kid" friendly.

Sep 30, 2008
biggirlco in Northern New England

Weekend trip to Burlington and Montpelier, VT

There is not much in Montpelier, Black Door for dinner. Waterbury (on the way up to Burlington) there is Alchemist and Hen of the Woods. In Richmond is Sonoma Station and Kitchen Table. Burlington, I would do Flatbread for lunch, L'amante or A Single Pebble for dinner. Or take a drive down to Shelburne and do Shelburne Farms tour with kids in the afternoon and catch dinner at the Inn at Shelburne Farms, it's absolutely beautiful!

Check the past boards for details,all these places have reviews and comments... and always make reservations for dinner, the choices are few and the good ones are always booked and if you don't make a reservation you will be eating at a tourist trap on Church Street and that is just sad.

Sep 30, 2008
biggirlco in Northern New England

Burlington Vermont - American Flatbread

I love the whole schbang is Waitsfield, because the location is so beautiful and sitting around the fire drinking a glass of wine while you wait for your table is pretty great. The Burlington location is just a different beast, still great food, great service and great ethics, only in Burlington you get great beer too... and burlington does lunch, and it's open 7 days a week whereas Waitsfiel is friday and Saturday dinner only. At either location expect a wait.

Sep 26, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Burlington VT, and surrounding areas?

Inn at Shelburne Farms is great this time of year, and quite a treat, upscale and memorable. Veggie wise I think A Single Pebble has the best/most Vegetarian options on the menu. L'Amante and Trattoria Delia are great too. Trattoria would win in the anniversary department, being the most romantic.

Sep 05, 2008
biggirlco in Northern New England

Burlington Vt

in my opinion, Trat is where you go for a cozy dinner with great food, wine and service.... in the winter (because of the dark and cozy vibe) and L'Amante is where you go for a more relaxed dinner with great food, wine and service. L'Amante's menu is more limited and there have been times that I've struggled to pick a dish because nothing immediately appealed to me, but that being said, the food is as good as Trat... more simple, less traditional but the gnocchi are usually well cooked and sauced. I don't love the atmosphere at L'Amante but I think of it as my drop in/ go to spot for good food... Trat is my anniversary/special occasion spot for good food. Either one will give you a good meal, it depends on your mood as to what your choice will be, good luck.

Aug 14, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Burlington, VT area in November

I would add in L'Amante... but if you're from Mass/RI area, you are swimming in good Italian so you might want to branch out to something different. I agree with signothetimes about everything but Leunig's, which I find mediocre and disappointing every time I go.

Jul 15, 2008
biggirlco in Northern New England

Bakeries around U of Vt campus, Burlington, Vt

I agree with all suggestions, for a nice "Vermont" experience, get out of town and try Inn at Shelburne Farms, in Shelburne or Hen of the Woods, in Waterbury. Both are dinner spots, the Inn is on a gorgeous property right on the lake with beautiful grounds and mostly local products, Hen is on a brook, in an old grist mill and also uses local products. If you're driving either will work but the Inn is easier if you have to cab it. Have fun.

Jul 07, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

review on recent Bristol and London visit (long)

That was it, just checked out the link. The funniest part of it was that we sat at the bar and we were given the wrong order ( it belonged to the couple next to us) My dish was the same (Hangar Steak) but my Mom ordered the chop without kidneys and was delivered a chop (but instead of pork I think it was lamb) with the kidneys on the plate, so we took them off, with our fingers and put them on our app plates, the bartender then figured out the mistake, picked up our plates, walked around the bar, reassembled the kidneys and garnish, and delivered them next to us. I don't think the couple had a clue as they were in some in depth discussion but being a server myself I thought it kind of cheesy and unprofessional to reassemble food that someone else has touched and deliver it to another table. I can't imagine.. and they did it in the restaurant, not even in the kitchen... and nothing was comped from our meal considering we had to wait another 20 minutes for the right order to come, which made us miss the train back to Bristol. It's not that the food was bad, it just wasn't that good.. and perhaps had fallen on the floor, or been tossed between the chef and the bartender...

Jun 17, 2008
biggirlco in U.K./Ireland

review on recent Bristol and London visit (long)

I just returned from the brief visit to Bristol and one day in London. It was beautiful weather too so I certainly lucked out. We started in Bristol and our first day was Sunday so all the places I have decided to check out were closed for dinner, we tried Queen Square first, then walked over to Bordeaux Quay, then cabbed up to One 30, which was open so we got out of the cab, only to find out they were only open for drinks, the very nice server suggested a restaurant 15 minutes up the road... after 30 minutes of thinking there was no hope of eating we found it. It was Bistro La Barrique and I have to say it was pretty good, great service, excellent French inspired little tapas style dishes. We shared, and had a mushroom tart, mussels, scalloped potatoes, and much more, all was well presented and a good value.

The next day we went to London, I had made a reservation at St.John for lunch. We had a great chilled artichoke with mustard sauce, the artichokes were huge but I found the sauce to mustard heavy. I also had a great fresh pea and rocket salad and some grilled squid salad which had a garlic aoli that was way too garlic infused to eat. The dessert made up for the small sauce issues, which was meringue with creme and raspberries...Yum. The waiter looked at the list I had and suggested the Anchor and Hope would be good and gave us directions, so we went off for sightseeing and then tried to find our way to the Anchor and Hope... to no avail, the directions brought us right back to St. John street and no one could tell us how to get there so we settled on a restaurant that was right around the corner it was a 3 letter name, specializing in oysters, but I forgot. It was OK but the bill was steep (I think even for London) the asparagus we had was $10 pounds for one serving and $19 for two. We met someone at the bar who had recommended a place named Moro, said it was great but we were scheduled to go back to Bristol that night.

The next night we ate at Bordeaux Quay, great setting and a great host, unfortunately we had our hotel make reservations for the restaurant and they were full... then the hotel staff did not inform us so we walked over to have dinner and were told they were full so we opted to sit down in the Brasserie section and have dinner. It was still good, I had a wonderful Skate and Greens salad and a lamb stew with Couscous. The Moules also looked great. I also liked their use of local and organic ingredient, even having Organic wines and beers on the menu.

Our last night we opted to go back to the One 30 because the host had been so nice and lead us to the great French place, but we were really disappointed. The food was bland, hummus needed garlic and lemon, the meatballs needed spice and salt, the sticky chicken was hard to classify as chicken and had an odd texture and although the server was very sweet she was incredibly spacey and slow. Wish we had gone to Queens Square or tried upstairs at Bordeaux Quay.... maybe next time... as if I could ever afford to go back, at least not with the exchange rate!

Jun 14, 2008
biggirlco in U.K./Ireland

Bristol and one day in London with Mom

Thanks for the help, St.John looks great and I very much agree that it's not something you would find easily in the States. I'll post about what we do when I return, I'm still open to suggestions if anyone has any. thanks again

Jun 05, 2008
biggirlco in U.K./Ireland

Bristol and one day in London with Mom

Thanks for the help an suggestions, i went onto TopTable and there is a deal for Kenza (for lunch) serving Lebanese... any opinions?

Jun 04, 2008
biggirlco in U.K./Ireland

Bristol and one day in London with Mom

I am coming to visit Bristol for 3 days and London for one with my Mom. We both enjoy food (any kind really) but I prefer good, tasty, not "stuffy" dining places (if there is a emphasis on local ingredients all the better). Price is not so much of an issue, although I am not paying, just choosing the places, I don't want to bring her to someplace that is crazy expensive and have her pick up the tab. I haven't been able to get much of a read on London (we'll do lunch and dinner there) so any suggestions would help.

As for Bristol, it seems the ones most talked about are
Bells Diner
Queen Square
One 30
Bordeaux Quay

any insight on ones to miss or not miss?

If anyone is traveling to Vermont or New Jersey we'll be happy to return the favor... it is beautiful this time of year.

Jun 04, 2008
biggirlco in U.K./Ireland

A week in narragansett....where to eat?

Well I'm not a local (anymore) but I am also a RI raised girl, living in Vermont and missing my seafood! I returned every summer to camp in Charlestown, now with two kids it gets harder.... but when my husband and I did go we always went to Champlins by the Block Island Ferry for our Lobster and beer by the docks rage and there used to be this little seafood shack on the South side of route1, right before Burlingame Camping, he always had the best Sword and would put together a Clambake in a can so we could cook it on our campfire back at our tent. The thought of it is making me drool at 9 in the morning... but the clambake is how I remembered it being growing up, with Lobster, steamers, sweet and white potatoes, corn and flounder wrapped around sausage...sigh. I hope that shack is still there, I'm going back this year if it kills me. Have fun.

Jun 02, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Vermont: where was I? Does this restaurant/bakery still exist? plus other ?s and review

Maybe Horn of the Moon, (which is no longer there)? I don't think of Coffee Corner as having outstanding bread. At least nothing you would go back for, it's diner really.
As for the places in Burlington, you made the right choice with Smokejack's (for what you were wanting) the other places are Big Fatty's BBQ and I'm guessing Luenigs Bistro on Church. I haven't been to Big Fatty's but I'm pretty sure it gets mixed reviews and Luenigs, well... let's just say it has it's place in the history of Burlington but it's fading fast.

May 28, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Burlington, VT - 1 Night - Which Restaurant?

If you're going with a group of 4 or more I say A SIngle Pebble, it's much more fun to share and do family style dining with a group, if it's 4 or less definitely Trattoria for the good food and romantic atmosphere.

May 20, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

are there clams in rhode island?

You're making me sooo home sick! I grew up in Wickford, daughter of a fishmonger, home of the Quahog Festival and Duffy's (when it was a hole in the wall shack). I dream of Stuffies, littlenecks on the halfshell with horseradish, clamcakes and a Del's lemonade.... even clams casino would rock my world right now. Well, here I am, stuck in Vermont, think I'll go get some cheese to soothe my wounds.

Champlans in Galilee gets my vote for best outdoor Lobster and clams.

May 20, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

breakfast in burlington, vt.

I have to totally 100% disagree. I have been going to Penny Cluse for years and have never had rubbery pancakes or cheap bacon.... can't say anything about the milk because I don't drink it, but the food is always the best quality and they use quality ingredients. I know they pride themselves in their quality and if you had said something to your server they would have made it right for you. The Chorizo tacos are wonderful as are the smoky pork and beans and the summertime calls for the taco salad.

May 19, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Burlington, VT Restaurant for Reception for 30

I agree, the lake is beautiful.. but the food at Taste is mediocre and the last time I had food on the Ferry it was the most god awful gut busting fare it still makes me grimace. My suggestion was food based only... and I have to say I love the feel of walking around Church Street in the evening in the summer, it makes me feel like I'm living in an urban yet lovely city.

I once rented the "Friendship" sailboat down at the dock for an evening sail and catered the dinner myself and it was so great... I highly recommend it for any local person who wants good food and a lake cruise.

May 08, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Burlington, VT Restaurant for Reception for 30

I just worked an evening party at Penny Cluse and they do a great job with catered events at the restaurant. Everyone was happy and was raving about the food and what a great time they were having.
http://pennycluse.com/

May 07, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Driving thru Vermont to Mondial Beer Fest in MTL

I'm assuming that you are stopping in Waterbury, Vt to go to the Alchemist for beer... you could hit up Hen of the Woods (also in Waterbury) for dinner. If you come to Burlington don't bother with Vermont Pub and Brewery but do stop at American Flatbread for pizza and beer. Both places have lots of info on Chow if you just search their names. Have fun... there is (as far as I know) not much between Burlington and Montreal in terms of brewery/good food stops. So stock up in Btown, it's only an hour and 45 minutes into downtown Montreal from Burlington.

May 05, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Skinny Pancake: Burlington, VT

I just wrote a not-so-nice review in the 7 days food section but I'll give a brief re-cap here because I was so outraged! I went in a couple weeks ago, on a nice sunny Sunday with my 5 year old. I was told the wait for our food was 30 minutes (for 2 crepes and 2 sides of bacon) although crazy we decided to wait it out and hang outside. After 40 minutes I checked to see if we could just get our bacon (you know it's just in a warmer in the kitchen is it really that hard?) and was told, pretty rudely that we would have to wait. The bacon came out after 1 hour, followed by the crepes at an hour and fifteen minutes. All for the very low low price of $22! Professionals know (I'm a server) to over state the wait a little to pad yourself and then if it's quicker people are happy. If your food gets to you really late it should be on the house... total amateur in staff and ownership. I like their vibe, space, etc. but an hour and fifteen minutes for crepes? with absolutely no apology.... they have to get their business together before they alienate the locals who will be the only ones down at the Waterfront come November... it's a loooonggg winter!

May 02, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Dinner in Burlington VT

That would be Flatbread...
I totally second the opinion of OCatswell on Roque's and Souza's. I think they are totally middle road with bad staff (in Souza's case). When I went the woman was so abrasive and nasty... and they didn't have our wine either, and the bill was huge in comparison to the quality of our food.

Apr 23, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Looking for a seafood market in Central Vermont

I hate to say it but Ray's is no better then Price Chopper or any chain grocery store... except for Lobster because as far as I know they are the suppliers for most of the stores up here and they have a couple trucks a week unloading Lobster pots from Maine (I only know this because I live down the street from their Burlington storage space).
I grew up in RI, right on the bay and my Dad always worked in Seafood Markets and still deals seafood wholesale in Florida, when he came to visit he proclaimed Shaw's on Shelburne road to be a "pretty decent" for a supermarket. I'm assuming that Shaw's down in Berlin would be the same. We used to have a great seafood market up on Dorset Street but they went out of business a few years back, they had the best, freshest fish.... sigh.
Good luck, maybe it will change soon!

Apr 21, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Dinner in Burlington VT

I believe Souzas is still closed due to water damage. I would also say A Single Pebble, but I'm totally biased because I work there. If I were coming up with a teenager though I would go to American Flatbread, it's laid back, has great food, good atmosphere ( loud but nice) and gives you a good little look into the what life is like in Burlington. I would do Penny Cluse for lunch or breakfast. both places have a waitlist so go before you're starving. Have fun.

Apr 15, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Sports bar - Burlington, VT area?

Believe me, being a local "professional" server myself, nothing irks me more than poorly trained waitstaff, regardless of hippie vibe and stylish status. I don't think service requires automotrons in stogy black and whites either, you actually can be personable, friendly, full of knowledge... and maybe even a hippy and give good service. My point was supporting a locally owned and operated business is probably better than supporting Hooters... right?

Oh, and my armpits are shaved... most of the time.

Mar 21, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Burlington eats with well behaved cute 18 mos old boy

Absolutely Flatbread, there is no better place for good food, beer and kids all combined. I usually suggest going half an hour before you're starving, put your name on the wait list and then walk around town. There is always a wait, even if it's long, it's worth it... do not fall into the trap of anything on Church Street, or the Vermont Pub and Brewery... which my daughters both refer to as " the place with really bad food". There is also The Skinny Pancake down by the water on College and Lake Street, serving crepes... I prefer the dessert crepes, or doing it for breakfast... and it's a quick walk from the Marriot. Also Penny Cluse on Cherry Street for breaksfast, also always has a wait list... but again, it's worth the wait and full of families with small children. Have fun, it's still damp, icy and cold so bring your boots!

Mar 20, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Sports bar - Burlington, VT area?

I'm not going to touch the hairy armpit comment... oh wait, I think I just did... anyway, Nectars just did a makeover and they have more TVs in the dining/bar area. At least that's the word on the streets. Local is always better.

Mar 19, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive

Romantic place in Burlington, VT

Fourth that, for romance it's it in Burlington. Ask for the table for 2 to the left of the fireplace, away from the door. As for dancing there is no place I know of that isn't "bar dancing" but maybe others know better.

What I wouldn't give for a new restaurant to send people to... sigh.

Mar 17, 2008
biggirlco in All New England Archive