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I-80 Farmstands

It's been a while since I used to travel this stretch of road twice a year, but my parents are driving it today. I used to stop at an Amish/Menonite farm stand about 2 miles off the interstate, somewhere to the west of the center of the state. They had great produce as well as good pies and whoopie pies. Any idea of the place I am talking about?

Jul 28, 2015
thinks too much in Pennsylvania

Pescatarian friendly in Lisbon? And other must eats

I went to 100 Manieras this spring and had a wonderful time. However, since the only thing they do is a single tasting menu, I'm not sure that this would be a great match for you. They begin by asking if there are any dietary restrictions. However, of the 9 dishes I received, I think you could have eaten 5 of them: 1 amuse bouche, the fish course, the palate cleanser and 2 desserts.

unique Gin recs?

How about one of the micro-distilleries that are popping up these days? I like Barr Hill out of Vermont, which is distilled from honey.

Jul 17, 2015
thinks too much in Spirits

The meaning of "up"

Whiskey without ice or any other additive is "neat"

Jul 16, 2015
thinks too much in Spirits

Brunswick/Bath/Harpswell, ME: What's Good?

It is, in fact, Nance's. For some reason, it is not mentioned on Google maps, when I looked for it. I would also advise you that the "clam cakes" on the menu, are not like the clam cakes of RI, which are like white flour hush puppies with an occasional bit of clam tossed in. These cakes are deep fried circles of clams bound together with a little bit of binder. More like a deep fried crab cake, but made with clams instead of crab.

Brunswick/Bath/Harpswell, ME: What's Good?

Gelato Fiasco in Brunswick.

The small clam shack on the Harpswell road (Rte 123) for whole belly clams in cracker crumbs. While they also can fry with batter, I have made the side by side comparison and crumbs are the way to go! They aren't cheap ($17 pint this 4th) but they are very well made. I wait all year for my one weekend in Harpswell for those clams.

Saturday morning breakfast in Burlington VT

If you have a car, go over to Sneakers in Winooski. It doesn't get crowded until 9:30. I typically go for one of their specials. It is how I learned how to make coconut lime pancakes at home. They have a couple versions of eggs benedict. I will advise you that while their corned beef is fine, it's not extraordinary. My favorite corned beef in town is at Leunigs, but they don't open until 9. They cure their own and use maple syrup in the cure.

Current restaurant pet peeve

While I often feel assaulted when I get asked this, I have been with friends who want their drink immediately if not sooner in order to start unwinding. Often this may be a martini, which will increase the tab appreciably, especially if there will be more than one ordered.

Your best Egg Plant recipe

Slice them and grill them. Make a sandwich with grilled eggplant, feta, mint, salad greens and lemon aoli on crusty rolls or a baguette

Jun 10, 2015
thinks too much in Home Cooking

Burlington, VT suggestions for father's day weekend

I have also heard wonderful things about Revolution Kitchen (one block off Church street) which serves solely vegetarian fare.

Seeking food adventure in VT (not Burlington)

How about one of the farms that does dinners? Burger night at Bread and Butter farms comes to mind. Fresh food, music, hanging in the gardens....

Alternatively, I have heard some very good things about Phantom, the new small plates place in Waitsfield. Outgrowth of a food truck if I understand right.

eating low-carb in Portugal

Ah, well in that case, have complete fun with the markets and enjoy cheese, ham and fruits at home and cook your own eggs maybe with some local piri piri sauce. The markets were tremendous fun.

eating low-carb in Portugal

Just got back from Portugal. Our experience with breakfast was that it was a shot of coffee and a pastry.

Gendering of Food

I suppose I should be more careful with universal statements, since behavior varies widely by situation. The only "always" that I implied was that if I order the bottle of wine, the waitstaff always presents the bottle to me first.

Gendering of Food

Wow. As the member of the table who orders the wine, I have always been presented with the bottle and the first taste. I'm often presented the wine list to start with, since when I walk in with a party, as the youngest female, I often behave assertively enough that the waitstaff believe that I am driving this meal.

Gendering of Food

The link you posted to the article is behind the firewall. However, I could get there if I googled it.

On the way to Quebec City

I don't know about their donuts, but the Wells River Truck Stop in Wells River, VT makes some great pies. Plus they are at the base of the exit off I-91.

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH "MAYBES" WHEN YOU INVITE GUESTS FOR DINNER?

In my family, the outlaws are the members of the family that have no legal connection. So my brother's wife's parents are the "outlaws" to my folks and the "inlaws" to my brother. Also, my partner's mother always gets tickled when I refer to her as my "Mother outlaw" since I'm not married to her kid. In short, the people who belong at a family gathering, and there is no other obvious term.

What cooking gadgets changed your life?... Well at least your cooking?

I'm with you on the immersion blender and would add the microplane grater to it.

Butch & Babe's in Burlington, VT

I really enjoyed their mac and cheese pancakes with the habanero syrup too!

Simple Good Things

Rockland Bakery in Nanuet does many rolls very well: good crust, soft innards. Not sure which style of hard roll you are thinking of.

Cocktail party eats -- a report

I am with everyone else. This is the way I fantasize my parties will look like. I also deeply appreciate that you outlined what was prepped ahead of time, frozen and reheated. It shows that your superpower is planning ahead of time!

What do you not order in restaurants...

Creme brulee. Chocolate mousse. Both are shamefully easy to make.

Uncle Pop Pop's - Tapas in Essex, VT

I can recall a mixed review, but didn't she praise some pieces a lot while she called one sandwich dry? I don't really trust and all-positive review anyway. This isn't a perfect place, but you nailed it on the head: this is a place that you root for.

Uncle Pop Pop's - Tapas in Essex, VT

I had read about this place a couple times over the last couple months. It's a tiny place in a strip mall close to Lowe's, but I hadn't paid a visit until yesterday evening. Small plates, reasonable prices. The two of us wound up with five plates to share, 2 glasses of wine and a cookie, and walked out with full bellies for $40 before tip.

The owner, Adam, is clearly chasing his dream. He will happily tell you about his sources for chorizo and serrano ham. The shrimp are both sweet and smoky. He even makes his own saffron aioli from olive oil, and you can taste the difference! His wife makes the desserts.

Cabane a sucre Au Pied de Cochon

Feel free to bring your own. They will seal better than the average to-go container, and you can bring more size appropriate containers and your nougat won't melt from proximity to your apple taffy (or whatever they are providing this fall)

Work trip lands me just outside of Burlington for 2 weeks

Two weeks in town is a lot of meals to expense, so you should have more time than just to hit the high points.

El Cortijo, like much of the Farmhouse empire, always strikes me as better on paper than reality, e.g. 2 bite tacos for $4. Farmhouse is the best of their lot IMHO, especially if their lamb burger is on the specials list.

Trattoria Delia is much cheaper if you go in for a glass of wine, the charcuterie board and a tiramisu. No extra per diem necessary.

In town, I also have a soft spot for Duino Duende. It is cheap and funky and full of characters.

Single Pebble is lovely, but not especially cheap.

There are some decent vietnamese places in town (and in Winooski) if your palate is getting tired of the localvore scene. Pho Dang has great pho in Winooski, Pho Hang in Burlington has the rest of the bases covered. Not worth eating if it's your only meal in town, but sometimes you want some bun rather than another localvore meal.

Also a shout out for Misery Loves Company (though I will warn you that the food tends towards salty)

I have also heard good things about Mule Bar, including a Wednesday special of mussels and Heady Topper. Full disclosure, I haven't eaten there.

Tiny Thai in Winooski is also cheap and good... and often crowded. BYOB.

Wednesday is burger night special (1/2 price) many places in the area.

For inexpensive, there is also a Bosnian place in Essex, Cafe Mediterano.

Leaving half doughnuts behind

I firmly stand on the side that things sharing food is social behavior and wasting food is not. Leave a plastic knife in the box and let people enjoy a little treat.

Inverness and on up to the Orkney Islands

Have a wonderful trip Morganna! We were in Scotland two years ago, including two days in Orkney, which was simply not enough time to do it justice! While we were there, we did not go high end in our dining, mostly eating in pubs and finding it convivial enough. As I recall, you don't drink, so I won't recommend the Orkney beers, though they are tasty. But don't avoid the pubs even if you don't drink. I think of them in some ways like the UK equivalent of the diner: ubiquitous, honest food that is typically locally owned. You might even be showing up on the day that they have their weekly session of traditional tunes.

There is a local cheese called Gribenster (sp?) which they fry up and serve with a tart sauce. There is a fair amount of seafood too, including some gorgeous fish chowders made with either fresh or smoked fish. We had some with a chunk of brown bread out of a food truck in a field above Stromness for the Queens 60th jubilee. You won't be there for that, but who knows if there is some other event in town that might merit driving the truck out? In Kirkwall we ate at a hotel across from the docks. It looked stodgy in a 1960's way with flocked wallpaper, but the food was solid, honest and not expensive. It was a lesson that what may strike you as "fancy" really isn't. Besides, all restaurants post their menus outside, so you can make a reasonable decision before walking inside.

I will risk making a non-food comment: many of the monuments at Orkney (the stone rings and some tombs) are not sites that get locked up at night. I'm talking about the free ones. I spent a lovely midnight at the Stones of Stenness watching the moon come up. This may loosen your visiting schedule around some of the major sites that take admission like Skara Brae and Maise Howe (which you TOTALLY want to go to if you are physically able enough. You need a reservation for this.)

Inverness was a town that bounced me out on my butt. Too large to conveniently find a parking place and too small to have mass transit. I can't help you there.

But we had some excellent Indian takeaway in Berriedale, on the way between Orkney and Inverness. I can't promise you the same 20-year-old couple having a heart-rending breakup as they argued through the town, though culminating with "Ah only luv yuuu!" I know you say that you want to eat with the local culture. Indian restaurants ARE part of the British culture.

Also, do not run out of gas! Small towns do not necessarily have a petrol station. A village that merits a mention on the map may consist of 6 houses. And I agree with everyone who mentions that travel time takes much longer over there. I almost missed the Orkney ferry because I had routed my way for miles on a "single-track" that the GPS thought I could drive at 55 mph. Ha! Have a great time!

Jul 15, 2014
thinks too much in U.K./Ireland

I'm so over...

Yes. THis is exactly what I am talking about Kris. I went for brunch and ordered a special with some poached eggs, potatoes and "a tomato-cheddar fondue." They just didn't want to sound declasse and say "sauce." I had been looking forward to dipping potatoes into a small bowl cheese fondue.

I have seen it on other menus too. Sometimes they should call a sauce a sauce.