Looking for Fresh Produce/Good eats in NH/VT (I-93 and I-89)
My wife and I are going to be driving from Chelmsford, MA to Malone, NY later this week, and I was wondering if anybody knows of a good place along the way to pick up some fresh produce (cord or squash, etc.). I would also be interested in any good places to stop and eat along the way.
The route we'll take is Rt 3 to I-93 up to Concord, NH, and then 89 through VT up to VT-78.
Where 91 and 89 come together, in the Hanover, NH/Norwich, VT area, you have lots of choices. For produce, Kildeer Farm http://www.killdeerfarm.com has a farmstand that has decent hours and isn't too far off of the highway. There are lots of tasty places to eat - you can search Upper Valley or Norwich or Hanover for ideas. The Norwich Inn pub http://www.norwichinn.com/pubmnu.html has excellent food, not too expensive, and fun little tables outside. Allechante is also nearby in Norwich and makes excellent baked goods and sandwiches, only a few seats.
If you need a lunch or coffee break in Concord NH, In a Pinch Cafe on Warren St has terrific sandwiches. They open early and close around 3pm. They have daily sandwich, salad and soup specials (Cold Peach soup is wonderful!!!). The easiest way from Rt 89 would be to take the Clinton St exit and follow signs to the hospital (turn left onto Fruit Street, at next intersection make an immediate right onto Warren. It's a small white building on your left, maybe 100 yds from the intersection). Small parking lot, only a few tables. It's mostly a take out place but very very good. Another Concord option would be Bread and Chocolate on South Main Street. Take exit 13 and turn left heading into downtown Concord. Bread and Chocolate is on your right just before you get to the huge construction project that's all steel beams right now. Parking may be a problem because they've lost space on Main St to the construction. Across the street is the Concord Food Coop. It used to be a small, backroom but they've taken over most of the building now. They have a small parking lot, also a small salad/soup with a few tables. Organic foods with excellent selection of produce. Bread and Chocolate sells European style baked goods and make sandwiches on their own breads. For coffee break I highly recommend the bread with chocolate and crushed walnut filling. It's a yeast bread but not as sweet as most coffee cakes. I'm on a diet so I haven't had one in ages. Maybe it's poppy seed, not walnuts. If it's Saturday morning, there's a Concord Area Farmers Market next to the State House.
I agree with Jeda about Killdeer Farm (http:www.killdeerfarm.com) for produce. The farm stand is just off of the interstate on route 5 next to King Arthur Flour. They have the best produce around, beautifully displayed, fresh and mostly orgainic.
I recommend the tavern menu at Carpenter & Main, also in Norwich, for dinner. The chef uses lots of fresh local ingredients. Right now there's an appetizer of fresh chanterelles and black trumpets with sweet corn and green beans (probably from Killdeer Farm)that is outstanding!
Simon Pearce in Quechee is a great place to stop for lunch.
Not too far off 89.
If I were going to Malone I'd go through Saranac Lake. You could cross Champlain via either the Fort Ti ferry at Larrabee's Point (only a 5 minute ride) or the bridge at Chimney Point, then up to Westport and west through Elizabethtown (there are more shortcuts but a bit complicated). That would allow for lunch at either Quechee (about 2 hours from Chelmsford) or Middlebury (about 3 hours). In Middlebury we like Tully & Maries.
Actually, the family makes a trip to our summer house many times a year (Salem, NH to Westport, Ontario), and the I93 - I89 - SR78 - SR11 portion up to but not including Malone, NY is part of that route.
Over the years, we've found many places for good food on that route:
Lebanon, NH: Strip Mall hell with the usual collection of fast food and chain places, but the Seven Barrel Brewery has decent food.
Waterbury/Stowe VT: (Exit 10, I89) You can find many good restaurants in the Stowe area. We don't have a particular favorite in this area, but if you are looking for a meal that you'll remember, the Von Trapp lodge in Stowe, VT has great Austrian cuisine (you'll probably need to make reservations... look up the place via Google). There are a few other good places that aren't as expensive, but Von Trapp is one of those picturesque places that is a good destination in itself... sort of like the Mount Washington resort in Bretton Woods.
Burlington, VT: You can find a few good restaurants here--enough that you can avoid the national chains that are prevalent there as wel. If you go off-route a bit, you can find La Carreta, a good Mexican restaurant (there are also La Carreta restaurants in Nashua, Manchester, and now Derry, NH).
Between Burlington and Malone, we have eaten at a few places, including a pizza place and a Chinese take out. Food wasn't memorable, but the area is rural, so what do you expect from a place called "Pizza Barn?"
Good luck in your travel and report back what you've found and liked/disliked!
On the way up we stopped in Norwich. Got some veggies at Killdeer Farms, which were absolutely delicious. Sliced up the Zucchini and Squash, rubbed on some olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled them up. Also got some fresh green beans which were nice and crisp. That was a great recommendation.
Went next door to the King Arthur store and picked up a sourdough bread, which was quite good as well. Didn't eat anywhere on the way up.
Coming back though, we stopped in Waterbury, VT and ate at Arvad's. It's a pub right on main street. Food was pretty good, nothing spectacular, but they had their own soda's which were good (we had the rootbeer and the black cherry).
We grabbed a bunch of brochures at the rest stop and I think next time we're going to spend more time in VT on the way up, or even make another trip out of it. Between the New England shops and the breweries, I'm sure we could have a fun time.
thanks for everybody's help,