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Bennington Weekend Eats

Friday night we ate at "Pangea" at the reccommendation of the motel owner where we were staying.
We told him we were looking for the best gourmet restaurant around and her steered us in the right direction!
This was as good as Hemingway's or John Andrews in our opinions.
The Savory Jonah crab flan and pommes rosti and Herb gnocchi alla carbonara with applewood bacon were truly outstanding appetizers.
With appetizers out of the way we were anticipating the main course.
The Seared diver scallops with sweet corn succotash was great as was the Filet mignon alla Rossini and black truffle pate on brioche.
This is trly 5-star dining in North Bennington,Vermont.
Right next door there is a bar(owned by Pangaea, and outside dining area overlooking a running stream & waterfalls for those who like their dinner a bit less formal or less expensive.
The other bar had a bar menu that looked good also but we were there on the other side of the building for their white linen service.
This place should be on everyone's list who really wants a gourmet treat while in the Bennington area.
Both breakfasts we ate were at the Blue Benn Diner.
Just as posters here have said this is the best breakfast place around.
From vegetairian omelettes,to Steak Philly Omlettes,to foods with Tofu or prime rib you can't beat the quality,quantity,or excellent service at this small family-style diner.
We had to wait each day just to get in;the line was that long.
Get in before 8:00AMish and you'll be OK.
After that great meal Friday night we needed something a bit lighter Saturday night and the Madison Brewpub,downtown,with their fine IPA Ale(as reccommended here) was just great.
Home-made potato chips,burgers,salads,and my favorite,the Bratwurst Speical with knockwurst,bratwurst,and another kind of getman sausage all in beer-soaked sauerkraut was absolutely excellent.
Keep these places in mind if you're in the Bennington,Vermont area.

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  1. I have to put in a plug for Izabella's Eatery, 351 Main St., in Bennington. My favorite place for lunch in that town. They have a largely but not exclusively vegetarian menu, featuring lots of local produce and wonderful breads. The salads are inventive and tasty. And pretty good art by local artists on the walls.

    I know the Blue Ben has a great reputation, but everytime I eat there I find the food adequate but not that special.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rufustfi

      I'll be up there again next week and I'll try Izabella's for lunch.
      I've only had breakfast at Blue Benn and I find the breakfasts very good.
      I haven't had lunch or dinner there.

      1. re: rufustfi

        I tried Izabella's last week for lunch and it was very good. I had the turkey/goat cheese/avocado sandwich and I gobbled it right up, it was SO good.

        Just wanted to point out that it is not cash only, they do accept Visa/Mastercard/Debit cards currently. Not sure when that change took place, but since I rarely carry cash, it was nice to know that I could go there on the spur of the moment and not have to hit an ATM first.

      2. I am a huge fan of Pangaea and have been since they have opened. The prices seem to have creeped up over the years and the desserts are not the greatest, but those are minor quibbles. We are lucky to have such a great place in town. It is easily the best food in So VT or the Berkshires, IMO.

        I am also a huge fan of the Blue Benn. I'm a sucker for their donuts.

        And Izabella's is fabulous. Great sandwiches (I think I've had all of them!)

        The Blue Benn and Izabella's are both cash only.

        1. I second Izabella's eatery a great place for lunch and breakfast!

          1. I heard that the long time head cook at the Blue Benn opened a new place just east of Benn.. Has anyone tried it?

            2 Replies
            1. re: mr breadpuddin

              Yes, it's called the Top Notch Diner and it's just outside of downtown Benn, heading east on Rt. 9. I've only been there once, for lunch, and it was good, but nothing spectactular. The french fries are just about identical. I's always packed. If I had to wait in line to eat at one or the other, I'd still pick the Blue Benn, though.

              1. re: dukegirl

                Ate at the top Notch for lunch about 4 months ago and will never go back. The fish and chip were the worst I ever had and many diners were sending their food back because it was either cold or wasn't cooked properly. too many kids cooking in the kitchennot knowing what they're doing!!

            2. Just found Izabella's for lunch today and both the wife and I are very happy. Excellent sandwiches and very friendly staff. I'll eat there again.

              1. We're a family (two teenage daughters) who are in Bennington from time to time on weekend days. We usually find ourselves eating at Madison Brewpub. We like the food (basic pub food) and the setting but it's also by default. We might go to Blue Benn more often, but there's usually a wait and we don't think its THAT good. We haven't found anything else which works. We don't want just sandwiches/soup/salads so Alldays & Onions is out. We love cheap ethnic restaurants but aren't aware of any in Bennington; whatever Chinese buffets have popped up are not really worth it. Any suggestions?

                6 Replies
                1. re: amstrgy

                  There is really no good ethnic food in Bennington right now, but we keep hoping! I am not sure what meal you are referring to, but here is what I would suggest: for lunch Izabella's, Blue Benn or Your Belly's Deli. Dinner: Carmody's on Main St., Kevin & Mike's or Pangaea Lounge in N. Bennington, or head down to Williamstown, MA (20 minutes) for Indian and Thai on Spring Street or Jae's Inn on Route 7 South. We go to the Blue Benn for dinner (Wed - Friday I think) when everyone wants something different.

                  1. re: NBP

                    I had an excellent breakfast pannini and coffee at Izabella's when I was there last summer. What a gem. I'd usually get a latte at the coffee shop around the corner on South or something at Blue Benn but really liked Izabella's too.

                    1. re: NBP

                      Blus Ben is overrated and living off its past IMO. Don't know how you can put Carmoody's and Pangea in the same sentence as these are 2 opposite types of restaurants.

                      1. re: RichK

                        Agree w/the above post on the Blue Benn, having been there this morning. Interesting menu w/a lg number of choices-must be ten different kinds of pancakes. But I decided to stick to the basics. Good news, red potato homefries were excellent, served hot and firm. Average News, hash was no better or worse than anyplace. Bad News 1, Meal really struck out with eggs ordered over easy that were served with the yolks 90% cooked through. Bad News 2, $2.50 for a cup of real average coffee, a block down the street is a Dunkin Donuts where I'd guess a vastly superior cup of coffee is available for a lot less than $2.50.

                        1. re: pturner1

                          My last experience at the Blue Benn was really bad and it put me off for a good long time. I had a southwest or tex-mex benedict and the sauce was watery and the avocados were black and inedible. It was shocking they were even put on the plate. Poached eggs so runny, they were clear, just a really bad breakfast all around.

                          Considering that there's Izabella's which is much healthier and tasty and now Lil' Britain which satisfies the fried food cravings, I really don't see a need to go back to the Blue Benn any time soon.

                        2. re: RichK

                          You can count me among the naysayers regarding The Blue Benn. The Received Wisdom that it's some kind of Holy Grail leaves me in a state of bafflement. Have I had some some good experiences here? Sure. Write home great? Uh, uh. Wanting to stand in an interminable line good? Umm, no. I can get what I need in a breakfast at Williamstown's Chef's Hat but I can most definitely get what I want at Chelsea Royal Diner in West Brattleboro. BTW, that ain't an egg whites omlette.


                      1. you should try Apples and Onions. it is fabulous. they make maple scones served with maple butter!! yum yum!!!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Ms. S

                          Do you mean Alldays & Onions on West Main Street?