4 Days Central Vermont Help my fellow
- nbermas Aug 2, 2007 04:08 PM
Foodies, where to eat lunch & dinners, NOT EXPENSIVE but defintely Vermont grown foods. Stowe, Burlington, Waterbury, Waitsfield, Warren and whatever else is around there. Staying at The Inn At Round Barn, has anyone been there? Also any great farms, specialty foodie places? What about cheeses? Where to get great cheeses and maybe watch the process of it being made. Any good chocolatiers? Also any good maplehouses? What about spas to get a good massage. We are going for a celebration. Thanks for your help.
I don't know the area that well, but there was a recent thread about the Waitsfield/Warren area that seems pretty good:
Shelburne Farms makes cheese, and I think you can watch them make it, if I remember correctly... http://www.shelburnefarms.org/index.htm . It's a beautiful place and the food in the Inn is wonderful... if you're looking for something not expensive, however, you probably want to go for brunch.
Magnolia in Burlington in a cheaper place for lunch that uses local grown foods... it's really wonderful. Here's a semi-recent thread on it: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/347998
You can observe the cheesemaking at Shelburne Farms, but only if you pay the admission fee and either walk or take the tractor-pulled-carriage ride up to the Farm Barn -- which is a FABULOUS thing to do if you have young kids (they might not be interested in the cheesemaking, but they'll love all of the animals and activities in the Farm Barn). It's very interesting to watch, but you can not be guaranteed as to what, if anything, you're going to see, as it all depends, of course, on where in the cheesemaking process they happen to be while you're there.
We haven't stayed at the Inn at the Round Barn, but went to visit as we are considering it as a site for our wedding. It's absolutely amazing. I'm sure you will have an excellent time. They are very into the local food scene, so I'm sure they can help you with recommendations. Also, this month is the Vermont Festival of the Arts in the Mad River Valley, lots of stuff going on.
Tons of cheesemakers in Vermont - we were just at the Woodstock Water Buffalo company in Woodstock last weekend...they make buffalo mozzarella and yogurt. They don't have formal tours, but you can stop by certain hours and check it out - free samples!
Here's a link to the Vermont Cheese Trail:
Just a note, Woodstock and Putney are quite a ways away from Richmond. Probably close to 2 hours to drive.
As for restaurants, there is one within walking distance of where you're staying, called Sonoma Station. Many in the area here have lauded its deliciousness, BUT, I will say it isn't cheap. Yet it's excellent!
I agree with Katiepie about Magnolia. I ate brunch there this winter and it was wonderful, ate lunch in April and was disappointed. They are touting itself as Vermont's first "green" restaurant.
When you say inexpensive, what is your price range? All the restos I can think of that say Vermont are what I would consider a bit on the pricier side, $15-20 per entree.
As for spas, I hear the Topnotch in Stowe is really nice, but have never gone there, but it is really expensive, so I understand. There are a couple in Burlington, but again, they're really on the pricey side.
The Inn at Round Barn should not be confused with the Round Church in Richmond. The Inn is in Waitsfield/Warren/Mad River Valley, about 45 minutes from Richmond. I don't get to the Mad River Valley all that often, but do like the Alchemist in Waterbury. I think Lake Champlain Chocolates has a place in Waterbury as well, but not sure if they make anything there as their headquarters is in Burlington. Don't miss the Ben and Jerry's factory and tour in Waterbury; free samples and a great tourist attraction if you like that sort of thing.
Quote: "Don't miss the Ben and Jerry's factory and tour in Waterbury; free samples and a great tourist attraction if you like that sort of thing."
After paying the admission fee ($2.00 or $3.00--I don't recall the exact amount), one is given a brief "tour" that consists of watching a video and then looking at a small section of the factory from a glass-enclosed platform. After peering at the factory floor from that perch, one is given a SMALL sample of the flavor of the day.
When one considers the ultimately commercial nature of the tour and the fee that one pays for this brief experience, I think that the sample should be a bit more generous, and I also think that a choice of more than one flavor might be in order.
Yes, it was interesting, but...Free? I don't think so.
re: Ted in Central NJ
Errr.... "small section of the factory from a glass enclosed platform"? Uhm.. That -is- the whole factory. It's truly that small. You see the production line, you go past the storage tanks, you see the deep freeze with the conveyer that spins round and round, and you see the quality control room. Flavor development is done elsewhere. And every time I've gone (six or seven times now) they've offered two flavors, you can try both, or you can even ask for another option. The flavors they choose are usually new ones that aren't available in most markets yet. The operative word in "free sample" is -sample-. It's two or three mouthfuls of ice cream. That constitutes a sample.
The $2 cost of the tour doesn't even pay for the tour guide's time, let alone the costs of the samples they give out at the end.
If you go during the summer, there's a lot more to do outside the factory and they often have events there, too.
It is a nice, Vermont sized factory to visit, and you get to see as much as there is there. I don't know what else you would have expected. :)
re: Ted in Central NJ
I agree...it was rather a disappointment. There was a gentleman who was alergic to nuts and they could not be sure about the sample and he was not offered another flavor.
After we paid about $3 per cone we found the cheaper pints inside, so we bought 2 to take in the motorhome
The Waitsfield/Warren post linked above will be of help. Do a search for Waitsfield or Warren - I know I've posted some of my thoughts in some of those. As for cheese places - do a search for Vermont Cheese or VT Cheese - you should find another posting where I put down my thoughts. Chocolate - you can head up to Lake Champlain off Exit 10 where you will also find the Cabot Annex - just a retail storefront type thing, and neither are cottage industry places - but maybe thats what you are looking for?
What is expensive? How much per person for an entree for instance?
The value placed on quality/source of foods served around the Mad River Valley (and the rest of Vermont as far as I can tell) trumps the value placed on low cost foods, and thus, food is typically more expensive (while typically being of a better quality or more local source, etc.)
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