Rte 100 Eats - Southern VT
Having lived in and driven all around VT the last 3 years, I realized that we've never spent any time discovering the center of VT, right up Rte 100. So yesterday we started out in Wilmington and drove North up to just past Echo Lake (Ludlow area).
There were 2 places that I specifically wanted to try, Grandma Miller's in S. Londonderry and Dos Gringos in W. Dover. Grandma Miller's had been recommended here on Chowhound and Dos Gringos had been voted the best Mexican food in a reader's poll of the Brattleboro Reformer, so I had high hopes for both.
Grandma Miller's was fantastic! Perfectly sublime peanut butter bar w/chocolate, yummy eclairs (custard filling), divine almond horns. They also have breads, donuts, muffins and tons of take-and-bake pies, quiches, and pot pies. We opted for a take-and-bake cherry crumb pie and baked it late last night. It was delicious hot and even better for breakfast this morning. The crust is flaky and wonderful.
Dos Gringos, on the other hand, was so incredibly awful. I am completely baffled at how this restaurant was rated #1. I didn't realize how close it was to all the touristy Mt. Snow goings on (I'm not a skier), so I can see how they stay in business. Lots of tourist business and most people in New England don't really know good Mexican food. But this was truly awful AND its not Mexican but more Tex-Mex (fajitas, nachos, quesadillas).
The guacamole was so thick and devoid of any avocado chunks that we guessed, based on texture and taste, that they mix it with cream cheese. Weird.
The beef fajitas were served on a cast iron skillet but came to the table with nary a sizzle happening. I've never been served fajitas that were completely silent. The beef tasted like it had no seasoning whatsoever, not even salt and pepper and I could swear it had been steamed or was sitting in a steamer. No flavor.
I ordered the chicken burrito and cheese enchilada combo and it was dismal as well. The chicken burrito had beans in it and beans on the plate, so too much filler for me. I also don't recall the menu describing beans inside the burrito, but I could have missed it. The chicken itself was overcooked and unseasoned white meat, very dry. The cheese enchilada was good, actually; unconventional but good. It was a mixture of Ricotta and cheddar with a smoky chipotle sauce. That was the highlight of the entire table full of food.
The beans (watery) and rice were both bland and seemed not to be seasoned. The salsa does not come automatically, it must be ordered and the salsa was the cooked tomato/jarred kind, not fresh made. The chips were stale, some of them.
The only highlight of the entire dinner was my margarita. The margarita, beer and the cheese enchilada were all good; decor was funky and cute and service was great, but everything else food-wise was bloody awful.
Please feel free to add recs/reviews for more Rte 100 eats. We will be continuing our drive next weekend probably.
dos gringos was downright terrible. aside from it not being real mexican, it was barely edible. the four of us had the beef fajitas, enchilada combo and shrimp fajitas. fri nite we arrived at 9:15 and were told they were out of food, no beans, no chicken, nothin' we made reservations at 8:30 for the next nite. the place was packed, mostly 20somethings. the food took quite a while to arrive. we were told they were out of guac. the salsa was from a can/jar of the supermarket variety. the beans were bland, no salt, no flavor, the enchiladas were too moist and there was barely any meat. the fajitas had mystery meat beef. this was beyond unmemorable.
If you are in the Ludlow area, you should definitely try The Hatchery for breakfast. They do awesome omelets (really inventive), great specials, vegetarian options, and fresh juices. The place is tiny so you might have to wait for a table during ski season and they only accept cash, but it is worth it.
Also, in Rochester there is this tiny little restaurant called The Porch. Really cozy inside, a cute local place. It is owned by a couple who also have a really upscale catering company, but the menu is mostly homey, comfort food - good and reasonably priced too. A nice place for dinner.
I know this is an older thread but I had to add.
All in Wilmington:
Smoking J's bbq. i forgot the owner's name but he's very nice and actually from TN! yummy yummy yummy! There were 4 of us, we ordered almost everything off the menu minus dessert.
Sadly, Poncho's Wreck closed. They had some good seafood and other.
The Maple Brewery was good last time I was up there. The beer I had was local and delicious, the name escapes me, I think it was something Tiger (?).
I also Second DOTS! especially in the off tourist season.
My boyfriend and I are always looking for more places to eat when up in the Wilmington area.
The White House looks like an imposing, grand inn (which it is!!) but the cozy restaurant and bar welcome jeans and parka-wearing slobs like us. It serves a knock-out lobster, macaroni and cheese combo. If you're reading this around Christmastime, you must go in for a drink, at least, to admire the incredible holiday decorations. It's really special. Oh, and pet the two cute dogs.
Grandma Miller's sticky buns are wonderful, especially early in the day when they are hot out of the oven. I'm also a huge fan of the morning glory muffins and the sour cream coffee cake. We are building a house in the area and I can't wait to have year-round access to all of the wonderful baked goods. Also of note are the croissants at the Village Pantry du Logis in South Londonderry.
Yes, Grandma Miller's...I live less than 1/2 a mile up the road! They also have excellent frozen take-home dinner things. In this terribly busy season for me and my husband, we've relied on a lot of prepared foods: Grandma Miller's Chicken Pot Pies and Lasagna are peerlessly fine.
We happen to live in West Dover and you must try Dos Gringos again inbetween tourist seasons.
We've had many a good meal there (especially on Wednesday nights when the appetizers are half price and margaritas are $3.00).
So come back again during a not so busy time and give it another try.