HOME > Chowhound > Northern New England >

Suggestions for Burlington

air May 3, 2010 02:48 PM

I'll be flying into town on business and looking for some good eating. No preference on cuisines, I will have a car, and would prefer to stay more towards casual and away from upscale/fine dining (unless it's certainly a destination-worthy meal). Very much open to ethnic options and would prefer locally owned places. Are there any local specialties I should be on the lookout for? Just saw another thread and unfortunately I'll be showing up the week after Vermont restaurant week.

I'd also appreciate a good beer bar/brewpub/gastropub where I can sample a big variety of local craft/micro beers. Manhattan Pizza sounded intriguing, anything in particular I should look out for there? I saw a big thread chastising Bluebird Tavern, so has anything improved with them?

Thanks for the suggestions!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. s
    Shann RE: air May 4, 2010 05:40 AM

    If you are looking for a brewpub type spot the Vermont Pub and Brewery on St. Paul (just off Church Street) is pretty good. They brew their beer right on site (or at least they used to, I haven't been there for a while). A Single Pebble is good chinese, also downtown.

    If the weather is good, eat outside at one of the Church Street places. Most of them are okay to good and its prime people watching this time of year.

    -----
    A Single Pebble
    133 Bank Street, Burlington, VT 05401

    1. Morganna RE: air May 4, 2010 08:05 AM

      I think Bluebird Tavern has gotten a bad rap, and I don't think that thread has been particularly fair, based on what I've read from people whose opinion I trust. That said, I've not had a chance to go there myself, so my comment isn't worth a lot. ;)

      Single Pebble, on church street. I hear good things about Das Beirhaus, haven't been yet. Personally, I think Hen of the Wood or Trattoria Delia are totally worth the money/drive. :)

      Next time get them to send you during Restaurant Week. ;)

      -----
      Trattoria Delia
      152 St Paul St, Burlington, VT 05401

      Hen of the Wood
      92 Stowe St Ste 1, Waterbury, VT 05676

      Bluebird Tavern
      Burlington, VT, Burlington, VT

      5 Replies
      1. re: Morganna
        air RE: Morganna May 4, 2010 08:21 AM

        Saw your thread on Trattoria Delia and definitely considering it, thanks for the heads up! 15 minute drive to Waterbury is no big deal, that matches my drive (without traffic) to go to a different suburb or into the actual city of Dallas.

        Is Single Pebble more of an Americanized Chinese style? I wouldn't be interested if that is the case.

        And I'll search for more info on Church street - pretty easy to do a pub crawl there? I'll plan for a night of that. Read about American Flatbread and thats sounding promising too.

        1. re: air
          MightyFrog RE: air May 4, 2010 08:30 PM

          A Single Pebble was founded by a well-traveled Vermonter, but they're by no means "Americanized" Chinese food. Compare their menu to your typical small town Chinese take out: http://www.asinglepebble.com/menu.htm. My knowledge of Burlington nightlife is sadly out of date; I'll let others comment on that.

          -----
          A Single Pebble
          133 Bank Street, Burlington, VT 05401

          1. re: MightyFrog
            air RE: MightyFrog May 5, 2010 04:05 PM

            So Sichuan style? What are the dishes to order there? Do they hold back on the spice?

            1. re: air
              s
              Shann RE: air May 6, 2010 05:20 AM

              It is the only restaurant that I have been to in Vermont where if they say it is hot on the menu it is actually kind of hot. Usually, the only way I can get spicy dishes to be hot enough around here is to badger the waitress and perhaps insult the chef! At A Single Pebble, I ordered a hot and spicy pork dish that was indeed hot and spicy. My wife ordered a chicken dish that was not spicy and it was indeed mild.

              -----
              A Single Pebble
              133 Bank Street, Burlington, VT 05401

              1. re: air
                Morganna RE: air May 6, 2010 09:24 AM

                I'm very fond of their sweet and pungent walnuts. :) I don't get to Church Street very often (and usually end up at Sadie Katz deli when I do get there), so I haven't been to Single Pebble in a looong time. I can't remember what's best to order. :)

        2. s
          starrfields RE: air May 7, 2010 06:00 PM

          For a less obvious choice, go to Pho Hong, 325 North Winooski Avenue. Simple but very surprisingly good. Try the Vietnamese hot and sour soup.

          -----
          Pho Hong
          325 N Winooski Ave, Burlington, VT 05401

          1. air RE: air May 12, 2010 05:56 AM

            Great recommendations and discussion. Here's my lineup of choices so far for four nights worth of dinners.

            -Trattoria Delia
            -Two trips to Waterbury:
            The Alchemist (strongly urged to go here by BeerAdvocate forum members)
            Hen of the Wood - got a few other questions actually.
            What's the price range for a full-on tasting menu? This would be without wine pairings, maybe I'd get a cocktail. Dress code? And just in case, would doing the tasting menu solo be ok? Some higher-end places are not ok with solo diners so just wanted to cover that base.

            -lastly, pub crawl: American Flatbread, Das Bierhaus, Vermont Pub and Brewery, Three Needs Brewery/Taproom. Which order should I hit these?

            One more thing, figured out where I will be working so I could also use some lunch suggestions, specifically closeby where I-89 hits St. George Rd. Based on Google Maps, it looks like chain hell. Sad that's basically how it tends to go for lunch, but the priority for my group is convenience over quality - which is why I'm really adamant about finding some good food for dinner! Thanks again.

            -----
            Trattoria Delia
            152 St Paul St, Burlington, VT 05401

            A Single Pebble
            133 Bank Street, Burlington, VT 05401

            6 Replies
            1. re: air
              c
              carli RE: air May 13, 2010 08:38 PM

              I'm in Burlington for a few days from CA, and I've chosen to eat two nights at Bluebird Tavern. When I got into town on Tues, my hosts took me there on the way home from the airport, and I had the mussels with aioli and their house green salad, both of which were outstanding. The greens were simple, bright and lemony, dressed in a yummy vinegarette with a variety of lettuces and herbs, and the mussels were TO DIE FOR - incredible! Maybe it's because I haven't lived on the east coast for awhile and am totally deprived of such deliciously brine-y seafood, but those mussels were/are amazing. Plump, delicate and in an ambrosial broth of garlicky, lardon-y, deliciousness. They were so good that I craved them again today, and when we were about to head out to Trattoria D'Elia, I sheepishly asked if we could go have those mussels again instead, and luckily, everyone obliged. I'm sure Trattoria D'Elia would've also been great, but I could not imagine leaving Burlington without one more trip to Bluebird Tavern for those mussels. I will miss them when I'm gone!!

              We've got reservations at Hen of the Wood on Sat night, and hopefully, I'll refrain from begging to go back to Bluebird. :) By the way, the rest of the food at Bluebird was great, too. Others at my table had some good stuff - one was the small plate of 3 scallops (lightly grilled, kind of smokey flavor, with a few sauteed greens and lardons - had one bite and loved it), the burger, the cod (?) cheeks w/asparagus...not sure...now can't recall if it was cod. I was too focused on my mussels. Who thought mussels could cause such cravings?! Also, I have to admit those frites served along with the mussels are pretty spectacular, too. Also had a nice bottle of French Macon-Villages for $25. Oh, one more thing - the mussels were $10 on Tues night (along w/the burger, which was $10) but I think that was a special because tonight they were $14...anyway, it was all very reasonable, especially for the fantastic quality of the food.

              Wherever you go, enjoy!

              -----
              Hen of the Wood
              92 Stowe St Ste 1, Waterbury, VT 05676

              Bluebird Tavern
              Burlington, VT, Burlington, VT

              1. re: air
                air RE: air May 14, 2010 07:12 AM

                And another question! What food should I order at the Alchemist?

                1. re: air
                  Morganna RE: air May 14, 2010 10:09 AM

                  I don't think there are any restaurants on your trip where you need to be any more dressed up than slacks and not a teeshirt. Hen of the Wood doesn't have any requirements, but I wouldn't wear a tee shirt and jeans there. I made my husband wear a button down shirt and slacks, no tie or jacket. The Alchemist is a local pub/brewhouse, nothing special for dress. I don't know what the price range is for a full tasting menu at Hen of the Wood.

                  Oh, ah, the exit 12 area. Asian Bistro, in Maple Tree Place is decent and not too expensive. I think Three Tomatoes, right near the cinema, might also be good, but I'm not sure on that. I can't remember the last time I was there.

                  Avoid Mexicali at all costs, even if you have to stab people with forks. ;) I probably don't have to tell you to avoid Ponderosa.

                  There's another Asian place that boasts Korean food past Taft Corners, down near Rocky's Pizza off Route 2, but I can't remember what it's called, and I don't know if it's any good. I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

                  -----
                  Hen of the Wood
                  92 Stowe St Ste 1, Waterbury, VT 05676

                  1. re: Morganna
                    air RE: Morganna May 14, 2010 11:21 AM

                    Thanks again. Those additional questions (towards dress code, etc) were directed towards Hen of the Wood. I was thinking a polo with nice jeans and dress shoes (more casual end of business casual).

                    I trust BA for input on beers, and that's how I found out about the Alchemist. But for food not so much, so any particular standouts there?

                    -----
                    Hen of the Wood
                    92 Stowe St Ste 1, Waterbury, VT 05676

                    1. re: air
                      Morganna RE: air May 16, 2010 05:11 AM

                      I don't usually get a chance to eat there because they don't start serving until I've gone home for the day (I work in Waterbury but live in Orange). I've had their sweet potato fries years ago when we had an office holiday party there and liked them immensely. I don't recall hearing anyone specify individual things, but they always say that the food is good pub food in a general way. :) If you're heading into Waterbury anyway, you might want to give Ocha Thai or Stebu Sushi (depending on what time you get there) a shot. Both are within walking distance of the Alchemist on the same street.

                      -----
                      Stebu Sushi
                      4 S Main St, Waterbury, VT 05676

                      Ocha
                      6 N Main St Ste 2, Waterbury, VT 05676

                  2. re: air
                    j
                    jhberkley RE: air May 16, 2010 05:35 PM

                    In Williston (Exit 12) try Chef's Corner for lunch. Don't forget to visit Al's French Frys (sic) on Williston Road headed toward Burlington. It's locally owned and a local landmark. Fries are great, creemees too!

                  3. RC51Mike RE: air May 17, 2010 04:40 AM

                    At the Alchemist, we had the sausage sampler that was very good. My wife had a BLT with bacon that I would kill for. I had the three cheese pizza that was also very good. I don't think you can go wrong with anything. It is a very local bar kind of place but with great beer and good food. We're looking forward to going back.

                    Across the street is a tiny place, the name of which escapes me, that has craft beer and flyfishing tackle. We didn't go having filled up at Alchemist but, looks worth a visit.

                    While you're nearby, head down the road a few miles to Red Hen Baking and grab a bite and a few loaves of bread.

                    1. m
                      mrosa RE: air May 17, 2010 07:51 AM

                      Not the cleanest place . I wouldn't go there.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: mrosa
                        RC51Mike RE: mrosa May 17, 2010 08:37 AM

                        Wouldn't go where? Vermont?

                        1. re: RC51Mike
                          Morganna RE: RC51Mike May 17, 2010 12:35 PM

                          I was wondering the same thing.

                      2. t
                        tkln RE: air May 17, 2010 09:21 AM

                        We've eaten at the Alchemist a number of times and everything we've had has always been very solid...the BLT is probably the best I've ever had.

                        I've been to Hen of the Wood in winter in jeans/snow boots/fleece top (and I'm a girl) and had no issues...

                        -----
                        Hen of the Wood
                        92 Stowe St Ste 1, Waterbury, VT 05676

                        1. t
                          tkln RE: air May 17, 2010 09:23 AM

                          Oh, and not sure what time/day you're planning on heading to the Alchemist, but it fills up fast. Opens at 3, food starts at 4, Friday night at 6 we had a 40 minute wait.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: tkln
                            air RE: tkln May 17, 2010 11:52 AM

                            I'll be going solo during a weeknight, and will (likely) be at the bar. No problem standing around waiting as long as I have a beer in hand!

                            1. re: air
                              t
                              tkln RE: air May 17, 2010 12:12 PM

                              Then you should be fine! :-)

                          2. air RE: air May 24, 2010 06:07 PM

                            Just got in and had Al's French Fries for lunch while my first dinner was at Farmhouse Tap and Grill, a relatively new gastropub. Overall really pleased so far especially with the outstanding, very high quality and fresh taps that were at Farmhouse - more details later as I plan to hit this place me than once during my time in town!

                            -----
                            Al's French Fries
                            1251 Williston Rd, South Burlington, VT 05403

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: air
                              Morganna RE: air May 25, 2010 08:08 AM

                              What did you think of the fries? I'm not very fond of Al's fries, myself.

                              1. re: Morganna
                                air RE: Morganna May 27, 2010 09:40 AM

                                Wasn't bad, great crisp and seasoning, but I didn't have some sort of eye-opening potato epiphany or anything! Did not get to do Hen of the Wood but that's OK, because I've plenty of fun sampling all kinds of delicious beer (inaccessible to TX) throughout this week and it's also neat to see how so many restaurants support the ideals of slow food and keeping it local.

                                And for the poster who replied about Red Hen - I ordered a cheese sampler platter and PEI mussels while at the Alchemist and they serve bread straight fromRed Hen!

                            2. air RE: air Aug 9, 2010 03:24 PM

                              Finally got around to doing this...
                              http://www.madewithair.com/?p=709

                              Once again, thank you all so much for the suggestions!

                              1. l
                                lovejoyeater RE: air Aug 11, 2010 03:48 PM

                                Thanks everyone for your opinions and suggestions! I just sent my spouse off to a conference in Burlington with an iPhone full of "foodie bookmarks" for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When he returns, I'll report back!

                                Also, Morganna, don't you post on the Northern New England board about Maine? You must be some kind of lucky to spend time in Vermont and Maine! :)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: lovejoyeater
                                  Morganna RE: lovejoyeater Aug 12, 2010 06:25 AM

                                  Yeah I post about Maine, and CT, and NH when I go there, and upstate NY. ;) The Maine coast is only about two and a half hours away from my house. So we often take small vacations to recharge at the ocean (which was one reason we moved to VT in the first place). There's lots of decent food in the Ogunquit/Wells area, and we've been there many times just to recharge right after or before peak season. :) We like travel.

                                Show Hidden Posts