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VT Food Tour

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Hi Everybody,

My fiance and I are getting married in late August and we're tentatively planning to follow the wedding with a 2-3 day food-centric tour of Vt. So far, we're thinking about The Farmer's Diner and Jasper Hill. Does anybody have other thoughts?


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  1. How will you be arriving in the state?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Morganna

      We're driving up from Boston, so we'll have a car.

    2. Taylor Farm down Londonderry has great gouda(s). Nice folks, too.

      I miss buying cheese from Mr Coolidge at Plymouth Cheese....

      2 Replies
      1. re: hazelhurst

        I too miss buying chesse from Mr. Coolidge at the old Plymouth Chesse store.
        Waht a grand gentleman and the cheese was sooooo good !
        We used to buy several wheels for all our staff at Xmas as well.
        The place just isn't the same anymore.

        1. re: catnip

          I haven't been since he died...it was a great place. And a lovely lady, mary, at teh counter back there. we used to exchange Xmas cards --I was doing the same as you, sending that stuff to friends. I heard the subsequent efforts with Cabot just did not turn out well. So I switched loyalty to Taylor, even though it isn;t cheddar. I am still looking for teh Coolidge-type cheddar and would appreciate any thoughts....

      2. Both locations of Farmer's Diner are closed. What part of Vermont were you thinking?

        7 Replies
        1. re: Alice Eats

          Too bad. We'll have a car, so we're happy to go anywhere. We were considering Waterville and Waitsfield.

          1. re: lieb

            If you like cheeses: http://www.vtcheese.com/cheesetrail.htm
            wine/beer: http://www.vermontvacation.com/winebr...
            My current favorite restaurant is the Starry Night Cafe in Ferrisburgh. Its along Route 7 just north of Vergennes. I have heard wonderful things about Hen of the Wood in Waterbury - I'm sure others can chime in,

            Starry Night Cafe
            5467 Route 7, Ferrisburgh, VT 05456

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

            1. re: lieb

              In Waitsfield you will find the Mad Taco (http://themadtaco.com/). I haven't been there yet, but plan to go on Sunday when we go to the air show in Waitsfield. I have friends whose opinions I trust who have said the tacos there are FANTASTIC. :) In Waterbury there is Ocha Thai, Stebu Sushi (though you may not be interested in sushi, coming from Boston where you can get fresher fish and probably better sushi), Muddy Paw (I really LOVE this place, they are located in a gas station, but don't let that put you off at all), Park Row, and Juniper's Fare. There's also a guy who makes tamales that you can stop and buy from, but I can never remember/figure out how to find him or how to order from him (because he mostly makes them and sells them to food coops in the area). He used to market them at the Capital City Farmer's Market in Montpelier, and my husband and I called him "the tamale guy".

              You have GOT to stop at Nutty Steph's and Red Hen Bakery and Cafe which is on Route 2. If you get off I89 at exit 9 to head into Waitsfield, you'll drive right past it, it's right off the exit. I can't believe how awesome Nutty Steph's is (just went there for the first time last week). If you're taking Route 2 north from Montpelier, you need to drive just a short ways past the turn for Waitsfield, and it'll be there.

              Hunger Mountain Coop in Montpelier is a great place to shop for local stuff. They also have a lot of prepared foods. There's Samosaman and Skinny Pancake in Montpelier, as well. And a new place called Bagitos that has decent bagels (my Long Island-bred husband finds them acceptable) as well as yummy burritos and breakfast stuff.

              I have a delicious.com page set up with links for the Barre-Montpelier area, if you're interested.

              Skinny Pancake
              60 Lake St Ste 1A, Burlington, VT 05401

              Park Row Cafe
              7 Park Row, Waterbury, VT 05676

              Stebu Sushi
              4 S Main St, Waterbury, VT 05676

              6 N Main St Ste 2, Waterbury, VT 05676

              The Mad Taco
              2 Village Rd, Waitsfield, VT 05673

              1. re: Morganna

                Thanks everybody! The itinerary is shaping up nicely.

                1. re: lieb

                  P.S. How do I get to your delicious.com page Morganna?

              2. re: lieb

                I second Morganna on Mad Taco in Waitsfield. I'm also a huge fan of Barn Door at the 1824 House, which changes its menu weekly to spotlight a single local ingredient.

                Barn Door Restaurant - Events Only
                VT-100, Waitsfield, VT 05673

                The Mad Taco
                2 Village Rd, Waitsfield, VT 05673

            2. One option is to go to Hardwick - just north of Montpellier.

              Claire's Restuarnt in Hardwick is a wonderful (but casual) place to eat, and you can check out lots of other food locations in and around that town.

              For details on Hardwick read "The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality In Local Food" by Ben Hewitt, or check out the article on Hardwick in Yankee Magazine:

              1. My top spots in Vermont

                BEST PANCAKES IN US - River Run - Plainfield, VT

                The Alchemist - Waterbury
                The Shed in Stowe
                Chelsea Royalton Diner
                Putney Diner
                J Morgans Steak House - Montpelier

                Steak House
                Barre-Montpelier Rd, Barre, VT 05641

                Putney Diner
                82 Main St, Putney, VT 05346

                4 Replies
                  1. re: rizzo0904

                    You're right. River Run is closed.

                    1. re: rizzo0904

                      And their pancakes probably hadn't been very good prior to their closing because they'd stopped serving breakfast, then the guy who was their breakfast cook left, then they started serving breakfast again, but too little too late, I think. The owner (Iggy) closed it and opened up in the Black Door in Montpelier. I've not been but reviews I've seen suggest the food is still a bit uneven. I have "inside" reasons for not giving Black Door my business and I guess I'll leave it at that.

                      Positive Pi the original has bought the River Run building and is expanding in to the space! YAY Positive Pi! We're seriously hoping they start doing trivia there, because that'll get us to make the trip down into Plainfield again. :)

                    2. re: meeps2002

                      I cannot disagree more about J Morgan's. It's mediocre, at best, and over-priced for what you get. It is totally not worth going.

                      There are -no- good steakhouses in the Barre-Montpelier area. Well, really, there aren't any good independent ones that I've found anywhere in Vermont (though I have not been everywhere, and my knowledge of anything south of, say, Randolph, is VERY poor indeed). I am willing to accept that there could be a wonderful steakhouse lurking out there, just never heard of one mentioned. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Texas Roadhouse was really good and reasonably priced, despite it being a chain. But it IS a chain. So is the Longhorn Steakhouse and the 99 (never been to the 99).

                      Anyone out there have suggestions to the contrary (keeping in mind that my bar for steakhouses is fairly high, coming from the midwest as I do ;).

                    3. I live less than 300 yards from the Vermont border and have spent the last 15 years living in Chicago, Western Michigan and Montreal. Both my wife and I like to cook and the quality of the food we buy around Newport Vermont is excellent. but I do not understand why the border with with Quebec seems so impenetrable.
                      Although there are any number of good eating options in the Newport area the history of dining out and the cultural demand for excellent away from home food is not as pervasive as here in Quebec.
                      Here in Stanstead pop. 3000 same town as Derby Line Vermont we have the Tomifobia restaurant (great crepes, pasta and rabbit), Papa's very casual diner great fries, Millie's eclectic, Steve's pizza (great pizza an institution) , Lady Banting fine dining. Feuillantine great French bakery where one can get amazing coffee and a Croque Monsieur for breakfast or have a steak at Veille Douanne from a perch overlooking the falls of the Tomifobia River.
                      I am an older retired foodie and but if I was doing a three day trip to discover how wonderful the food could be in this area I would not dream of stopping at the border.
                      Thirty minutes north of the Quebec Vermont is the town of Magog where the passion for good food and spirits reigns supreme. One could spend a month going from restaurant to restaurant on the main street and never be disappointed except that a trip to Marche Vegetarien might make future food shopping much less exciting and the SAQ selection will make you wonder why there cannot be more liquor stores that cater to those who enjoy the world of great food and drink.
                      Vermont is a large state with much to do and eat. but if I was going to do a three day food centric trip to celebrate a joyous occasion I would start at Newport Vermont 3.5 hours and do a trip around Lake Memphremagog.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: Moedelestrie

                        Thank you for this information! My mother lives just outside of Derby VT., and I always lament the dining choices when we make the three hour trek for a visit. I had no idea that all these options existed right over the border.

                        1. re: crowdingthepan

                          Next time you visit check out the cheese selection in the IGA in Stanstead in addition to be one of the most accommodating friendly supermarkets I have ever been in their selection of Quebec artisan and international cheeses is amazing for a small town or even a big city. I enjoy Cabot's American cheddar especially their Hot Habenero but if you are willing to travel a bit in the area you might take in the La Station Frommmagerie in Compton for cheese as good as any you may encounter on this planet and the dairy in Coaticook is definitely worth the 40 minute drive for the park, the bridge and the ice cream and fresh cheese curds..

                          1. re: crowdingthepan

                            PS There are many reasons Sherbrooke was voted the best city in Canada in which to live but I am willing to bet the quality and number of restaurants is well up on the list. Be careful there are a number of large Canadian chains such as Eastside Mario and Boston Pizza that sell atmosphere as opposed to great food.

                          2. re: Moedelestrie

                            I'm guessing that you don't look the least tiny bit foreign. I have friends who live up in Derby line and they've said that crossing the border just for small things has become a major hassle, but especially for friends of theirs who aren't clearly just plain white folks. The borders got a lot harder to get through in recent years, from all I've heard. I also imagine that there aren't many folks from the area on chowhound, and the folks here on chowhound are less familiar with the area. I certainly can't comment on what's in the area. :)

                            1. re: Morganna

                              Getting into Canada with the proper documentation is usually hassle free, the border guards are generally jovial and welcoming regardless of colour or race. the guards are well educated and well trained and Quebec is fairly colour blind. If you are coming from Boston or some other large city a diversity of backgrounds is expected. My name sounds foreign but I am a large white older male and I generally travel with my wife and dog. Our friends are black, Hispanic, Asian and represent a broad cross section of the world but I would say if you don't fit a white profile take I91. If you are coming from Derby or Newport you can cross at Beebe or Derby Line with no hassle.
                              Getting into the US is of course another matter but on our recent trips we have encountered border guards of Southeast Asian and Hispanic heritage. We have encountered a more thorough screening as of late and my feeling is that regardless of heritage American border guards are expected to be unwelcoming and strictly business which is very unsettling for a jovial harmless looking elderly white man. Having been a visible minority on Chicago's south side I know how hard it is to not take it personally and respond without emotion especially since it is difficult for me to imagine trying to illegally enter the US from Canada.
                              There may be a language problem in areas like Coaticook and Sherbrooke but food is a pretty universal language and a love of good food will get you everywhere in Quebec. Sherbrooke has two major universities one English one French and a racially and ethnically diverse population with some very good ethnic restaurants.
                              Where I live Stanstead we have the highest percentage of bilingual people in Canada although it is officially French speaking I can pretty well guarantee service in English except at the Bakery where the proprietors are French from France.
                              This area of Quebec must be a very difficult area for border guards to work because a very high percentage of our population is still coping with the fact that there is a border here. The border runs through many houses and the gates on the streets are a relatively new phenomenon. Our library and opera house have the border running across the floor. Many people are upset that they cannot use the parking lot at the opera house without reporting to customs. Most of our population over 30 was born at the hospital in Newport about 10 minutes away and now our closest hospital is 30 minutes away.
                              Anyway what I really want to say is that your point is excellent but I think a bigger problem than race is economic background. What is really shameful is young people of working class background do not travel cross the border and in towns like Newport and Rock Island that is the majority who by the way are mostly white and because of history share family backgrounds.
                              PS Marijuana use is tolerated to large extent on both sides of the border but I imagine one of the main duties is to keep drugs out and where there are young people on both sides of the border there is usually pot.
                              PS Because of our particular backgrounds my wife and I are about as foreign as you can get in our part of Stanstead but I guess we were pretty strange wherever we lived.

                              1. re: Moedelestrie

                                On a different note, Moedelestrie, where would you stay (a particular B&B?) if my husband and I were to do the loop you recommend? I still have a great article from an old Gourmet about that area, especially a wine and cheese tour, and I've long wanted to do it. Combining it with your suggestion seems ideal, but finding the best central spot from which to launch is my question. My background is French Canadian on my mother's side (all relatives still in St. Georges de Beauce and Thedford Mines) and I speak French so no worries for us on that score, thankfully!

                                Re. food tour of VT, my brother lives in Ludlow and he and his wife took us to Consider Bardwell Farm earlier this year....great cheese, great people. it's in the more southwestern part of VT. Can't remember town...

                                Consider Bardwell Farm
                                1333 Rte 153, West Pawlet, VT 05775

                                1. re: Shooley

                                  I am just recovering from Borderfest which was well attended and renewed my appreciation of the excellent food and drink available locally. Having partook in the taste of the Region at the museum i would not hesitate to recommend our Stanstead B&B Les Boises Lee Farm and their Restaurant Le Lady Banting.
                                  There are a number of B&Bs I could recommend but since there is a terrific website that is more specific with the diversity of accommodations in the are and their catering to specific desires of visitors. It also has a list of the various festivals and celebrations in the region. If you are a classical music fan the Mount Orford summer festival might be the area you would like to be based in. www.easterntownships.org is a well designed website and if you checked out the events page if am sure you will find something you were not looking for but sounds terrific. Alas much like Gourmet magazine Auberge Georgeville is no more but I am sure that you will be able to find a number of B&Bs that cater to your needs ranging from Manoir Hovey to La Caravane both in North Hatley with one 5 star and La Caravane very basic but run by a young couple who provide a delightful atmosphere and cuisine and a property that I am sure will be very popular in 10 years although I do like the chickens running around in the yard. (I believe they are from Thedford Mines but I may be mistaken.) www.lacaravanne4500.com For the young and young at heart with incredible entertainment. The official Eastern townships site is wonderful but you may want to check out the best of the eastern townships website bestofthe easterntownships.blogspot.com but it really covers mostly the western shore and north of Lake Memphremagog.
                                  Hope this helps in planning a visit I know you will be pleased by the people, the scenery and the food the only problem I have is getting a cup of coffee the way I like it but the IGA carries Brulerie ST Denis coffee and La Feuillantine Boulangerie makes wonderful coffee but is closed Monday and Tuesday.

                                  1. re: Shooley

                                    This might not be the exact route suggested by Moed, but it may offer some information
                                    The wine route in southern Quebec.
                                    We visited a few wineries along parts of this route a few years ago. OK, not exactly California or Niagara, but still lots of fun. The wines are pretty much hit or miss, some being OK, others rough to say the least, but like I say, fun.
                                    A little more to the west is the circuit de paysan (countryman's route), again for informational purposes,

                                    1. re: porker

                                      Moedelestrie and Porker (Gee, sounds like an odd law firm!),

                                      Thanks so much for the info...will let you know how it goes if we end up doing that...


                            2. Cafe Shelburne, Shelburne, VT, best French restaurant in Northern New England