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Jul 11, 2012 10:45 AM

Recommendations from Brattleboro, VT to Keene, NH to Greenfield MA?

I will be spending a few days without a lot of actual plans in this favorite part of New England this month - what new destinations should I add to my existing favorites list which follows?

Food Co-op for cheese and deli
Farmer's Market - probably my favorite stop of all!
Mocha Joes - best coffee on the East Coast
Three Stones - awesome Mayan food and nice low key atmosphere
BBQ stop just outside town (can't recall name, but it's quick and always good)
Gillies (maybe) - good seafood
TJ Buckley's - not sure it is really worth the high prices though the food has been just great

The People's Pint -the smoked wings are an absolute can't miss!

this is a new area to me - help?

What else is within 30 minutes driving distance of this area that must not be missed?


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  1. We loved the bahn mi sandwiches and ginger lime basil drink at the Humble Kitchen truck that is parked in Harmony parking lot. They have a facebook page. It's basically downtown Brattleboro.

    I've met friends from lunch at Luca's in Keene. It's small with a Mediterranean menu.

    If you're a baker and don't mind a longer drive, King Arthur's in Norwich VT has ingredients you might not be able to get elsewhere. You can check their website. I'm using semolina flour now as part of the flour in a recipe for pizza dough. Liked the mini peanut butter and chocolate cups for cookies. I haven't used the special cocoa powder yet.

    1. On the way from Bratt to Keene via Rt. 12, there's a farm selling amazing homemade donuts, Homestead Farms (luckily i still have the photo on my phone so I'll remember it). They frost them there in front of you. It's off Rt 12 just a little bit, will probably see a sign for it.

      The Lindy Diner in Keene has probably seen better days but I have a soft spot for it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Joanie

        joanie, you appear to be a major major donuts aficianado. I am not because i had never really had any eye popping ones until a few yrs ago, when i unknowingly ordered the old fashioned cake donuts at Blue Benn Diner in Bennington. Absolutely jaw dropping. Followed by jaw filling :-}
        I hope you get to try them. We're headed back there in mid Oct. Love the town and want to get to know it better, but wary that there may be no excellent restnts.

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          Oh Blue Benn Diner is cool but I'm from a town close to NH so don't get over to the NY side much (not that I go to VT much in general). I do love donuts, got some places to try on my AZ/NM trip in a few weeks. But can't imagine there aren't some good spots in Benn. or Manchester for you to try. Can't recommend any myself tho.

        2. re: Joanie

          Joanie, this sounds good! Do you mean Homestead Farms in Walpole?

          1. re: klutzygirl

            Yes but they're closed til spring. Try those donuts when they open again and let me know what you think.

        3. Here are some of our favorites in Keene or within about 30 minutes of Keene:

          Burdick's Chocolates and Restaurant in Walpole, NH is about 1/2 north of Keene on Rt. 12.

          Pearl Restaurant and Oyster Bar in Peterborough, NH on Rt 202 just south of Rt. 101. Don't let the strip mall location deter you, it is a great restaurant with Asian fusion cuisine and fresh oysters.

          Prime Roast Coffee on Main Street in Keene for good cup of coffee.

          Thai Garden on Main Street in Keene for decent Thai food.

          1. I'll second the recommendations for Humble Kitchen and Burdick's (which is bout 1/2 an hour north of Keene). Also in Walpole: Alyson's Orchard (Rt. 12 on the way to Burdick's) has terrific organic and heirloom fruit (plums and peaches should be coming soon), and the Walpole Creamery (north of the village on Rt. 12) has some of the best homemade ice cream anywhere.

            4 Replies
            1. re: GG Mora

              Had a nice weekend touring around the area, mostly hitting the previous favorites noted in original post, but with some additions:

              Burdick's - Walpole - fun small town Bastille Day celebration in a tent along with nice chocolatier and upscale grocery shop - great little detour from Brattleboro using the local roads (not I-91).

              MassMOCA - North Adams - over an hour away but worth the drive for the world class museum with amazing exhibits - very ordinary upscale, competent museum cafe fare (forgettable rose by the glass and a lobster roll with plenty of freshy, super-minced meat in a river of mayo on a buttery grilled baguette roll) at Gramercy on site with aloof, slightly slow, uncaring service that clearly depends on transient business vs. repeat customers.

              Peoples Pint - the wings are still smoking and the turkey burger was great, along with a super chocolate mousse for dessert (the bacon choc chip cookies had no discernable salt or pork taste and most of the four cookies were left uneaten).

              Three Stones - still great, still gracious - the sangria packs a punch along with great flavor!

              Brattleboro Co-op - brand new space open in front of old one - bigger but not that different - still great - picked up Summer Snow cheese here - yum!

              Vermont Shepherd - visited the beautiful farm outside Putney and picked up amazing Invierno cheese (combo sheep and cow) at the self serve, honor system "farm store" shed.

              Farmers Market - early in the season, but nice fresh garlic, leeks, zucchini, and mutlicolored carrots and kohlrabi along with blueberries - the line that forms at Wild Flour is because she is slow on the service AND the pastries ARE that good to merit the wait and the prices - the best plain butter (and more butter) croissant I've had in years along with perfect macarons (choc caramel and orange flower lavender) and a very legit chocolate babka sliced to order.

              Such a great region - wish I had more than a few days to spend and could get there more often!

              1. re: rlh

                Next time you are in Keene, try Nicola's for nice Italian.

                1. re: rlh

                  What Farmers Market did you go to to get the macarons and croissants??? Keene or Brattleboro??? I just returned from Paris and have a new addiction to macarons and I haven't tried to make them...yet! Thanks

                  1. re: ahayes123

                    It was Brattleboro - I got there just about when it opened at 9am and there was already a line formed and waiting for Wild Flour to finish arranging her offerings - all of which were amazing and included the buttery, flaky, fresh, crusty-exteriored plain croissant and several macaron types - they are small and the fillings are REALLY delicate. It was really hot outside that day and I truly intended to take my wife a couple but they were melting fast - so I ate them...I recommend eating them ASAP.

                    The rich chocolate babka also seemed really popular, and a number of the people in line had placed advance orders for boxes of goodness they were picking up.

                    I also overheard in line that she supplies desserts to TJ Buckley's, another great (very pricey) place in Brattleboro.

                    My guess would be that many popular items sell out very quickly every Saturday morning and you may want to pre-order to ensure you get what you are going there for...

              2. Hope and Olive in Greenfield never disappoints.