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Sugar shack that servers breakfast?

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umeditor Mar 6, 2013 06:24 AM

With maple sugaring season underway, I'd like to visit a local sugar shack where we can enjoy a hot breakfast with fresh maple syrup. Any recommendations on one that's close to Boston? Say, less than a 1.5 hour drive? I checked out the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association's list (http://www.massmaple.org/restaurants.htm), but nothing jumped out.

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    rknrll RE: umeditor Mar 6, 2013 06:42 AM

    http://www.parkersmaplebarn.com/

    Google maps wants to just send you up 3 to Nashua and then over.
    I usually do it through Carlisle, Westford, Groton and up that way...takes a little longer but a fun drive.

    4 Replies
    1. re: rknrll
      trufflehound RE: rknrll Mar 6, 2013 07:42 AM

      I've never been to Parkers during sugaring season but in the fall you may experience a wait over an hour on weekends. It's not great either. Not even the highly touted ham hash.

      1. re: trufflehound
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        valcfield RE: trufflehound Mar 6, 2013 07:54 AM

        agree that Parker's food is meh. The donuts, which you can get to go with little to no wait from the shop, i found to be great (both cake and yeast varieties).

        1. re: valcfield
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          rknrll RE: valcfield Mar 6, 2013 08:47 AM

          I agree. I've only been a few times...and didn't eat there a couple times because the wait was crazy.
          Last year I went and the place was empty...I'll see if I can figure out when I went. They were making the maple sugar and we did the tour...I remember it was raining and really wet, huge puddles in the parking lots, but there was still ice under the puddles. Slush everywhere.

          I was surprised they used carved turkey in the turkey club though...was fully expecting lunch meat style.

          1. re: rknrll
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            poundcake RE: rknrll Mar 6, 2013 11:08 AM

            We visited this past Sunday, it was the first weekend they were boiling the sap. We put our name in at 11 am and were told 1.5 hours, but the actual wait time was less than an hour. Plenty of time to listen to the presentation, etc. When I called ahead, they said the restaurant quiets down considerably after 12 noon.

            The food isn't terribly exciting, but I sure enjoyed my buckwheat pancakes!

            The parking lot and walk to the sugar house were definitely muddy.

    2. Science Chick RE: umeditor Mar 6, 2013 07:12 AM

      I've had the best experiences at Davenport's in Shelburne, MA. Not sure where you are starting from, but it's only about 1.5 hr from us (Waltham). I like them b/c they are not really commercial and the view from their farm, up on a huge hill, is spectacular.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Science Chick
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        magiesmom RE: Science Chick Mar 10, 2013 06:42 PM

        yes, and their food is really good. If you go after 1 they still serve breakfast but no line. It is worth the drive once a year.

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        LilBrownBat RE: umeditor Mar 6, 2013 11:22 AM

        I second the recommendation for Davenport's. When the winter snow finally starts to melt, the aroma of the boiling syrup is intoxicating. It's located on a working farm which also sells eggs and raw milk, as well as maple products and of course, sugarhouse breakfast! It is also located near Wheel-View Farm, a great source for grass-fed beef (they sometimes have lamb too, which I believe the second generation of the family raises on a nearby property).

        Also in the general area, but farther out, is South Face Sugarhouse off Route 116 in Ashfield - my personal favorite.

        Let me know if you want detailed directions to any of these.

        3 Replies
        1. re: LilBrownBat
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          magiesmom RE: LilBrownBat Mar 10, 2013 06:44 PM

          Gee, I think Davenport's is Head and shoulders above South Face, even though I live much closer to South Face we always go the extra half hour to Davenport's.

          1. re: magiesmom
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            LilBrownBat RE: magiesmom Mar 11, 2013 10:05 AM

            An extra hour, from South Face to Davenport's? I'm not sure we're talking about the same places -- they're half an hour apart at most. In any case, I had breakfast yesterday at South Face and it was most excellent. Haven't been to Davenport's yet this year, that's probably next weekend.

            1. re: LilBrownBat
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              magiesmom RE: LilBrownBat Mar 11, 2013 06:39 PM

              Um, I said the extra HALF hour, Lil BrownBat ( see above).
              I'm glad you like South Face. I haven't been in a few years because of a bad experience . perhaps we should try again.

              We'll be at D's next Sunday so perhaps we will cross paths.

        2. b
          BoNapateet RE: umeditor Mar 11, 2013 10:47 AM

          http://www.massmaple.org/restaurants.htm lists a slew of maple sugarhouses with restaurants, as you said you checked out.

          I like North Hadley Sugar Shack, not far from Amherst.

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