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Side Dishes: The Wayside Restaurant and Bakery, Rhapsody Cafe, My Favorite Cafe at Myers Bagels

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Happy B-Day! The Wayside Restaurant and Bakery in Berlin, famed for comfort foods such as meatloaf, pot roast and maple cream pie, is no spring chicken. The eatery celebrates its 90th this Friday starting at 9:30 p.m., with a birthday bash that harks back to days — and prices — of yore, offering 20-cent hot dogs, 15-cent ice cream and sodas for a cool dime. The popular resto will also serve up its full menu, including breakfast until 1 a.m.

Besides the Wayside’s inception, 1918 offered up some pretty big milestones: World War I ended, 25 million people died in the Spanish Flu pandemic, Congress approved daylight savings time, and the Red Sox won the World Series — for the last time until 2004. Raise a root-beer float to another 90 . . .

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Smooth move! The folks at Rhapsody Café in Montpelier — famous for its extensive, mostly vegan buffet — are preparing to add a new line of products to the packaged-food side of their business. In addition to a rice drink called “amazake” and handmade tempeh crafted from local soybeans, they’ll soon be selling bottled smoothies to local specialty stores and co-ops.

“There are a lot of smoothies out there, but there are no local smoothies,” co-owner Elysha Welters explains. “We’ve made smoothies at our restaurant for a long time. Now we have a label, and we’ll sell them other places.” Featured flavors are mango, blueberry and strawberry, as well as a mango-and-spirulina concoction called “Green Mountain Power.”

Future foodie projects include “secondary tempeh,” Welters adds. Though the term may not be appetizing, it refers to stuff that is: flavored, ready-to-eat proteins in flavors such as teriyaki.

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Despite promises of specialty pizzas and pastas cooked in the wood-fired bagel oven — even an ice cream bar — My Favorite Café at Myers Bagels is not to be. According to Lloyd Squires, bagel baker extraordinaire, things just didn’t work out. Of the café’s fleeting owner, he says, “He started a construction company.”

At this point, Squires says he figures his best option is to run the café and bakery as a single business — the way he did until a few years ago, when he and his business partners decided to lease the space. “We’re probably gonna take it over and see if I can hire back some of the employees we had then,” he elaborates, adding that he’s already spoken to a few who seemed interested.

For now, though, the hardworking “hole-y roller” is looking forward to some R&R. “I’m going to take a few days to go to Nova Scotia and relax a little,” Squires says. “I have no dates [for reopening the café portion of the business]. I’m not in a hurry to jump in.”

Until Squires decides to whip up sandwiches on his own terms, folks will have to go elsewhere for “good honest bagel food.” One thing that won’t be missed: the defunct café’s decidedly uncreative name.

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Looks like Vermonters in love with their grande no-fat cappuccinos can breathe a sigh of relief. Last week a downsizing Starbucks released its list of 616 endangered U.S. locations — and not a single Vermont venue was on it.

This may come as a surprise, given that downtown Burlington couldn’t hold on to its McDonald’s, Quiznos or one of two Dunkin’ Donuts. Maybe Starbucks’ relatively small presence in our area — compared with towns where you can’t stroll two blocks without encountering the caffeinated mermaid — has something to do with it.

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Fans of the brickle ate it up . . . quickle? Ben & Jerry’s “Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road” — a limited-edition flavor inspired by Sir Elton John’s first visit to the Green Mountain State — went on sale July 18 at scoop shops around Vermont. The intense treat combines chocolate ice cream, peanut-butter cookie dough, butter brickle and chunks of white chocolate.

Although it was intended to last until Friday the 25th, the sun has already gone down on GYBR. As of Tuesday morning, the supply at scoop shops in Burlington, Williston and Waterbury was already wiped out. And although nobody could say for sure, staffers were convinced that the statewide stock is depleted. Bummer! I think it’s gonna be a long, long time before they make another batch.

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Cow eggs? After a deal that took four years to broker, Vermont farmers have finally shipped a batch of frozen Holstein embryos to Argentina, which is looking to improve its dairy industry. The ova sold for $600 a pop.

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About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Bio:
Contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the former Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose,... more

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