Scout & Co.
, the barista torches a marshmallow in your cup. The nearby coffee begins to simmer as the flame turns the confection brown and bubbly. It's at once a decadent treat and a bit of performance art.
Most days, the sweetness of that drink is too much for me and I stick with a more traditional cappuccino, laced with just enough of that smoked-maple syrup to emulate a whiff of wood fires in the wintertime. A ham and cheese croissant from the Williston Coffee Shop
, or one of Miss Weinerz
sourdough doughnuts, makes it almost a meal.
Chittenden County has plenty of coffee shops, and I enjoy many of them. But Scout & Co. in Winooski (other locations are in Burlington's Old North End and South End) is where I spend the vast majority of my coffee-shop time.
Why? It's close to where I live, but that's not the primary reason. It's the ineffable combination of the space itself, the espresso, the widely varied music piping from the speakers, and the intelligence and kindness of the staff. All of these things make the spot feel "right" and comforting and exciting.
Discovering one's "home" coffee shop is akin to having your very own Cheers (though I've moved away from central Vermont, mine is still Three Penny Taproom
). Or maybe it's like finding you want someone to be your partner instead of casual date. You don't understand the trajectory, but, at some point, you realize that it has happened.
If you visit the Winooski Scout & Co., ask for a splash of smoked-maple syrup in your drink. If you're feeling social, come find me and say hello.
When you order the smoked-maple latte at