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Dining on a Dime

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Dining on a Dime: St. Paul Street Gastrogrub

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 3:58 PM

Dry-rubbed chicken wings and fries at St. Paul Street Gastrogrub - JORDAN BARRY
  • Jordan Barry
  • Dry-rubbed chicken wings and fries at St. Paul Street Gastrogrub
It's normal for me to get a restaurant recommendation along the lines of, "You have to go there for the chicken."

Less normal: "There's an actual, real-live chicken who has taken up residence on the restaurant's patio."

Last weekend, St. Paul Street Gastrogrub in Burlington had both. The tiny, neighborhood spot bridging downtown and the South End always has wings and a popular chicken sandwich to round out its local beer offerings and other creative pub food. But for three glorious days, the corner pub also had its very own poultry ambassador roosting out front.

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Friday, February 7, 2020

Dining on a Dime: the Pour House

Posted By on Fri, Feb 7, 2020 at 2:29 PM

Pot roast and beer at the Pour House - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Pot roast and beer at the Pour House
On a recent afternoon at the Pour House in South Burlington, the televisions were playing sports highlight reels: Kobe Bryant slam-dunking on one screen, football players slam-slamming on another.

I read my menu – grilled chicken salad ($9.95), beef and chicken nachos with the works ($11.95), open-face roast turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes, gravy and vegetable ($10.45), deep-fried, beer-battered cod, fries and cole slaw ($10.95) – and had a mini-epiphany: The Pour House offerings are a Dining on a Dime highlight reel.

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Dining on a Dime: Garden of Eatin' Café

Posted By on Thu, Dec 12, 2019 at 6:54 PM

Maple, apple and butternut bisque and the Vermonter at Garden of Eatin' Café - JORDAN BARRY
  • Jordan Barry
  • Maple, apple and butternut bisque and the Vermonter at Garden of Eatin' Café
Gardeners have the power to save the world. They grow food to feed the hungry, provide habitat for threatened pollinators and help reduce the carbon footprint.

The Garden of Eatin' Café  has the power to save the holidays — or at least my sanity while holiday shopping. I'd had a stressful morning in the big box stores — whipping through the aisles of soulless shelves, making lists, checking them twice, and trying to get the heck out of there as quickly as I could — when I rejoined reality in a lush greenhouse at the Williston outpost of Gardener's Supply Company.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Dining on a Dime: Drifters

Posted By on Tue, Nov 19, 2019 at 4:20 PM


Chickpea patties at Drifters - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Chickpea patties at Drifters
Andrew Ryan wore his baseball cap backward the other night at Drifters, his restaurant in Burlington's Old North End. From a dining table that Ryan built from driftwood, I could read the writing on the bill: BUTTER.

But there was none in my meal, nor in many others Ryan cooked that night. I dined happily on the vegan chickpea patties ($12), which were offered last week for a Seven Days Burger Week special.

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Dining on a Dime: Mimmo's Pizzeria & Restaurant

Posted By on Thu, Sep 26, 2019 at 3:42 PM


Sara Rooke serves an eggplant parmesan hero at Mimmo's - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Sara Rooke serves an eggplant parmesan hero at Mimmo's
I thought about bringing my own crosswalk to Mimmo’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, the new restaurant in our South End neighborhood, but I remembered the city frowns upon  DIY safety measures.

Instead, I ran across Shelburne Road — praying mid-dash there was no car on the far side of the Jeep Cherokee I couldn’t see past. I made it.

I was surprised to find a full parking lot at Mimmo’s at 7 p.m. on a Tuesday.  The dining room was full, too, pulsing with a happy-sounding crowd. I found a seat at the end of the bar, where I was treated to a favorite view: cooks at work.

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Dining on a Dime: Syp Brand Pierogi

Posted By on Sat, Sep 14, 2019 at 9:21 AM

Invitation to Pierogi Mondays by Syp Brand Pierogi - JORDAN BARRY
  • Jordan Barry
  • Invitation to Pierogi Mondays by Syp Brand Pierogi
The best story pitch I've ever gotten might be the hand-drawn invitation that arrived on my desk from Miranda Syp. A note on the back read, "Hello! My name is Miranda Syp of Syp Brand Pierogi, LLC. I'd like to invite you to my next Pierogi Monday."

I'm a sucker for pop-ups and for pierogi, so this one was a no-brainer. As a bonus, these pierogi prices align quite nicely with the parameters of Dining on a Dime.

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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Dining on a Dime: Tomgirl Kitchen

Posted By on Thu, Sep 5, 2019 at 9:11 AM


Salad bowl at Tomgirl Kitchen - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Salad bowl at Tomgirl Kitchen
The South End Art Hop begins on Friday, September 6. A couple of days before the festivities I stopped for lunch at Tomgirl Kitchen in the Soda Plant on Pine Street. The building will be the site of art exhibits this weekend, but a set of vivid colors — purple, orange, green, pink and yellow — was on display at Tomgirl before the show began.

Red cabbage and beets, carrots and pickled squash, kale and cucumbers, radishes and bell peppers, were the source of the rainbow atop Tomgirl’s counter. They formed the ingredients of a make-your-own salad bowl for $10.95, though its actual construction was performed by a pro behind the counter.

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Dining on a Dime: Starving Artist Café

Posted By on Fri, Aug 16, 2019 at 6:08 PM

Veggie-stuffed hash special at Starving Artist Café - JORDAN BARRY
  • Jordan Barry
  • Veggie-stuffed hash special at Starving Artist Café
You don't hear much about "full artists," but after stopping for lunch at South Burlington's Starving Artist Café, I think it may be time to flip the trope.

Starving Artist Café is part of Davis Studio, which was founded in 2003 by director Teresa Davis. Located inside a stately tan house with white columns on Shelburne Road in South Burlington, the studio offers classes and camps focused on the arts for creative folks of all ages, from drawing and painting to jewelry making and fused glass work. On a weekday in August, every room was full of young artists putting the right side of their brains to work.

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Friday, August 2, 2019

Dining on a Dime: August First Bakery

Posted By on Fri, Aug 2, 2019 at 2:26 PM

The Vermonter at August First Bakery - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • The Vermonter at August First Bakery
Ten years ago, when August First Bakery opened on South Champlain Street in Burlington, the café donated its first-day sales — about $300 — to King Street Center, a neighboring nonprofit organization.

On Thursday, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, August First once again donated 100 percent of its sales for the day to the nonprofit that provides programs and services for young people. This time, the restaurant wrote a check for $9,338.57 to King Street, said Jodi Whalen, who owns the restaurant with her husband Phil Merrick.

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Dining on a Dime: The Crooked Ram

Posted By on Thu, Jul 18, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Housemade cheese scones at the Crooked Ram - JORDAN BARRY
  • Jordan Barry
  • Housemade cheese scones at the Crooked Ram

What’s the going rate for 26 pounds of honey? At the Crooked Ram in Manchester, it’s a whole lot of store credit. And while that’s not how I paid for this Dining on a Dime adventure, if I ever come into a windfall of the sweet stuff, I know where I’ll spend it.


The taproom on Manchester’s main drag is a drinking destination — the only place in town dedicated to craft beer, cider and natural wine — and it doesn’t take much to be a regular.

“Most of our customers are from out of state,” said owner Peter Campbell. I’m no local to southern Vermont, but Campbell remembered me from my first visit a few months before. We’d ranted about the lack of beverage producers in Bennington County while I stood at the bar sipping a glass of Fable Farm Fermentory’s Fluxion III. This time, though, I was focused on eating, not ranting.


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