Dining on a Dime | Bite Club | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Dining on a Dime

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Dining on a Dime: Nomad Coffee (South End Station)

Posted By on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 2:13 PM

Early autumn lunch at Nomad Coffee in Burlington - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Early autumn lunch at Nomad Coffee in Burlington
The menu at Nomad Coffee (South End Station) is a seasonal road map as well as a choice of meals. Chef Suzanne Podhaizer presents two lunch options: late summer or early autumn. From there, the selection narrows to meat or vegetarian, brown rice or greens.

I visited the little café on Flynn Avenue last week — a time span in which the temperature dropped from the 90s to sweatshirt weather. Hoping to nudge summer along, I ordered Podhaizer’s autumn creation: roasted squash, caramelized onions, greens, cider sauce and toasted pecans. I chose lentils over chicken, and these were served hot in a mug on the side. I spooned the lentils onto my veggies bite by bite, forming a kind of mini-stew on my plate and delighting in a flavorful and healthy, all-local $10 lunch.

Podhaizer, a former food writer at Seven Days, was chef-owner of Salt Café in Montpelier for five years. At Nomad, she is collaborating with owners Andrew Sepic and Nicole Grinstead to bring food to their second coffee/espresso/tea business — the first one opened in Essex Junction two years ago.

The new café, open weekdays from  7 a.m. to 3 p.m., is at the end of a hallway in the Flynndog building. It occupies the space that formerly housed the South End outpost of Chef’s Corner. Customers order at the counter and food is delivered to your table. The restaurant opens onto an outdoor deck that has several picnic tables, quiet and lovely in late summer and early autumn.

Podhaizer continues her seasonal theme this week but she presents a new menu, offering spiced beef or black beans with mashed potatoes, roasted bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and summer squash (late summer) and chicken or lentils with winter squash, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and brown butter cider sauce (early autumn).

She told me she plans to expand the menu slowly but will continue to make weekly veggie and meat specials to eat with greens, grains or a combination of the two.

On my way home from Nomad, I stopped to talk to a man who I’d seen eating lunch there. Kim Hubbard, a program manager at the Howard Center, told me he discovered Nomad in place of Chef’s Corner, where he used to eat.

“I just like the food over here,” Hubbard said of Nomad. “I like it plated and served. It’s quiet and the people are really friendly.”  He ate last week's late summer lunch, meat version ($12): spiced beef with roasted tomatoes, corn, summer squash and red pepper-parsley sauce.

“It was quite wonderful,” Hubbard said. “They have a niche there, and I hope people find it.”

Dining on a Dime is a weekly series featuring well-made, filling bites (something substantial enough to qualify as a small meal or better) for $12 or less. Know of a tasty dish we should feature? Drop us a line: food@sevendaysvt.com.

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Friday, August 31, 2018

Dining on a Dime: Citizen Cider

Posted By on Fri, Aug 31, 2018 at 4:44 PM

Mushroom tacos at Citizen Cider - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Mushroom tacos at Citizen Cider
"What’s for dinner?" could be the most-asked question around. "I don’t know yet" is the standard answer — and it’s the one I got at around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning when I called Citizen Cider to ask what the  $10 special was for the weekly Supper Club.

The nonanswer, though a bit surprising from a restaurant, was nonetheless familiar. Who knows what’s for dinner until about half an hour before you start making it?

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Dining on a Dime: Otter Creek Bakery

Posted By on Sat, Aug 11, 2018 at 8:11 AM

Otter Creek sub - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Otter Creek sub
The home opener of the Middlebury College football team is six weeks away. It’s time to start pre-gaming for Panthers football.

No, I don’t mean drinking beer in the back of  your car or grilling sausage at the stadium parking lot. I’m talking about an anticipatory trip to  Otter Creek Bakery, a lunchtime oasis not far from the college football field. The café’s Otter Creek sub ($9.50) — akin to an Italian hoagie — and chocolate chip/walnut/orange cookie ($2.50) together form a top-notch, filling meal.

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Friday, July 27, 2018

Dining on a Dime: Joe's Snack Bar

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 4:10 PM

Scallop basket at Joe's Snack Bar - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Scallop basket at Joe's Snack Bar
When my daughter was little, one of her favorite books was Where Does Joe Go? The delightful picture book by Vermonter Tracey Campbell Pearson imagines the places where Joe — the proprietor of Joe’s Snack Bar — might go in the off-season.

Joe’s Snack Bar, of course, has real-life roots in Jericho, where it was founded in 1950 by Joe Rotunda. He owned the local IGA store and opened a snack bar, where he made hard ice cream, next to his shop. Joe’s son, Joe Jr., took over Joe’s and ran it with his partner in business and life, Marilyn Kozlowski, for 35 years. Kozlowski, 67, has owned and operated it since Joe’s death eight years ago.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Dining on a Dime: Pioneer Food Truck

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 2:31 PM

Fries and a chicken sandwich from Pioneer Food Truck & Catering Co. - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Fries and a chicken sandwich from Pioneer Food Truck & Catering Co.
In March, Seven Days previewed the Pioneer Food Truck & Catering Co. With acclaimed chef Jean-Luc Matecat and his partner, restaurant veteran Lindsay Taylor, behind the wheel, it promised to be one of this spring's more exciting mobile openings.

Last Friday, May 4, Matecat and Taylor made their Burlington debut outside the Maltex Building on Pine Street. On Wednesday, May 9, I wandered over for a taste.

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Monday, April 30, 2018

Dining on a Dime: Papa Frank's

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 9:42 AM

Eggplant rollatini at Papa Frank's - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Eggplant rollatini at Papa Frank's
Before the rotary or the brewery or the hip restaurants came to town, there was Papa Frank’s. The Italian restaurant and pizzeria opened in 1984 on West Center Street in Winooski.

The casual eatery, with sloped wooden floors and a side-street view, serves generous portions of pasta with housemade marinara and meatballs, antipasto salads and Italian specialties including lasagna, chicken Parmesan and manicotti.

Moe Paquette, the owner, has worked at Papa Frank's for 28 of its 34 years. He knows his crowd.  “You can come in with your kids and not worry if they make a mess,” Paquette said. “Or come in with your college friends and still have a couple of bucks to go downtown.”

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Dining on a Dime: Soupie Sales in Shelburne

Posted By on Fri, Apr 6, 2018 at 12:41 PM

Minestrone soup from Soupie Sales in Shelburne - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Minestrone soup from Soupie Sales in Shelburne
In her first year of retirement from her career as an art teacher, Kathleen Grant had an idea for one more creative project. This one wasn’t designed for children at Shelburne Community School, where Kathleen taught for 27 years. Instead, the project was conceived for her husband, Doug Grant. All she had to do was convince him it was a good idea.

Kathleen’s plan was for her chef-husband to start a little soup business out of their Shelburne home. She is a devoted fan of his cooking who turned on a new crowd to his soup last year when she brought Doug's corn chowder to a school function.

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Dining on a Dime: Iconic Chicago Sandwich at Farmers & Foragers

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 7:04 AM

The new Bacon Loretta sandwich offered by Farmers & Foragers food truck - MELISSA PASANEN
  • Melissa Pasanen
  • The new Bacon Loretta sandwich offered by Farmers & Foragers food truck
Who could ignore an email promising "other level bacon deliciousness"? I already had plans to be at the University of Vermont around lunchtime last Thursday, so I made my way to the Farmers & Foragers food truck parked, with several others, on University Place above the green. I had to try the Bacon Loretta, F&F's brand-new sandwich offering.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Dining on a Dime: A Taste of the Middle East at Mr. Shawarma

Posted By on Sun, Mar 18, 2018 at 12:16 PM

Falafel plate at Mr. Shawarma - MELISSA PASANEN
  • Melissa Pasanen
  • Falafel plate at Mr. Shawarma
More than 10 years ago, Vietnam Restaurant at 137 Pearl Street in Essex Junction became the area's first go-to destination for pho, the aromatic Southeast Asian noodle soup. Last December, the same no-frills, strip-mall location became home to a restaurant serving another favorite from far away: shawarma, the marinated, spit-roasted, thinly shaved meat served all over the Middle East.

Mr. Shawarma, as it is aptly (and not too originally) named, also offers other classics from the region, including chickpea falafel, freshly made hummus, tabbouleh and stuffed grape leaves.

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Dining on a Dime: Pizzeria Verità

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2018 at 8:37 PM

Margherita pizza and margarita drink at Pizzeria Verità - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Margherita pizza and margarita drink at Pizzeria Verità
If you can't get to Florida for spring break, catch a mini wave of the Sunshine State in Burlington at Pizzeria Verità. The downtown eatery is offering a little in-house Margaritaville — two Margherita pizzas for the price of one ($13) on Mondays in the winter.

Officially, this deal comes to a close March 19 with the season's end (according to the calendar). But Pizzeria Verità co-owner John Rao says that if diners show interest in Margherita Mondays, the restaurant will likely keep the special running.

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