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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Bruegger's Bagels Closes on Church Street

Posted By on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 2:48 PM

Bruegger's Bagels on Church Street in Burlington - SALLY POLLAK
  • SALLY POLLAK
  • Bruegger's Bagels on Church Street in Burlington
Bruegger’s Bagels closed its Church Street Marketplace restaurant on Sunday after more than a quarter-century in business. The bagel restaurant opened in the Howard Opera House about 27 years ago, said Steven Schonberg, co-owner of the building.

“They’re a very familiar, longtime tenant that I’m sure lots of people will miss,” Schonberg said. “However, as you can see, Church Street continues to prosper. We fully expect to be able to lease it to another high-quality tenant that will bring its own unique benefit to Church Street.”

Bruegger’s was founded 35 years ago by Vermonters Nordahl Brue and Michael  Dressell.  Its ownership changed over the years, including Bruegger’s acquisition earlier this year by JAB Holding Company, a private company whose properties include Keurig Green Mountain, Panera  and Caribou Coffee, according to the company website.

The first Bruegger’s  Bagels opened in Troy, N.Y., in 1983.  The founders “wanted to learn how to operate a restaurant from a distance,” said Ron Redmond, executive director of the Church Street Marketplace.  Bruegger's grew to be a national chain that includes a location in Shelburne, which remains open.

Its closing in downtown Burlington is “typical of the cycle that happens on Church Street where you have stores coming and going,” Redmond said. “If you think of all the stores that were on Church Street 30 years ago, the scene is much different.”

Schonberg said he hopes to have a new tenant occupy the Bruegger's space soon, but has no specific business in mind.

"We work hard at trying to get tenants that will add a dimension that may not be here otherwise," he said. "That will certainly be our goal."

Seventy-five percent of the businesses on the Marketplace are locally owned, up from 65 percent a year ago, according to Redmond.

Bruegger's closing was reported Monday in the Burlington Free Press.

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Dining on a Dime: Lost Nation Brewing

Posted By on Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 4:52 PM

Grilled cheese sandwich and soup at Lost Nation Brewing - SALLY POLLAK
  • SALLY POLLAK
  • Grilled cheese sandwich and soup at Lost Nation Brewing
Probably no meal is better suited to this time of year in Vermont than a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of soup. This pair is beautifully made and presented — for $10 — at Lost Nation Brewing in Morrisville.

I stopped in on a sleet-spattered afternoon during the lull between lunch and the end of the work day. The taproom was warm and welcoming, but looking out the window at the bare hardwoods and high evergreens, I could feel the approach of winter.

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Gesine Prado's Show 'Baked in Vermont' to Debut Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 4:55 PM

Gesine Prado on "Baked in Vermont" - COURTESY FOOD NETWORK
  • COURTESY FOOD NETWORK
  • Gesine Prado on "Baked in Vermont"
"Baked in Vermont" will make its debut on the Food Network on Saturday, December 2, at 12:30 p.m. The show is hosted by Vermont pastry chef, teacher and cookbook author Gesine Prado.

Prado lives in an 18th century farmhouse in Hartford with her husband and their animals. The six-episode first season was shot at her home, where Prado also teaches baking classes at Sugar Glider Kitchen.

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Drink Up: Ivy Mix Mixes Singani

Posted By on Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Ivy Mix at Waterworks - SALLY POLLAK
  • SALLY POLLAK
  • Ivy Mix at Waterworks
Good drinks and good stories came together this week at Waterworks Food + Drink in Winooski, where bartender Ivy Mix introduced a group of her colleagues to a 500-year-old Bolivian spirit that is new to Vermont.

The drinks were made with Singani, a potent, smooth liquor that's distilled from one variety of grape — muscat of Alexandria — that is grown in Bolivian vineyards at an altitude of one mile or higher. The stories that flowed with the cocktails  Tuesday afternoon at Waterworks followed two themes: how  Singani made its way to this country; and how Mix came to be a top drink mixer.

The event, organized by the Vermont chapter of the United States Bartenders' Guild, was a form of professional development.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Breakfast Club: Misery Loves Co.

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 12:32 PM

Fried eggs and vegetable hash - SALLY POLLAK
  • SALLY POLLAK
  • Fried eggs and vegetable hash
Sometimes you've got to pick a restaurant by its name, and on those occasions it's hard to look past Misery Loves Co. Saturday at noon, with no food in the house, was one of those times. I headed to Winooski.

Misery lived up to its name when I walked in the door and Excitable Boy by Warren Zevon was playing — banging home my choice, literally, with a couple of piano chords.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wanted: Thanksgiving Turkeys and Other Donations

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 2:03 PM


Waiting in line for turkeys at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf - ANNA MCMAHON/FOOD SHELF
  • ANNA McMAHON/FOOD SHELF
  • Waiting in line for turkeys at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf
A  week before Thanksgiving, the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf still needs about 2,000 turkeys to reach its goal of 3,500 turkeys to give people in need for Thanksgiving dinners, according to Rob Meehan, executive director of the nonprofit on North Winooski Avenue in Burlington.

Meehan said he expects the food shelf will receive a substantial number of donations in the days before Thanksgiving, as it has in years past.  He anticipates the goal will be reached.

"That's awesome," he said. "And we are trying to use this time to raise as much money as we possibly can. I don't think people understand the scope of our work and the impact it has. It costs a lot of money to feed hungry people."

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Dining on a Dime: ArtsRiot

Posted By on Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 3:49 PM

400 burger on the bar - SALLY POLLAK
  • SALLY POLLAK
  • 400 burger on the bar

The info coming from the ArtsRiot stage was grim.  At a panel discussion Wednesday evening about women who work in the food industry, the audience  learned that women in Vermont earn 16 cents less per dollar than men. We were told that Vermont and Mississippi are the only states that haven't elected a woman to Congress, and that being a working mother in the Green Mountains presents a particular challenge.

"It was easier to open a restaurant than it was to find child care in this state," said panelist Cara Chigazola-Tobin, chef/co-owner of Honey Road.

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Friday, November 3, 2017

Hong's Chinese Dumplings Temporarily Closed

Posted By on Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 7:59 PM

Hong Yu in October - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Hong Yu in October

Update November 11: Hong's is open again after closing temporarily on November 2. The dumpling shop on Pearl Street is open Wednesday through Sunday.

Hong's Chinese Dumplings, which opened October 21 on Pearl Street in Burlington, is temporarily closed.

The restaurant needs to address several issues associated with its opening, including a faulty payment system, owner Hong Yu said, with her husband serving as a translator. The restaurant plans to install a new system.

Hong's closed Thursday and expects to reopen on November 8 or  9, according to Yu. "We made the decision that we weren't ready to open, but we will be open very shortly," she said, through her husband.
Sign at Hong's Chinese Dumplings on Pearl Street - COURTESY BOB BOLYARD
  • COURTESY BOB BOLYARD
  • Sign at Hong's Chinese Dumplings on Pearl Street

Before opening her dumpling shop in a downtown storefront, Yu operated a cart on Church Street for 17 years.

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Dining on a Dime: Zen Gardens

Posted By on Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 1:58 PM

Halloween treats and hot and sour seafood soup. - SALLY POLLAK
  • SALLY POLLAK
  • Halloween treats and hot and sour seafood soup.
On Halloween, there was a lot of cheap food in front of me — little Snickers bars and two-stick Kit Kats, mini Twix in shiny foil and baby Nestlé Crunch bars in their blue wrappers.

I could've eaten 24 little Crunch bars for $3, or a pint of hot and sour seafood soup for $4.25. I decided to go for the soup.

As goblins and black cats began to prowl my neighborhood, I hopped in the car and beat a path south to Zen Gardens — a Chinese restaurant that has been hidden off  Shelburne Road near  Palace 9 Cinemas for 11 years. It's worth scoping out.

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Breakfast Club: Malletts Bay Diner & Bakery

Posted By on Sat, Oct 28, 2017 at 6:30 AM

Eggs Benedict with corned beef hash - SALLY POLLAK
  • SALLY POLLAK
  • Eggs Benedict with corned beef hash
The other day I unexpectedly discovered a new sign of aging: the inability to eat both halves of eggs Benedict at 8:30 in the morning. (It's still probably doable by 11.)

I was sitting at the pink counter of Malletts Bay Diner & Bakery in Colchester with a perfect-plus specimen of the meal before me.  The food was perfect because each egg rested like a puffed-up pillow on its split of English muffin, ready to squirt and ooze with the first prick of my fork. The hollandaise sauce was thick and dripping over the edge, topped by a sprinkle of paprika.

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