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Saturday, June 22, 2019

A Vegan Guide to the Burlington Farmers Market

Posted By on Sat, Jun 22, 2019 at 7:30 AM

Black bean and corn tamale from Gracie's - SABINE POUX
  • Sabine Poux
  • Black bean and corn tamale from Gracie's
The Burlington Farmers Market is a haven for vegan grocery shoppers. Among the myriad butchers and creameries that post up each Saturday morning are vendors selling farm-fresh produce, from leafy greens to mushrooms to aromatic fruits, all suitable for chefs who want to cook sans animal.

But there are fewer options for plant-based foodies hankering for snacks to have and to hold as they browse the market’s many stalls. Most of the ready-to-eat offerings contain some kind of meat, dairy or egg, from the carnivorous sandwiches at Pigasus to all the tantalizing baked goods. Even some of the spirit samples are off limits to those who don’t eat or drink honey.

Last month, Seven Days sent a reporter to the market to get the 411 on all things ready to eat. But one commenter wasn’t completely satisfied. “Aside from Green Mountain's Wing Chun potstickers,” the comment read, “did any of the Ready-to-Eat vendors offer vegan options?”

So I embarked on a market run to scope out the vegan scene. Here were some of the highlights.

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Friday, June 21, 2019

Dining on a Dime: Stone Corral Brewery

Posted By on Fri, Jun 21, 2019 at 12:41 PM

Grilled corn and a chickpea taco at Stone Corral Brewery - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Grilled corn and a chickpea taco at Stone Corral Brewery
The server at Stone Corral Brewery in Richmond used perfect timing when he spoke these words to me:  ”The tyranny of choice.”

He was looking at me with a smile as I studied the menu, trying to choose what to eat with my grilled corn on the cob ($4). I felt the pressure, but kept reading the list. When I selected the last thing on the menu, a taco called Ganesh to Meet Yah, he was kind enough to affirm my choice with a quiet “Yay!”

The name of the taco meant nothing to me, but its ingredients were irresistible: curried vegetable chickpeas, cucumber, apple, Napa cabbage and pea shoot slaw, toasted sesame, coconut yogurt dressing. With a green salad, this beautiful assemblage totaled $7.

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Four Quarters Brewing Turns Parking Lot Into Beer Garden

Posted By on Thu, Jun 20, 2019 at 10:10 PM

Beer garden at former bank in Winooski - COURTESY OF FOUR QUARTERS BREWING
  • Courtesy of Four Quarters Brewing
  • Beer garden at former bank in Winooski
The drive-up lanes of a former bank in Winooski are dispensing beer instead of bucks. Customers can walk up and score a hometown IPA.

Four Quarters Brewing is opening a satellite beer garden at the site of the old KeyBank on 70 Main Street. After a trial run last weekend, the parking-lot beer joint will be open Thursday through Sunday (weather dependent) starting on Friday, June 21. Four Quarters’ new site is about five blocks from its primary location, where owner Brian Eckert opened Winooski’s only brewery in 2014.

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Town Hall Theater Opens 'Spinning Plates,' a Food Truck Alley in Middlebury

Posted By on Thu, Jun 20, 2019 at 11:05 AM

The Tourterelle truck in front of Town Hall Theater - COURTESY OF TOWN HALL THEATER
  • The Tourterelle truck in front of Town Hall Theater
Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater launches a new food truck venue called Spinning Plates this Friday, June 21.

An alternating lineup of trucks will post up on weekends this summer in the alley between the theater and the building that once housed the Diner on Merchant's Row. The space will also hold a small seating area, where customers can buy beer and wine from the theater's bar during dinner.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Melissa Pasanen's Summer Food and Drink Bucket List

Posted By on Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 7:30 AM

Canteen Creemee in Waitsfield - MELISSA PASANEN
  • Melissa Pasanen
  • Canteen Creemee in Waitsfield
The Vermont summer is far too short for most of us. Every year, I make an ambitious list of things to do that can only be done during the warm, green and (sometimes) sunny season. But, invariably, I check off only a few items.

This year, I decided to go on record with my food- and drink-related summer bucket list, both here on Bite Club and in audio via our partnership with Vermont Public Radio on VPR Café. I figure this will make me accountable for maximizing the food fun I can squeeze into this summer.

Hope to see you up a mountain before you head to lakeside pizza or the creemee stand, quaffing a cold one after a bike ride, or strolling the grounds of a national historic landmark fueled by an excellent breakfast.

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Sunday, June 9, 2019

Dining on a Dime: A & W Drive-In

Posted By on Sun, Jun 9, 2019 at 1:31 PM

A&W on Route 7 in Middlebury - SABINE POUX
  • Sabine Poux
  • A&W on Route 7 in Middlebury
A newly minted 21-year-old, I’m still in the honeymoon phase with beer. I love the stuff in all its forms, from overpriced IPA to cheap supermarket six-packs. But last week, I had a hankering for a different kind of brew, the kind that begs to be served with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream.

So, two friends and I caravanned to the A & W in Middlebury to satisfy our RBF (root beer float) cravings. It was a hot day, so we plopped down under a big shady tree next to the parking lot. A couple of other families ate from their cars, trays clipped to the open windows. If it wasn’t for the beautiful Green Mountain backdrop, we could have been at any one of the chain’s thousands of locations.

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Friday, June 7, 2019

Evolution Kitchen Rentable Food Truck Gears Up at Foodaroo

Posted By on Fri, Jun 7, 2019 at 6:15 PM

Brian Hayes of Silver Maple Construction working on the Evolution Kitchen truck - SABINE POUX
  • Sabine Poux
  • Brian Hayes of Silver Maple Construction working on the Evolution Kitchen truck
After years of working in the culinary industry, Lisa Mitchell has come closer than most to nabbing her childhood dream job.

“When I was 5 years old, the first thing I wanted to be was an ice cream lady and have an ice cream truck,” she said. “I remember being really fascinated with the idea of vending food out of a truck and making people happy.”

Now Mitchell, 45, and husband Andy, 44, are co-owners of Evolution Kitchen, a mobile eatery that will debut June 23 at the fifth annual Foodaroo festival in Middlebury. While Evolution Kitchen won’t be serving up Firecracker ice pops or Chaco Tacos, its core concept is just as exciting: The Mitchells will rent the truck out to a changing cast of culinary characters that will peddle their wares at events in and beyond Addison County.

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Make It Maple Revs Up on the Food Network

Posted By on Thu, Jun 6, 2019 at 12:07 PM

Paulette Fiorentino-Robinson, left, Charlie Aldrich and Sue Aldrich - COURTESY OF THE FOOD NETWORK
  • Courtesy of the Food Network
  • Paulette Fiorentino-Robinson, left, Charlie Aldrich and Sue Aldrich

A trio of food-truck and showbiz rookies from Montpelier are contestants in the upcoming season of  "The Great Food Truck Race,” a Food Network TV show that kicks off its 10th season Sunday, June 9, at 9 p.m.

Sue Aldrich, her son Charlie Aldrich, and her friend Paulette Fiorentino-Robinson  form a team called Make It Maple. It’s one of nine food-truck teams competing for a $50,000 prize by cooking and peddling food on a southern road trip along the Atlantic seacoast.  The teams, including Brunch Babes (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and the People's Fry (Nashville), also compete in various culinary challenges. Each week,  the truck that makes the least amount of money is eliminated from the competition.

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Friday, May 31, 2019

Dining on a Dime: Bluebird Barbecue

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2019 at 4:07 PM

Brisket BBQ Banh Mi at Bluebird Barbecue - SOPHIE X. POLLAK
  • Sophie X. Pollak
  • Brisket BBQ Banh Mi at Bluebird Barbecue
Earlier this spring, Bluebird Barbecue expanded its hours to include lunch six days a week. Now the restaurant on Riverside Avenue in Burlington is offering a lunch special: $10 for a BBQ Banh Mi sandwich stuffed with smoked meat, chicken liver pâté, pickled veggies, pickles and cilantro.

The timing of this midday deal coincides with weather that’s just right for dining on the restaurant’s screened-in porch. The indoor-outdoor setting offers a lovely view of woods in the foreground and the Winooski River beyond.

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Dining on a Dime: Magic Hat Artifactory

Posted By on Thu, May 23, 2019 at 5:38 PM

Magic Hat #9 - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Magic Hat #9
No. 9, No. 9, No. 9, No. 9, No. 9, No. 9, No. 9.

I knew what I wanted before I walked in the door of the Magic Hat taproom in South Burlington, a beer bunker called the Artifactory.

Too much time had passed since I drank a Magic Hat #9 in its long-neck amber bottle with the psychedelic orange label that says it all: # 9. (That first mark is a number symbol, not a hashtag; the label was designed pre-hashtag: #artwork.)

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