Bite Club | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Dining on a Dime: Positive Pie Barre

Posted By on Sat, Aug 12, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Lunch special at Positive Pie - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Lunch special at Positive Pie
There's something cool and casual about restaurants during lunch: They're often fairly quiet, and no one's yelling or banging around much in the kitchen. The service staff is relaxed; friendly waiters will often take a few minutes to chat, if you're amenable. Back in my waiting-tables days, I always loved day shifts. The money wasn't ever as good as in the evening, but the quality of life was often much better.

At Positive Pie in Barre, daytime dining is especially pleasant, owing to the ample afternoon light flooding in through the picture windows along Main Street, and AC that's always set to just the right temperature. Sports fans can take in pro tennis or baseball, or whatever feats of athleticism appear on big TVs behind the bar.

Then, of course, there's the two-slice deal, available all day, every day, at the bar or near the takeout counter in back, which provides two slices of pizza and a Coke (or other Coca-Cola product) for $6. If you're partial to day drinking, which I personally support whenever possible, you can swap soda for a PBR or Switchback ale for an extra dollar.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Stowe Cider Moves to Larger Production Space, Throws Party

Posted By on Thu, Aug 10, 2017 at 6:07 PM

Filling cans at Stowe Cider - COURTESY OF STOWE CIDER
  • Courtesy of Stowe Cider
  • Filling cans at Stowe Cider
This weekend, Stowe Cider will celebrate its fourth anniversary with a festive move from its original production facility north of Stowe village to the larger fermentory it's been building across town at 17 Town Farm Lane.

Stowe Cider purchased the building this summer. With financing through Union Bank of Vermont & New Hampshire and the Vermont Economic Development Authority, the company began construction on the 6,000-square-foot space in May. The move follows the cidery's growth into a new tasting room at 1799 Mountain Road last summer.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

The Big Feed at Shelburne Farms: Vermont Fresh Network Dinner

Posted By on Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 4:01 PM

Vermont Fresh Network fundraiser at Shelburne Farms - SOPHIE X. POLLAK
  • Sophie X. Pollak
  • Vermont Fresh Network fundraiser at Shelburne Farms
The Vermont Fresh Network held its annual gala last Sunday evening at Shelburne Farms.  The occasion is billed as a "forum," but it's perhaps better described as a mass feeding.

About 400 people attended the sold-out fundraiser for the VFN — a statewide nonprofit that connects food producers and restaurateurs, and works to strengthen partnership between the groups. The network's membership includes 113 chefs and 140 farmers/food producers.

Sunday night at the Coach Barn, farmer-chef connections were on display in a delicious and creative array of mini-meals, from  complex (smoked beef with pickled blueberries and radishes, garlic-chili aioli, basil and mint) to simple (ham and butter on baguette).

To honor the event, we recognize seven contributions:

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Dining on a Dime: Zero Gravity Craft Brewery

Posted By on Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 1:39 PM


Coney Island hot dogs and beer at Zero Gravity - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Coney Island hot dogs and beer at Zero Gravity
There are tougher choices in life, to be sure. But, when I became a regular at Zero Gravity Craft Brewery last winter, the burning question of the day was often: lamb sausage or bratwurst? Coney Island dog or Italian sausage?

Those Frank Pace-made bar snacks are available at the Pine Street brewery, where you can eat and drink for less than $12.

As with most crucial decisions, a number of factors figured into my choice: Was I alone or with a pal? In the mood for Dijon or yellow mustard, kimchi or kraut? Did I feel like smushing a sausage down into its roll so I could take a bite without peppers and onions spilling onto the bar? Or did I desire a less messy eating event?

In short, I became a pro at making the call.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Border Buster Cider Is the Fruit of Three Local Orchards

Posted By on Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 3:10 PM

Apple harvest at Eden Specialty Ciders' orchard in Charleston, Vermont - COURTESY OF EDEN SPECIALTY CIDERS
  • Courtesy of Eden Specialty Ciders
  • Apple harvest at Eden Specialty Ciders' orchard in Charleston, Vermont

At Eden Specialty Ciders (formerly, Eden Ice Cider), Eleanor and Albert Leger have spent the past several years producing high-end ciders and apple-based aperitifs, many of which command $20 or more for a small bottle. Now, with the debut of Border Buster Cider — which they've produced collaboratively with Verger Heath Orchards of Stanstead, Québec, Sunrise Orchards of Cornwall and Farrell Distributing — they're looking to enter the everyday drinking market.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Dining on a Dime: Istanbul Kebab House

Posted By on Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Mediterranean breakfast plate at Istanbul Kebab House - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Mediterranean breakfast plate at Istanbul Kebab House
Maybe the city was experiencing a collective brew-fast hangover Sunday morning, but Burlington was slow to rouse.

At Istanbul Kebab House, where I ventured for  the restaurant's new breakfast, I was for a time the only person at a sidewalk table — or even out on lower Church Street.  Waiting for my food and a friend, I thought of the Kris Kristofferson song "Sunday Morning Coming Down."

(There's nothing short of dying/half as lonesome as the sound/Of a sleeping city sidewalk/Sunday morning coming down.)

Resurrection, I thought, might come in the form of my Middle Eastern breakfast.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Dining on a Dime: Asian Bistro's $12 Sushi Lunch

Posted By on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 2:39 PM

Asian Bistro's sushi lunch - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Asian Bistro's sushi lunch
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm a sucker for a cheap pan-Asian lunch special. Yesterday, I had dumplings on the brain — and an appointment in Colchester at 1:30 — so I swung by Asian Bistro in Winooski for a quick fix. If you sit at the bar, you can reliably get in and out of there in 30 minutes, or even  less, at lunchtime.

In addition to a full-portion menu with apps, entrées, soups and sushi, the midday menu offers an array of combo specials, which include Chinese-American classics ($6.25-8.50) such as beef with broccoli, moo-shi pork and General Tso's chicken, and Pacific Rim items such as shrimp in Thai curry ($7.95) or sushi ($8.50-13.50). All meals include a cup of soup (wonton or hot and sour for hot plates; miso for sushi) and a little salad.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Shacksbury Cider's Tasting Room Opens Today

Posted By on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 6:04 PM

Shacksbury's tasting room in Vergennes - COURTESY OF SHACKSBURY CIDER
  • Courtesy of Shacksbury Cider
  • Shacksbury's tasting room in Vergennes

As of this evening, the good people of Vergennes have another place to tip back a drink. Shacksbury Cider opened its tasting room at 11 Main Street at 4 p.m. The company produces old-world-style and experimental ciders from heirloom and foraged apples collected throughout the Champlain Valley.


The spartan but comfortable space is located at the north end of the former Kennedy Brothers building, which Shacksbury uses to house many of its small-batch operations.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Monarch & the Milkweed Launches CBD-Laced Sweets Line

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 4:05 PM

Andy's Mints CBD sweets at Monarch & the Milkweed - COURTESY OF MONARCH & THE MILKWEED
  • Courtesy of Monarch & the Milkweed
  • Andy's Mints CBD sweets at Monarch & the Milkweed
There's been quite a bit of talk lately about cannabidiol — better known as CBD — a non-psychoactive cannabinoid chemical prevalent in all cannabis varieties, from hemp to marijuana.

While CBD has stirred no small amount of controversy (much as growing hemp for industrial use did in the past), studies have shown that the chemical may be effective in treating everything from pain and inflammation to anxiety, stress, epilepsy, auto-immune disorders and even cancer. Yes, cancer.

Now, Burlington's Monarch & the Milkweed is selling sweets laced with the stuff. Last night, the popular restaurant and pastry stop announced via Facebook that patrons (ages 18 and over, kids) would be able to purchase "Milkweed" branded truffles containing 20 milligrams of CBD starting at noon today.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Stonecutter Spirits Hosts Adventure Dinners Across Vermont

Posted By on Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 7:51 PM

Adventure Dinner 2017 - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Adventure Dinner 2017
Stonecutter Spirits’ third annual Adventure Dinner began last Saturday, July 15, on a road inside 200 acres of Sunrise Orchards’ apple groves. The sun was beaming in Cornwall, although three hours earlier the sky had opened up with torrential rainstorms and a thick, slick coat of mud glazed the outskirts of the orchards. Guests came aptly prepared, wearing hiking shoes and rain boots with their nice linen shirts. It was an “Adventure Dinner,” after all. Folks were game.

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