Caribbean Buffet Closes; Bite Me Pizza Gets New Owner | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Caribbean Buffet Closes; Bite Me Pizza Gets New Owner 

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After 23 years in business, owner and sole employee Patrick Brown will soon close Caribbean Buffet. Brown hasn’t yet set a final date but expects to shut down by the end of September.

Why has he decided to pull the plug? As a University of Vermont professor, faculty union rep, United Way board member, organizer of diversity conferences including Burlington’s annual high-profile Martin Luther King celebration, and general community leader, the multihyphenate restaurateur realized he was simply too busy to go to the dinners and other events tied to his other jobs.

“I look at it as a way of shifting gears, doing more fun things in my two minutes of spare time,” Brown jokes.

For now, he’s enjoying hosting his loyal customers for a few more weeks. And devotees of Brown’s jerk chicken, curried goat and Jamaican beef patties won’t be seeing them disappear any time soon. He says he’ll keep Caribbean Buffet’s phone number to field calls for special orders. Brown also envisions cooking for occasional community dinners and teaching cooking classes at City Market — even as he runs for the state legislature.

“It’s not the end of me,” Brown says of his retirement from the eatery. “I did enjoy my relationship with the community through the restaurant — and, in some way, I will continue to be part of it.”

*****

Quirky owner Jack O’Brien and his 5-year-old Burlington pizzeria, Bite Me Organic Pizza, have always seemed inextricably linked. But last week, he sold the business to his former employee at both Red Square and Bite Me, Eric Heise.

“It’s just time. Time to move on,” says O’Brien.

Heise could not be reached for comment by press time, but O’Brien says not to expect a whole different Bite Me. “It’s not gonna change at all. If anything, it will probably be a little bit more regimented, I guess, and run a little bit better,” he predicts.

Fans of the “Vermont Intervale Ghosts” and “Absolute & Compliant BBQ Chicken” have nothing to worry about. Their favorite pies aren’t going anywhere.

*****

Late-night dining options in Stowe are few and far between. Japanese cuisine and money-saving deals aren’t plentiful, either. With the August 26 opening of Sushi Yoshi at 1128 Mountain Road, the town now has one restaurant that fits in all three categories.

Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, the sushi spot serves specialty rolls as well as teriyaki, tempura and bamboo-steamed entrées until 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

But early birds have just as much reason to hit up the stylish new restaurant. Free chicken wings are available every day from 3 to 6 p.m. On September 22, owners Nate Freund, Howard Smith and chef Kevin Zheng will host “The Good Guys’ Party,” where locals will receive cards for half-price sushi and hibachi for the whole year. Welcome to the neighborhood, indeed.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Exits & Entrées."

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Alice Levitt

Alice Levitt

Bio:
AAN award-winning food writer Alice Levitt is a fan of the exotic, the excellent and automats. She wrote for Seven Days 2007-2015.

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