From Schnitzel to Strudel, Derby Line Village Inn Goes Euro | 7 Nights Spotlight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

From Schnitzel to Strudel, Derby Line Village Inn Goes Euro 

click to enlarge Fritz Halbedl at he Derby Line Village Inn - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • matthew thorsen
  • Fritz Halbedl at he Derby Line Village Inn

Fritz Halbedl's culinary skills have sailed to all corners of the world. Born and raised in Austria, the chef spent more than a decade overseeing the dining program for the Royal Caribbean International fleet. Now he's dropped anchor in landlocked Vermont, where he serves up European-inflected fare and tales of his globe-trotting adventures.

Location Details Derby Line Village Inn
440 Main St.
Northeast Kingdom
Derby Line, VT
closed: Mon., Tues.

Halbedl and his wife, Paula, bought a stately home on Derby Line's Main Street several years ago. It was a lot of house for one couple. After restoring the 1901 building to its former glory, they opened the five-room Derby Line Village Inn and lodge-style restaurant in March 2014. Paula welcomes guests with the trademark hospitality of her deep South heritage, while Fritz handles the kitchen.

In winter, regulars often arrive by snowmobile; the inn lies a few hundred yards off a popular route. They come for an array of succulent housemade knockwurst and bratwurst, stuffed into skins that snap with every bite and bedded in mounds of lip-smacking house-fermented sauerkraut.

click to enlarge The Derby Line Village Inn - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • matthew thorsen
  • The Derby Line Village Inn

Other northern European specialties include schnitzels — tender cuts of chicken, veal or pork lightly breaded and pan-fried, served with potatoes or vegetables — and platters of roasted meats. All are best enjoyed in true Austrian fashion, with one of the German-style lagers on tap, a number of which hail from Stowe's Trapp Lager Brewery. Careful, though: These easy-drinking quaffs come in big pours, up to 22 ounces.

Additional entrées include steaks — New York strips dry-aged 21 days — fish and handmade pastas.

Though the food skews meaty and eastern European, Halbedl's New England and Québec-style dishes are also worth a taste. Poutine — made with hand-cut fries and Vermont curds — comes commingled with sauerbraten or chicken schnitzel. Flatbreads, fresh from an artisanal oven, are long and narrow, crusty and chewy. Order one "hunter-style," topped with hearty hunks of venison sausage from nearby Hollandeer Farm, cranberries, arugula, and a blend of Asiago and mozzarella.

But a world traveler like Halbedl knows when to stay true to his roots. He wisely does so for dessert, serving what is arguably Vermont's best strudel.

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

Related Locations

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

More by Hannah Palmer Egan

About The Author

Hannah Palmer Egan

Hannah Palmer Egan

Hannah Palmer Egan is a food and drink writer at Seven Days.

About the Artist

Matthew Thorsen

Matthew Thorsen

Matthew Thorsen has been shooting photographs for Seven Days since 1995. Read all about his work here.

Speaking of Derby Line Village Inn


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2019 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation