The Way They Were | Summer Guide | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

The Way They Were 

A Berlin eatery throws itself a blast from the past

The year 1918 was eventful: Color movies were invented, the armistice ending World War I was signed, the Red Sox won the World Series and, notably for Vermonters, the Berlin-based Wayside Restaurant & Bakery opened its doors for the first time. Last Friday was the restaurant's 90th birthday, and to celebrate nearly a century of hardy, stick-to-your-ribs chow, the Wayside turned back the clock to the good ol' days of 20-cent hotdogs, 10-cent sodas and 15-cent ice cream. Needless to say, there wasn't an empty seat - or belly - in the house.

After waiting in line under the Wayside's vintage 1960s neon sign, my friend and I found a suitable two-person booth and started poring over the generously priced menu. Even though hotdogs, ice cream and soda were the only items offered at the old-timey rates, a $3.50 steakburger with cheese seemed like it would complement our meal nicely without burning a hole in our wallets. And how about some fries?

The smell of the fryer must have drifted all the way to the Statehouse, because as we waited for our grease, Governor Douglas stopped by to wish the Wayside a happy birthday and re-light the neon sign. I couldn't tell what he ordered after flipping the switch, but by that time our smorgasbord had arrived and I wasn't thinking about anything else.

My friend and I took a conversational hiatus to devote ourselves to the food. We maybe gave each other a nod as we sipped our Cokes, but otherwise the fare kept us quiet and content. Each bite of the hotdog was better than the last, and the steakburger, which came in a sliced butter roll, melted in my mouth. Later, we finished up with some 15-cent pistachio ice cream. Without including the items at 2008 prices, our bill was a whopping 90 cents. Not only did I feel full, I felt rich.

It was a little hard to stand up afterward, but I managed. I licked the meal's final taste from my lips and finagled my way through the line still extending out the door. With good food and loyal customers like that, I'm not expecting this place to fall by the "wayside" anytime soon.

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

More By This Author

About The Author

Mike DiBiasio

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Summer Guide

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation