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Friday, November 17, 2017

Breakfast Club: Misery Loves Co.

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 12:32 PM

Fried eggs and vegetable hash - SALLY POLLAK
  • SALLY POLLAK
  • Fried eggs and vegetable hash
Sometimes you've got to pick a restaurant by its name, and on those occasions it's hard to look past Misery Loves Co. Saturday at noon, with no food in the house, was one of those times. I headed to Winooski.

Misery lived up to its name when I walked in the door and Excitable Boy by Warren Zevon was playing — banging home my choice, literally, with a couple of piano chords.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wanted: Thanksgiving Turkeys and Other Donations

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 2:03 PM


Waiting in line for turkeys at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf - ANNA MCMAHON/FOOD SHELF
  • ANNA McMAHON/FOOD SHELF
  • Waiting in line for turkeys at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf
A  week before Thanksgiving, the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf still needs about 2,000 turkeys to reach its goal of 3,500 turkeys to give people in need for Thanksgiving dinners, according to Rob Meehan, executive director of the nonprofit on North Winooski Avenue in Burlington.

Meehan said he expects the food shelf will receive a substantial number of donations in the days before Thanksgiving, as it has in years past.  He anticipates the goal will be reached.

"That's awesome," he said. "And we are trying to use this time to raise as much money as we possibly can. I don't think people understand the scope of our work and the impact it has. It costs a lot of money to feed hungry people."

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Dining on a Dime: ArtsRiot

Posted By on Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 3:49 PM

400 burger on the bar - SALLY POLLAK
  • SALLY POLLAK
  • 400 burger on the bar

The info coming from the ArtsRiot stage was grim.  At a panel discussion Wednesday evening about women who work in the food industry, the audience  learned that women in Vermont earn 16 cents less per dollar than men. We were told that Vermont and Mississippi are the only states that haven't elected a woman to Congress, and that being a working mother in the Green Mountains presents a particular challenge.

"It was easier to open a restaurant than it was to find child care in this state," said panelist Cara Chigazola-Tobin, chef/co-owner of Honey Road.

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Friday, November 3, 2017

Hong's Chinese Dumplings Temporarily Closed

Posted By on Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 7:59 PM

Hong Yu in October - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Hong Yu in October

Update November 11: Hong's is open again after closing temporarily on November 2. The dumpling shop on Pearl Street is open Wednesday through Sunday.

Hong's Chinese Dumplings, which opened October 21 on Pearl Street in Burlington, is temporarily closed.

The restaurant needs to address several issues associated with its opening, including a faulty payment system, owner Hong Yu said, with her husband serving as a translator. The restaurant plans to install a new system.

Hong's closed Thursday and expects to reopen on November 8 or  9, according to Yu. "We made the decision that we weren't ready to open, but we will be open very shortly," she said, through her husband.
Sign at Hong's Chinese Dumplings on Pearl Street - COURTESY BOB BOLYARD
  • COURTESY BOB BOLYARD
  • Sign at Hong's Chinese Dumplings on Pearl Street

Before opening her dumpling shop in a downtown storefront, Yu operated a cart on Church Street for 17 years.

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Dining on a Dime: Zen Gardens

Posted By on Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 1:58 PM

Halloween treats and hot and sour seafood soup. - SALLY POLLAK
  • SALLY POLLAK
  • Halloween treats and hot and sour seafood soup.
On Halloween, there was a lot of cheap food in front of me — little Snickers bars and two-stick Kit Kats, mini Twix in shiny foil and baby Nestlé Crunch bars in their blue wrappers.

I could've eaten 24 little Crunch bars for $3, or a pint of hot and sour seafood soup for $4.25. I decided to go for the soup.

As goblins and black cats began to prowl my neighborhood, I hopped in the car and beat a path south to Zen Gardens — a Chinese restaurant that has been hidden off  Shelburne Road near  Palace 9 Cinemas for 11 years. It's worth scoping out.

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Breakfast Club: Malletts Bay Diner & Bakery

Posted By on Sat, Oct 28, 2017 at 6:30 AM

Eggs Benedict with corned beef hash - SALLY POLLAK
  • SALLY POLLAK
  • Eggs Benedict with corned beef hash
The other day I unexpectedly discovered a new sign of aging: the inability to eat both halves of eggs Benedict at 8:30 in the morning. (It's still probably doable by 11.)

I was sitting at the pink counter of Malletts Bay Diner & Bakery in Colchester with a perfect-plus specimen of the meal before me.  The food was perfect because each egg rested like a puffed-up pillow on its split of English muffin, ready to squirt and ooze with the first prick of my fork. The hollandaise sauce was thick and dripping over the edge, topped by a sprinkle of paprika.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Japanese Restaurant Coming to Burlington

Posted By on Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 4:43 PM


Chirashizushi - COURTESY OF BENTO
  • COURTESY OF BENTO
  • Chirashizushi
As anyone who can read the writing on the wall knows, a Japanese restaurant is coming to town.

The writing, actually, is on a glass door at 152 Cherry Street in Burlington. A sign posted on the inside of the door announces the arrival of Sushi Maeda, "coming soon."

The restaurant will bring together chef-owner Mike Maeda with two chef-apprentices, Patrick Dougherty and Nick Eddy, according to Eddy. The three work together at Bento on College Street, a small Japanese restaurant that Maeda owns. He also was a partner at San Sai Japanese Restaurant near Waterfront Park, which closed two years ago.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Dining on a Dime: Zabby & Elf's Stone Soup

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 6:33 AM

Multi-colored lunch at Stone Soup - SALLY POLLAK
  • SALLY POLLAK
  • Multi-colored lunch at Stone Soup
Before I took my first bite of lunch at Zabby & Elf's Stone Soup in downtown Burlington, I counted the number of colors on my plate. I quit this exercise at 14, and I'm sure there were a few hues I failed to tally:  the muted green poblano peppers hidden under variegated lettuce leaves; the browns and greens of my olives; the tomatoes buried beneath spanakopita — a spinach pie that held three-colors-in-one.

I paid about 50 cents per color on the plate set before me — a rainbow assortment of  food that cost $7.90, $8.61 with tax.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Vermont's Top Cow Is a Flatlander

Posted By on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 3:49 PM


Blexy, Supreme Champion of the World Dairy Expo - COURTESY OF SHARYN ABBOTT
  • COURTESY OF SHARYN ABBOTT
  • Blexy, Supreme Champion of the World Dairy Expo
Beer and cheese made in Vermont have earned best-in-the-world accolades. Now another product with Vermont ties — mightier (or at least heavier) than a bottle of beer or a wedge of cheese —  has won top honors.

Blexy, an 1,800-pound Holstein,  was named Supreme Champion at the
World Dairy Expo on October 7 in Madison, Wisc.  She bested about 2,300 animals to win the prize.

Blexy's co-owners, Sharyn and Tim Abbott, live in Enosburg and operate a dairy farm and cattle breeding business in Richford, Borderview Genetics.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Breakfast Club: Oatmeal and More at Chef's Corner

Posted By on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Pastry case at Chef's Corner in Williston - SALLY POLLAK
  • SALLY POLLAK
  • Pastry case at Chef's Corner in Williston
Maybe it was the gray-haired group in the corner talking about cholesterol levels. Or it could've been my inability to choose among maple cheesecake, blueberry scones, croissants, peanut butter pie and pumpkin roll with spiced cream cheese frosting. Or, possibly to rip off the book Goodnight Moon, I was simply in the mood for a bowl of mush.

For whatever reason, or no reason at all, I ordered oatmeal ($8.25) on a recent morning at Chef's Corner. The Williston café and bakery moved in August from its longtime home next to Lenny's Shoe & Apparel to a different mini-mall in the same town. (Another small branch is located in the Flynndog building in Burlington's South End.)

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