Bite Club | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dining on a Dime: Central Market Taste of Asia

Posted By on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 at 1:41 PM

Central Market Taste of Asia - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • Central Market Taste of Asia
If you walk past 242 North Winooski Avenue in Burlington — which houses Central  Market Taste of Asia — you can't tell a restaurant is tucked inside. From the outside, the spot resembles a strip-mall mom-and-pop shop.

And so it is: Upon walking in, visitors might notice the cascade of bananas hanging from the ceiling. Or the long line of people waiting to buy tropical fruits, candy and Asian groceries. Shelves are crammed with items such as grass jelly, boxes of shrimp crackers and bags of spices.

However, off to the left of the front door is a small seating area where people can sit to eat takeout, or a full meal made up of Indian and Nepali specialties.

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Dining on a Dime: Folino's Pizza in Shelburne

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Scallop and bacon pizza - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • Scallop and bacon pizza
Sometimes, sharing lunch with a friend is the best way to dine on a dime. Examining the online menu, I determined that I could have an inexpensive, balanced meal at Folino's in Shelburne — if I split the cost of a pie.

The wood-fired pizza joint is located on Route 7, in the same complex that is home to Fiddlehead Brewing Company. It also sits directly across the road from Shelburne Vineyard, which means that food tourists and locals alike frequent the spot.

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Land O'Lakes Buys Vermont Creamery: 10 Questions for Allison Hooper

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 9:06 PM

Cultured butter from Vermont Creamery - COURTESY OF VERMONT CREAMERY
  • Courtesy of Vermont Creamery
  • Cultured butter from Vermont Creamery
On Wednesday afternoon, March 29, news circulated through the Vermont fooderati that Vermont Creamery had been sold to Minnesota cheese-and-butter giant Land O'Lakes for an undisclosed sum (yes, we asked how much, to no avail).

Allison Hooper and Bob Reese cofounded Vermont Butter & Cheese Company from a barn in Brookfield in 1984. Thirty-three years later the business, which changed its name to Vermont Creamery in 2013, brings in tens of millions of dollars annually and employs about 100 Vermonters full time.

While representatives from the creamery and from Land O'Lakes have been forthcoming since news of the sale broke yesterday, many Vermonters were left wondering what it would all mean. Would the company stay in Vermont? What would happen to current employees, and to the farmers from whom the creamery buys milk? Would the chèvre, cultured butter and soft-ripened cheeses be different now?

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Pizzeria Verità to Buy Trattoria Delia and Sotto Enoteca

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 5:20 PM

Griffeon Chuba with a hot pie at Pizzeria Verità - FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN
  • File: Matthew Thorsen
  • Griffeon Chuba with a hot pie at Pizzeria Verità
The owners of Pizzeria Verità, a popular Italian restaurant on St. Paul Street in Burlington, have been looking to expand their business for some time. They checked out possibilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Portland, Maine, among other places, co-owner Leslie McCrorey Wells told Seven Days.

Then they looked at a bit closer to home — next door — and made a deal.

Wells and her business partner, John Rao, are buying Trattoria Delia and Sotto Enoteca from Tom and Lori Delia. The Delias opened "Tratt" 24 years ago. The Italian restaurant a few steps north of Verità is known for its antipasto platter, housemade pastas and filet mignon, among other specialties. Sotto is the associated wine bar next door that serves mainly small plates, craft cocktails and, of course, wine.

The new owners expect to take over the neighboring establishments in the second week of April, according to Wells.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Farmers Market Kitchen: Scalloped Potato Pie

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 3:17 PM

Scalloped potato pie - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Scalloped potato pie
I like to think of early spring as dairy and potato season. It's a little soon for fresh greens, except from the most zealous farms with over-wintering greenhouses, and by now I'm pretty sick of of winter squash, carrots, rutabagas and the like.

But potatoes, butter and cheese? I never really tire of those. And you can always find them at the farmers market in colorful arrays.

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Hunkering Down at Montpelier's North Branch Café

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 2:12 PM

North Branch Café in Montpelier - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • North Branch Café in Montpelier
There's something incredibly comforting about the taste of cinnamon. It's like opening presents, eating pumpkin pie and sniffing potpourri, all rolled into one. That's why, even though I love all kinds of elegant loose-leaf teas, whenever I visit the North Branch Café in Montpelier I get a pot of decaffeinated cinnamon spice tea. Whether I'm working on deadline or writing poetry, it's always a good choice.

A handful of places in the capital city allow visitors to bust out laptops and get down to business, and each one has its own vibe. Capitol Grounds is fast paced and busy, and internet access is doled out in 90-minute chunks, which, theoretically, prevents visitors from overstaying. La Brioche has inexpensive tea and pastries and lots of tables. Both are on my regular rotation.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Duck Sauce: Chinese Fusion Gets Personal at Silver Palace

Posted By on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Vegetable potstickers at Silver Palace - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Vegetable potstickers at Silver Palace

Silver Palace, South Burlington: At a Glance

Owners' names: Ken "Gong" Wong, Ting Ng, Ed Lee
Owners' native city: New York/New Jersey; parents from Hong Kong
Prices: Soup, $4-$6; appetizers, $2.50-$9.95; entrées, $11.95-$19.95 (dinner); fried rice: $11.95 (dinner)
Lunch specials:  Entrées plus white or fried rice, $8.95-$13.95
Drinks: Tiki cocktails, Vermont craft beers, Chinese imported beers; wine, sake, plum wines, jasmine or green tea, sodas
Quirky dishes: Crispy Grand Marnier pork; Coconut shrimp; Gwin Jin; Seafood basket; Homestyle whole fish
Fortune cookie: Physical activity will dramatically improve your outlook today.

Silver Palace co-owners Ed Lee, Ken "Gong" Wong and Ting Ng grew up the children of Hong Kong  immigrants in and around New York City. In 1986, the trio (and other partners who've since moved on) opened Silver Palace in South Burlington, and the restaurant tells a very different culinary tale than most of Vermont's Asian restaurants. The menu doesn't focus on standard Chinese-American fare like you'll find everywhere else.  And, in an accommodating nod to modern dining, almost any dish can be made gluten-free.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Dining on a Dime: Snarf Down a Sandwich at Eastern & Main Market-Deli

Posted By on Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 2:45 PM

The Fairbanks roast beef sandwich at Eastern & Main Market-Deli - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • The Fairbanks roast beef sandwich at Eastern & Main Market-Deli
Let's face it, we live in a world where $15 sandwiches are increasingly the norm. Of course, I'm well aware that quality ingredients don't come cheap — and that customers now demand fresher, more local foods, which cost more than frozen or heavily preserved ones from China or wherever. Still, I'm always super stoked to find a solid stacker for less than $10.

Enter St. Johnsbury's Eastern & Main Market-Deli, which opened across from the firehouse on Main Street several years back. Walk in most mornings and the cashiers will greet you as if they've known you for years — even if it's your first time in. Place your order and the deli workers make your sandwich in about three minutes flat, unless there's a big line ahead of you. It's the kind of quick and friendly service that makes you know you'll be back.

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The Future Honey Road Restaurant Continues Pop-Up Series

Posted By on Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 12:40 PM

Eastern Mediterranean bites at Honey Road's March 6 pop-up - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Eastern Mediterranean bites at Honey Road's March 6 pop-up
On Monday, March 6, Burlington's Monarch & the Milkweed transformed from a boutique “fine diner” to a softly lit watering hole complete with candlelight gleaming on blush-colored wine glasses. The scene was lush enough for a night out, yet aptly cozy for Monday evening.

Locals chattered and laughed, elbow-to-elbow at the bar top or tucked into modest corner tables; instrumental guitar and lilting vocals kept tune in the background. Monarch’s tiny dining room was amiably packed with folks relaxing into the second installment of a multi-part pop-up series from Burlington’s forthcoming Honey Road restaurant — an Eastern Mediterranean spot to be helmed by co-owners Cara Chigazola-Tobin and Allison Gibson.

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Drop-In's Head Brewer Vilija Bizinkauskas Talks Food Pairings and Beer for Mom

Posted By on Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Head Brewer Vilija Bizinkauskas at Drop-In Brewery - BROOKE WILCOX
  • Brooke Wilcox
  • Head Brewer Vilija Bizinkauskas at Drop-In Brewery
I recently sat down with Drop-In Brewery’s head brewer, Vilija Bizinkauskas, to talk beer nostalgia, Vermont beer culture and the unseen challenges of the brewing lifestyle. Post-talk — and post-pints — I carried an armful of treasure home with me: a growler of Berlinner Weisse (the tart, off-sour pilsner way too flavorful for its 2.9 percent ABV) and a few freshly minted cans of milk stout called Fetchez La Vache.

Though it was noon on a Tuesday, I promptly called a few friends to help share my bounty come happy hour. Luckily, Bizinkauskas has ample knowledge of snacks to pair with Drop-In brews.

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