Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's in Vermont

Happy new year, all! Here's to a brand new year full of possibilities and potential. I rung in the new year up in Vermont. My good friend Chris and his wonderful parents were gracious enough to host Mark and I for the long weekend. Besides a great weekend with great friends, record snowfall, and heated mattress pads (!!!), I also enjoyed some seriously tasty eats and drinks.

I'll begin with The Vermont Pub and Brewery. We come here, without fail, every time we visit Burlington. This place brews some of the best beer I've ever had. Everything they serve is brewed on-site in small batches. I always get a glass of Forbidden Fruit, a raspberry beer, since it's my favorite. Mark and I decided to expand our horizons on this trip and also order some samples. We tried a seasonal ale, a sour red, a smoked stout, and a black IPA. All were delicious, but I think the black IPA was my favorite. Of course, we had to have a snack with our beer, so we ordered what we believe to be the best sweet potato fries anywhere. These are fried in vegetable oil perfectly and are SO good. They come with a honey mustard sauce, but I prefer them with ketchup. Not a shock, since I think most things are better with ketchup.
Another local favorite is Stone Soup. It's a home-style soup and sandwich place that is very vegan friendly. They always have at least one vegan soup on, tons of freshly baked bread, and a stocked hot and cold bar. They will also make any sandwich vegan if you ask; they have tempeh, seitan, and tofu options. On this trip, I enjoyed a huge bowl of curried yellow lentil soup and some hunks of french bread. The soups are always filling and hearty, and they really are a meal with the bread on the side. If I had the room, I would have splurged on an apple cranberry muffin or a chocolate chip coconut banana scone, the vegan baked goods of the day. If you find yourself in Burlington and looking for lunch, check out Stone Soup.

Finally, for our last meal in town, we went to Magnolia Bistro. This is hands down the best breakfast in Burlington, and it has something for everyone, including vegans. The menu is clearly demarcated with icons for vegan and gluten-free options, which is really helpful. Another really cool thing about Magnolia is the fact that it is a green certified restaurant. This is based on the food, trash practices, sustainability in construction and energy use, and pollution reduction. So that is a pretty cool added bonus. But first and foremost, the food is fantastic. I enjoyed a monster plate of Mexican tofu scram (topped with Vermont made hot sauce), home fries, and sourdough toast with homemade strawberry preserves. So delicious and filling. Magnolia Bistro is a must-eat!
So, the new year is off to a good start. Let's hope it continues to be as great as the first weekend was! Happy eating!


  1. Craft beer and sweet potato fries sounds like something I might request as my final meal.