Hello blogosphere, I’m currently on vacation in Vermont. I’m sitting at a coffee shop in Burlington, VT sipping a cup of hot vanilla almond tea, so now seemed as good a time as any to write start writing my travelogue for the trip. We’ve managed to see and do a lot in our four days here so this will be a story in parts, arranged chronologically. At the center of our travel story, like so many of my trips, is unshockingly, food. As soon as we arrived in Vermont we made our first food related stop at the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Store (pictured in the bottom left corner above and below).
For those unfamiliar, King Arthur Flour has been making flour for over 200 years. But their store isn’t just about flour, it’s so much more – a mecca for baking ingredients and supplies really. My boyfriend, ever patient, accompanied me as I paced the aisles, slowly stocking up on hard to source ingredients like mint chips, peanut butter flavoring, and Pain au Chocolate Sticks for the next time I feel like being fancy with homemade puff pastry. The only thing they didn’t have that I’d been searching out was pretzel salt so other than that I left satisfied and with a strong urge to bake.
Our next stop was out for dinner in downtown Burlington. We traipsed from restaurant to restaurant scanning menus before we finally decided on The Daily Plant. After reading the menus of a dizzying array of American-style restaurants and pizza joints we were relieved to find its eclectic menu and casual atmosphere. I especially liked that there were many vegetarian options on the menu, including the ability to substitute seitan or tofu for some dishes. I ended up getting the Piri-piri Grilled Crab legs which were marinated in citrus and served with a cooling pineapple-arugula salad and an African chili sauce that lit my mouth on fire in a good way. I’ve never had grilled crab before and I loved the smokiness the char added, especially in contrast with the sweetness of the salad. My boyfriend went for an Apple Brandy Pork Chop which was pleasantly fruity. We enjoyed our meal with some great inexpensive wines. In fact, we liked it so much that we came back the following night to sip wine at the bar and munch on spicy chicken wings as an after dinner snack.
The following day for lunch we ate at a restaurant that we had considered but bypassed the night before: Leunig’s Bistro. It was worth the wait because the same entrees we’d lusted after the night before were also available on the lunch menu and at a significantly paired back price. We both ordered the Strawberry Balsamic & Cashew Salmon. I’m not usually a salmon eater, but if every piece of salmon came perfectly moist and crowned with a caramel-thick balsamic reduction punctuated by sweet strawberry flavor and crunchy cashew pieces I could be persuaded to change my mind. I’m already planning on recreating this combo at home.
Needless to say, we haven’t been going hungry. There may have also been an un-pictured cone of Ben & Jerry’s. Still, all of these Vermont eats were merely an amuse-bouche for what was to come: a warm celebration to commemorate Vermont Butter & Cheese Company’s (now renamed Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery) 25th birthday and the reason for the vacation: The Vermont Cheesemakers Festival. Let’s just say that both pretty much fulfilled every fantasy I’ve had of being let loose in rooms full of rich cheese and flowing wine. I can’t wait to recap both, but first — since I someday plan on coming back (perhaps for the Festival next year) — I have a question:
If you’ve been to Vermont, where did you most enjoy eating?