Alice Eats: Our House
36 Main Street, Winooski 802-497-1884
I have a big mouth. It's rare that I stay mum on a place just because I'm afraid of one day not getting in. Right now, I'm feeling guilty. On Sundays, while you're still waiting in line at Sneaker's, I'm already walking home from a gut-busting brunch at Our House.
That's right. You could have gone up one block and had my current favorite brunch. It's hard to fully describe what's so extraordinary about it, but I believe six words sum it up: "Stuffed Dutch Pancake & Waffle Combo." Oh, Jesus.
Seriously, look at that thing (right)! Let me break this down for you. That sizzling skillet was filled with a Dutch pannekoek. Baked into the pancake was a waffle, which was made from the same chewy, eggy batter. Then I chose blueberries from an array of fruits and added chocolate, which quickly melted into the waffle's crevices. It was equally awesome for brunch and for dessert the next evening.
I was less excited about the housemade sausage patties. I found them to be little more than raw peppers and onions bound together with ground pork. Not my style. However, at a later meal, Our House's way with breakfast meats was redeemed by the monster you see at right.
"The Hungry Man" was a Dutch pancake-waffle special. Yep, underneath all that, there are two different breakfast pastries, but this time with something special — the batter was filled with crispy bacon. The batter itself also tasted slightly different this time, lightly redolent of almonds. It was almost like a meat and marzipan breakfast. Stacked on there, was also wheat toast, an over-easy egg, sausage, nicely seared ham and homefries. It took two people to eat it.
There's more to brunch at Our House than Dutch pancakes. The omelette I had there was unbelievably fluffy with a lovely, browned surface. Mine was filled with pulled pork and onions. The egg inside remained so creamy, no cheese was necessary.
Then, there's the Twisted Benedict (right). It may look more like a a fried goat cheese salad than your basic egg-on-English-muffin, but that's just Our House's "twisted comfort food" ethos at work.
Along with wheat toast, homefries and a lightly dressed salad, this dish was composed of two poached eggs surrounded in bacon and parsely, then breaded and deep fried. Somehow, the egg remained explosively molten through all of this. Although I couldn't actually see any bacon, it more than made its presence known. The dish seemed like alchemy. That's why, as much as I love a dinner of chicken with bacon bread pudding or a pulled pork sandwich at Our House, I am now a regular at brunch.
Alice Eats is a weekly blog feature devoted to reviewing restaurants where diners can get a meal for two for less than $35. Got a restaurant you'd love to see featured? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.