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July 23, 2013

Alice Eats: The Dutch Mill Family Restaurant and Creemee Bar

IMG_59944309 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, 985-3568

I've tasted the Eggs Fred, but this summer, the Dutch Mill has gone beyond its old-timey breakfast fare to become a snack bar — kind of.

I looked in vain for the snack-bar window on Sunday. It turns out, the "snack-bar-style menu" is served inside. After about 10 minutes of being ignored in the early-afternoon rush, I was seated near the creemee machine.

I was disappointed to learn that the snack-bar menu is only served from 2 to 9 p.m. But my old-school waitress — who referred to everyone in the restaurant as "sweetie," when she wasn't digging her face into a baby's belly — was able to convince the kitchen to make me a snack-bar basket of the house specialty, the barbecue pulled-pork sandwich.

IMG_5995A smoker out front augured well for the sandwich. It's not every day a diner offers real 'cue.

But it turned out, the fancy equipment was immaterial. The pork was cooked beyond recognition into mushy strings. Those were covered in a corn-syrup-flavored sauce that obscured any hint of smoke that may have existed in the meat. The sammie's only redeeming quality was a fluffy egg-washed bun.

The fries didn't help matters. They managed the near-impossible feat of being burnt and limp at the same time. I wasn't much more impressed with the side of coleslaw, which was pleasantly crisp, but seemed to be seasoned with nothing but mayonnaise and pepper.

IMG_5996So the savory specialty was a bust. Thanks to the creemee machine, there's an over-indulgent new breakfast special that I just had to try.

Forget what the puckery brown mounds might suggest and just imagine thick-but-fluffy pancakes with crisp edges. Then picture lightly chocolaty blobs of creemee from the St. Albans Co-Op Creamery slowly melting into the pancakes along with a slathering of maple syrup. You will need a nap afterward, but it will be worth it, self-loathing and all.

IMG_5997Or you can skip your meal entirely and go straight for the good stuff. The local-milk creemee mix is exceptionally light.

My dining partner said it was so light, he could hardly differentiate it from the Cabot whipped cream on top of "Gram's Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Sundae." A subtle vanilla flavor was a nice back drop to hefty helpings of warm peanut butter and hot fudge sauces.

I'm not usually a peanut-butter sundae fan, but the high quality of the individual ingredients added up to a top-flight creemee.

So lesson learned: When headed to the Dutch Mill's creemee bar, skip to dessert, even if it's breakfast.

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 [email protected].

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