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128 posts categorized "Alice Eats - Restaurant Reviews" Feed

June 26, 2012

Alice Eats: The Noble Pig

IMG_4250142 Hegeman Avenue, Colchester, 655-7370.

A hot dog cart is a hot dog cart, right?

In the "dirty water" milieu of big cities, the options tend to be limited to Sabrett or Hebrew National. But we're not in a big city.

Thanks to Cloud 9 Catering, the folks behind the Noble Pig, my summer is looking up — cured meat product by cured meat product.

Since the cart debuted in Colchester at the end of May, I've been making as many trips as I can. Last week my trip got easier when the cart began spending Thursdays parked at the Burton Snowboards lot, at 80 Industrial Parkway in Burlington.

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June 19, 2012

Alice Eats: Peace & Love Catering

IMG_4234Burlington Farmers Market, Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at City Hall Park. Info, 310-5172.

My affection for this year's new-and-improved Burlington Farmers Market is no secret. With 90 vendors this year, the lunch selection is almost overwhelming. Still, there's been a break-out hit for me.

It doesn't have a sign yet. The vendors are incorporated as MPT, but they'll soon be advertising themselves as Peace & Love Catering. The motives for the name aren't as hippy-dippy as they sound — Mayllet Paz and Wilfredo Amor run the stand. Their last names translate to peace and love, respectively.

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June 12, 2012

Alice Eats: Bangkok Minute Thai Café

IMG_42102403 Shelburne Rd., Shelburne, 497-3288

Remember Bangkok Bistro Thai Steakhouse? I do. Following Amigo's, Little Saigon and Pattaya, the quirky steakhouse was the next short-lived restaurant to hit 2403 Shelburne Road back in 2006. I loved its marinated steaks, vegetables stir-fried in ginger, and bizarre domes of bright-blue sticky rice.

Why the trip down Memory Lane? Bangkok Minute Thai Café is the Chompupong family's return to the same address.

But where Champ Chompupong turned his restaurant into a dark, zebra-print-bedecked speakeasy, his son Bobby now brings a youthful, casual air to the restaurant.

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June 05, 2012

Alice Eats: Cupp's

IMG_418125 Winooski Falls Way, Winooski, 654-7069

There are numerous reasons to go to Cupp's in Winooski: sticky buns that taste like drinking butter and honey; cute cake pops; coffee that's flavored to taste like s'mores. But there are two words more enticing than any of those: cupcake bar.

Recently, baker Gretel-Ann Fischer struck on the brilliant idea of making DIY cupcakes sans the mess. Each week, she posts a new list of cake flavors, buttercreams, fillings and toppings. Tell her staff what you want, et voilá, you've got precisely the cupcake you crave.

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May 29, 2012

Alice Eats: Spanked Puppy Pub

IMG_4157116 Main St., Colchester, 878-6440

If nothing else, I thought it would be funny: brunch at the dive bar. But amid the tanned faces emerging from the door labeled "outback," perhaps after a game of horseshoes, and already-tipsy bodies bent over the bar, the Spanked Puppy Pub surprised me with good-humored service, a creative menu and well-prepared grub.

Sure, our entertaining, motherly server admitted that the sausage patties we ordered were "whatever the supplier brought us," but this was an Experience with a capital 'E.' Sort of a redneck theme restaurant if you will, but with better food.

IMG_4155The cuisine may have exceeded the bounds of its theme, but prices did not. Eggs Benedict with tangy Hollandaise sauce, ideally soft-centered poached eggs and, get this, pepper-crusted filet mignon, rang up at $10.95.

There was plenty of beef, meltingly tender and enrobed in an alluring jacket of spice. A dining companion compared the dish to the quality of the creative specials at Sneakers Bistro in Winooski, with a notably lower price point.

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May 22, 2012

Alice Eats: The Knotty Shamrock

IMG_412821 East Street, Northfield, 485-4857

I don't often head to Northfield for dinner. It's too far from Montpelier to do a dinner-and-a-show evening. When dining in Northfield, dinner is the destination. That's why it took me almost a year after it opened to visit Irish pub the Knotty Shamrock.

Clearly, I was in the minority. I arrived last Saturday just before 8 p.m. to find the only available table was little more than a varnished plank of wood toward the back of the restaurant. Even the bar, with its inlaid four-leaf clovers, was packed.

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May 15, 2012

Alice Eats: Cheese Outlet/Fresh Market

IMG_4092400 Pine Street, Burlington, 863-3968

For as long as I've worked at Seven Days, I've known the nearby Cheese Outlet/Fresh Market for one thing. It's the site of the best cookies on Earth. I'm not exaggerating.

Ideally balanced between chewy and crunchy, with nary a hint of cakiness, some bizarre alchemy ensures that the chocolate chips remain slightly melty long after the cookie has cooled. The desserts are also sizable enough that I can usually only eat a third at a time. Unless, that is, I get it right out of the oven. Then the slightly salty cookies simply prove too irresistible not to inhale all at once, my ensuing loginess be damned.

IMG_4099Given my over-the-top devotion, it's strange that I'd never gotten lunch at the spot that's just a few minute's walk from my desk.

The prepared-food case offers a glut of options, but luckily Seven Days calendar editor Carolyn Fox was there to help me choose. We brought a veritable buffet back to the office at a  cost of $25 and change.

We started with still-hot macaroni and cheese. A crunchy, light, breadcrumb-covered crust yielded to a creamy, mild cheese sauce speckled with pepper. Even though I tend to prefer sharper cheeses, it was difficult to discern this from the one I make at home. And I didn't have to cook or clean up!

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May 08, 2012

Alice Eats: Texas Roadhouse

225 Interstate Corporate Center, Williston, 288-1110

IMG_4041It was a busy eight days for my stomach. After the last three indulgent meals of Vermont Restaurant Week — an elegant dinner at the Kitchen Table Bistro, spicy Asian specialities at ¡Duino! (Duende) and the best French cuisine I've ever eaten in Vermont, at 3 Squares Café in Vergennes — I took Saturday off and ate Uncle Sam's cereal. But there were still Restaurant Week participants I wanted to get to, even if their special menus were no longer available. On Sunday, I headed to one, Texas Roadhouse in Williston.

Before you jump on me about evil corporations, let me remind you that this franchise is locally owned and actively supports local charities. I participated in a rib-eating contest there two years ago to benefit the DREAM Program, a Winooski-based mentoring charity.

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May 01, 2012

Alice Eats: Vermont Restaurant Week at Charlie's Rotisserie & Grill

IMG_39851160 Williston Rd., South Burlington, 862-1211

As everyone well acquainted with me knows, I have a bit of a Chicken Charlie's problem. Without a regular dose of its crisp, salty-skinned rotisserie chicken, I simply go into withdrawal.

Eager to prevent the shakes and shivers, I hightailed it over to Charlie's Rotisserie & Grill — as the place is officially called — for Vermont Restaurant Week on Saturday night. I was greeted by the chickens at right, all dressed up with IDs for the occasion. A white board on the bar outlined the options for the promotion. At lunch, diners can get any wrap, side and dessert for $10. For a $15 dinner, I had three courses that left plenty of leftovers.

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April 24, 2012

Alice Eats: Bove's Restaurant

IMG_394968 Pearl St., Burlington 864-6651

The building at 68 Pearl Street looks much as it did in 1941. Bove's Venetian cityscape mural brings diners back to WWII-era ideas of what makes a restaurant worth visiting. It extends to the menu, the drinks — and the prices.

Few things still exist in the world quite like the time capsule that is the Bove's cocktail menu. Like a Brandy Alexander? Meet Greg Alexander, her gin-flavored dad. There is also a John Collins, a rum-and-vodka drink to keep Tom company. And they all cost $3.75.

The portions are small, but the liquor is strong. My choice, the relatively safe-sounding Stinger, is composed of brandy and white crème de menthe, and it packed a fire along with a refreshing minty flavor.

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