Aaahhhhh, vacation. There is something exhilarating about traveling and experiencing new sights, sounds, and…food. For me, vacation is all about the food. We don’t generally pick a destination without first browsing its restaurant options and delving into its food scene via the Internet. Our recent trip to the green state of Vermont was definitely no exception to that rule. In fact, going to Vermont was solely about the food–from sustainable farming to artisan cheese to amazing farm-to-fork restaurants–food was the purpose for our journey. Oh yes, there was maple syrup, too. Maple made its way onto my palate many times during our stay, but contrary to popular belief Vermonters do not put it in everything…thankfully.
So, why Vermont, you ask? For years, friends and strangers alike have told us that we would “just love Vermont!” This alone was not reason enough to travel there. Enter the Find Your Spot online quiz. This quiz was the catalyst we needed to seek time in Vermont. Mark, my husband, and I took the quiz separately years ago. We didn’t discuss our answers to make it a more scientific and true predictor of our perfect “spots.” The results: towns in Vermont showed up in both of our lists. In fact, over half of our results were places in Vermont. Interesting, right? The quiz is quite comprehensive focusing on food, recreational activities, social interests, political views, and much more. We were eager to visit the place that seemed to be made for us, but when? So began a long wait for the perfect time to visit Vermont.
This month we spent six days in Vermont. Burlington was our home base during our stay, but we traveled as much of the state as possible while we were there. It did not disappoint. Vermont is beautiful. It reminded me of the mountains of North Carolina which we love. There are no high rise buildings in Vermont, very few fast-food restaurants, and a lifestyle that is laid back–almost charming. The people were kind. The food was outstanding. Farming in Vermont is sustainable, thoughtfully practiced, and done all over the state. They recently voted to label GMOs which shows how important food and health are to Vermonters.
Coming back from vacation is always difficult. The laundry, the quickened pace of regular life, the return to responsibilities–all of it takes some adjustment. I find it difficult to get back in the kitchen, too. I enjoy dining out and cooking again takes more thought than my vacation-dazed brain wants to give. Have no fear, though…I am ready for my vacation reset. I am ready to start cooking again and to share those recipes with you. Our trip to Vermont has strengthened my passion for creating great food, farmer’s markets, sustainable agriculture, and eating local. I’ll be back on track soon. Until then, here are some memorable food moments from my trip.
Our first meal in VT. Asiana Noodle House Tom Yum veggie soup.
We were so close to Canada that Leunig’s Bistro had poutine on the menu. I have dreamt of this wonderful creation daily since then.
Barrio Bakery was next door to the house we stayed in and was a perfect morning stop. Orange Hazelnut Breakfast Roll? Yes, Please!
VT knows beer, too. Otter Creek Brewing satiated my craving for local beer and had my favorite—Porter!
El Cortijo not only had excellent margaritas, they are known for being “farm-to-taco.” Mexican goodness with local produce = a win!
A trip to VT would not me complete without a trip to Ben & Jerry’s in Waterbury.
The Pho Ga at Pho Hong was delicious. The packed house told us this was a winning choice.
Penny Cluse Cafe is a MUST visit in downtown Burlington. No one does breakfast better.
Citizen Cider has a piece of my heart. We did two flights and tried it all. They create awesome cider using apples, cranberries, and beer yeasts.
Meet the Montreal style bagel–complete with Montreal Seasoning. These hand rolled, honey/water boiled, wood fired beauties are dense like a pretzel and oh, so yummy!
Barrio Bakery also does a few pizza nights each week. They know how to do a mighty fine pizza!