Seven Days on The VPR Cafe

Consider planning ahead before traveling to more easily find restaurants that meet your needs once you reach your destination.
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Traveling and eating out usually go hand in hand. But finding an amazing place to nosh while far from home can be a bit tricky, especially when overseas.

Aqua Vodka is produced by Appalacian Gap Distillery using excess alcohol from the fermentation-process of making Aqua ViTea's kombucha.
Caleb Kenna / Seven Days

This time, a tale of an alcohol problem, innovation and cooperation. A delightful relationship has blossomed between a Vermont beverage company and spirit maker; Aqua ViTea and Appalachian Gap Distillery. It all started with a big problem that turned into a big win.

Miso, a grain or bean paste found in the famous Japanese soup, can be used in much more than just broth.
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Where is the miso in my soup? Is it those white blocks swimming around in the bowl? No, not at all. Miso is a paste made from grains or legumes and has various colors and flavors. Most known for making the broth of the famous Japanese soup, many believe miso also offers many health benefits.

With the recent opening of Tres Amigos, Mark Frier (left) and Chad Fry now own a trio of resturants in the Waterbury-Stowe area.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Seven Days

An interesting little chain of restaurants has been growing quietly in the Waterbury/Stowe area over the last decade. We'll call it the Fry and Frier Empire; three eateries owned by Chad Fry and Mark Frier. The most recent, Tres Amigos in Stowe, serves Mexican fare, but the common denominator of all three establishments is the huge selection of Vermont beer and cider they serve.  

Zenbarn co-owner, Ari Fishman, delivers Zero Gravity beer during the restaurant's recent Hemp + Hops Dinner.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Seven Days

Move over peanut butter and jelly, eggs and bacon, and mac and cheese. There's a new food pairing in Vermont that was recently served at a first-of-its-kind dinner in Waterbury Center. Hemp and hops!

One dining highlight of 2017 for food writer, Sally Pollak, was the chile-lime chicken leg plate at Lucky Next Door in Burlington.
Sally Pollak / Seven Days

Yes, it's another year-in-review piece, but this one is bound to make your mouth water or cause you to pick up the phone to make a dinner reservation!

Pictured, one of the many dishes served at The von Trapp Brewing Bierhall that features Austrian sausages.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Seven Days

The von Trapp family has brought the Vermont hills alive again! This time, in the form of a brewery and bierhall. Playing a major role in that bierhall is Chef Jack Pickett.

Making the distinction between a farm-driven restaurant and one that's consumer-driven, can often be made by simply looking at how the menu is presented.
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Restaurants need to make many decisions, including which foods to source for their menus and where it comes from. These choices help determine whether they are customer-driven or farm-driven.

Family and farmworkers gather to celebrate a birthday meal at Rockville Market Farm in Starksboro.
Keenann Rozendaal / Seven Days

Eggs and butternut squash are two of the items that Rockville Market Farm in Starksboro are best known for. But the bond between the family that runs the farm and it workers, is just as healthy as the organic foods they produce.

The flavor of pumpkin spice is everywhere this time of year, but not everyone is a fan.
Suzanne Podhaizer / Seven Days

Pumpkin and nutmeg and cinnamon, oh boy! Pumpkin spice season is exploding once again with all types of foods and drinks embracing the flavor, like pies, pasta dishes, lattes and more. But maybe your reaction to these seasonal seasonings is, oh no!

Douglas Sweets, a shortbread company, is just one of the many food and beverage makers taking up residence at Vermont Artisan Village in Shelburne.
Lee Krohn / Seven Days

If you drive along Route 7 just south of Shelburne Museum, you might have noticed some building activity during the last few years. This group of barn-like structures has grown into something called Vermont Artisan Village and there's an awful lot of food being produced there. 

VPR Cafe: Pestopalooza

Sep 15, 2017
Hannah Palmer Egan's recipe for "Amazing Awesome August Pasta" includes kale, tomatoes, feta and pesto.
Hannah Palmer Egan / Seven Days

Get your food processor out. It's that time of year when you might have an abundance of basil and other greens which are perfect for making pesto.

Taylor LaFleur (left) and Dillon Klepetar are the hard-working farmers and chefs cho created Farmstead Catering in Whallonsburg, NY.
Julia Rebecca / Seven Days

Beyond farm-to-table comes the concept of seed-to-service on Echo Farm in Whallonsburg, NY. Dillon Klepetar and Taylor LaFleur, who run the farm, have created something similar to a CSA (community supported agriculture) but on a much larger scale. Their venture is called Farmstead Catering which produces, prepares and serves food for weddings and other special occasions.

Vermont Compost teamster, Kaleigh Hamal, and Ruby the donkey deliver eggs through Montpelier.
Suzanne Podhaizer / Seven Days

Seeing something a little offbeat in Vermont is par for the course. But donkeys delivering eggs? Yup, it's a thing in Montpelier.

From urban spaces to rural places, food trucks are really popular in Vermont and, now, much easier to locate thanks to the "Vermont Food Truck Finder."
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At one time, it was a quirky thing when a food truck showed up at your office once or twice a week. Then came food truck round-ups and, now, there's an explosion of food trucks along the highways and byways of Vermont. Luckily, Seven Days is helping us keep track of 'em all with the Vermont Food Truck Finder!

A few styles of beer available at Brocklebank Craft Brewing in Tunbridge.
Hannah Palmer Egan / Seven Days

For those of you too young to remember the dark ages of beer, there was a time when there were no micro-breweries; only national brands, a few local brews, and imports. But now, a new brewery has opened in Vermont since you started reading this. 

Chef Jesse Lauer serves guests in his home during one of his pop-up dinners dubbed "Dinner with Friends."
Matthew Thorson / Seven Days

If you're an adventurous eater, you might just be interested in a 12-course meal of exquisite recipes never before prepared by the chef. Well, that's just what's served when you pull up a chair at the home of Chef Jesse Lauer.

Andrew Ryan is not only executive chef at Wake Robin in Shelburne but is also co-owner of Drifter's Cafe in Burlington.
Brent Harrewyn / Seven Days

Life unfolds in strange and mysterious ways. But the two cooking gigs of a Vermont chef might be the oddest food/venue combination on record; yet Chef Andrew Ryan makes it work.

Just as you would before visiting the grocery store, make a list of what you need when planning a trip to a farmers' market.
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A farmers markets can be a fun place to do your shopping but, keep in mind, they are, in effect, open-air grocery stores. So it makes sense to have a plan before you go. 

Hannah Palmer Egan / Seven Days

Vermont farm stands have probably been around as long as Vermont farms themselves. But nowadays, you're likely to find a wide array of items far beyond fresh fruit and veggies.

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