Vermont Dining

Blog style news and restaurant reviews for Vermont

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sadie Katz Delicatessen - Burlington, VT

Sadie Katz Deli has recently opened up, taking the place of the Oasis Diner. At first I was a bit skeptical about another sandwich shop opening in downtown Burlington, however after eating there three times now, it's easy to say this isn't your average sandwich shop.

I'm not Jewish and I'm not from New York City, but if I had to imagine a high end Jewish deli in the city, this is it.

Currently Sadie Katz is only offering a preopening menu consisting partly of pastrami, cornbeef and ruben sandwiches, hotdogs, hamburgers and soups.

I can say without a doubt that the cornbeef sandwiches, with warm cornbeef sliced right in front of you (and swiss and rye bread), are the best I've had in town by a long shot. The quality of meats at Sadie Katz is far better than anything I've tasted in Burlington.

The pickles served with each meal, both 1/2 sour and sour, taste homemade and are a very good companion to the sandwiches. My other favorite is the Latkes (potato pancakes) which are cooked perfectly and are served with sourcream and apple sauce.

All this being said, Sadie Katz Delicatessen is a great addition to the Burlington lunch scene. (They also serve breakfast but I haven't had a chance to try that out yet.)

As far as price goes, you may end up paying a dollar or two more for a sandwich, but it's WELL worth it. I can't wait until their menu expands even further.


Sadie Katz Delicatessen
189 Bank Street
Burlington, VT 05401
864-5308

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, February 22, 2008

Souza's - Burlington, VT - Another Take

An anonymous reader took the time to write a pretty detailed comment on Souza's. Their review differs from mine, however it's well written and detailed so it deserves it's own post.

Here's My Two Cents:

Dine Date: Wednesday, Feb 20th, 2008.
Dine Time: 7:30-9:00PM
Number in Party: 2
Reservations: Highly Recommended
Bar: Yes/Full but Limited


I recently had the opportunity to dine a Sousza’s Authentic Rodizio Style Brazilian BBQ. This was the second time I have dined at Souza’s. The previous visit was in July 2008 for a lunch meeting. During my first visit I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, salad bar and the limited skewer selection. The positive experience prompted the desire to try the full selection at dinner.

My Recent Experience:
I called around 2pm to confirm that Souza’s would be open. I received a warm and welcomed response that offered to take my reservation. I reserved a table for two for 7:30 PM. I would highly recommend making reservations.

Upon arrival a few minutes before 7:30 I could see they were extremely busy. There were two or three four-top tables available. They made room by separating a center isle six-top table into a 2 and 4-top. This method provided a table that was really part of another dining party. Considering the fact that they were so busy and things smelled so good, I was fine with this seating. After being seated we waited around 10 minutes for the server/hostess to return to provide instructions on the Brazilian dining method and take our drink order. All non-alcoholic drinks are inclusive in the $36.95 dinner price. I noticed there were no red/green, “stop or keep it coming”, signs for the tables. These signs are traditional at Brazilian BBQ and were present on my previous visit. We were told that we would start with a soup and that we could help our selves to the salad bar. I noticed rolls on all the tables and asked for a small basket. I was told that they were currently out of rolls but would bring some when they came out of the oven. Note: I was told this on my first visit; the rolls came at the end of that meal and were frozen in the middle. Rolls never came during this dinner visit.

Drinks:
We ordered non-alcoholic drinks and were served very promptly. They were free refills. They do have a limited full bar with top shelve liquors. The bartender that also assisted in the dining room was very polite and I noted that he made a specialty drinks for others that were dining. The liquors although at a table in the salad bar area are not self-serve.

Soup:
The soup must have been a Brazilian style soup. It was a warm soup and seemed to be a mushroom and/or bean based. It was served in a large shot class and was pasty. I did enjoy the flavor.

Salad Bar:
The salad bar contained a selection which included many canned items as well as original Brazilian items. Some of the “original” items were canned items that had been kicked up a notch. Mozzarella with spices, a pasty ham salad spread, a couple coleslaw type of dishes. They did have medium size shrimp and calamari salad. The cocktail sauce was very weak. They had four or five hot dishes, two of which were empty. One of which was broth like and very good and a creamed shrimp based dish as well as a noodle dish that contain 4 or 5 noodles.

Positives: Fresh lettuce that was crisp and clean and hot sauce selection, the authentic dishes that were there were very good.

Negatives: Too many canned items to the ratio of authentic items. No fruit here or on the desert bar except bananas.

If you can do without shrimp and calamari salad the Windjammer Salad Bar is a better value and selection minus the hot sauce selection.



BBQ Skewers and Main Course Experience:
We had to wait around 20 minutes while the Gaucho delivered numerous skewers of what looked like great tasting meats. The family next to us were leaving uneaten meat on their plates, which when being hungry, and not being addressed by the Gaucho made our bellies growl. While dining I noticed a gentleman dining alone. He was watching and waiting as well. When the gaucho finally made it to our table he had one piece of bacon wrapped filet left for two people. We decided to split the piece. It was tasty, but a bit salty as I would come to learn is the standard spice for most of the skewers with the exception of the cinnamon roasted pineapple. The filet tasted more like sirloin than a filet that should melt in your mouth. The gentleman dining alone seems upset that he missed out on the filet.

Next up from the gaucho was hot or sweet sausage, not bad for sausage, but if all I wanted was sausage I would have held out for the Champlain Valley Fair. Then we sampled some roasted chicken which was dry and over cooked. We also sampled some other type of chicken. The Gaucho then dropped off a few Chicken hearts. At this point I assumed the owner/cook was trying to use the entire chicken and feared skewers of feathers would arrive next. Please note that the nice looking meats had not yet made it our way, but were being delivered to other patrons. I fully understand that these types of restaurants start with the lower quality of meats first. I had only hoped we would see some juice flavorful meats at some point. Next up were ribs with little meat, roasted pineapple with cinnamon, and bacon wrapped sirloin you couldn’t chew. The “sirloin was fatty and veiny. Clearly this wasn’t even the grizzle that had been cut off the piece of sirloin. First, filet that tasted like sirloin and now sirloin that tasted like a salty tire. Then we tried the lamb, which was decent but was followed by turkey wrapped in undercooked maple bacon. Finally the gaucho came out with what looked like would be homerun, the house special roast beef. The gaucho made his way around the dining room and finally stopped at our table. The gentleman that had been dining alone had left after looking very upset never getting to taste the house special. Although it was clearly the best meat served, the gentleman missed very little. It tasted like pot roast beef. We never saw some of the meats that other tables sampled.

Positives: The gaucho acknowledged the poor selection and service due to the unexpected busy evening.

Negatives: All the meats had the same spice, didn’t get to sample all at skewers, never saw seafood skewers or roasted vegetables.


Desert Bar:
Bananas, peanut butter or an upside down cake were the options. They had some fruit, but then I realized it was plastic or wax. Deep fired bananas would have been a great option.

Final Comments:
I have a feeling that the Sousza’s could do better and may have a better selection on Friday’s and Saturday’s when they expect a larger volume. At $37 a head I doubt that I’ll give them another chance. At $37 they should plan on delivering a fine dining experience regardless of their volume. I’d like to note that service from the waitress/host, bartender and gaucho were good and our tip reflected the professionalism and courtesy that they showed. The food however never delivered and most meats were tough and used the same spice.

A Real Brazilian Restaurant:
If you are ever traveling in the Irvine, California area I would recommend Agora Churrascaria.
http://www.agorachurrascaria.com/

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Burlington Free Press Article on Souzas

Here's a great write up on Souzas from the Burlington Free Press, I recommend you read the whole article.

I've been going there for lunch recently, they have a great salad bar with TONS of different foods and 3 selections of meat (pork, beef, sausage).

UPDATE : After posting this, I looked at this blog and realized that the last post was also on Souzas. My bad. I'll pick another restaurant next time.

www.souzas.org

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Souza's Churrascaria aka The Best Restaurant in Burlington, VT

I just checked an email with the web stats for this site and noticed that people actually access this site. I'll start posting again.

Old news but good news - Souza's reopened a few months ago - it's bigger and better than ever. This was already one of my favorite restaurants in Burlington, how could it not be with all you can eat red meat?

The new Souza's located on Main St., under the Vermoint house, now offers a great lunch in addition to the Brazilian rodizo style dinner. The lunch includes an all you can eat salad bar, plus the waiters will come to your table with the days selected meats.

Stop reading this and go there now.

I'm not kidding.

My last post on Souza's

Souza's
55 Main St.
Burlington, VT
(802)864-CHEF
http://www.souzas.org/

Labels:

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Hungry Burlington

"Hungry Burlington is here to fill the need we saw for an accurate and easily updatable menu guide for the Burlington, Vermont area, and beyond."

Check it out here : HungryBurlington.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hooters - South Burlington, VT

Hooters opened yesterday and fortunately I happened to have the day off. Hooters in Vermont seems to be a pretty big deal for many people, it's right up there with Walmart opening their first store a few years back.
I couldn't believe how packed it was, the wait at the door was 30 to 45 minutes. Luckily we acquired a table in the bar area and sat within 5 minutes.

As everyone says, the chicken wings really are great - they have like 6 different variations of hotness along with 3 other flavors. The prices are reasonable and the atmosphere isn't so bad either :)

Hooters
1705 Williston Rd
South Burlington, VT 05403
(802) 660-8658

Friday, December 30, 2005

Online Ordering in Burlington

Check out 863-TOGO.com for online ordering or takeout dining to the Burlington, VT and surrounding areas. The site is pretty slick.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Souza's - Burlington, VT

Recently I made my second trip to Souza's, on lower Main Street in Burlington. I enjoyed my meal so much that currently Souza's is my favorite restaurant in Burlington.

The restaurant is a traditional Brazilian barbecue for one set price ($30.00 for dinner / $15 brunch). Upon sitting down your table receives some apps like salad, cheese bread, bean soup, an olive dish and fresh fruit drinks of your choice.

Then the meat eating fest begins.... in a BIG way. Every few minutes servers will come to you table with big skewers of barbecued meat including grilled checked, pork ribs, beef, fish, etc. I think they claimed to bring over 20 dishes to your table, it seemed like 30. It's not all meat, they occasionally make their rounds with some pasta or a polenta dish, but I might be hesitant if I were a veggie.

The only thing to keep in mind is not to have any plans after dinner except for severe food coma. You will not leave Souza's hungry.

Unlike anything I've been to in Vermont and one of the biggest red meat eating opportunities I've seen anywhere, this place is awesome. Go there Tuesday through Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m. or Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Souzas
55 Main St.
Burlington, VT 05401
802-864-2433

Friday, October 07, 2005

Clover House Pub - Colchester, VT

Recently I was tipped off as to a new place to go for my hungover weekend morning breakfast. Living in the New North End, options are very limited for morning munchies. So I tried the Clover House Pub in Colchester, on Church Road, very close to the drive in. Without getting into too much detail, this place was awesome and I'll be going back.

The pub has many TVs for all your sport watching needs, a full bar, and a full breakfast/lunch/dinner menu which is better than your average bar food. I couldn't believe I hadn't heard of this place earlier.

Clover House Pub
42 Church Road
Colchester, VT 05446
802.860.3631

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Recent Findings

First off, NECI Commons on Church St. is unfortunately closing. It seems that they are doing too much business. I always thought they had good food at reasonable prices.

Next, Foggy Notion (Foggy's Notion?) has opened up at Lawson Lane (where Hector's used to be, behind VT Flatbread and Pacific Rim) Their pitch seems to be music and food. I went opening night and had the ribs - I though they were great. My only complaint was upon my next vistit, they weren't showing any of the baseball playoff games on even one of their many TV's - thus the reason only three people were in the entire restaurant. (we walked in and out quickly) Anyways, check'em out:

Foggy Notion
1 Lawson Ln, Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 862-4544

Friday, October 03, 2003

Cannon's Restaurant - Burlington, VT

From the minute we walked into this restaurant we were struck by the atmosphere. We had been expecting a Papa Franks'-esque type of place but instead we got a more modern and elegant establishment. The menu has a good selection of Italian dishes which all included a mesclun salad with cherry tomatoes and some kind of dressing (we all agreed not enough dressing) that was served family style. Plus some warm bread and a saucer filled with olive oil and garlic for dipping.

To start we had the calamari and an antipasto plate that was recommended to us by the hostess. Two thumbs up on the appetizers especially the two different sauces that came with the calamari. The Pecan encrusted chicken that I ordered was delicious eventhough the acorn squash that came with it was way overcooked. My other table mates had three different pasta dishes and the general consensus around our table was that the food was delicious and the portion sizes were sufficient (but I wouldn't call them large). The entrees ranged from around $12-$20 while appetizers were all under $10. Although there seemed to be a pretty extensive wine list we ended up going with some pints and mixed cocktails.

One thing that I have failed to mention until this point is that the service was great. Everything came right out and our water glasses and cocktails never ran dry. Cannon's is also member of the Vermont Fresh Network while also supporting local brewers (Switchback) and Pasta-makers (Anything's Pastable). Anyone interested in great Italian food and a nice atmosphere you should give Cannon's a try.

-lab

Cannon's Restaurant
1127 North Avenue (in the Ethan Allen shopping Plaza)
Burlington, VT
802-652-5151


Thursday, October 02, 2003

Rusty Scuffer Restaurant - Burlington, VT

Looking for great surf and turf right on Church Street, Burlington? I can’t help you. However, if you are looking for a relatively inexpensive steak and seafood restaurant on Church Street, check out the Rusty Scuffer.

Mainly a older locals joint, the Rusty Scuffer serves up all sorts of poultry, meat and seafood. The restaurant has a small non-smoking bar you can sit at if you are looking to chat with some townies; the restaurant part is a step up from the typical Burlington bar atmosphere. The best thing about the Scuffer is the portions and the prices… where else can you find a steak and lobster combo in Burlington for UNDER 20 dollars? No where that I know of.

I can’t honestly say that any of the food is top notch, but it isn’t crappy fast food either. I go to the Scuffer for lunch about once a month, the open faced chopped steak sandwich smothered in gravy is great. For dinner, I recommend the seafood chowder as an appetizer - it tastes home made with all the assorted seafood you’ll find in it. The steaks tend to be a bit chewy, but once again, you get what you pay for. I know it’s not the best meal ever, but I’m a sucker for the steak and lobster combo.

When a group of friends is thinking of a place to eat, and the Scuffer gets mentioned, I notice people fall into two categories: one group of people gets excited for the Scuffer experience, the other group says “hell no”.

I’ll let you judge for yourself.

-r

Rusty Scuffer Restaurant
148 Church St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 864-9451

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Can't decide where to eat?

The first step is to know your options. This handy little tool will show you what's out there. Enter a town, choose your desired cuisine, then click "search" for a listing of restaurants that fill the bill. In addition to addresses and phone numbers, many of the results even have full menus viewable in .pdf format.

-mgw

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

News from the local restaurant scene

Melissa Pasanen has an excellent write up today in the Burlington Free Press on all that's new and exciting with the local restaurant scene. Below is a brief overview of what she covers but it's definitely worth reading the entire article for a more in depth take on all the news.

  • A new mexican restaurant called La Carreta opened at the end of August in what used to be Jake's on Shelburne Road in Burlington.


  • Mimmo's Pizza of St. Albans has established a second location in Essex


  • The owners of Anything's Pastable have opened a cafe in the new Four Season Garden Center in Williston called The Garden of Eatin' (open year round).


  • The small location next to Red Square on Chruch Street in Burlington that was briefly The Restaurant has reopened as "1/2". This time it's a lounge serving up drinks and light fare until 2am.


  • A Wendy's opened last week in Essex to great fanfare.


  • The Old Heidelberg Restaurant on Shelburne Road in Burlington has closed and will be replaced by the Country Fare Restaurant offering "country homemade food with a rustic feeling".


  • The owner of Leunig's, Pauline's and the Bobcat Cafe is opening a new restaurant in Bristol in October called Snap's.


  • Donny's New York Pizza that's out on Dorset Street in South Burlington will be moving their brick oven pizza and italian restaurant operation into the corner spot in Winooski that used to house Taste of Dixie. They plan to open in early November.


  • A LongHorn Steakhouse is under construction in Williston's Maple Tree Place. This will be one of 190 of the western style steakhouses operated by Rare Hospitality. They plan to open in mid-November.


  • A Ninety Nine Restaurant will open Oct. 21 in Williston's Taft Corner Shopping Center. The will be Ninety Nine's second Vermont location. They opened one in Rutland earlier this year. The chain operates more than 85 of the restaurants in total.


  • Waitsfield-based American Flatbread is planning a downtown Burlington location where they'll offer their signature stone-oven-baked pizza. The hope to be open by spring 2004.


  • Three Tomatoes Group will be opening a new itilian restaurant called Nicco's Cucina in a first floor corner of the Maple Tree Place movie theater building in Williston. The building is currently under construction. They hope to open in late 2003 or early 2004.


  • Ther owners of the Black Sheep Bistro in Vergennes are looking at locations for an Italian-style Black Sheep in the greater Burlington area.


  • -mgw



    Monday, September 29, 2003

    Vermont Pub & Brewery - Burlington, VT

    This past Thursday night I had my first dinner experience at the Vermont Pub & Brewery. I had been there a number of times in the past for drinks and appetizers and had always been pleased. Their specialty of course is their extensive line of beer all brewed on premise. Save for their menus which are printed on newspaper, the atmosphere is on the nicer end of the pub/tavern scale. There's a centrally located large wrap around bar with a greenhouse type room on one side and the dining area on the other. There's also a large full service outdoor patio during the summer months. The indoor dining area has a warm dark feel to it with lots of wood. Be aware though that the dining area can be quite loud as it's adjacent to the back side of the bar.

    Now the food. As I mentioned before I had been to the VPB in the past for appetizers and can't remember ever being disappointed. I also had the Shepard's Pie for lunch one time and though it very good and a great value for only $4.95. My dinner experience was a very different story. It started with a waiter who was very unprofessional and didn't seem to have a clue as to what he was serving. He had to make two trips to the kitchen while taking our order because he couldn't answer a couple basic questions. Eventually I ordered the 10oz. NY sirloin off the special board w/ some sort of sauce that I can't recall (I hadn't planned on writing a review but this steak was so bad I felt compelled). The sauce was reddish in color and looked very unappetizing. But the sauce wasn't the problem. The steak was terrible all on its own. Tough and rubbery. Even the horseradish mashed potatoes were bad. The horseradish was so overpowering that I couldn't eat more than two or three bites...and this coming from someone that loves horseradish. I left the restaurant hungry and mad, vowing to never order a steak there again.

    So I guess the lesson here is VPB is a good place for beers and apps but don't expect to get a good dinner or even a decent steak.

    -mgw

    Vermont Pub & Brewery
    144 College Street
    Burlington, VT
    802-865-0500
    www.vermontbrewery.com



    Friday, September 19, 2003

    Bangkok Bistro - Burlington, VT

    I've been meaning to write about Bangkok Bistro for some time now. This restaurant is definitely one of my favorite dining spots in Burlington for a few reasons. The mix of great food and drinks make this Asian/Thai restaurant one of the best Church Street has to offer.

    The appetizers at Bangkok are a good place to start. A few of my favorites are the fried calamari, the spicy seared tuna, crab angles (crab rangoon) and the grilled beef salad. All of these aps are top notch and it makes choosing one very hard. I will say the calamari is some of the best I've ever had though; they cut the squid in strips lengthwise, which I've never seen before, plus they use the best, light and crispy batter.

    The menu at Bangkok is mainly Thai oriented, you'll see noodle dishes, rice dishes, curries, seafood, and grilled items. It all seems to be prepared with top quality ingredients, and it all to tastes good to me. I can't really comment on man of their noodle dishes, or crazy bowls since I've hardly sampled them myself. In fact, I can only really comment on a few of their main dishes.

    My second time eating at Bangkok, I ordered the Sam Rod aka crispy, spicy duck; it was so good that I have not been able to order anything else off the menu. I'm a big fan of duck when it's prepared well and Bangkok serves up what could be the best duck I've ever had. The only competition to the Sam Rod duck is another duck dish which is now on their menu, the Thai Inter. This other curry based duck dish contains half the amount of crispy duck, but as a replacement it has curry based shrimp and scallops...Excellent. Words cannot do justice for how good these two duck dishes taste - go see for yourself.

    If duck isn't your meal of choice, I'd try out the chicken curry dish. My friends that I go to Bangkok with order it just as religiously as I order the duck.

    As you can see, I really like Bangkok Bistro, however this review isn't over yet - there is one more important aspect of the restaurant.....drinks. If you feel like getting the stongest drink you can find in Burlington, go no further. Bangkok's martini menu consists of around ten speciality mixed drinks that will make you grow some serious chest hair. These drinks can cost around 8 to 10 dollars each, but they are well worth every penny. Have one drink and you are feeling good, two drinks and you are feeling drunk, three drinks - good luck remembering the rest of the night.

    Overall Bangkok Bistro offeres a great dining experience. The appetizers, crispy duck(s), and the fantastic drinks make this place hard to beat. Still haven't been there and don't know what to try? Get the calamari, the Thai Inter, and a few Sapphire Gimlets.

    -r

    Bangkok Bistro
    144 Church Street
    Burlington, VT
    802-951-5888

    Monday, July 21, 2003

    Health Inspections

    Inspections - Vermont Department of Health - This was in the Burlington Free Press today. The link goes to a search for Burlington, this link will take you to the search page for all of Vermont.

    Tuesday, July 01, 2003

    Orchid Chinese Restaurant - South Burlington, VT

    I've been to the Orchid twice in the last 6 months, both times I had 25 dollar gift certificates. The first time I went to this Chinese bufet I was not impressed at all; I'll go so far as to say it was some of the worst Chinese food I have ever had. My meal sucked on my first visit to the Orchid, but I attribited the bad food to showing up late to a buffet. I did show up at 9:30pm and they closed at 10pm.

    Two nights ago I gave the Orchid a second chance, I figured what the hell - I have to blow this 25 dollar gift certificate sometime. I did make a point this time around of showing up at a reasonable time, hoping that the buffet food would be fresher... It wasn't.

    I started out with a cup of the hot & sour soup, a typical dish at any Chinese resturant. The soup had a good layer of funk on the surface, it seems that the people that stir up the buffet dishes (to make them look fresh), forgot to stir the soups for the last hour or so. Needless to say I wasn't impressed with the soup.

    Every dish at the place seemed really old, and it really is quite disturbing that there is someone that just sits there and stirs up the dishes to make them look better after sitting under the heating lamps for hours. I can't totally trash on the Orchid though; I did eat a few of the dishes they offered, mainly their green beans and General Tso's chicken. The watermellon and pinapple was also worth eating.

    It amazes me that this restaurant is still in business today, and that they also have such a huge building. The restaurant must have at least 50 tables, however each time I've gone there has been less than 10 people.

    Overall, if you are looking for an all you can eat Chinese buffet for around 12 dollars a person, don't go here. If you have a gift certtificate for the Orchid that you must use someday, check it out, and choose your food wisely.

    Orchid Chinese Restaurant
    5 Market Street
    South Burlington, VT 05403
    802-658-3626

    Friday, June 27, 2003

    New York Pizza Oven - Mallets Bay, VT

    I have ordered delivery from this spot before and was completely satisfied, fast service and good pizza. Last night I was with a group of 6. We ordered at the counter and we were eating our antipasta salads within minutes. The salad was large and loaded with cheese, peperoni's, ham and salami plus the standard vegies. Pizzas followed before anyone had finished their salads. (Which I might add were being split by most of us.) We opted for the BBQ chicken Pizza and a Works Pizza. The works pizza was a bit wet in the middle due to the toppings but was still very good. This was my first experience with BBQ chicken pizza, I was impressed, it was very tasty! The decor was nothing special which was good because our group was wet from a dip in lake Champlain.

    Pricing seemed a bit high but we bought a couple beers also so it worked out to be about average. $70+ tip. (4 sodas, 3 beers, 3 antipasta salads, 2 lg special pies)

    The only complaint I have is that there are not refills on soda; come on, it costs 3 cents for a soda refill.

    I would recomend this pizza for home delivery if you live in the New North End or Malletts Bay area. Dine in is fine also, but it is counter service and cook delivered.

    Also very convienent to the boat launch at Malletts Bay

    Rob

    New York Pizza Oven
    Lakeshore Drive, Malletts Bay
    Colchester, VT
    802-658-0925

    Pauline's - South Burlington, VT

    Last night I made my second visit to Pauline’s. My first visit was on Valentines Day and I loved it. The service was great (almost too fast but we happened to be in a pinch for time that night so it worked out great) and the food was spectacular.

    My second visit was much the same including the very fast service. We were seated in the upstairs dining room and pretty much had the whole room to ourselves other than one other couple on the opposite side of the room. The atmosphere borders on fancy with paintings by local artists and soft warm lighting throughout. I would classify Pauline’s as a higher-end restaurant serving your standard American fare. The dinner plates range from about $16 - $30. Definitely a classy place suitable for a first date or simply to treat yourself or anyone who enjoys good food. Most of the tables are small and intimate and it seemed to me like most of the people dining there were couples although I believe there is a private room upstairs in the back for large groups. I would recommend calling ahead if you’re going with a party of more than four.

    They started us off with a basket of assorted warm bread which we followed up with the Crab Cake appetizer which was great. My date also had a Mesclun Salad with a Dijon Vinaigrette dressing. She gave the salad high marks in part because of the way the dressing was evenly distributed throughout as if the salad had been shaken after the dressing was applied (sometimes it’s the little things that do it for you). For the main course she had the Crab and Lobster Stuffed Halibut with Cream Fennel Sauce which looked amazing. It came with a side of mashed potatoes, carrots, asparagus, and beats. I had the Peppercorn Encrusted Filet of Beef which was served with the same sides as the Stuffed Halibut. I can’t say enough about the Filet …this is absolutely one of the best steaks in all of Burlington. In fact, until further notice this is my favorite steak in Burlington. The sides, especially the mashed potatoes, were also fantastic and the carrots were cooked perfectly so they still had a little crunch and flavor left in them which I like. Considering the caliber of food at Pauline’s the portions were of decent size (nothing burns me more than paying top dollar for a great steak then only getting a tiny little dollop of mashed potatoes to go with it). Overall I rank Pauline’s among the best in Burlington for fine dining.

    -mgw

    Pauline's
    1834 Shelburne Rd (Route 7)
    South Burlington, VT
    802-862-1081

    Splash at the Boathouse! - Burlington, VT

    I've been to Splash twice this week, so it's safe to say I'm a pretty big fan. Located right at the end of College Street and attached to the back of the Burlington Boathouse, Splash is a floating dock serving up bar food and drinks. If you've ever been to Breakwaters, it's very similar (Splash is smaller and not as cheesy as Breakwaters though).

    The food at Splash consists of apps, salads, sandwiches, burgers and wraps. I ordered a chicken ceasar salad and was pretty impressed; I also tried the BLT wrap and that was pretty tasty as well - I'd recommend either.

    I should note the last time I was at Splash the service sucked. I'm not going into too much detail mainly because I'm hoping that it was some first-time waiter, plus I don't want to trash this place too badly - I really do like it.

    So go check out Splash on a nice sunny day, you won't be disappointed.

    -rr

    Splash at the Boathouse!
    Community Boathouse - Burlington, VT
    802-658-2244


    Tuesday, June 24, 2003

    Halvorson's Upstreet Cafe - Burlington, VT

    If you are on Church St (Burlington) looking for some upscale bar food, go no further than Halvorson's. At first glance you might think Halvorson's is better than bar food, but don't let the appearance fool you. Last night my table ordered chicken wings, a cajun chicken sandwich and a chicken teriyaki sandwich. The sandwiches were decent, maybe a little on the dry side, and I'm still waiting for the ranch I asked for with my chicken wings.

    Every time I go to Halvorson's the food always seems to take forever to make it to the table (our wings appetizer came out with the dinners); it's a good thing the drinks are good. I recommend sitting out on Church St, or in the back of the restaurant they have an outdoor patio, if you are lucky you'll catch some live music.

    Halvorson's Upstreet Cafe
    16 Church St. Burlington, VT
    802-658-0278

    Monday, June 16, 2003

    Papa Franks Italian Restaurant - Winooski, VT

    I ate a Papa Franks in Winooski for the first time this weekend. I had heard good things about Papa Franks but I was always somewhat skeptical because those comments usually came with the tagline "it's super cheap". Well now I understand why you can't mention Papa Franks without mentioning the prices. The most expensive meal on the dinner menu is $6.75. Most of the meals like spaghetti and meatballs or chicken parmesan run just over 5 dollars.

    We had a party of nine plus a baby and no reservations on what was a very busy Saturday night around Burlington. It may have been lucky but we waited less than five minutes for a table. The service was excellent throughout the meal. The atmosphere fits their demographic well. It has kind of a quirky old school family restaurant feel to it. Nothing fancy but nicer than a cookie cutter Lee Zachary's or Papa Gino's.

    As far as the food itself - it's very good and the portions are generous to say the least. I had the tortellini alfredo. It was right on par with what I expected, although I've never been one to be blown away by an italian restaurant. I'm of the school of thought that if you're going to go out and spend good money on a nice dinner don't go italian. The best italian is always Mom's spaghetti and meatballs that you grew up on. But that's why this place ranks high in my italian restaurant scale, the bang for the buck is off the charts. The only complaint from the table was about the French Onion soup - not good. Other than that everyone was very happy and is sure to return.

    -mgw

    Papa Franks Italian Restaurant
    13 W Center St. Winooski, VT
    802-655-2423

    Thursday, June 12, 2003

    Rotisserie Restaurant - Burlington, VT

    All I can say is : bacon wrapped filet mignon with bernaise sauce and sauteed mushroom caps. While the Rotisserie doesn't score bonus points for style or atmosphere, their cuts of meat are easily some of the best in town.

    Rotisserie Restaurant
    1355 Williston Road, South Burlington, VT 05403
    802-658-1838

    Wednesday, June 11, 2003

    A Single Pebble - Burlington, VT

    Last night I ate at A Single Pebble with three friends; as always the food was excellent. Being one of my favorite restaurants in Vermont, A Single Pebble serves up gourmet Chinese food like no other. Before the Burlington restaurant was built, I would travel 40+ minutes to Barre, VT to dine at the original Single Pebble. If you've never been to either restaurant, you should definitely go ASAP.

    The menu at A Single Pebble consists of small, medium and large dishes.
    Here's what I'd recommend: Hot & Sour Soup, Nappa Cabbage, Dry Fired Green Beans, Mock Eel (my absolute favorite), and Buddha's Sesame Beef.

    A Single Pebble
    133 Bank Street, Burlington, VT 05401
    802-865-5200

    Welcome to Vermont Dining @ blogspot

    This "blog" was started by a bunch of Vermonters that dine out a LOT (every day). We've had many good and bad meals around Vermont, now you'll hear about them first hand.