Hot weather is finally here, and my first thought when hearing the forecast is "what do I need to buy in Fairlee, VT, so I can get a cone at the Whippi Dip?" Maybe I'm running low on wire ties for staking the tomatoes. Maybe it's a back-up bag of cat food. No excuse is too small; it's time for a cone! Over the past 15 years, owner Crystal Johnson (with help from her mom, Olivia Maxwell ) has transformed the Whippi Dip from a humble ice cream stand into a full-scale drive-in restaurant. It's like a Food Truck without (the limitations of) cooking inside a truck. Open from 7am - 9pm every day of the week from May through October, Johnson serves up a surprising array of offerings, from Fish Tacos to Asian Chicken Salad, from Veggie Burgers to Fried Scallops. Importantly, the food is fresh and locally-sourced from places like PT Farm in Haverhill (beef), Crossroad Farm in Post Mills (veggies), Colatina Bakery in Bradford, and Hatchland Dairy in N. Haverhill.
Fifteen years ago, there were FIVE year-round restaurants in Fairlee, VT. Today there are two - The Fairlee Diner (breakfast and lunch only) and Leda's Pizza. Through it all, the Whippi-Dip has survived - indeed thrived -because of its seasonal schedule, its reliably excellent fare, and the tirelessly cheerful energy of its owner and staff. It's worth a trip, even if you can't think of an errand you need to run in Fairlee. Admit it - you're CONE PRONE!