If you haven’t yet been to Worthy Kitchen in Woodstock, VT, you’ve probably been tempted by the rumors about its excellent food floating around the Upper Valley, as I sure was before I visited. “You haven’t been to Worthy yet?” and “It’s the Worthy bun!” I had heard pretty much since day one of living here. Well, I am now happy to report that I can graduate those rumors into fact.
Last Sunday was actually my second dining experience at the restaurant. I met a friend and her family to celebrate her belated birthday, and Worthy Kitchen was an obvious choice since they are regulars. If you recall, Sunday was a chilly, rainy day, so I was initially disappointed we wouldn’t be sitting outside. I was also concerned we would be stranded without seats since it’s first come first served. Not a problem – I arrived at noon to be greeted by a friendly employee patroller making sure newcomers knew what to do (the experience is slightly different than the norm, which I’ll get to in a sec). I told her I was the first to arrive, and she suggested a couple of seating options while grabbing two highchairs for my friend’s one-year-old twins.
Once the rest of my group arrived, we headed to the front to order drinks. Both Worthy Burger in South Royalton and Worthy Kitchen are known for their craft beers, and here they have an 18-beer draught list. My friend and I chose Bloody Marys and her husband sampled a couple of new beers – all drinks were served in the Worthy Glass.
After we caught up at our table for a bit, we decided it was time to eat. Back to the “Order Here” section we headed, first taking note of the blackboards. Since it was Sunday before 2pm, brunch selections were up alongside the normal Worthy Kitchen menu. French toast, a smothered burrito, smoked salmon and eggs, and a savory hash dish are some of the options. I chose the Egg’wich – a fried egg, bacon and cheese on a famous Worthy bun. We also got the Worthy Poutine as a starter – fries topped with “Duck Fat Gravy, Pork Belly, Smoked Plymouth Cheddar, Herbs & Pickled Shallots.” A poutine far more serious than your typical brown gravy and cheese curds!
Upon ordering, we were each given a pager to alert us of our food – the kind that buzzes and lights up, perfect for ensuring we wouldn’t miss our fresh and ready-to-devour Worthy food. Just a few minutes into the poutine, my device lit up and in seconds I laid eyes on a beautiful Egg’wich with crispy, caramel-colored bacon pointing out from between that golden-brown Worthy bun. Its taste was equally impressive.
Between the Bloody Mary, the shared poutine and the Egg’wich, I needed the full two hours we were there to come back to reality from my food high. It was just before 2pm when we ventured back up front to pay our tabs, and customers who hadn’t ordered yet quickly made their decisions before the brunch menu was wiped clean for the weekend.
The place was pretty much packed the whole time I was there, but along with the hustling and bustling of the staff, customers seemed to turnover quickly. So don’t fret if you need to wait a spell, as chances are you’ll quickly secure one of the high-top tables, or a low table in the side room, or, when the weather’s nice, one of the many tables outside. Or, better yet, get to know the staff by bellying up to the Worthy bar.
Sunday Brunch is offered 10am – 2pm, followed by Lunch and Dinner 2pm – 9pm
Monday – Friday Dinner is served 4pm – 10pm
Saturday features Lunch and Dinner 11am – 10pm