Chef Brad's "Crazy Side": Food (Trucks) In The UV
The Upper Valley loves its food trucks. Many people--via email, in person, on Facebook--had recommended that I make my way to Chef Brad's "Crazy Side" in Quechee VT to have a look, write a post, savor the food. In the end, it was the promise of blueberry pancakes and bacon on a late Sunday morning that propelled me there.
The Crazy Side, food truck version
The first thing you will notice is a bus in the parking lot that, if you are of an age, could remind you of the 1960s. It is large and colorful and carries the same name as the restaurant. There is a reason for that. Chef Brad's "Crazy Side" began life as a food truck in Bridgewater and later in Hartland, but is wintering in a permanent structure next door to the Fat Hat Clothing Company in Quechee.
Crazy Side's current home, next to the Fat Hat
Chef and owner Brad Pirkey (in featured photo, above), along with Stefani Duin, are the team that make the restaurant sing. Pirkey's background is in fine dining; he owned the Corners Inn in Bridgewater VT for fifteen years. He said he "took a few years off to travel and do things I had always wanted to do. Got homesick for Vermont." His philosophy about food? "Keep it fresh, keep it simple, serve it fast."
The place is small with a handful of tables and a counter with a view, plus a loft space with additional seating. On Sunday morning, Brad appeared to be a one-man band in the kitchen, while Stefani, at the front of the house, took orders and delivered plates. The parking lot was full and hungry patrons continued to stream in, looking for seats or ordering take-out. Did I mention the decor was kind of Caribbean?
Stefani Duin, taking orders, flower in hair to dispel the winter blues
The food included the aforementioned pancakes and a variety of sandwiches, soups, and baked goods so appealing (like individual pineapple and cherry upside-down cakes) that I tried not to make eye contact. Fresh-brewed iced tea and just-squeezed lemonade in mason jars, which means that Arnold Palmers are also on the menu. Everything was fresh and tasty and plated simply but with care. The atmosphere is informal with an indefinable pizzazz.
Roast beef and mashed po, blueberry pancakes with bacon, iced tea
Chef Brad's "Crazy Side" sits just off of Route 4 and is open from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sundays. The menu, including specials, is posted daily on the restaurant's Facebook page. Pirkey will also arrange holiday dinner parties. Come in from the cold, keep it local, and indulge yourself.
(Another food truck, the Phnom Penh Sandwich Station, moved into a permanent home in Lebanon NH. It serves Cambodian food, and you can read about it here.)
Susan B. Apel, writer, ArtfulEdge