Local delis/cafés that don't disappoint
I don't know about you, but I LOVE a great sandwich at lunchtime. Now to be honest here, there are annoying times when a salad description on a menu sounds so good that it throws a wrench into my bready endgame. So here are several delicious spots for a guaranteed simple, gourmet and thoroughly fulfilling lunch. We will be traveling from Rutland to Quechee with a detour to Pittsfield and a stop in Woodstock.
The Killington Avenue Market and Deli is at 22 Killington Avenue in downtown Rutland. It is a small family-run business which began in 1995. The owners are so welcoming and their fare is a constant delight. Might we all agree that bread is the cornerstone to the ideal sandwich? They bake their own fresh subs, focaccia and rolls and these provide the gentle doughy shelter for the assortment of fresh vegetables, cooked chicken options, roast beef, avocados, tomatoes, goat's cheese, Provolone, banana peppers, artichoke hearts, tuna or even meatballs from which to chose. I have had an amazing thick vegetable soup on several visits and there are very good vegetarian options. For dinner, you might also consider their prepared eggplant parmigiana or a cheese lasagna-large pans to satisfy a hefty, hungry group. These can be two commonly found dishes but this market's touch is worth biting into. As far as catering goes, there are Italian-themed alternatives, among them: bruschetta with a salsa verde and mozzarella or bite-sized crab cakes. They are closed weekends, but as usual, check the business for their opening hours! Click here
From Rutland, we return to our car and take Route 4 east. If you follow my articles, the Original General Store (and its 'backroom') are familiar to you so turn off at the Killington Mountain road and Take Route 100 to Pittsfield. The thick, juicy hamburger awaits you and is outstanding, giving Worthy Burger a real run for its money. Imagine a roast beef sandwich with horseradish mayo, balsamic onions and arugula or a pulled pork hot sandwich with plum & fennel jam, some sweet potato fries or perhaps a fresh salad with a kale lemonade! I sometimes ponder a permanent move to Pittsfield. Oh, yes, the Classic Reuben with homemade Russian dressing, the whole sealed within thick buttery slabs of toasted homemade rye bread...Click here
Back onto Route 4 we arrive in Woodstock, Central Street and Mon Vert Café. The café was originally opened by quite an international family combining French, Brazilian and English heritage. When they decided to leave, many of us were crushed and worried about its replacement. Alas, this was needless because the current operators are offering some of the same fabulous sandwiches, new ones, salads, soups, sweet and savory treats, rich coffee, dark thick hot chocolate, and a wild tea selection, even beer, wine and samosas. 'The Devil On Horseback' is toasted multigrain bread with date-walnut spread, bacon and some creamy goat's cheese. I just don't know how you top that...Well...it might be tied with that Russian Reuben! Click here
Now get yourself back onto Route 4 in Quechee and the intersection to number 1 Main Street. Next to the old Fat Hat, Brad, of Chef Brad's Crazyside fame, is ready to spoil you with his creative cooking. Many know him from his colourful bus at previous roadside locales. He now has the sweetest little spot to continue intensifying his truly delicious artform. He opens Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm. His menu changes; Brad is a gifted cook who constantly offers unique combinations: Crabcake sandwiches, falafel burgers, coconut curry slaws, gluten-free options and vegetarian treats, seared salmon sandwiches and more. He also has an array of sauces and accompaniments, almost like an upgrade to the already perfect plate. There are Take-Out options and his website also mentions private dinner party planning. What a treat! Click here
Finally, about six weeks ago, my husband and I went into the Boho Café in White River Junction. Within a simple setting of mismatched fun & funky, there is a blackboard as a focal point with some intriguing sandwich selections. We shared a chunky cheddar tomato bisque and each opted for the 'Lampshade Artist' which left us incredulous with fajita chicken, peppers and onions chopped evenly and perfectly in a simple moist wrap.
Is it lunchtime yet?
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