The Best of Summer Eating & Planning
Pizzas, Bagels and Magical Beans
Saturday was an ugly, windy, grey, cold day. We had planned to visit the east end of Woodstock to see the results of clean-up efforts and Sustainable Woodstock’s endeavors-but most importantly, to sample food truck fodder. I have to say that these days it is the area’s food trucks that are the stars of the upper valley.
East End Eats was a success with several hundred people milling, strolling, staring, children chomping, everyone chatting and all very pleased by what they had chosen. It would be extremely satisfying if the powers that be in Woodstock found a way to make this a weekly or monthly event: Lots of happy people, lots of happy stomachs, lots of happy visitors. Once again the reality is that no matter the distance nor the weather, even some construction: when the food is truly good, the people will show up. I was happy to have resisted the urge to stay cozy inside.
Last year I raved about Boisvert’s Curbside Chicken truck and their lobster rolls. My beeline yesterday was to that same truck and after a few minutes, another buttery, golden-toasted roll stuffed with tender lobster was in my possession. Click here
We now FINALLY seem to have some proper pizza in our midst. La Pizza Lupo was one of the highlights yesterday as their beige boxes made the rounds. One young boy had a stack of five in his precarious embrace as he hunted the perfect spot to set them down, friends trailing behind him, all anxious to tackle the contents. This is one business that deserves a permanent locale so the public could be gratified by nightly access. However, their shiny, black 1952 truck and wood-fired oven are a blazing sight to behold. Take a look at their site for upcoming events and catering possibilities! Click here for First Fridays at the Hall Art Foundation on Route 106 in Reading from June through November or First Saturdays at Singleton’s General Store in Proctorsville through November. This is Italian pizza with cheese melted just right, and a crust charred just so, nowhere near overwhelming but actually enhancing the array of fresh toppings and local produce.
Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company was well represented making one grilled cheese panino after the next. We watched Mr. Dave Bollinger, who never stopped, filling each panino with shredded cheese and pairing it with the lovely ramp pesto. At the headquarters in Windsor, the company also does pizza in the garden oven during the summer and I have it on extremely reliable sources that this pizza is GOOD. Click here
For now we do know that these truckloads of great cooks and their specialties will be in Lebanon on the Green Friday the 22nd of June. It may not be right to feel that the natural progression of a food truck is one day to a small building as a restaurant/café/bistrot, but some of us might hope. I wonder whether there are more like myself who would love a night out seated at a table enjoying a Lupo margherita pizza with a Pilsner or glass of white Burgundy, otherwise a few sips of Barbaresco with a prosciutto and mushroom slice or two.
For those who ventured into the little red building which is Abracadabra Coffee, western end of the trucks, the reward of shelter from the cold was upstaged by rich coffee and three kinds of warm doughnuts emerging on trays every hour or so. Clint and Antoinette are the unique stars of coffee right now. Roasting the beans themselves, it is worth visiting to watch the weighing and pouring and gentle agitation of gorgeous grind making its way to your cup of dark magic. In the cozy kitchen back area, Peter Varkonyi regaled us this last winter with his egg and cheese creations on home-made bagels. The most popular bagel is the Everything but the Jalapeño Cheddar is quite a base for morning egg activity.
His doughnuts this time, prepared in conjunction with his partner, Lauren, had that elusive fresh crunch to the outside that helps these baked wonders hover in the realm between dough and sweet fritter. Abracadabra Coffee will be open weekends throughout the summer starting in June from 9am until 2pm. The last of the random pop-ups with Varkonyi and Lauren is next Sunday the 20th of May and they plan to continue June Saturdays as well. Abracadabra is aptly named as it strikes me as the sort of business that will constantly surprise patrons. Click here for Facebook link/directions.
A little aside now to the Brownsville General Store and its future plans. A group of local investors have stepped in for some salvation and delicious updates that may eventually feature Olivia’s Bagels, Varkonyi’s namesake homage to his grandmother. I am quite sure that food lovers will make their way to Brownsville for the bagels and doughnuts on the horizon: the soon-to-be Brownsville Butcher and Pantry. If you bake it, they will drive! Stay tuned for updates very soon on Route 44 with Peter and Lauren.
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