While so many in the community are focused on Christmas and holiday shopping, I have taken a break to approach the upper echelons of hamburgers in our midst.
This quintessential creation is readily available in our upper valley and easy to find as well as enjoyed year-round. Let’s cite the Worthy group, for instance, which has spoiled us for several years now, both in Royalton and in Woodstock, with fresh fare cooked over their wood-fired grills.
With further research, however, I have come to discover a sort of quartet of snazzy patties that prefer the essential company of a linen napkin, thank you very much.
The first of this group stands out in downtown Quechee. The Bar
at Simon Pearce
features the SP Burger
accompanied by hand-cut fries. This Pearce version presents a beer bun sheltering a thick, juicy patty with an elegant slather of garlic aioli as well as accompanying house pickle, not to mention the clever addition of a Cabot clothbound cheddar cheese crisp. This wafer of cheese really does add a uniquely aromatic touch. The Bar
is most appealing with large windows, plenty of light and life in the new layout, and is open daily with friendly, efficient bartenders. Check the hours with a click here
sits nobly downtown within the Hanover Inn
. The Hanover Burger
includes bacon, a Chipotle aioli and some cheddar cheese along with crispy onions and fries. Click here
for the list. This burger is also available at lunchtime.
Sometimes, these precious patties are not available nightly, but on a weekly or monthly basis; might this absence make the gut grow fonder? Wild Roots in Royalton has now instigated its mid-week special: Burger Wednesdays. The meat comes from Earthwise Farm and Forest, an organic farm in Bethel which also sells milk, poultry, pasture-raised pork, herbs and more. The burger is partnered with house-made barbecue sauce and crispy potatoes. Feast your eyes on the photo for almost-instant gratification!
Wild Roots will also feature a new beer each week to accompany the burger; last week’s was the Harpoon Flannel Friday- a hoppy, malty, crisp amber ale. It may also be worth noting that with the final closing of Ariel’s in Brookfield, Chef Peter Varkonyi’s kitchen at Wild Roots is an easy drive down I89, so close to exit 3, and perhaps an enticing alternative for Randolph and surrounding patrons who will surely miss Lee, Richard and Noah-now off to warm southern climes.
And finally on a monthly roll through the fall, we’ve anticipated the first Friday of each month to enjoy Hamburger Night at Cloudland Farm in Pomfret. Patrons are spoiled with a starter, the burger main course and then a dessert to follow. In their stunning barn setting, we have devoured spicy meatballs with buttermilk dipping sauce as well as tender chicken wings in blue cheese dressing before the arrival of that thick, luscious patty and its accoutrements. As usual, Chef Ira White makes everything from scratch- right down to the ketchup and maple mustard. Despite the feverish popularity of these hamburger nights, the Cloudland Farm menu rarely falls into routine. Therefore, depending on the season, the Emmons family will seek new means to captivate its loyal crowd. Now with the winter season, Cloudland is open regularly Friday and Saturday nights for 2-3 course plated fine dining. Cloudland Farm is also famous for its BYOB policy and charges but a small corkage fee.
to check the schedule and to stay tuned to future specials.
Despite the present onslaught of turkey talk, pumpkin, cranberries and Christmas logs, there is little quite as satisfactory as that beef in a bun, converted to culinary-gem-status based on discriminating whims of each of these chefs’ creativity and surrounding organic bounty.
To receive notification of food-related news, click here