Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont

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cecif
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2008/02/21 23:03:31 (permalink)

Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont

This is just a mini-mini report. Warning label: contains severe Roadfood disappointment!
But lots of good food & scenery, I think.

I avoided the Presidents' Day/MA School Vacation Week crowd by driving to Vermont last Monday (to stay in a condo at Quechee with my goddaughter & family). It wasn't a Roadfood trip at all, or wasn't really meant to be... except that before I went I did a little checking and found three places written up that were right there!!! One seemed to be (summer) seasonal, but of the others my friends already liked one and knew of the other. On with the story...

Driving through the snow in the pouring rain is tricky.... Fog City!!! Not much scenery heading up I-93 & 89 into NH from MA, even when I detoured on Rt 9>114>103>11>12 in NH (Sunapee area). However, I chose a route that went near the Saint-Gaudens Historic Site (knowing it was not likely to be open, but wanting to nose around) and I was pleasantly surprised!

First, here is the Connecticut River from Cornish, NH on that lovely day (then my camera battery died and I realized my spares were at home!)

And I discovered right there the longest covered bridge in the U.S.! (Doh! How did I not know?!) And it was gorgeous in the mist and with a frozen chunky icy river beneath. (Pictures at end on the way home!)

Next up, Windsor VT and I spotted a great old diner, but I didn't pass through at the right time needing food. Save for another day. (Photo taken on the way home)


When I arrived in Quechee it was getting dark, so we weren't far from dinner. My friends knew & liked Simon Pearce in Quechee, reviewed here by Jane & Michael: http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=65
It was like the review and at the same time VERY unlike the review. Except for desserts, none of the menu items mentioned for lunch were available for dinner (and I think only the shepherd's pie is still on the menu). My biggest disappointment was that we got the brown bread mentioned in the review, but not the soda bread biscuits, just basic French bread pieces. Also it was a very pricey and fancy place. Not too great for kids, though there were a surprising number there, and a decent kids' menu. All that said, it was absolutely GREAT food. I don't presume to call it "Roadfood" (at $50 a meal, plus) but I know my friends WJ & BB will disagree... and that's okay!

With no batteries I couldn't take photos, but I have "stolen" a few off the web.

That round table is actually where we sat!


They are really known for their glass-making and it *is* gorgeous!

The following day I took off for Woodstock VT to cross-country ski (& snowshoe). Here is where I had my great disappointment. I had taken a hint from Buffetbuster & printed out the reviews of the places I wanted to go. The top of my list for the trip was Wasp's in Woodstock. It's reviewed here: http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=1618
I drove through town at 11am just to make sure I knew where it was before I took a couple hours to ski & return for lunch at 1pm. And there it was, newly painted and looking like JUST the ticket, with a clear as daylight "OPEN" sign on the front door. Excellent, methinks. So I go ski. I finish up my morning at 1pm as planned and head on back to Wasp's. And what happened?? I GOT TRAVELLIN MANNED!!!!!!! It was hard to park but I managed and walked up to a "CLOSED" sign. I was totally heartbroken. I was craving a good grilled cheese, and worse I had no alternate plan! Here is a photo of the sadly shut cafe:


Okay, I admit that I did read the review note after that said "Always call ahead!" for hours. But WHO would think they'd be open at 11am on a weekday but closed by 1pm?!?!?! Heavy, heavy sigh.

Faced with a growing hunger, I consulted my handy tourist-mappy-thing (do you know the ones?? in New England all the touristy towns espec VT have them, they are cartoon-like drawings of towns with ad sponsors shown etc). Anyway I spotted a "Woodstock Farmer's Market & Deli", and I struck out for that. GOOD choice!!!!!!!!! It was a lovely place, bursting with yummy looking food (raw or prepared) and I got a great sandwich of turkey & slaw & Russian dressing & Swiss on rye. But even better were the baked goodies. See below...

Molasses Ginger Cookie (I got new batteries right before this), and


Coffee Cake (oops, I squished it before I took the picture!)

And I really enjoyed scenic Woodstock, here are some shots around the green:






So all's well that ends well... right?? After lunch I snowshoed up Mt Tom (sooooo tiring, and the crusty snow made it extra difficult). I headed home late that afternoon but I did manage to get moving in the afternoon light and caught the covered bridge on the way home.


The Longest Covered Bridge

Bridge entrance from NH side

Bridge Sign

Side of Bridge

Actually not a bad trip, short & enjoyable! Thanks for reading. (and p.s. if anyone wants to see yet more covered bridges, I have a few of those... just say & I'll post 'em...)
#1

30 Replies Related Threads

    buffetbuster
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/02/22 06:35:51 (permalink)
    Cecif-
    Thanks for posting the nice report. It sounds like you had a good time, despite the disappointments. And your photos are as excellent as ever!

    It has been many, many years since I went to the Wasp Snack Bar, but I remember really liking the classic Roadfood atmosphere. I ate at Simon Pearce just last year and although my food was good, neither my dining companion nor I loved the place. No doubt the glassware there is gorgeous, though.

    By the way, you get full marks for making a driving trip to Vermont in February!

    #2
    billyboy
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/02/22 06:49:34 (permalink)
    Ceci, very nice report. Very nice indeed! I love New England architecture. Now I want a Molasses Ginger cookie.

    #3
    John A
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/02/22 07:04:50 (permalink)
    Nice report & pictures, thanks for posting.
    #4
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/02/22 07:08:58 (permalink)
    Oh, I'd say the food disappointment was maybe made up for by the amount of pretty.
    #5
    mr chips
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/02/22 10:18:20 (permalink)
    Great photos. I like the bridge. Sorry for your food disappointments.
    #6
    leethebard
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/02/22 10:24:27 (permalink)
    Another great photo report. Love New England. Even roadfood disappointments can be covered up by such scenery. Looks like your camera certainly had its fill!
    #7
    cecif
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/02/22 15:54:28 (permalink)
    BB, billyboy, John A, Nancy, mr chips & leethebard,
    Many thanks for the compliments, and yes it was pretty, and between that and the great food I did get at the Woodstock Farmer's Market it pretty well made up for the disappointment... mostly. I am still dying to try Wasp's... and craving a grilled cheese too!


    And Bill, fyi that was probably the best molasses ginger cookie I have ever eaten! (But I do have a recipe for some that a friend made that are very close - and I'm happy to share it!)
    #8
    Ashphalt
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/02/22 22:03:04 (permalink)
    Cecif

    We also stumbled upon the longest covered bridge some years ago with a "Doh!" on a Sunday drive well before Roadfood.com.

    Your photographs are drop-dead gorgeous and remind me of what I love about New England, even as I'm facing pulling out the snowblower.

    And your food experiences harken back to my own in Northern New England. Expect disappointments, and be warmed when you find something you like.

    Thanks!
    #9
    cecif
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/02/22 22:22:57 (permalink)
    Cool! And thanks Jamie
    #10
    bethgrd
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/02/23 08:25:52 (permalink)
    Thanks Ceci! Good for you for venturing north and exploring wintry New England.
    we should get together and go eating somewhere local soon! beth
    #11
    ken8038
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/02/23 09:20:10 (permalink)
    Thanks for posting all of this. Even though I'm not planning a trip to VT. any time soon, and haven't been there in 10+ years, it's great to be able to read a first person travelogue on a cold icy snowy Saturday morning in NJ.

    Thanks again. ---Ken
    #12
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/02/23 10:13:52 (permalink)
    Cecif,

    Great report and photos.

    Judging by the photos and reviews of Simon Pierce (I've never been there) it DOES appear to be Roadfood in the "Northwestern New England Country Inn" tradition.

    Since I'm not much of a skier, I prefer Vermont in slightly warmer months- Fall is ideal!
    #13
    CajunKing
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/02/23 15:37:55 (permalink)
    Cecif

    Your photos made me almost cry, I love small town New England. I too feel your pain about being "TravelinManned".

    The ginger cookies do look awesome as does the coffee cake, now for a glass of ICE COLD VERMONT milk to wash them down.

    So did you walk your horses or did you pay the $2.00 fine??

    #14
    cecif
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/02/23 16:05:10 (permalink)
    Thanks Beth, Dale, Ken & Donald

    Yes, Beth! I have plenty of spots on my list - I bet you do too!

    Ken - VT is an awesome place to visit at all times of the year - hope you get there again soon!

    Dale - I'd really like to hear what you think of Simon Pearce and think their website presents it the way they are, pretty upscale and a bit of attitude (though very very good food & gorgeous glass!!!). Check it out: http://www.simonpearceglass.com/ or http://www.simonpearceglass.com/CSTM_Restaurants.aspx

    Donald - LOL, I walked my "horses" (if an auto's horsepower counts...). For another goody, see below.



    #15
    FriedClamFanatic
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/07/24 16:28:40 (permalink)
    We have a Simon Pearce down here in PA (near Chadds Ford......Longwood Gardens, Winterhur, etc). Food is good, pricey, and the view is wonderful. But for lunch I'd do the Longwood Gardens Restaurant. The "Cafeteria" side is better than the sit-down in my opinion.

    But SP is great fun for dinner or late lunch when they are blowing glass (which they normally do).

    I'll be in the Queechee VT area in August; plan to try some areas near Chelsea and Tunbridge. Went over to Norwich last year and had a nice meal at the Norwich Inn. Also, Bakers Catalogue has its headquarters and store there which is a real treat.
    #16
    leethebard
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/07/25 07:49:05 (permalink)
    Oh Longwood Gardens...we go often...we have the family season pass...and I agree the cafeteria side of the restaurant is the way to go!!!
    #17
    susanll
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/07/25 08:26:22 (permalink)
    Thanks for bumping this thread. It is going to be 100 degrees today and some snowy pictures is just what I needed.
    #18
    leethebard
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/07/25 08:50:40 (permalink)
    Yep...made some Hot apple cidar and sipped as I viewed the pictures!!
    #19
    FriedClamFanatic
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/07/25 17:57:41 (permalink)
    LOL.I did NOT make Apple Cider, but a nice cold G&T is in order!

    And again, thanks for the posts on VT
    #20
    cecif
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/07/28 11:49:59 (permalink)
    Well, y'all are most welcome... I sure was surprised to see this thread "bumped"!

    #21
    ChiTownDiner
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/07/28 12:35:56 (permalink)
    I'm glad it was as I missed it on its maiden voyage...nice job! Really enjoyed this thread!
    #22
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/07/28 12:44:39 (permalink)
    cecif-
    Looking at this again confirms what I already knew.....you are one of our very best photographers!
    #23
    FriedClamFanatic
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/07/28 13:33:22 (permalink)
    The major reason for the "bump" was because I"m about to make a trek up to VT to visit family and figured I'd wow them with MY recommendations as to where we should go to eat!

    So, like a good newbie, I did various searches on here...I-89, I-84, Vt restaurants, I-95, CT, Manchester NH, etc. etc. Spent abnout a half a day looking over all these great posts, never got around to getting the lawn mowed, got yelled at by the better half for that. (But did manage to have a wonderful dinner ready for her).

    Seriously, having only recently found this board, I am totally impressed (I think, now that I'm heading to New England, that is "wicked" impressed)with the amount of knowledge here and the lengths some of you go to help folks out with great places, great ideas, and great pictures. Kudos and thanks to all of you. I hope is some meagre way to be able to contribute some gems I might find on the trip.

    BUT.........not another write-up on Red Arrow. You folks have said it all and it's a definite "Yes" on this trip. To think I used to go to a ski shop that was only a cple of blocks from there for over 8 years and never tried it..........SHEESH! It has to be the penultimate (great word - thanks, Mom&Dad for all that $$$ you spent on my education) Roadfood place. I might just have to move back to New England.
    #24
    cecif
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/07/28 17:00:58 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by FriedClamFanatic

    BUT.........not another write-up on Red Arrow. You folks have said it all and it's a definite "Yes" on this trip. To think I used to go to a ski shop that was only a cple of blocks from there for over 8 years and never tried it..........SHEESH! It has to be the penultimate (great word - thanks, Mom&Dad for all that $$$ you spent on my education) Roadfood place. I might just have to move back to New England.


    As a "FriedClamFanatic", I reckon you might belong here (or there, as I am currently on vacation in CA...). And a belated WELCOME to Roadfood, btw.

    I haven't had the pork pie though that's supposed to be the thing to eat at Red Arrow, however I can say I have loved everything I have had there. Enjoy!!!!
    #25
    FriedClamFanatic
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2008/07/28 18:47:14 (permalink)
    Guess I better not tell you about the time we (wife, daughter, me) flew the 3200 miles to SFO and then went up to Marin Cty to see friends and I FORCED everyone to go out for fired clams that night in some little Marin Cty town, only to be told they were out! LOL.after my plea of 3200 miles, they came up with some!

    Enjoy CA
    #26
    ayersian
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2010/10/11 23:59:43 (permalink)
    Ceci, just wanted to update this thread by saying that we still missed Wasp's Snack Bar last weekend.  I called during the week about 12:30pm but no one answered the phone.  The sign still says they close at 2pm, but on what days?  A window on the opposite side of the diner was left open, so I assume they're still in business...rats!    Chris

    #27
    kaszeta
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2010/10/12 08:46:05 (permalink)
    Wasp's is still open, but not on Saturdays (or Mondays, I believe).  And they pretty much never answer the phone.
    I like going there, since most times I've ordered a benedict, the cook has made the sauce to order.
    Alas, their schedule means that I can only go there on days off of work...
    #28
    ayersian
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2010/10/12 09:06:01 (permalink)
    ...which means I won't be visiting anytime soon, unfortunately -- though it remains on my list.  Thanks for the update, Kaszeta  Chris
    #29
    cecif
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    RE: Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont 2010/10/12 17:07:51 (permalink)
    It's funny to see this thread get bumped again... but fun for me to re-visit.
     
    That is SO STRANGE for a place to be closed on a Saturday! (Wouldn't it be a very busy day, espc in ski season???)... But I 'spose they are there for the M-F working folks. Or Tues-Fri anyway...???
    #30
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