Most (best) unexpected surprise?
On Saturday my brother and I hiked up Mt. Abraham in N-central Vermont. Great day for a hike, and it's fairly steep and strenuous, so we had a decent workout, and hunger besieged us by the time we got back to the car. There are lots of good places to eat in Burlington that we haven't yet tried (or tried only once) but we decided to hit a small brewpub in Bristol, about 30 miles south of here and a lot closer to the mountain. Those of you who have read a few of my posts probably know that I'm a big beer connoisseur (or snob or geek, take your pick) and I'd been anxious to try this place since seeing it at random a few weeks before. A new brewpub in a tiny little 1-horse town in Vermont! What could it be like?
I assumed competent but uninteresting brewing, and a typical burgers & fries menu; no insult to the restaurant, but I've been to lots and lots of similar-looking pubs and sometimes you just make assumptions. Boy was I wrong! They only had 2 of their own beers on tap, so that was a disappointment, but what beers they were: an 8% Old Ale (malty, complex, fruity English style aged beer) that was the best of its type I've ever had, and an excellent Dry Stout that puts Guinness to shame. And the food was even better; they had an eclectic menu with several meat, fish, and vegetarian options including a truly excellent NY strip glazed in honey & rosemary with gorgonzola, garlic/horseradish mashed potatos and roasted beets & carrots, a salad with fried parsnips, and one of the best, densest slices of cheesecake I've ever had. It was a bit beyond my budget ($75 for the two of us all told including tip) but vastly beyond my hopes.
What have been some of your most unexpected (positive) dining experiences?