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Putney Diner

Main St., Putney, VT - (802) 387-5433
Posted By Michael Stern on 4/29/2014 4:44:00 AM
“We’re ready for our pies,” we tell Ellie the waitress at the Putney Diner.

“No, you’re not!” she responds, noting that we haven’t totally cleaned our plates of foot-long hot dogs with baked beans, macaroni and (cheddar) cheese, a meat loaf sandwich with cheese and cranberry sauce, shepherd’s pie, and split pea soup with ham.

We implore her, and she relents, cutting big, unwieldy slices of apple pie, crumb-top berry pie, and maple walnut pie. The maple walnut is especially hefty. “You want ice cream or whipped cream with that?” Ellie asks. “You need one or the other because that pie is so sweet.”

Although the logic of her recommendation escapes us, we do as Ellie says and have our maple pie topped with whipped cream. She is the kind of waitress who makes you want to behave right. “Can’t you tell I used to be a mother?” she says. Then comes the punch line: “But I gave it up due to lack of interest.”

So it goes at the Putney Diner, a delightful little town eatery just minutes away from I-91 at Exit 4. Although it doesn’t look like a classic diner, this place has the spirit … and the menu. In the morning, plates of plain or buckwheat pancakes come with only-in-Vermont maple syrup. Eggs can be had with kielbasa or corned beef hash. And broad-topped muffins are split and toasted on the grill. At lunch, you can count on square meals of meat loaf or roast turkey and stuffing or the arcane Yankee favorite, American chop suey.

At the end of a meal, everyone tops things off with pie, the day’s varieties of which are set out on a low counter to the right as you enter the small café. They include apple, candy-sweet maple walnut, chocolate cream, banana cream, and crumb-top four berry. In the summer, look for superb strawberry rhubarb. These are chunky, sturdy pies, served in slices that tend to fall apart on the plate. Not beautiful, but eminently edible.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
American Chop Suey
Pancakes
Pie
Macaroni & Cheese
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Candy in a crust. Waitress Ellie recommends ice cream or whipped cream atop this maple walnut pie because the cream helps balance its sweetness.
"Candy in a crust. Waitress Ellie recommends ice cream or whipped cream atop this maple walnut pie because the cream helps balance its sweetness."
Michael Stern





It looks like a lunch room, but it's a diner, heart and soul.
"It looks like a lunch room, but it's a diner, heart and soul."
Michael Stern


When you enter, a shelf holding the day's pies is just to your right. These are sturdy-crusted pies typical of the northeast.
"When you enter, a shelf holding the day's pies is just to your right. These are sturdy-crusted pies typical of the northeast."
Michael Stern


American chop suey is one of the strangest true-Yankee dishes, with a pseudo-Chinese name and semi-Italian character. At the Putney Diner they make it with big chunks of sausage and serve it with garlic bread on the side. It isn't pretty, but it's mighty satisfying.
"American chop suey is one of the strangest true-Yankee dishes, with a pseudo-Chinese name and semi-Italian character. At the Putney Diner they make it with big chunks of sausage and serve it with garlic bread on the side. It isn't pretty, but it's mighty satisfying."
Michael Stern


The comfort-food classic, macaroni & cheese, is here made with Vermont cheddar, of course.
"The comfort-food classic, macaroni & cheese, is here made with Vermont cheddar, of course."
Michael Stern


Up close and personal with a slice of Putney Diner apple pie. It's good with ice cream or whipped cream, even better with a chunk of cheddar.
"Up close and personal with a slice of Putney Diner apple pie. It's good with ice cream or whipped cream, even better with a chunk of cheddar."
Michael Stern



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