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28 Jan 2009
Cabot Cheese Super Bowl Recipes

Cabot Coop is a group of Vermont dairy farmers that was founded in 1919. They have a very good blog with lots of helpful information including recipes.

The blog just posted some Super Bowl Recipes I think you will find useful. They certainly sound delicious:

Point Spread
Cheese and Bean Quesadillas ("Sudden Turnovers")
Habanero Cheddar and Black Bean Spread
Hot as a Torch! Jalapeno Poppers
Baked Jalapeno Poppers
Hot Broccoli-Cheddar Dip
"Pig Skins "
Hero Sandwiches

The website also features a handy online recipe box you can use to store your favorites for future reference.

There is even a beer and cheese pairings page.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , Food , VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  20:09 | permalink

11 Jan 2009
Waterbury Area Restaurants Reviewed in NY Times

Big Time NY Times Wanders Into the Backwoods To See What the Woodchucks Are Eating These Days

Mark Bittman, a writer for the Dining section of the NY Times Dining, must spend a good amount of time around the Waterbury VT area - he certainly knows the restaurants here, a couple of them off the beaten path for most visitors and even some locals.

As his December 28, 2008 review shows, he is very impressed with Hen of the Wood restaurant, a quality restaurant that was opened by a pair of chefs here in Waterbury about four years ago if memory serves.

One of the chef's mother stayed with us while the two young men were working to get their new place prepared for opening so we got an early insight into what kind of place they were aiming to establish in a highly competitive market.

As you can see by the newspaper's headline reference to "Backwoods" Vermont, many people come here expecting to be nearly on the edge of civilization, lucky to have a decent diner and maybe a couple of good potluck church dinners.

The fact of the matter is that there about 100 two and three star quality restaurants within a half hour's drive of where I am sitting now. Stowe alone has more than 50 quality restaurants and ranks third in New England for the number of two and three star restaurants (behind Boston and Providence). I've lived here nearly nine years and I'm still working my way through all the restaurants here.

Four quick items about Hen of the Wood that come up most often when I'm speaking to guests about it:

Yes, this is the restaurant with the chef (Eric Warnstedt) mentioned in Food and Wine Magazine as one of the Top 10 New Chefs in the US for 2008.

No, I don't know what they mean by "new." He ain't new - he has been a chef for years.

Hen of the Wood is a type of edible mushroom.

Yes, reservations are almost always needed. The restaurant is small and highly popular.

The other restaurant Mr. Bittman looks at is the Kitchen Table in nearby Richmond VT. It is very close to Exit 11 off I-89 a few minutes south of Burlington.

Like all of the best restaurants in Vermont, the Kitchen Table puts a great emphasis for getting as much of the ingredients locally as they possibly can. This is far more time consuming and expensive than buying from a restaurant supply house but it pays off for the customers in a superior dining experience.

Somehow, Mr. Bittman found the Green Cup quietly located on a small side street in little ole Waitsfield VT. What I thought was a local secret showed up on the radar of a New York restaurant reviewer. I guess that's why they get their jobs - they know how to find the best food no matter where it is. One note on this place - don't expect a fancy schmanchy atmosphere. The food is the only star here.

The Red Hen Bakery was located about a 1/4 mile down the road from our inn until they moved a little over a year ago to a larger facility where they now have a nice cafe. Their bread is served in all or nearly all the best restaurants around these parts. You can get it in some of the local grocery stores and delis too.

I suggest you read over this article - it's very well done and makes for interesting reading and insights into the local culinary scene but it just scratches the surface of what's available here.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , Food
posted by  grunhaus at  19:07 | permalink

10 Jan 2009
A Brew Pub That Serves Tea - How Vermont!

I was poking around some of my links a while back and discovered on the Alchemist Brew Pub blog that they are now serving tea.

Specifically, it's Kombucha tea, a sweet tea that originated in China centuries ago and is alleged to have some medicinal qualities.

According to the Alchemist blog, Kombucha is "fermented black tea that is loaded with antioxidants, amino acids and many different pro-biotic cultures." Whether or not that is good for you is up to you to decide.

The Alchemist Brew Pub opened about five years ago and was an immediate hit. We have had guests from all over the country tell us that a friend or relative recommended it to them as a "must see."

It is easy to find in downtown Waterbury VT. That link will take you to a Google map page that has another link to 20 reviews of the Alchemist.

They have very good food there by the way. They actually have a chef who prepares a short but wonderful menu. The portions are small but so are the prices - about $10 for an entree.

Be prepared for a wait if you arrive there after 6:00 pm most of the time even during off season for tourists. During holiday and fall foliage time, it is virtually impossible to get in unless you get there at the 4:30 pm opening time.

Our inn is only about four miles away so anytime it is too crowded, I can wait a few days or a week to get in without much of a wait. But if you do have to wait, it is well worth it.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus
Advice , Food , Unusual
posted by  grunhaus at  20:05 | permalink

15 May 2008
Vermont Chocolate Show This Weekend

Vermont is chock full of food producers. Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, King Arthur Flour, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Cabot Cheese are the best known but the list goes on and on with what seems like hundreds of small and medium size companies making items as diverse as cookies, pizza, beer, and tea. If you like good quality food, you will love Vermont.

This weekend is a good opportunity to sample chocolate from Vermont and other places in New England. The Vermont Chocolate Show was formerly held in Stowe but it has moved to The Inn at Essex, a larger venue near Burlington.

The exhibitors are mostly made up of chocolate manufacturers but also some surprises such as an art exhibit and a Vermont vodka company that makes chocolate flavored spirits!

The event is scheduled to run Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18th.

(c) Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn

Events , Food
posted by  grunhaus at  21:28 | permalink

27 Feb 2008
Ben and Jerry's Winter Festival This Saturday

Ben & Jerry's Homemade has a winter festival every year but this year is a little special because the company is celebrating its 30th birthday.

On Saturday, March 1, from 11:00 to 4:00, there will be free tours at the Waterbury VT manufacturing plant, plus games, snow sculpting, cake, music, food, snowshoeing, and other fun stuff - there may be a small fee for some of those.

When you are there, they will give you a small pin to put on your shirt or jacket. Show that pin to some of the many businesses in Waterbury to get a discount. Some restaurants, gift stores, an antique store, and even the local pharmacy are participating.

Who knows, maybe Ben and/or Jerry will show up. They both still live in the area and stop by from time to time even though they are retired from full time work now.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus
Events , Food
posted by  grunhaus at  21:21 | permalink

25 Dec 2007
Waterbury's Alchemist Brew Pub Starts Blogging

The Alchemist brew pub and restaurant in Waterbury has been hugely popular right from day one four years ago. They have about seven excellent brews available including some standards and some specials from time to time. Moreover, they actually have a chef preparing food so the fare there is much better than the average hamburger and fries that most bars have. As a result, it is crowded most nights. If you like craft brewed beers, the Alchemist should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Vermont.

John Kimmick, the brew master, just started a blog and has one entry posted so far. It's a pretty good one as a matter of fact and gives the reader a good insight into what kinds of beers he is offering and some of the thought and work that goes into creating them.

The blog is called Notes from the Brewery and is subtitled "or What's Going on Down Here and Why." (The Brewing equipment is in the basement under the pub.)

I've seen quite a number of Vermont blogs get started only to dwindle quickly. That is why I usually wait until I'm sure the blog will really keep going before I recommend it or add it to my list of links in the left column of this blog. But I'm making an exception this time and we'll see how it works out. John even mentions being busy with work and family so I won't be surprised if the Alchemist blog has only occasional entries but that is OK as long as they are as good as the first one and John keeps writing them once in a while.

In addition to the blog, take a look at The Alchemist website for more information about the brews, the menu, news, operating hours, map, etc.

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Attractions , Food , General , VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  19:52 | permalink

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