Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dining in Quechee

When traveling to Vermont from Massachusetts, I commonly take Route 89 into Vermont, which takes me close to Route 4 and Quechee. If you too take a similar route, let me offer a couple recommendations for restaurants in Quechee. Quechee is well worth a detour, to visit its numerous shops and to check out the famous gorge.

On Route 4, headed into Quechee, you'll soon encounter the Quechee Gorge Village, a collection of intriguing little shops, as well as the Farmer's Diner. After having a delicious breakfast there last year, I wanted to return there for more food, though this time for lunch. Part diner and part regular restaurant, this place continues to receive my high recommedation. They serve excellent comfort food, reasonably priced, and much is locally sourced.

Most of their ingredients are obtained locally in Vermont, and they even have a map and list in the lobby indicating the source of their ingredients. Thus, if you really enjoy something, you could check out the source.

We began with one of the Starters, the Loaded Cheese Fries, which are topped with Vermont Smoke & Cure Bacon and Cabot cheddar cheese. The cheddar was made into a cheese sauce with a creamy, sharp flavor to it. The fries were cooked just right, nicely crispy with a fluffy interior and there was plenty of smoky bacon. A very nice choice to start our lunch.

The Sappy Squealer has slow roasted Vermont raised pulled pork in a Maple BBQ sauce, and served on a lightly griddled LaPanciata Bakery Roll. All of the sandwiches come with either french fries or coleslaw, plus a dill pickle spear. The pork was very tender with a sweet, yet tangy, BBQ sauce with only hints of maple flavor. The roll was fresh and soft, and a nice addition to the sandwich.

The Hog Heaven includes two Farmers Diner hot dogs wrapped in Vermont Smoke & Cure bacon, deep fried, and snuggled deep in a bed of coleslaw and served on a lightly griddled bun. Note that I had them omit the coleslaw. What a decadent dog, with its crispy bacon and fried meat. I savored every bite of these delicious dogs, which are much better than just a plain old hot dog.

Prices are reasonable, the food is tasty, and service is also very good. A great place for breakfast or lunch, but note that it is not open for dinner. It continues to receive my recommendation.

While you are in Quechee, there is another restaurant you might want to stop by, Shepard's Pie By The Gorge. It has been open for less than six months and I stopped there without knowing anything about it. It was dinner time, the Farmer's Diner was closed, and I just wanted to dine somewhere close.

Obviously the restaurant's name appealed to me as I love Shepard's Pie, though I am very particular about which ones I enjoy. I gave their version a try, Classic Shepard’s Pie ($10.99), which contained ground lamb and beef, fresh sweet corn, layered and topped with whipped potatoes. This dish was a winner, just the style I most enjoy, with plenty of flavorful ground meat (nicely spiced), creamy potatoes and sweet corn. The gravy was very savory and complemented the rest of the dish. It seemed to have been freshly made, and the restaurant certainly earned its name, having created an excellent signature dish. Great comfort food and well worth a stop.

Shepard's Pie By The Gorge
US Route 4
Quechee, VT
Phone: (802) 281-4585

Shepard's Pie By the Gorge on Urbanspoon


Unknown said...

this looks delicious..especially the loaded fries and the hog heaven hot dogs. if i was closer to vermont id stop there for a meal!

Anonymous said...

My family and I used to travel to Quechee quite a bit, but I don't remember ever seeing the Farmer's Diner - sounds like a great place, and I love the focus on using locally sourced food!

Unknown said...

I must have driven by here a million times on my way to Killington - I'll have to try it this winter, looks like food that is ideal after (or even in preparation for!) a weekend of skiing. Thanks for the tip.