Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Food, Glorious Food

If anyone got that Oliver! reference, you are now my favorite reader. Not that I know who you are.

As you might have guessed from the title, most of this post will be about food, starting with last Wednesday. Saint Mike's hosted the first local food competition between eight colleges' chefs from Sodexo. Each chef (or team of them) had to make a dish from entirely locally-sourced ingredients. The event was meant to emphasize Sodexo's commitment (in Vermont) to buy Vermont ingredients before imported one, in keeping with Vermont First's Initiative. I (mistakenly) ate lunch first, so I was not able to try everything, but what I did eat was amazing. Fingers crossed some of it appears in Alliot on a regular basis! Saint Mike's won with maple bourbon ice cream... so good. I was impressed that Johnston State College had a vegan chef; I did not eat what she made, but my friend did and she said it was also really good. What I did try was amazing; even the elk sausage (courtesy of UVM), which I had never had before, and carrot cake (Norwich University), which I usually do not like.

My non-food related event was Thursday - Love Your Melon tabled at the Burlington Paint and Sip, where you can pay to get walked through creating a painting and imbibe various beverages (which may or may not be alcoholic, depending on your age). The overall vibe of the place was really cool. I definitely want to sign up for a painting session when I get a chance. We were able to get the word out about Love Your Melon, and did get some donations - I do not know the exact amount. I am very glad I went.
Our display at Paint and Sip
We did not have class Monday, which was also (conveniently) my birthday, so my parents came up with our dogs! I may have been slightly more excited to see the furry members of my family, and the non-furry members may or may not have noticed... but oh well. 

Friday night I had dinner at the always-wonderful Vermont Tap House, and got to sit near the wood-fires they bake the pizzas in, which was pretty cool. I like going there because the food is awesome, the prices are reasonable, the atmosphere is always friendly, and as far as I know, all of the pizza ingredients are local.
One of the two wood-fires they keep going at the Tap House
Saturday was shopping day! If you have not yet explored the paradise that is the Gardeners Supply Company store in Williston, you should definitely go. The entire place smells amazing because they have a cafe, there is a really cool conservatory, and (although it is too cold for anything to be growing yet) a massive irrigation set-up outside that I am curious to see what they are using it for. I bought one of the mysterious air plants, which supposedly just need to be sprayed with water and do not need anything else. We shall see - I have not named it yet as a precaution.

I also spent some time wandering Church Street with my mom, which (happily) included decadent dark hot chocolate from Lake Champlain Chocolates. They can be a little pricey, but everything is so delicious that doesn't even matter. Sunday's dinner was at Sweetwater's, one of the many restaurants on Church Street. If I have not talked about it before, Sweetwater's is a sweet spot (pun slightly intended) to get dinner if you're out with your friends or family. The service is great and the building is really cool - it used to be the Burlington Trust Company way back when and the owners have kept the original architecture. I also love that the food is always just out of my comfort zone; there's always one part of my dish that I haven't tried before or don't usually eat and Sweetwater's is a great place to try new things, because it's all good.

If you don't have time to devote a whole day to Church Street, definitely give it a shot just for dinner. Church Street at night is beautiful (see below), and really has the feel of what I consider "my Vermont," besides Saint Mike's of course!
Church Street
I'll be going to a concert at the Flynn with my Philosophy class on Sunday, so stay tuned!

PS: That pun was entirely intentional.

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