I was wondering if there is anything exciting worth stopping for on Route 91 between Springfield and White River Junction, Vermont?
Not really looking for American, but anything above average (even Sichuan/Pho or something like that…if there is not an hour wait). If there was an outstanding hot dog joint, that might also be of interest.
So… not the Whately Diner?
It depends how far off I-91 you’re willing to go. There isn’t much right at the exits (at least the ones I know).
Wait, hang on, I can actually help! The Blue Heron is one of my favorite restaurants of all time. Many fond memories, and chef Snow’s palate mirrors mine almost exactly. (So my preference is personal, and may not transfer.)
For tasty low-frills food I’d say Cielito Lindo in Gill MA is the equivalent of an outstanding hot dog joint. It’s a food truck run by a local Mexican-American family with a menu that goes beyond burritos. Lunch for my crew included pupusas, pollo con mole tamales, a torta al pastor, shrimp tacos, and a side of platano fritos. We enjoyed it all.
I was there mid-week and based on the small trucks and panel vans in the lot it’s the go-to lunch spot for every contractor business in the area. If I were local it would be mine too.
At 24 French King’s Highway, aka Rt. 2, it’s about 5 minutes east of I-91. Their Facebook page has a menu from earlier this year. (Append “food truck” a/o “Gill, MA” to your search terms so you get the right Cielito Lindo.)
Phnom Penh in White River Junction for very good Vietnamese.
We had a few excellent and very memorable meals at blue Heron a few years back. Unfortunately when we visited this summer for one of our first meals out in a long time, we were extremely disappointed with the food. Most of it which could have done a far better job cooking ourselves at home. It was almost as if we were at a different restaurant. If you do go there, I would strongly recommend sitting outside if the weather permits.
Guess it might be tough to survive as a solely Cambodian restaurant. I wonder how their Cambodian dishes stack up.
All my recent recommendations are in Greenfield, which might be too early in your trip. And the food would probably be too “Western,” (basic pub grub and delicious beer at Peoples Pint; good Italian at Magpie; and a place I’ve always wanted to check out, Hope & Olive).
In any case, I love that corner of the world where you are traveling. So beautiful and lots of friendly, laid-back people. Please report back if you find something good.
I’ve never tried any of the Cambodian dishes. Honestly, I’m usually doing a quick stop off for a banh mi at their Lebanon, NH location while heading north (Boston to northern VT is a bit of a wasteland food wise). I have had their pho which is good.
I really hope the Peoples Pint gos back to their pre-covid hours at some point. I really liked grabbing a late lunch there. Currently they are only open for dinner.
Hope & Olive is OK. Options are somewhat limited in that area, so good to have another option I suppose. You can get much better renditions of what they do, albeit not in Greenfield. I’ll never be able to get used to anything in that space that isn’t the Polish club.
Restaurant reopening & staffing issues are common right now.
FOH was adequately staffed and the food came out in a timely manner. It just wasn’t good. It’s possible they had some new cooks on the line in the kitchen.
Yah, probably new cooks. A couple of my favorite places are unrecognizable post-shutdown. But I’m rooting for them!
Another option a bit of the beaten path is SoLo Farm & Table in South Londonderry, VT. NYC chef relocated to VT turns out consistently top notch farm to table type fare. They have been closed during covid but still doing some takeout. Worth noting depending for future travels.
They also own and operate Honeypie (in Jamaica, VT near Stratton resort), a top notch burger place.
The Simon Pearce Mill/store has a restaurant in Quechee VT. I don’t remember the food as outstanding but the view
was great and if they are blowing glass in the basement its worth checking out.
The food at Simon Pearce can be exceptional. The roasted cod with crispy leeks (dinner menu) is a dish I could eat often. Their wine program is pretty good too.
We tried the banh mi at Phnom Penh with high hopes but came away underwhelmed.
Good to know, I will try it again when I’m out that way. Its a nice area for leaf peeping this time of year.
We are going up there for Thanksgiving, and I figured it might be nice to not just drive back. So wherever there is a place worth stopping, I thought I would try it either on the way or the way back. Unfortunately, my in laws are not IN White River Junction but some isolated spot 30 minutes away making it impossible, or inconvenient to stay in town (which would actually be my preference). I’m a big fan of vietnamese food, that’s for sure.