Thursday, November 29, 2012

Long Overdue Vermont Vacation Review

For our third anniversary, J and I decided to take a little trip to Vermont for a long weekend. Normally, when I go on a trip I have this antsy anxiety to "just get there." I'll try to leave as early as possible and drive without stopping - "Don't drink anyone so you won't have to pee!" This time, however, we decided to make the drive feel like part of the vacation and now, as we start planning a trip to Pennsylvania for my friend's wedding this spring, I'm ready to do the same thing! Although it adds time to your day, it makes the commute MUCH more fun and you find little treasures you may not have if you'd blown right through. Below is a little recounting of our trip - with of course, a focus on the wonderful vegan food we encountered!

So - the night of our anniversary, we were still in town and J made us an INCREDIBLE dinner - Vegan Shepard's Pie (recipe to come, I promise!).

The next morning, we got up around 8 a.m. and were out the door by 9. We headed on over to OhNo Cafe in Portland, Maine for our favorite breakfast sandwich and Coffee By Design's Ethiopian blend coffee - our favorite, which is almost always on tap at OhNo. It's a baily bagel grilled, then made with hummus, spinach, avocado, tomato, and soy sausage. It's the kind of sandwich that I will randomly crave and immediately need. Like right I write about it...I'm wanting one. Have you ever had a baily bagel? They originated in Poland and have this awesome little garlic, salty mix in the middle on the top. I just love them. Especially grilled. Ok, I need to stop...

We got on the road and headed down toward New Hampshire, landing ourselves in North Conway, New Hampshire. I used to live in Fryeburg, Maine which is about 20 minutes outside of North Conway and it was nice to be back in town. We stopped in at The Met Coffee House, an awesome coffee house/art gallery right outside of the North Conway Train Station. I got a soy coconut latte and J got a soy chai latte. Right by the register they had vegan cookies by the Alternative Baking Company so we got a peanut butter cookie and an espresso chocolate chip cookie. I'd seen Alternative Baking Company's cookies before but hadn't tried them and they're not too bad - a little dry, though. We liked the espresso chip one better than the peanut butter, which didn't have a very strong PB taste.

We sipped our coffees, nibbled the cookies and walked around town doing some window shopping at Penguin Gallery and Zeb's General Store before jumping back on the White Mountain Highway.

The views, of course, were stunning. J had never driven the White Mountain Highway before so it was a real treat for him!

We arrived around 4:00 in Burlington and were pretty hungry. After walking around a little, we found a nice map of the city streets and discovered that Burlington has a Dobra Tea House! Dobra is one of my favorite places in Portland - it's the perfect place to relax and enjoy tea and little treats. The atmosphere is foreign - you ring a bell to call your server and there is floor seating on pillows. When I'm there, I forget about the time flying by outside. So we stopped in to relax and enjoy some rooibus tea and a hummus plate. They have a great selection of vegan snacks and treats and they're all clearly marked on their menu. 

Afterwards, we walked around gazing in shops, stopped at the Lake Champlain chocolate store for dark chocolate dipped orange rind (the girl behind the counter knew exactly which items were vegan!), and then went to dinner at American Flatbread. We've had American Flatbread before - they sell their frozen pizza at Whole Foods in Portland and it's not too shabby. The interior of the restaurant reminded us A LOT of our own Flatbread in Portland, but the pizza was not quite as good. It wasn't bad, but the crust didn't have much flavor and their tomato sauce, made with oven roasted tomatoes and peppers, had a strange taste to me. The best part of the meal was the beer we tried - Sasquach - made with butternut squash. It was so delicious that we bought a "growler" full of it to take back to our room! 

The following day, we had a lovely brunch at a restaurant called Magnolia Bistro. It was clearly a hot spot for brunch, especially with the local college population, and there was a long line out the door and we must have waited about 30-40 minutes - but it was worth it! I ordered tofu scramble with tofu sauce and J ordered a veggie bean burger. It was super, super yummy. J's burger even came with a vegan potato salad on the side - something I'd never seen before. 

After breakfast we walked down a big hill towards the lake where the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center was. ECHO is fairly small and we were kind of glad we ended up going on a discount day because the price seemed sort of high for what we got. It was fun though, and there was a really lovely little exhibition on the origins of the race. 

We spent some time walking around the lake, which is just beautiful and then walked around town some more and found street performers and vegan cupcakes at My Little Cupcake.

That night we ate at Bueno Y Sano. I had thought it was more like a restaurant when I found it online, but it was more upscale fast food. Nonetheless, they had options we could easily veganize and they had seitan (almost every restaurant in Burlington had seitan - it was awesome!). 

The next day, we got on the road home fairly early and stopped in this little tiny town called Jackson, Vermont to grab some breakfast at the Lovin Cup Cafe. The Cafe is right on the main street and is inside what looks like someone's apartment. I ordered a sesame seed bagel with hummus and lots of yummy veggies and J got a focaccia panini made with seitan, sauerkraut, and maple mustard. Can you tell that I love bagel hummus sandwiches???

We drove home taking less stops because we missed our furbabies and wanted to get home to get ourselves all set for the week to come. Of course we sucked in the view on the way! 

All in all it was a wonderful trip and we'd love to go back and explore Vermont some more. We'd like to do a spring or earlier fall trip so we can get in some hiking and exploration. Someday!

No comments:

Post a Comment