Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

A Single Pebble – Dan Dan Noodles

October 22, 2008
A Single Pebble - Burlington Vermont

A Single Pebble - Burlington Vermont

Craving some Asian, I ventured over to popular Chinese dinner spot A Single Pebble on Bank Street in Burlington Vermont. A Single Pebble aspires to be more authentic than your average Chinese restaurant. Chef / Owner Steve Bogart spent years actually cooking in China.

A Single Pebble - Dan Dan Noodles (with Tofu)

A Single Pebble - Dan Dan Noodles (with Tofu)

I recently had ordered a shrimp dish at A Single Pebble; the shrimp were not cleaned which really turned me off. Despite the fact that preparation omission is perhaps in-line with being “traditional” as I’ve see uncleaned shrimp in one other Chinese restaurant, I was not pleased. But despite this small incident, I wasn’t going to give up on A Single Pebble as I’ve had good food there in the past. I just don’t think I’ll be ordering anything with shrimp in it there.

Dan Dan noodles unbeknown to me are a popular Chinese comfort food. I already love the combination of peanut butter and spice, so this dish is immediately accessible and delicious to me. I don’t usually order tofu, but I had chicken last night so I mixed it up. I don’t consider myself a “tofu eater” (I don’t think I’ve ever purchased it at the store) however this tofu was not slimy or rubbery. It has a nice density that made it manageable with the chop sticks, and nice texture.

A Single Pebble - Dan Dan noodle

A Single Pebble - Dan Dan noodle

The included chopsticks (the only utensil included!)  were narrow at the tips, surprisingly you can even pick up the half-skinned peanuts. The peanuts have a wonderful roasted rich flavor, the sauce is served over large rice noodles. There is a side of rice included sometimes, which I thought was superfluous but I guess If you order this dish “hot” you would need the rice to cool you mouth down. This 5 spice dish be default has a decent amount of heat due to the sichuan pepper however I may try order my Dan Dan “hot” next time.

At $8.88 with tax, I have added this dish into my lunch quiver.


Hong’s Chinese Dumplings – Church Street Cart

May 15, 2008

Hong\'s Chinese Dumplings - Burlington Vermont
Hong’s Chinese Dumplings – Burlington Vermont

Street eats need a side of pavement to taste better. New to me is Hong’s Chinese Dumplings, these award winning dumplings, are yummy street fair. Note the line of people in the picture, even after 1pm, it’s common to find a line waiting for the dumplings. Hong’s is located, on the top half of Church Street in Burlington Vermont.

Hong’s Chinese Dumplings – Dumplings and Peanut Sesame Noodle Special

The multicolored sesame seeds are visually awesome (cart grub with presentation!). The noodles are light on the peanut flavor, but work well with the fried egg, and sliced cucumber and carrots.

Hong’s Chinese Dumplings – Dumplings and Fried Rice Special

The fried rice is surprisingly good, it doesn’t have the hot smoke oil flavor as you would straight out of a wok, but there are corn kernels, carrots and other veggies. You could eat this for lunch by itself.

Both specials are $7; the noodle special include choice of three dumplings, and the rice special choice of six dumplings.

Dumpling options are: veggie (carrot and cabbage?), chicken and pork, and finally crab and cream cheese. The crab is likely “crab stick“. I personally prefer the chicken and pork, with a couple veggie dumplings.

I love when these pan fried dumplings are crispy, some dumplings come out a little too soft for my taste. I may try to ask for crispy dumplings next time. In addition to the yummy dumplings, there are an array of sauces to be had at the counter, which are needed to get the full effect. Beyond the soy-sauce, there is nice oil pepper concoction than can be spooned on, which besides heat adds crispness due to the pepper corns. There is a also a great sweet and sour sauce that has a little heat.

Hong is constantly rolling the dough and cooking while she prepares you order, she’s an impressive multi-tasker.

Ahli Baba’s Kabob Shop (truck) – Falafel

March 28, 2008

I had an appointment at FAHC so after I was done I walked across the green to UVM, to get something from one of the food trucks.

Ahli Baba’s Kabob Shop (truck) - UVM Burlington Vermont
Ahli Baba’s Kabob Shop (truck) – UVM Burlington Vermont

This was my first time that I had been to Ahli Baba’s food truck, although I’ve been to their downtown Burlington Vermont location a few times.

Ahli Baba’s Kabob Shop (truck) - Falafel
Ahli Baba’s Kabob Shop (truck) – Falafel

Toasted pita, falafel (deep fried mashed chickpea discs), romaine lettuce, fresh tomato, onions, and tzatziki sauce (tangy yogurt based sauce). Everything was perfect, in this pita. The falafel was perfectly crispy and soft in the middle, with a nice spice. The truck cook, offered hot sauce on my falafel which I’ll have to try another day. It was nice having some nice hot street food, in the chilly weather. Currently this is my favorite falafel from around town.

The falafel pita was a great deal at $5.50 with tax (follow the college students for cheap eats). The food truck is cash only.

Pulcinella’s – “Pizza ai Funghi” (Mushroom Pizza)

February 22, 2008

Pulcinella’s Ristorante is a fairly new Italian restaurant at 100 Dorset street in South Burlington Vermont sandwiched between Small Dog Electronics and Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS). The history of the Pulchinella character is on their website.

Pulcinella’s Ristorante - South Burlington, Vermont
Pulcinella’s – South Burlington, Vermont

Pulcinella’s - “Pizza ai Funghi” (Mushroom Pizza)
Pulcinella’s – “Pizza ai Funghi” (Mushroom Pizza)

Woodland mushroom sauce, scallions, Parmesan & Asiago cheeses, these ingredients on a 13″ whole wheat crust result in a great pie. It’s almost a flat bread a la American flatbread. There are a TON of mushrooms on this pizza, the sauce is rich, and has some acid (balsamic?). The whole wheat gives the crispy crust a nice texture and compliments the earthiness of the mushrooms. The pie is a little rich and would be better alongside a second pie, so that you could alternate slices to cleanse the palate (the first couple bites are awesome, I think my taste buds started suffering from mushroom fatigue). The cheeses have a slight bite, which help with the flavor balance. Despite my best effort I couldn’t finish this pizza in one sitting (this pizza is good cold).

At $13 before tax, this pie kind of blows my lunch budget, but it’s unique, yummy and there were left-overs.

Cheese Outlet Fresh Market – Mac and Cheese of the Day (Black Bean), Hazelnut Chocolate Bar

February 19, 2008

…And we’re back. About two weeks ago (ahem), I was dropping off some old electronics at Recycle North on Pine Street in Burlington Vermont and decided to pick up some lunch up the street. Also on Pine Street is Cheese Outlet Fresh Market, a bakery, market, and deli (and Cheese outlet).

Cheese Outlet Fresh Market
Cheese Outlet Fresh Market – The pictured picnic bench is nice place to eat lunch (during the summer).

Cheese Outlet Fresh Market - Mac and Cheese of the Day (Black Bean)
Cheese Outlet Fresh Market – Mac and Cheese of the Day (Black Bean)

Mac and Cheese has a special place in my heart (probably my arteries), so I was psyched to see that Cheese Outlet Fresh Market has a Mac and Cheese of the Day. In retrospect it makes sense that a cheese store would have a mac and cheese of the day. In addition to the black beans there were also some trace amounts of peppers and tomatos, a slight tex-mex twinge to this classic. The choice of cheese was good, and it was an original dish… I liked it.

Cheese Outlet Fresh Market - Hazelnut Chocolate Bar
Cheese Outlet Fresh Market – Hazelnut Chocolate Bar

In addition to the deli side of the store I also visited the bakery side of the store. I selected the hazelnut bar from under the glass. This featured a shortbread base, hazelnut butter/ frosting?, WHOLE hazelnuts and chocolate ganache. The whole hazelnuts were interesting, as there was nice crunch, nut flavor to go along with the short bread base and layers of frosting. Of course chocolate hazelnut is a classic pairing, but this was a nice twist.

The mac and cheese was $7.99 a pound! A little steep. The chocolate hazelnut bar was $2.75.

Global Markets, “Falafel”

December 14, 2007

Global Markets, Cafe, Grill and Grocery in the Old North End (ONE) in Burlington Vermont, as the name implies, serves up some diverse food and groceries. Global Markets is a cool place to go for lunch, for example you can get a Bosnian specialty for lunch, and then grab some Russian candy for desert off the shelf.

Global Markets 
Global Markets – Moving December 16th from its current location, down the street.

Global Markets, Falafel
Falafel – deep-fried chickpea or fava bean balls, served with house salad in pita.

Falafel is a classic middle eastern snack, and what better place to get a falafel than at a place that specializes in middle-eastern and world food? I think that despite the deep-fried factor, this lunch is a fairly healthy vegertarian meal.

Global Markets, Falafel (detail)
World Markets – Falafel, a little more detailed shot, showing the salad. I think it consists of cucumber, onion and tahini as the primary ingredients.

The falafel and salad is made fresh before your eyes, and the owner / proprietor is very personable. The falafel is nice and crispy (fresh!), and the salad has nice tanginess, acid and texture to contrast with the falafel. The falafel pita is not quite enough food for lunch, so I ordered two. But I found that two is little too much, I would recommend ordering one falafel pita, and one other small item off the menu, or maybe an interesting snack from the store shelves.

The falafel is awful cheap at ~$3.60, bring cash as Global Markets is cash-only! I will be back to try some other world foods, and what is proclaimed as a great Philly cheesesteak in their new location.

Rivers Edge Coffee Shop and Grill, “Dozen Donuts”

December 10, 2007

Rivers Edge Coffee Shop and Grill is located on Riverside Ave, in Burlington Vermont. They are located next to Sugarsnap. They serve breakfast, breakfast lunch, and killer donuts.

Rivers Edge Coffee Shop and Grill
Rivers Edge Coffee Shop and Grill – Riverside Ave, Burlington Vermont

River’s Edge, dozen donuts (baker’s).
Rivers Edge – Dozen Donuts

I asked for a dozen donuts and got a “baker’s dozen” of 14. These ambrosial unctuous donuts are the best I’ve ever had. Yes I have had Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme, these donuts are head and shoulders above chain donuts. I personally like the cider donuts, apple fritters and mini coffee rolls.

A dozen donuts are $6.50 with tax, and well worth it.

Junior’s Italian, “Pesto Pizza with Sesame Crust”

November 27, 2007

Junior’s 18 inch Pizza Box
You can’t have a food blog about lunch and not mention pizza. You also can’t mention Pizza in the Burlington area, without mentioning Junior’s. Judging by their new space behind the Burger King, off of I-89 exit 16 in Colchester, Vermont they’ve been doing well for themselves, there is a reason for that. Despite the fact that they are now in a building I affectionately refer to as the “Pizza Factory” (it’s much larger than their old spot) they still turn out amazing pizza. This is the best pizza to be had around town. Pictured above is their pizza box, once of the signs that you’ve “arrived” as a pizzeria is having your own box (yes they deliver).

Junior’s 18 inch Pesto Pizza with Sesame Crust
The Pesto is fresh, the basil smells great with the garlic. The mozzarella tastes great and has great texture.

Junior’s Pesto Pizza Slice, Sesame Crust
Sesame Crust, you must try it if you like sesame seeds. The oven toasts the seeds, elevating the crust and thus  the pizza. Speaking of crust, even without the sesame crust upgrade, Junior’s consistently has great crust: it’s both chewy and crispy.

One small complaint, the pesto this time was run through a food processor (like you would normally expect), but this was not the norm. Previously the pesto consisted of chopped basil, chopped garlic, and whole pine-nuts (also of course the other requisite ingredients). A quick call to Junior’s told me that this was an attempt to make this pie easier to assemble for the cooks, but they would gladly do it the old way if I requested it (I recommend you do).

Even with that being said this is the best pesto pizza around. I believe this pie was around $17-18, a little pricey but in a league of its own.