Hannah Palmer Egan
Roast beef panini with fries from Kerry's Kwik Stop
If you're looking for a fast and hearty midday meal, follow a contractor to their lunch spot. The fare may not be the healthiest — odds are, it won't
be. But it'll fill you up, usually with something tasty, and almost always at a reasonable price.
Knowing this, I was relieved when I filed into line at Kerry's Kwik Stop
, on St. Paul Street in Burlington during the lunch rush a couple weeks back. In front of me were an array of men in dusty steel-toed boots; some of them wore the neon yellow vests often donned by road crews. Excellent
, I thought, starving.
Above the ordering counter, a chalkboard menu offers hot and cold sandwiches stuffed with McKenzie Natural Artisan Deli
meats, along with burgers, hotdogs, corndogs, chicken tenders and fries loaded with chili or cheese and gravy. In the summer, there's outdoor seating and a full menu of ice cream and other frozen treats.
For lunch on a cold late-fall day, I went with one of the weekly specials: a pressed roast beef sandwich on ciabatta with horseradish mayo and provolone ($8.99). This usually comes with chips, but since it was blustery and overcast outside, I added a pint of hand-cut fries ($2.49) and a 99-cent cup of coffee because hey, why not. (All coffees, regardless of size, are 99 cents at Kerry's)
Hannah Palmer Egan
On line for lunch at Kerry's Kwik Stop
It's worth noting that coffee at Kerry's is the real deal. The store offers two organic roasts from Vermont Coffee Company
, along with several additional options, flavored or otherwise, from other local roasters. And it's brewed strong enough so you can really taste it, but not so strong that it gives you the shakes. Just right — and hot, hot, hot.
So about the food: It was good — the sandwich had lots of meat, the horsey mayo added nice zing, and the red onions gave a touch of sweetness. I wasn't impressed by the bread, but it did what it needed to do. And the fries were crunchy and scattered with just the right amount of salt. I stuffed a few in my sandwich — just like my contractor husband taught me to do many years ago — sipped my coffee, and gave thanks for the sustaining pleasure of a simple, working-class lunch.
Dining on a Dime is a weekly series featuring well-made, filling bites (something substantial enough to qualify as a small meal or better) for $12 or less. Know of a tasty dish we should feature? Drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.