Burger Night at Chubby Muffin
At the northern terminus of the "restaurant district," to borrow restaurateur Benjy Adler's term, is one of his restaurants: the Chubby Muffin
The cafe at 88 Oak Street is a couple of blocks west of the prime district on North Winooski Avenue. As its name suggests, the Chubby is known for morning muffins and coffee. But there's more: burgers, paninis, pulled pork sandwich and hot dogs; creemees in the summer; used books for sale or trade year-round.
Wednesday is Burger Night at Chubby Muffin, when the café offers a burger and beer for $12. The restaurant serves a special burger that night; the offer is also good for the house burger, black bean burger, and pulled-pork sandwich with cheddar and slaw (called Southern Gentleman).
We stopped by this week on Burger Night and lucked out on the special — a local-beef burger with bacon, pickled red onions, maple and Sriracha chèvre (the master stroke), and spinach on a housemade bun. I chose a Heady Topper to go with my burger, from a lineup of canned beverages that included Green State Lager and Citizen Cider.
Jack Birmingham, second from right, and friends at Chubby Muffin
The sweet-and-heat of the chèvre was a nice touch, specially when the spread happened to match up in my mouth with a bite of crispy bacon. The burger comes with a slice of dill pickle and a pile of chips, all enjoyed with the strong wash and rush of Heady.
At the table next to ours, wrapping up his meal, was Jack Birmingham, a Burger Night regular who was dining with friends. He offered a keen assessment of the weekly special: "This one was every bit as good as every other week," observed Birmingham, 26, a project manager at Vermont Information Processing in Colchester. If Birmingham is not out of town for work on a Wednesday, he's eating at the Chubby Muffin.
"His least favorite part of traveling is missing Burger Night," said Birmingham's girlfriend, Rachel Markey.
The meal is fast, the place is friendly, and the combo is classic (with a creative twist). In an age of "pairing," has anyone come up with a coupling that can top a burger and a beer?
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.