- Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
- Patrick Garvin with the #33 sandwich at Mehuron's Market in Waitsfield
Mehuron's Supermarket deli manager Patrick Garvin grins widely when describing his classic Italian sub of capicola, salami, pepperoni, provolone, olives and hot peppers. "Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes," he explains. Named for the character in Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 film The Godfather, the Luca Brasi sandwich transports your senses to the narrow streets of Sicily.
That's a long way from Waitsfield, where Mehuron's has been the town grocer since 1941. Elmer Mehuron first opened the doors on Bridge Street, selling everything from groceries to ammunition — and serving as the local slaughterhouse. Today, Bruce Hyde, the stepson of Elmer's grandson Tom, runs the store, located about half a mile down Route 100 at the corner of the Village Square Shopping Center.
Another of the deli's sandwiches, the #33, references a famous personality from closer to home: Boston Celtics basketball player Larry Bird. The combo of turkey, bacon and cheddar with pickled red onions, avocado and chipotle mayonnaise causes a delightful explosion of smoky, salty sweetness in the mouth. Garvin, a career chef who hails from Massachusetts, wanted to pay homage to his roots and have some fun calling out the main ingredient — turkey. (Bird, get it?)
Mehuron's is beloved for many reasons. Beyond the deli offerings that earned it a spot in our seasonal series on great sandwiches to power summer adventures, the market has tip-top sourcing: hyperlocal and high quality. Gaylord Farm, Hartshorn's Farm, von Trapp Farmstead, Red Hen Baking and other local producers are represented on its shelves. And shopping there feels familiar: If you've been, you'll most likely recognize the petite woman stocking the vegetables, the friendly crew cashing you out at the register or the guys working the deli counter.
Hyde is a Harwood Union High School graduate and Vermont state running champion who attended Cornell University's Nolan School of Hotel Administration. Beginning in 2018, he expanded the deli and installed a commercial kitchen — under Garvin's direction — that drastically reduces Mehuron's food waste by putting the excess to creative use.
But back to those guys at the deli counter: An eight-man crew makes magic behind that glass case of organic turkey sides, smoked hams and cheese blocks. The Luca Brasi ($6.99 small/$9.99 large, which goes for all specialty sandwiches) is the perfect big sammy for kicking back on a sofa and watching The Godfather — or tucking into a backpack for later consumption atop Camel's Hump.
- Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
- Banh Mehuron
The Banh Mehuron is another sandwich with a deserved reputation. A take on bánh mì, it contains marinated organic tofu, housemade pâté, Sriracha mayonnaise, fresh cilantro, pickled daikon radish, carrot and jalapeño. You can substitute local pork belly for tofu, but I found no reason to change a single ingredient.
Other sandwich highlights include housemade jalapeño hot peppers, pâtés, tapenades and pickled vegetables. In addition to daily specials, the hardworking deli crew makes internationally themed take-home meals, from Mexican (Tuesdays) to Asian (Thursdays) to tuna poke (Wednesdays and Saturdays).
No longer a slaughterhouse, today's Mehuron's is more likely to slay your next summer adventure, whether it's a hike, mountain bike ride or swim. Just learn from Luca Brasi and stay away from the fishes.