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Cheese, Please

Side Dishes: At the Skinny Pancake, there's much ado about fondue

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There's nothing like a hot pot of melted cheese to warm you up when it's frosty out. On November 1, the Skinny Pancake on Burlington's Waterfront will begin delivering Vermont's favorite fat with a Swiss twist. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, the crêpe-masters at the cozy café will serve up ample helpings of fondue, accompanied by mostly local folk music. Both are "niches missing in Burlington," suggests co-owner Benjy Adler. The cheesey stuff will be available at 5:30 p.m. with tunes beginning at 10.

"It gets pretty gray and gloomy here in Burlington," Adler forecasts, "and we thought it would be nice to unveil something new." So, as summer waned, they invested in fondue pots and began booking bands. The sounds will range "anywhere from old-timey to freak folk," says Adler. "We have music booked through all of November and part of December." Two bands on the current docket: Bread and Bones and Folk by Association.

In addition to the traditional Emmental and Gruyère blend, the SP will offer a few specialty melts. For one, they'll blend house-made pesto into the Swiss mix. For another, they'll pump up the flavor with a trio of wild 'shrooms. All will be served with chunks of Red Hen bread. House salads, tossed in fried crêpe bowls, will bring a few extra vitamins to the mix. Soups are in the works, too. Got a sweet tooth? Dessert dips will include chocolate and maple.

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