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Flatbread for the Folks

Side Dishes: Shelburne gets a creative beer-and-pizza joint

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Gourmet pizza is a hot commodity, but pies with specialty ingredients can get pricey. Not at the Flatbread Factory and Taproom on Shelburne Road — located beside Bruegger’s in the Shelburne Bay Plaza — which opened last Friday.

“We want to be a casual, fun restaurant catering to everyone from couples to families,” says Lauren Sharfman, who owns the eatery with husband Brian Luneau. “The flatbreads cost between $13 [and] $18.99.” At Domino’s, a large specialty pizza runs about $16.99.

Some patrons opt for pies with comfort-food toppings, such as Vermont Smoke & Cure Sausage Meatball. Or Barbecued Chicken with cheddar and caramelized onions. On the gourmet side, there’s a prosciutto-and-pear pie with Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery chèvre.

Besides flatbreads, the Factory offers hearty salads, nachos, burritos and panini, plus ever-changing nightly specials crafted by chef John Gould. Salad dressings, sauces and dough are made in house.

Eaters can wash down the carbs with a choice of 10 draft beers from local breweries such as Switchback brewing company and Shed brewery, as well as lighter lagers including Bud Light and Rolling Rock. When it comes to vino by the glass, Sharfman says the goal is to keep the offerings simple and inexpensive: “We’re not trying to be fancy with the wines,” she says. “We give generous pours and lots of choices.” Her recommendation: a glass of the “fantastic” house Sangria.

The restaurant is open for dinner seven nights a week and serves up omelettes, pancakes and huevos rancheros at weekend brunch. A couple of TVs in the dining room and a 10-foot screen promise evening entertainment, too. Sharfman hopes to put the big screen to use for movie nights, such as a “girls’ night out” with chick flicks. There will be vids for kids, too.

“We want to be a local place,” Sharfman says. “We thought we’d have great prices and a really fun atmosphere so people come back often.”

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