- Matthew Thorsen
- McCarthy’s Restaurant
If you're headed for the slopes — to ski 'em or climb 'em — get a smart start. McCarthy's Restaurant in Stowe has been dishing up hearty breakfasts for more than 30 years in a small shopping center just minutes from Stowe Mountain Resort and Smugglers' Notch.
On weekends, the place bustles with a diverse crowd that ranges from multigenerational families to carbo-loading ski bums. A grandfather may be spoon-feeding cereal to a toddler wearing a bib, while, two tables over, a freckled girl with black eyeliner and skinny jeans spends the entire meal plugged into her iPod.
It's not unusual to find a line at the door, but folks impatient to make fresh tracks will notice, and appreciate, that the fare comes out quickly. Nobody here seems too keen on lingering.
Happily, the food — served in ample portions — is worth the wait. French toast is formed from thick slabs of the restaurant's homemade breads; poached eggs are perfectly cooked; and freshly made corned-beef hash is well seasoned and crisped on the outside.
Heart-healthy eaters can pass up the eggs Benedict and burgers in favor of oatmeal served with real maple syrup.
Not feeling outdoorsy? There's a movie theater right next door, and Stowe is packed with art galleries and boutique shops selling clothing, kitchenware and gourmet food.
Speaking of shopping, be sure to find an ATM before you queue up at McCarthy's. They only take cash and local checks.