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Hidden Tastes

Side Dishes: Two eateries open in unexpected locations


Published June 27, 2012 at 7:31 a.m.

Want popcorn and a creemee with your pony ride? How about tucking into a panino under a chandelier while your little ones learn handsprings? Both are possible at a pair of new eateries.

Harvest Moon Snack Bar is scheduled to open as soon as next week at Harvest Moon Valley Ranch in Starksboro. Autumn Prim, the owner of that horse farm, purchased a mobile snack bar in order to make a kid-friendly dining destination in the quiet town. “There’s nothing, really, in Starksboro for anyone to do,” Prim opines. Thanks to her, now there is. Families can hop on ponies and feast on freshly prepared hot dogs, hamburgers and other snack-bar staples. A popcorn machine provides a lighter option, or kids can just get their post-ride fingers sticky with a creemee.

Unless you’re the parent of a tumbler at the Regal Gymnastics Academy at 2 Corporate Drive in Essex Junction, chances are you haven’t discovered Regal Bistro. The casual lunch spot belongs to the gym’s owners, Tom and Erika Reeves, but it is open to the public. Manager Ryan Hanson, previously of the Garden of Eatin’ Café in Williston, says nearby businesspeople have been stopping in for his locavore lunches since the spot opened at the end of May.

Regal Bistro opens at 8 a.m. each morning and serves homemade muffins and hot brews from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea Company. Bagels and lox also appear as a special. Lunchtime choices include pizza, panini and specials such as enchilada casserole and macaroni and cheese. “We implement a good, wholesome lunch — slightly healthy — but also have good desserts with cookies and brownies,” says Hanson. At least the kids are working it off.