What would Jesus do? If he could cook like the members of the Moretown-based Church of the Crucified One, he would expand. Last Friday, the group, led by executive chef Martin Smith, opened Juni’s Dog Haus in Waterbury’s Cabot Annex at 2653 Waterbury-Stowe Road.
Juni’s joins Juniper’s Fare Café in Waterbury and Juniper’s Fare Deli in Northfield. A portion of the proceeds from every meal at the restaurants goes to the church’s Everyone’s Child organization, which helps to feed and educate children in Kenya, Jamaica, Brazil and India.
While the expansion may serve a good global cause, Vermont diners are reaping the culinary benefits here at home. Juni’s serves breakfast beginning at 6 a.m. each day, including homemade cheddar biscuits with eggs, Cabot cheddar and choice of breakfast meat with house chipotle mayo. For those already craving a hot dog, there’s the Early Bird Dog. That’s a McKenzie of Vermont maple-sausage link wrapped in scrambled eggs and melted Cabot cheddar and stuffed into a griddled Koffee Kup Bakery hot dog bun.
Hebrew National hot dogs are served from 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Customers at the restaurant’s counter or take-out window can choose their own toppings or try one of Smith’s seven concoctions, none of which costs more than $3.30 on a dog.
The banh mi dog includes homemade kimchi and sweet Thai chile sauce, while the South by Southwest Dog features house barbecue sauce and shredded Cabot cheddar on a bacon-wrapped frank. There’s also a selection of sliders, among them a house-smoked pulled pork in the same barbecue sauce.
That sauce, which Smith describes as a mix of Carolina and Memphis-style flavors, is one of a few items he is now marketing outside his restaurants. A jesting suggestion from Mrs. Smith stuck and gave the sauce its name: “My Smokin’ Hot Wife.” Smith will bring the Wife to various central Vermont markets, including Montpelier’s Hunger Mountain Co-op, along with his homemade kimchi and sauerkraut, soon to be crafted from homegrown cabbage.
While the original Juniper’s Fare Café has scaled back its hours to just breakfast and Friday dinner, Juni’s ensures that there are lots of times and places to taste the good word.