Pandemic Pick: Which Vermont Restaurant Took Takeout to a Whole New Level? | Food + Drink Features | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Pandemic Pick: Which Vermont Restaurant Took Takeout to a Whole New Level?

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Honey Road falafel salads packed for takeout - COURTESY
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  • Honey Road falafel salads packed for takeout

Honey Road

Burlington • honeyroadrestaurant.com

The best sellers on Honey Road's pandemic menu demonstrate the dueling dietary pulls of the last 15 months. The Eastern Mediterranean restaurant satisfied them both with bonus flamingo cocktail straws and a charming takeout window.

According to chef/co-owner Cara Chigazola Tobin, customers couldn't get enough of the kale salad with tahini-yogurt dressing, cucumber, feta and crunchy quinoa. "I joked that we were going to survive the pandemic just selling kale salad," Chigazola Tobin said, hypothesizing that peopled craved something fresh and green.

And then there were the doughnuts. Or, as multiple readers emphasized, "DONUTS!!," "DONUTS!!!!!!" and "One word: donuts."

"Honey Road took everything to a whole new level," praised one Seven Days reader. "They really were thoughtful right away about what on their menu would travel well ... and then they tackled doughnuts, which have been an amazing, amazing treat and have made the best damn gift to drop at friends' doors."

When the Honey Road team members pivoted to takeout, they recognized that much of their dine-in menu was not designed to travel. "We decided we were going to be a shawarma shop with pita sandwiches," Chigazola Tobin explained. Readers appreciated the necessary shift and the "totally delicious modified menu."

Once they hit their takeout groove, pastry chef Amanda Wildermuth launched her weekend doughnut menu, pairing the comfort food favorite with "all the great spices and flavors we're known for," she said. Varieties have included Boston cream made with Turkish coffee, cardamom and tangy labneh; raspberry and rose-glazed with homemade sprinkles; and old-fashioned maple and fenugreek.

Honey Road is cautiously reintroducing seated dining — outside only for now — but Chigazola Tobin promised that doughnuts and takeout will stick around until fall. Beyond that, she said Honey Road might add a takeout-only spot "if we can find the right space." Got a window?


The Charlmont: This historic restaurant offered takeout, curbside pickup and free local delivery for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Who wants to flip their own omelettes during a pandemic, anyway? (Morrisville • thecharlmontvt.com)

Mark BBQ: Besides serving up drool-worthy Texas-style smoked meats for takeout, owner Darrell Langworthy provided free meals for community members experiencing food insecurity. Now that's good barbecue. (Essex Junction • markbbqvt.com)

Taco Gordo: The Old North End's popular taco spot stuck to pickup and delivery, relishing the opportunity to serve Takeout Margs LOL. It also added a downtown creemee outpost and bulging burritos, which one reporter weighed at nearly a pound. "They travel better than tacos," owner Charlie Sizemore told Seven Days. (Burlington • tacogordovt.com)

The Woods Lodge: This former summer camp switched to selling weekly takeout meals for pickup and delivery when the pandemic closed lodging and restaurants. But more than the Italian wedding soup or breakfast-for-dinner casseroles, locals will remember the thousands of free heat-and-eat meals the owners provided to those in need.  (Northfield • thewoodsvt.com)

Editor note: To choose Vermont's Pandemic All-Stars, we surveyed our readers on the people, places and programs that kept them going — and going — during the COVID-19 pandemic. Space limitations prevented us from recognizing every pick worthy of public praise.