Eatery serv­ing New Eng­land fare turns 100

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Travel - By Lisa Rathke As­so­ci­ated Press

BER­LIN, Vt. — A road­side restau­rant that started the year World War I ended is still in busi­ness and thriv­ing, this year cel­e­brat­ing 100 years of Yan­kee cook­ing in cen­tral Ver­mont.

The Way­side Restau­rant has ex­panded over the years, serv­ing about 1,000 meals a day. But it’s still a place where you can get New Eng­land clas­sics like salt pork and milk gravy, boiled din­ner (corned beef and cab­bage) and warm Parker House rolls, named for the Bos­ton ho­tel where they orig­i­nated.

There’s also stan­dard diner fare like burg­ers and fries, break­fast served all day, a hot turkey sand­wich with gravy and pie — you name it, from cherry to maple cream — all at rea­son­able prices. There’s even a gluten-free menu, proof that the Way­side has kept up with the times.

The Way­side was started as a small lunchtime spot by Effie Bal­lou in 1918, be­low the house where she lived with her hus­band and chil­dren. She made pies and dough­nuts at home and brought them to the restau­rant. The place has been sold sev­eral times over the years to other fam­i­lies, in­clud­ing the cur­rent own­ers, Brian and Karen Galfetti Zechinelli, who have been run­ning it for 20 years.

You might just have to wait in line to get a seat in a wooden booth, at a ta­ble or on cir­cu­lar stools at the U-shaped counter.

Not only are cus­tomers reg­u­lars for years, so are em­ploy­ees. Judy May has been wait­ress­ing there for 31 years. She says she’s now wait­ing on peo­ple she once served in high chairs.

The Zechinel­lis make sure to use lo­cal pro­duce and meats and fish when they can, in­clud­ing fid­dle­head ferns in the spring, fresh corn in the sum­mer, squash in the fall, perch in the win­ter, Ver­mont-made liquors and maple sap that’s added to dishes, like maple sap poached eggs. Cus­tomers wait in line for a ta­ble at Ber­lin, Vt.’s Way­side Restau­rant, cel­e­brat­ing 100 years in busi­ness this year.

LISA RATHKE/AP

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