ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

A locavore moves from Wisconsin to New Hampshire and rediscovers what "local" means.

This Week in Breakfast: Quechee Diner

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This is the second “Diner car” we’ve visited for breakfast.

So, for all of you from Onomonowoc, Neenah-Manasha, or Waukesha, it’s pronounced “KWEE-Chee.” Sam and I had been out to Quechee once before to go hiking at the Quechee Gorge.

We drove about 20 minutes west into Vermont to the village of Quechee to goto their Diner for breakfast. It’s a greasy spoon attached to a tourist-trap strip mall within Quechee, the downmarket tourist area in Close-enough-to-New-York-City parts of Vermont.

It’s also near Woodstock, Vermont, which is the place where Mitt Romney’s friends save each other in their yachts and Sotheby’s sells “cabins” worth millions of dollars.

Tourist-trap “Antique Mall” with a Yankee Candle Company.

So we found the place to be pretty empty, but we were also there very early (8:15, they open at 7) because our hungry bellies don’t respect Daylight Savings Time. By “our” I mean Pidi and Molly – who graciously awoke us at 6:15am with demands for breakfast. Being there early, we had our choice of any booth in the place. By 9am, the booths were full and the counter stools were also filling up. We ordered from the menu of standard breakfast faire – I had a “Hunter’s Breakfast” with eggs, sausage, bacon, french toast, and fried potatoes, $9.50. Paid an extra $1.95 for real Vermont maple syrup. Sam ordered Biscuits and Gravy and a scrambled egg, $7.95.

I ordered the wrong thing for breakfast. Although the french toast was good, it was only warm when it reached the table. The potatoes were good, with crispy exteriors and fluffy interiors. The eggs were blah, but they all are (see more later).

I ordered the wrong thing for breakfast.

Sam’s biscuits and gravy were frickin’ awesome. Best we’ve found out here. Spicy gravy with spicy sausage. Fluffy biscuit. Absolutely YUM. No lumps in the gravy, with an excellent smooth texture with no flour grainyness. I was very impressed.

The waitress was a little rushed, but she was by herself as the place was filling up. The second waitress didn’t come on until about 8:45 and they didn’t have anyone to bus or seat, so tables couldn’t turn around much faster. That being said, we didn’t feel rushed.

Total bill: $23.00.

On the way home, Sam and I lamented that we have not found good scrambled eggs at a restaurant anywhere. Full stop. When I make eggs, I make them very slow, and leave them with some moisture. However, this technique doesn’t work at a diner because it takes a long time, and because the cook works on a flat griddle. I had suggested keeping the egg slurry just at about custard temperature and holding it there, so when an order for scrambled eggs comes in, the chef ladles out hot but not cooked egg slurry into a pan with butter and finishes the last cooking. However, the idea of a warm-but-not-cooked vat of egg slurry causes Food Inspectors’ temple veins to pop out – that’s not going to happen in any restaurant I know. What’s the solution? Sous-vide eggs. This way, the eggs can be kept in a closed environment and brought up just about to done and kept at that temperature until it’s time to serve them. Then the chef can remove the egg packet from the sous-vide water bath and finish the eggs in the pan with butter, a crack of fresh black pepper and some chives or other fresh herbs. I think it would work out great.


Previous Breakfasts:

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3 thoughts on “This Week in Breakfast: Quechee Diner

  1. Pingback: This Week in Breakfast: The Lebanon Diner « ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

  2. Pingback: This Week in Breakfast: EBA (Everything but Anchovies) « ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

  3. Pingback: This Week in Breakfast: Mountain Creamery « ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

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