Staying on the Stowe-theme, a blog post is coming up with the best places to eat in Stowe. But before I dive into that, there's one place which deserves some special attention. It's called Doc Ponds and we discovered it by coincidence on our first day in Vermont. It must have been our lucky day, because I'm pretty sure we found the best food in Stowe, or even Vermont. In one week, we went to Doc Ponds four times to test the whole menu, for blogging purposes of course (any excuse).
This is the menu. We went four times in total so we got to try quite a bit!
From left to right: Mac & Cheese, Fries, Red Cabbage Slaw, Falafel wrap.
One of my favorites: the Beets & Brussels salad with beetroot, roasted Brussel sprouts, feta cheese and spiced crunchy pecans. Such a super tasty combination.
My number one favorite dish at Doc Ponds: the Cauliflower & Cucumber Salad with crispy roasted chickpeas, herb dressing (something with mint), toasted seeds, shaved radish and a delicious horseradish yogurt dressing. Honestly one of the best salads I've eaten in my life, so we ordered it each time! I'm going to try to recreate it this summer because it's the perfect summer salad.
Braised Hearty Greens; kale and other leafy greens braised in beer, butter and garlic with toasted breadcrumbs on top. The flavor reminded me a lot of "stoofvlees" (a Belgian meat stew) surprisingly enough.
The Hoagie Salad with charcuterie, pepper jack, peppers and toasted bread. Quite heavy/filling for a salad so this could easily be eaten as a main course.
Mac & Cheese! This was actually the first mac & cheese I've ever eaten in the U.S., so I can't compare it to many others but this one's reaaally good.
Another one of our favorites: the Red Cabbage Slaw with lime and cilantro.
My sister tried the Doc Burger with Vermont cheddar and while she's not the biggest burger fan usually, she loved it. I also tried a bite and I must agree, totally delicious.
On the last night, my main course was the special (off menu) so I don't know how often they make this Veggie Reuben. It's a toasted sourdough sandwich with Oyster Mushrooms, Brussel Sprouts, Kraut, Swiss cheese and 1000 Island. Homemade spiced chips on the side. The oyster mushrooms were super crunchy and worked so well with the sauerkraut and cheese. I couldn't imagine a dreamier toasted sandwich.
But still my favorite of them all: the cauliflower and cucumber salad. I could eat this every day.
Although I've only talked about the food, Doc Ponds is actually primarily a bar which serves mostly local beers. One of them is kind of a must when you're in Stowe: the Heady Topper. This IPA is brewed locally, just a few hundred meters away, so it's a super local beer.
What's special about it is that it must be drunk fresh (it's unpasteurized), which is why they only sell the beer in a 20-mile radius around the brewery. Heady Topper has kind of a cult following because you really need to travel all the way to Vermont to taste it, and they limit the sales to two four-packs per customers.
So the Heady Topper is a must (it's not on the menu so just ask for it). Another drink my sister and I loved was the Citizen The Dirty Mayor cider, also locally produced. It's a regular apple cider made from Vermont apples with a hint of ginger. Very refreshing!
Doc Ponds serves some seriously good food, the best we had all week in Stowe. It's fresh, simple but there are some unusual dishes on the menu. There's something to please everyone (and so many vegetarian options!) You can either go for a classic like a burger and fries or you can share a range of smaller dishes like we did most of the time. Everything we tried here was delicious. We didn' get to try the original restaurant from the same owners, Hen Of The Wood. It's more upscale and there's one in Waterbury and one in Burlington. I'm 100% sure that the food is amazing here as well, so I can't wait to try it out next time I'm in Vermont.
>> 294 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT 05672 (Open daily)