the road | the food | a new direction

Category: Rochester

Checking In at: School Street Bistro, Rochester VT

School Street Bistro opened at the end of 2012 in the space formerly occupied by The Village Porch. School Street almost looks like just another house in Rochester, save for all the people dining on the extensive porch. Eugenie Smith, who used to manage The Porch, runs the front of the house while husband Brent is the chef. Together, they lease the restaurant from the owners of the former Village Porch. Continue reading

Rochester Cafe, Rochester VT


Let’s deal with first things first. As soon as you are seated comfortably in the Rochester Cafe, whether you’re there for breakfast or lunch, ask for a slice of Vermont Maple Cream Pie. And ask them to bring it right away. The graham-crusted smooth cream flavored with local syrup (and, yes, extract, but added with a light hand) comes topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of maple sugar. It’s fantastic! Share with your tablemates, if you must. You won’t regret this one bit of self-indulgence. Continue reading

Mom and Pop’s World’s Best Vermont Maple Syrup, Rochester VT


It’s interesting how maple syrup is treated, for the most part, like a commodity. There isn’t a lot of talk in maple-producing regions about the differences in flavor between one producer’s, or region’s, product, and another, the way wines or cheeses are discussed. Oh, the New York industry, for instance, surely will claim that their syrup, as a whole, is superior to any other maple syrup produced in the world, but they never go beyond such boilerplate to explain the subtle differences that make their syrup so good. And, it’s very rare to see, say, one Vermont sugar producer detail exactly what makes their syrup better than others or, if not better, even distinctive. The message we, as consumers, get is that it’s all good, and all pretty much the same. Continue reading

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