Although it seems hard to imagine now, less than a third of the population had ever tasted a bagel in 1983. Back then, it was pegged as an ethnic food and unpopular outside of New York City. Thankfully, two Vermont residents by the names of Nord Brue and Mike Dressel realized that the rest of the nation needed, nay, deserved to experience the deliciousness of boiled and baked yeast with it's crusty exteriors and doughy innards. They knew it was finally time for America to put cream cheese on something other than cats.
So, after two and a half years of diligent baking research, they honed their formula to create Bruegger's Bagels, starting the craze that has become a breakfast staple for millions. Now with more than 300 Bruegger's across 26 states, the franchise beckons bagel fans to come enjoy the bevy of breakfast and lunch options at their casual cafes. In addition to baking up a parade of bagel varities that range from classic poppy to cheddar pesto, they make a slew of their own Vermont-churned cream cheeses, including bacon scallion and smoked salmon. A wealth of sandwiches, soups, and salads round out the menu, and Rainforest Alliance Certified hot and iced coffee drinks pack a caffeinated punch and a social conscience.
Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters roasts more than 20 premium coffees, benevolently sharing the secrets of a superb cup during the Coffee 101 tour. The two-hour trip fills heads with factoids on coffee's history, geographical spread, and how taste translates across areas. Eager eyeballs get a tour of the roastery, including a demo of how to craft flavorful at-home brews without having to bribe the coffee beans. The tour also includes several samples of Batdorf & Bronson's best blends, with possible tastes including the chocolaty Nicaragua Isabelia and the blueberry-hinted Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. Along with trivia tidbits, caffeinated Joes and Janes can walk out with a mug and a quarter-pound of their favorite blend.
Order a hot cup of special-roast java, hand-roasted in small batches to ensure high quality (traditional brewed coffee starting at $1.65, lattes and mochas starting at $3, and signature coffees starting at $3.50), as you peruse the menu. Third-shifters and breakfastaholics can order a $4.50 daybreaker like the Catalan (a Spanish omelet with sliced potatoes and onions), while daytime diners who insist upon chronologically appropriate fare can have a Cubano panini (ham, pork, swiss, and Cuban sauce, $7.50). To keep a meal flavorful, light, and healthy, follow the happy-heart icons to a grilled treat like the Taaza Tango, a grilled Indian chicken kebab over a cold bed of mixed greens, spiced pecans, fruit, cucumber, and mango vinaigrette ($8.50, $5.50 for salad without kebab). Smoothies like the Caribbean Tango (mango, passion fruit, and bananas, starting at $3.95) cap off a meal and relieve sunburned mouths.
The owners of Café 33 get their inspiration as well as many of their recipes from their mother, and chose to name they restaurant after the year she was born. For breakfast, guests can dig into biscuits and country gravy or homemade doughnuts, or just build their own omelets from a spread of fixings such as grilled chicken, mushrooms, and goat cheese. At lunch, chefs create homemade hummus and assemble signature paninis with smoked turkey and pepper-jack cheese. Orange or apple juice is available to cleanse palates, and frothy lattes and cappuccinos give diners the energy they need to spend another day repainting their collection of classic pogs.
Cafe at Pharr has been serving a menu of fresh, delicious, healthy cafe fare since the early 90s, and, despite its steady ascent toward universal acclaim, remains committed to meeting individual customers’ discerning edible druthers. The freshness of the teriyaki chicken sandwich ($7.50) or salad plate ($9) explodes on diners' tongues. Cafe at Pharr's celebrated walnut chicken-salad sandwich ($7.50) or salad plate ($9) is a walnut and golden raisin-dotted dish, while the vegetarian sandwich ($7.50) mingles avocado, swiss and american cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and mustard. Rice plates like the curry chicken ($9), served with white rice and bread, wage subtle yet effective war on standard sandwich shop fare. Coffee is available for body warming when the entire state cools in the afternoon, after unleashing a giant, statewide umbrella.
Whether inside the storefront or at a catered event, Brookhaven Bistro's chefs packs bellies with popular food items remixed with a healthy twist. The five-item punch card gives customers the freedom to please their palates with a chewy punch card or a handful of handheld meals such as the chef-recommended blackened tilapia tacos, where fresh and slightly spicy tilapia, beans, jack cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes savor a hug from a delicate tortilla. Brookhaven Bistro's signature salmon quesadilla features a large tortilla grilled and filled with wild Alaskan salmon, jack cheese, and tomatoes. Herbivore-friendly meals include the veggie wrap, whose crunchy insides tap dance over tongues to deliver gifts of hummus and Goddess dressing to hard-working uvulas.