Best Waterfront Restaurant in Burlington: The Skinny Pancake

The Skinny Pancake was on my original agenda for my recent trip to Burlington, Vermont, and, while I accidentally stopped for coffee and a pastry on the way, that didn't deter me from proceeding on to TSP for an excellent meal. And I'm very glad I did.

On your way in you pass several tables of outside seating where locals are enjoying relaxed, delicious brunches with their friends and lovers, with a view of the water.

Which looks like this. Dude.

Inside you'll probably wait in line for a few minutes before it's your turn at the counter, which is a good thing because you'll have time to take in the menu.


Or, like I do, you could prepare ahead of time so this doesn't overwhelm you.  (I got this picture from Xavier Cany)


Even if you're already familiar with it, there are specials sometimes, and the "localvore" option changes (currently: "Misty Knoll chicken and Winding Brook Farm ham with Taylor Farms gouda, Cabot cheddar and Jarlesburg Swiss cheeses, caramelized onions wrapped in a savory herb crêpe and topped with dijon cream sauce - $12.95").  Speaking of which, a sign on the wall announces that the whole operation is now using 68.9% local stuff and climbing. Still waiting in line, there will probably be a cute, tall lesbian picking her food up at the counter, and she'll make eyes with you, but she'll be with her girlfriend (who will totally not be cute enough for her) of course, of fucking course.



And they have live music of my favorite genres at night?! 
I had already decided, five to ten minutes after stepping off the bus, that I was in love with Burlington, but it was at this point that I decided that the city is actually a Heaven-extension city. At night time, they not only roll out the live music but also the cocktails, by the way. In the morning there's an espresso bar for ya instead.

After ordering but before eating, I had to use the restroom. The man I asked explained that there's a key on the wall just behind the register and told me to "enter the jungle."

"Huh?  Okay."  Well, he wasn't kidding.

A few scenes from the huge mural paintings on the walls through which you walk to get to the restroom.

There are even rainforesty sounds playing through speakers on the wall.

Like I said, this is some kind of Heaven these Burlingtonians have going on.

Awww...

The restroom is in a building shared by several businesses, including The Peace & Justice Store, a cute little non-profit activist business promoting, you know, peace 'n' shit (basically a bunch of Buddhist trinkets, hand made socks, and really fairly traded chocolate).

But you've really gotta be getting back to your food!

The Johnny Crepe: "Winding Brook Farm pulled pork, braised in a sweet Rookie’s Root beer BBQ sauce with caramelized onions and Cabot cheddar cheese folded into a corn meal crêpe. Served with root vegetable slaw. Also available with BBQ house-made seitan.....$9.35"



Root Beer BBQ Sauce

The root beer sauce really tastes like root beer! After finishing my meal, I resisted the urge to pick the rest of my bbq sauce up and drink it, but I still used my knife to scoop out several little tipfuls until there couldn't have been more than a tablespoon left anyway.


Inside The Johnny

First of all, it was just plain, fucking delicious. Meaty cheesey goodness with sweet onions and a savory cornmeal crepe. Duh. But there was so much more going on. I tasted clove and just had to ask about it.  It turns out that, yes, the sauce, of which there's some inside the crepe itself as well as served on the side, has allspice, coriander, cumin, curry and clove. I like the way this chef's mind works. Everything but the kitchen sink in there, as long as you only keep the good stuff in your kitchen.

Eating this meal, it was like nostalgia ran up from behind me and threw its arms around me in a big bear hug. My mother is the cole slaw, the root beer brought childhood summers in Houston and friends from college in Dallas, my sister's fall and winter cooking and Christmas in general in the seasoning of the bbq sauce, Texas in the bbq flavors. Hmm... does it sound like I might be a tad homesick?

Lots of seating inside too



There were a bunch of cute paintings on the wall, presumably by some local artists. One of them said, "Welcome to Vermont. Your in la la land." Surely someone has caught the error, unless everyone's so happy in this magical city they really are in la la land.

They also have an extension cart at the Church Street marketplace.


The Skinny Pancake on Urbanspoon

The Foodie Asshole's Guide to the Menu (italics added for foodie emphasis):

Breakfast:

  • Pesto Riser: House-made basil-sunflower seed pesto, Cabot cheddar cheese, and a Shadow Cross Farm egg............. $6.95 Add bacon from Winding Brook Farm........... $1.95
  • Atlantic Monster: A Shadow Cross Farm egg, smoked salmon, scallions, baby spinach, and spinach artichoke cream cheese spread............... $9.00


Savory Classics:

  • The Green Mountain: Tart apples and shredded Cabot cheddar cheese..$6.95 Add a dollop of cranberry-apple chutney on top......$1.00
  • Veggie Monster: Fresh spinach, roasted red peppers, sautéed onions, Cabot cheddar cheese, and our house-made basil- sunflower seed pesto.................$7.50
  • Sass-squash: Pete’s squash puree with Boston Post Farms chevre, Champlain Orchards apples and baby spinach on a Gleason’s whole wheat crêpe..$8.95
  • Heady Hot Dogs: Two Sugar Mountain Farm uncured/nitrate free hot dogs dipped in our Butterworks Farm corn batter and fried corn dog style. Served with a salad, a side of organic ketchup and whole grain mustard aioli.................$6.95
  • Chicken and Mushroom Crêpe Cake: A delicious original! A slice of warmed savory cake made of chicken, local bacon, sautéed mushrooms, green onions, sun dried tomatoes, and a hint of fresh rosemary and parsley in a Mornay sauce, layered between six savory crêpes.....$9.95
  • Localvore’s Dream: Misty Knoll chicken and Winding Brook Farm ham with Taylor Farms gouda, Cabot cheddar and Jarlesburg Swiss cheeses, caramelized onions wrapped in a savory herb crêpe and topped with dijon cream sauce………. $12.95 (Or whatever it is at the time)


Salad:

  • The Healthy Hippy Salad: Local beets with local bleu cheese, arugula, and a creamy buttermilk dill dressing.....$9.95


Group Munchies (basically everything on this part of the menu):

  • Skinny Fries: Peaslee’s locally grown (10 months of the year) potatoes, freshly cut, deep fried, and served with your choice of ketchup, honey mustard, or pesto mayonnaise dipping sauce. Russet................$4.00  Sweet.................$5.00
  • Poutine: The quintessential Quebecois comfort food. Our fresh cut russet fries with Maplebrook Farm’s cheddar cheese curds, smothered with a beef demi-glace.  A veggie gravy is also available.............$7.00
  • Artichoke Dip: Our house-made dip, using Hahn’s all natural VT cream cheese, served with crêpe chips.................$6.95
  • Crêpe Chips and House-made Pico de Gallo..$5.00
  • Crêpechoes: Crêpe chips piled high, layered with VT Cabot cheddar cheese, and house-made pico de gallo. Topped with a dollop of VT chipotle sour cream...$7.95


Dinner Crepe:

  • Chicken Cordon Blue Crêpe: Misty Knoll chicken & Winding Brook Farm ham with Taylor Farms Gouda, Cabot cheddar and Jarlesburg Swiss cheeses, caramelized onions. All wrapped in a savory herb crepe & topped with dijon cream sauce. $12.95


Batter Options:

  • Savory
  • Sweet
  • Buckwheat (Gluten Free) - I wonder how this tastes and textures!
  • Vegan


Apparently, from November-March they do a cheese fondue. I'm guessing they do a good job at a much better price than the Melting Pot people.

The desserts all look too sweet for me.

Perhaps after brunch you can step outside and do yoga in Waterfront Park right outside.