(Update: Unfortunately, Wasp’s closed on March 29, 2013. The owner will now be cooking at the Hartland Diner in Hartland, VT)
Today’s review is Wasp’s Snack Bar and Diner in Woodstock, Vt, which several UVScene readers requested that I review (and one person requested that I didn’t, more on that below).
It’s been several years (and multiple owners, if I’m not mistaken) since my last trip to Wasp’s Diner, since Wasp’s isn’t open for business on weekends (which is my normal reviewing time), so it’s primary clientele is Woodstock locals. That, and the decidely low-key storefront really keep this place from showing up on too many tourists’ radars as well.
However, the primary thing that most people think upon entering Wasp’s is “wow, this place is small!!”, and, indeed, it is, with approximately 11 seats at the counter (making it have less seating than my favorite Minneapolis breakfast spot, Al’s Breakfast, but overall it’s better lit and roomier), so if you’re there when it’s busy, even a short line can mean a long wait, so bring plenty of patience.
Which brings me to my next point: As I’m leaving Wasp’s, the host noted my camera and asked me “are you doing a review? I wish you wouldn’t. We’re already too busy.” And, indeed, Wasp’s is indeed running at capacity, practically busting at the seams. But the one thing they don’t seem to be doing is letting the food take second place. My breakfast was excellent, the staff attentive and hard-working (if a bit stressed), and the clientele pleasant and colorful.
1. My breakfast of eggs benedict and home-fries was spot-on, despite them running out of hollandaise sauce and having to whip up another batch on the spot (which the cook did flawlessly, in 1/10th the time it would take me to do the same). Although Carol ordered the same thing, everyone else seemed to be quite pleased with their food as well.
2. Service. Despite being very busy, the staff at Wasp’s seems to do a very good job at preparing food quickly and paying attention to the customers. Heck, they apologized to me for a five minute delay in my meal (due to the hollandaise sauce running out), while at a good number of places around here I’d still be trying to flag down a waitress. And, for the locals, the staff seems quite good at remembering people by name. So, no complaints here.
3. Local. Again, this is one of those places that obviously caters to local Woodstock people, although they were friendly enough to the weird guy taking pictures of his food.
1. The small seating area. Because of this, you’re likely to have a wait. Tough. Deal with it and be patient. It’s worth it.
2. The hours. I don’t get to go there often due to the lack of weekend hours. I’m not sure I blame them, however, since they seem to keep busy enough with the weekday crowd.
So, I rather recommend Wasp’s, if you can make it there on a nice quiet weekday morning. But remember that they are small, and working very hard to keep the place running, so remember to put on your best faded flannel, be patient, and don’t bring large groups.