Coffee Corner (Montpelier, VT)

It’s been a fairly lousy winter here, at least with respect to winter sports. We’ve really been wanting to get out and do some more cross-country skiing, but the distinct lack of snow has limited our outings. We decided this last weekend that we just had to give in and go to where the snow was, which was Smuggler’s Notch (our x-country passes are good there, too). Which meant a nice little drive through Waterbury. And a chance to stop at Coffee Corner for breakfast.

My review of Coffee Corner is sadly overdue. A few months ago, I was recommending Coffee Corner to a coworker, and was going to email her the requisite link to my Offbeat Eats review…. only to find out that I hadn’t actually reviewed it. It’s not like I haven’t been there (I’ve probably been two dozen times since I started this blog), and I’ve got plenty of pictures… but this weekend’s trip was a good chance to get some fresh photos and do a full review.

In any case, you can’t really miss Coffee Corner. It’s literally in the middle of downtown Montpelier, right at the corner of State and Main (like the movie, which I rather like). And it’s got a nice little interior, with a short serving counter, half a dozen booths, and then the coolest feature: a large communal table nestled into the front window, so you can eat while gazing out at the street life of Montpelier. Okay, I’ll be honest, with 7 degree weather, we opted for one of the warmer booths, but that table usually is our preferred spot.

As far as the menu goes, it’s your basic breakfast and lunch diner fare. But a few things stick out. First of all, they have really good pancakes (and as a small bit of trivia, Alton Brown filmed his Good Eats “Flap Jack Do It Again” episode here). I’ve also found that they’ve got really good biscuits and gravy, good home fries, and generally have at least one good Benedict special on weekends. But what I really like about Coffee Corner is that they do a really good job of integrating some of the good locally-made products (like Manghi’s breads, some locally make maple links, etc) into their products. There’s really a lot of local cheese, meat, and produce on the menu, and they’ve done it without high costs, or a lot of drama. Just good food, prepared well.

Looking over the menu, I opted for a menu item that’s caught my eye more than a few times: the Beefeater. The start with a bed of home fries (and they’ve got good home fries, nicely cooked with onions and herbs), top those with shaved seasoned angus beef, then topped that with shredded Cabot and two eggs. Served up with toast, it’s a rather nice little breakfast. The meat is flavorful and not over-seasoned. I’m not usually a fan of melted Cabot cheese in my breakfast dishes (it can have a slightly chalky texture), but here it combined really well with the beef. The result was a pleasant and hearty breakfast.

Carol did almost as well, opting for the Benedect special. An asparagus and tomato Benedict, it sported two perfectly poached eggs, some nicely toasted English muffins, and a nicely executed Hollandaise. Rounded up with a pair of the locally made maple sausage links, and it was also a good breakfast for her.

I’m pleased that Coffee Corner is here. They’ve been a reliable breakfast stop for us for years (I think four of the five previous Vermont Brewers’ Festivals we’ve done in Burlington involved a stop at Coffee Corner on the way north), and continues to serve good, reasonably priced, and tasty food. We’ll continue to go. I’m just sorry it took me so long to do a review….

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