This Christmas, we decided to visit Carol’s extended family in the Detroit area again, which meant for a long drive through Vermont (picturesque as Vermont is, it’s a terribly slow state to cross East-West. I’d be in favor of building an interstate crossing it), New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. To cross Vermont, we decided to cross along the southern part of the state at Highway 9, going through Bennington, for another try at The Blue Benn Diner.
You see, the Blue Benn has been on our hit list for, well, over a decade. It’s not that we’ve never tried to come here before, it has just never worked out. At least once we arrived just after they stopped serving. Another time, a kitchen fire had caused them to be closed. And yet another time, a power outage had them closed… and at that. this visit was a close call on that front, since several power lines were down in the area and detoured us around in our efforts to get there.
But this time we finally made it. Pulling into the Blue Benn around 12:30, we got there in time for a late breakfast with only a short wait in line in the cramped vestibule. Moving inside the restaurant, it’s a cozy diner (I originally thought it was a Worcester diner, but more careful research indicates it’s actually a Silk City diner) with the classic long counters and two sets of booths. Settling into a booth near the end of the diner, we selected our items and enjoyed our coffee while waiting and listening to the crowd, a nice mix of tourists and locals while flipping through the juke box at the table and gazing outside at the incredible rainbow the passing storm (the one that caused us to detour around downed power lines) left behind.
I opted for the spinach pesto omelet. Ever since this summer’s stay at the 1908 Ayres Inn in San Antonio, in which each morning the innkeeper helpfully made up a nice egg scramble with spinach and garlic, I’ve been craving that combination, so the spinach pesto omelet seemed like a good call. And this was quite a good omelet, with a perfectly cooked exterior of egg that wasn’t overfluffed (I dislike omelets that are as much air as egg). The spinach pesto was rich and flavorful without being overly garlicky or salty, and the home fries that came on the side were really nicely done homefries instead of the half-hearted effort most breakfast places in Northern New England seem to foist off on me.
Carol did equally well with her choice of chocolate chip raspberry pancakes. These pancakes were tender inside, crisp on the outside, and had a very plentiful amount of chocolate chips added. Adding raspberries to this put these over the top. Served up with some real maple syrup, these were a great breakfast for her as well.
So, with this visit, we managed to knock the oldest item off of my Offbeat Eats hit list, and I’ll have to say, I’m glad we were finally able to get to Blue Benn. The place has some character, and some good food to boot. We’ll make sure to try them again on another pass through Bennington… as long as circumstances like kitchen fires and power outages don’t stop us again!