Elliot Street Cafe (Brattleboro, VT)

(Update: Unfortunately, Elliot Street Cafe closed in 2014)

After an April filled with trips to Austin and San Francisco, it was time to take a break and spend a little more time exploring my local area. In this case, it meant heading down to Stonewall Farm in Keene, NH, for their annual “Dance of the Ladies”. Having been in the barn all winter, this is the first time the cows have been in the pasture all year, and they generally respond with manic bounding and “dancing”, as well as the occasional head-butting and just hanging out. It was rather a cool sight, actually, and you can check out flickr photos of the event.

But afterward, we were craving a breakfast, and decided that this would be a good opportunity to cross the river and see what we could find in Brattleboro, VT. After driving about a bit, we happened across Elliot Street Cafe. Nestled into a small building that, from the presence of a large pizza oven, apparently used to be a pizza joint, Elliot is a modest little neighborhood cafe with a decent breakfast menu, with a selection of burritos, omelets, biscuits, bacon, and other breakfast sandwiches and wraps. After perusing the menu a bit, I settled upon following: a biscuit with bacon, apple butter, and Cabot cheddar, and a side of hashbrowns.

This was notable for several reasons. First of all, it’s a novel combination I hadn’t seen before: nicely cooked bacon, not-too-sharp cheddar, and the apple butter all very nicely combined in both taste (a bit of sweet from the apple butter, a bit of smoke from the bacon, a bit of sour from the cheese) and texture. It really was a pleasant enough combination that I’m going to try and duplicate this at home. And the ingredients themselves were good. The bacon was good, solid, thick-sliced bacon that was cooked to the point of crispness without being overly done. The cheese was Cabot cheddar, and the apple butter had just enough tanginess and sweetness to tie it all together.

But, most importantly, the biscuit didn’t suck. Unlike 99.95% of the biscuits I’ve had here in New England (most places in New England serving biscuits need to pack their bakers off to Remedial Biscuit School), this wasn’t your typically leaden lump of stale Bisquick[tm] biscuit, but an actual homemade, decent biscuit with a good flakiness, soft yummy interior, and nice crispy exterior. In short, this was the biscuit I’ve been longing for. Also notable was the presence of proper hashbrowns. I like home fries, but sometimes I need my hashbrowns. These were quite good as well, with a good crisp, nicely soft potato bits on the parts that weren’t crispy, and not too much grease (it was a bit greasy). Overall, another pleasant surprise.

Carol made out almost as well with her breakfast burrito, which was a nicely assembled burrito with some very nicely seasoned black beans.

So, while certainly not fancy, Elliot Street Cafe was a pleasant and affordable breakfast, making this a place we’re likely to try again.

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