The Parker Pie Company (West Glover, VT)

Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom is very pleasant to visit: nice, rolling, forested hills and meadows, with some very nice views of the White Mountains to the east, the Green Mountains to the West, and a few smaller peaks scattered across the landscape. It’s also rather rural at times, so there’s not always a lot of good dining options. But there are some real gems hiding in some of the smaller towns and villages across the Northeast Kingdom’s landscape. One such spot is located in the village of West Glover, VT. Going behind the Lake Parker Country Store, you find yourself at the entrance of a pizza place: Parker Pie.

Back when I originally visited Parker Pie, and for most of its history, Parker Pie was literally a pizza counter nestled into the back of the Country Store. But in the last few years, a few changes have hit the general area. Not too far down the road from Parker Pie is Hill Farmstead, one of Vermont’s most highly-regarded craft breweries, and more than a few craft beer fans regularly make the pilgrimage to their tap room, and one of the better routes to get to Hill passes right through Glover. So the demand at Parker Pie had increased more than a little, so about a year and a half ago, Parker Pie started a major renovation, opening up a new bar and seating area next to the old seating area, and substantially expanding capacity. It’s a little odd, since they still have the original pizza counter and beer taps as well, so you’ve got two options for seating, with different tap lists (although if it’s not busy, the servers will happily fetch something from the other set of taps). Mostly, it’s a matter if you want takeout (the old entrance is better), or dine in (the new bar area is nicer and more spacious).

The renovation also meant a bit of an expansion to the menu; in addition to a selection of both classic and innovative pizzas, Parker Pie now has a lot of expanded options for appetizers (fries and poutine!), subs, sandwiches, and salads. While I adore pizza, I always do like to have some veggies as well if there’s an option, and among their half dozen salad choices was a nice local variation: the Dave’s Special. Greens, apples, red onion, cranberry, pecans, and Bayley Hazen blue cheese, with a nice vinaigrette. This was a nicely composed salad: some nice sweet notes, some nice nutty notes, and nice little salty pockets of blue cheese.

However, the big attraction at Parker Pie is, of course, pizza. For our first pizza, we did traditional, with a Meat Lover’s pizza: sausage, ham, bacon, and pepperoni with marinara and mozzarella. While my favorite crusts are all wood- or coal-fired, this was a really nice deck oven crust: nice, well-toasted botton, crispy but not burnt outer crust, and a good toothiness to it. Add on some good marinara sauce (neither sweet nor salty) and some decently crisped cheese, and this was a solid pizza.

For our second pizza, we did the Green Mountain Special. This is a distinctly non-traditional pizza, with a lot of local flair. Like the salad, this used local apples, paired with bacon, spinach, red onion, and garlic, with cheddar cheese instead of mozzarella, and a light drizzle of maple. While not a combination I’d crave every time, this was quite enjoyable: the apple and cheddar are always are good combination, and the spinach, garlic, and maple gave a nice, combined sweet-savory effect.

Overall, Parker Pie is one of my Northeast Kingdom favorites, and I always like dropping by if I’m up there for hiking or a trip to Hill Farmstead. It’s definitely one of those “hidden gems”, although the recent expansion shows that at least a few are in on the secret.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply