What we loved in Burlington

A few weeks ago, we pulled the car out of storage for the first time since arriving in Montreal for a road trip to Burlington! It’s been a busy few weeks, but I wanted to get this blog in the books before I start forgetting the details.

We timed our trip around Festival of Fools, which runs the length of Burlington’s Church Street (a pedestrian thoroughfare lined with nice shops and restaurants). The festival hosts several performance artists/ buskers who perform for tips.

I think my favorite was the Zip Code Man, who has memorized pretty much every zip code in the country (plus many outside the US). For our old zip code, he knew that we lived close to downtown Houston, shopped at the Galleria, and ate at Ruggles Green (which has since rebranded after its chef was busted for serving blackmarket fish; we let Mr. Zip Code know about the name change). He knew something about just about every zip code the audience threw at him. And when there was one he didn’t know… he just started juggling.

We also liked Les Soeurs Kif Kif, twin sisters from Quebec City with a wacky clown-like  performance that involved a leaf blower, giant balloons, and an unfortunate stuffed bunny named Coco. There were so many great acts, from acrobats to hip hop dancers to a yo-yo artist and an all-female mariachi band. And of course, What Cheer Brass Band, as Braden already wrote about.

Maple syrup competition at the Franklin County Field Days

Another trip highlight was the Demolition Derby at Franklin County Field Days. Think bumper cars but with real cars. Or cage fighting, but with cars. We struck up a conversation with a guy who does big-league demolition derby, and he told us all about the ins and outs of the competition.

Fencing demonstration at Dorothy Alling Memorial Library.

There was a bit of rain on Friday evening, so we took it easy and went to a screening of The Princess Bride at a local library. It included a fencing demonstration! And nerf foam swords!

Saturday night, we saw the Vermont Lake Monsters play the Hudson Valley Renegades (minor league baseball). For one night only, the Lake Monsters had rebranded as the Maple Kings, as part of a promotional event celebrating the maple industry. So we got to try maple hot dogs and learn about maple syrup production.

Lake Champlain

The Burlington Food Scene
We loved the food in Burlington, which was a relief coming from Montreal’s lackluster food scene (still not loving it). The highlights:

Friday morning, we ate breakfast at Penny Cluse. There was quite a wait, but the gingerbread pancakes were excellent. Why aren’t all pancakes gingerbread pancakes??

For lunch on Saturday, we went to El Cortijo, which has excellent chips and salsa. Like every good Mexican food restaurant in Houston, this made me wonder why I even bother ordering an appetizer when all I want is chips and salsa, maybe a little guac and queso. I feel like this is the most Texas thing about me. Right now, I’d drive 2 hours (+ 30 minutes at the border crossing) for those chips & salsa.

Photo: Vermont Farm Fund

We went to the Burlington Farmer’s Market with a mind to grab a light bite, but ended up wanting to try everything. I had chocolate croissant and a breakfast burrito.


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