Village Square Restaurants Embrace Challenge
In this brave new world of social distancing the MRV’s restaurant community has risen to the challenge in so many ways. These strategies are on full display at Village Square (AKA the Mehuron’s shopping center) which over the past few years has turned it into a veritable “Rural Food Court”! All the eateries have taken their own take on keeping staff and customers safe and our entire community is benefitting.
The Mad Taco first opened back in 2010 and has since become a wildly popular eatery among locals, visitors and Long Trail thru-hikers. After taking a hiatus at the beginning of the crisis Joey and his team have instituted a To-Go only model complete with heated cubbies for pick-ups and drinks to go. Sometimes its hard to call in orders during busy times so it pays to think ahead.
Stoke Ramen opened to critical acclaim just over a year ago. Colby and Mimi, the owners took some time to get their operation back up and running and their avid fans couldn’t be happier. Interestingly they have focused on the midweek crowd as they offer up their super-yummy ramen bowls along with their signature “Stoke-Tails” in super-cool branded bottles, all available to-go. In an interesting pivot, Stoke diners can “window shop” an eclectic selection of fabulous tea, cool t-shirts, ramen bowls and funky short-format cook books. You truly never know what you’ll stumble upon at Stoke!
Charlie Menard, the founder of the Canteen Creemee Company was also cautious to open over concerns for his staff. Since the summer began he has been operating on weekend serving up the highest-end snack bar food and the most decadent creemees in all of Vermont. Since its inception CCC has earned high praise in the press and among their ardent fans. Heck they even ranked as one of the top 10 iconic ice cream shops and folks as always are beating a path to their door.
When Pizza Soul moved downtown earlier in the year after 10 years up in Sugarbush Village. Jason Lerner, the chef/owner’s classic pizza shop really rounded out the offerings of the evolving Village Square “Rural Food Court”. He and his team serve up classic, New York-style pizza, stromboli and calzones that remind NYC area transplants of their former home.
Mehuron’s Supermarket, the Village Square’s long-time anchor is a MRV institution. Bruce, Tom and their entire staff have been our local heroes throughout this crisis and our community can not be more proud and thankful for their indispensable service. Chef Patrick and his deli crew gotten really got into the Village Square food trend in their own way with their revamped deli that features an amazing hot bar, sandwiches and grab-and-go options that really round out the offerings of the Village Square’s food court.
“It’s probably the tastiest parking lot in Vermont,” says Stoke Ramen chef-owner Colby Miller. So when you need a break from cooking come on down to Village Square where everyone can get what they want; tasty tacos, pizza, ramen, fried chicken, burgers, creative sandwiches, a healthy salad or an ever-changing variety of daily specials and, of course, a famous Vermont creemee for dessert! Don’t forget that it’s hip to be square, Village Square that is!