Side Dishes: New shop opens in the Old North End
Where can you find shots of espresso, local burgers for $4.95, and volumes by Ayn Rand, Richard Wright and John Irving to flip through as you’re eating? At the Chubby Muffin — the newest project from the team behind the Skinny Pancake .
Located on Oak Street in the Old North End, near the Boys & Girls Club of Burlington , the spot started serving its namesake pastries in flavors such as corn, banana-chocolate chip and savory sausage and onion — with prices from $1.95 to $3.15 — last Saturday, along with a small menu of snack-shack-style favorites. Like its sister crêperies, the Muffin boasts compostable takeout containers and plenty of Vermont-grown goodies.
“We have 500 pounds of blueberries in our freezer,” says co-owner Benjy Adler, interviewed while preparing to teach a class on jam making in honor of Eat Local Week . The frozen fruit can go into localvore pastries all year round. Next summer, Adler says, he hopes to dish out cones of homemade soft-serve ice cream.
Local meat has a pricey rep, but Adler and company are offering burgers for less than 5 bucks and pulled-pork sandwiches for $5.95. “What’s surprising is that local ground beef is not much more expensive than commodity ground beef,” Adler explains. “If we do a high enough volume, it should work just fine.” A Vermont-made bean burger could keep vegetarians coming back, too.
With a handful of tables made of reclaimed wood, a freshly painted tin ceiling and a neatly lettered chalkboard menu, the Muffin feels cozy and inviting. The only problem may be parking: The café has just one dedicated spot. When it’s taken, patrons must navigate nearby residential streets at the whims of the traffic gods.