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It’s Worth the Ride to The Wayside

Celebrating 100 Years with Anniversary Ale, Yankee Cooking, and Ice Cream

A commemorative book by Brian and Karen Zecchinelli, Southwestern Publishing Group, Inc., 64 pages, $14.95

Book Review by N.R.Mallery

Green Energy Times (G.E.T.) first learned of the Wayside Restaurant when I received a call from the owners, Brian and Karen Zecchinelli, requesting copies of G.E.T. for their customers, and that they only wanted publications that matched their support of green and eco-conscious beliefs.

This request shortly led to a story in the December 15, 2011 edition of G.E.T. called Wayside Restaurant Earns Vermont Green Restaurant Designation. In part it said:

The Wayside Restaurant has been renovating and upgrading its operation for the past 10 years, to become compliant with the high standards required to become a Green Restaurant. This year, they reaped their rewards by being awarded a designation that only 5 restaurants in the state have received. Karen and Brian Zecchinelli, proprietors of the well-known Wayside Restaurant in Berlin, are proud of this designation and have plans to do more… (Stay tuned).”

Read the full story at (http://www.GET-wayside-green-restaurant).

The plans to do more was answered when we again heard from Brian and learned that they would be adding solar to help reduce the high costs for their high level of hot water consumption. The system was installed on the roof of the restaurant.

From waste reduction, to composting, water and energy conservation and an environmental action plan to further reduce the environmental impact of its business, the restaurant is not only green but is now one of the country’s longest operating restaurants. The iconic Wayside Restaurant on the Montpelier-Berlin line in Vermont officially turned one hundred in July, making it one of a very small handful of century-old eateries in Vermont.

Even if the Wayside isn’t in your immediate area, you might want to make the trip to help them celebrate this historic year. As the title of their commemorative book states, It’s Worth the Ride to the Wayside. They are toasting this milestone event all year long with champagne, local ale produced by Long Trail Brewing Company, and Vermont spirits. Every one of their top shelf liquors, except for scotch, is now distilled in Vermont! 

For those that want to try some of the Wayside’s Yankee cooking at home, they have produced a 64-page history book titled, It’s Worth the Ride to the Wayside—Celebrating 100 Years with Anniversary Ale, Yankee Cooking, and Ice Cream, complete with 18 comfort food recipes. It has been noted that a few of the recipes are so rich that they should file a tax return! “Sure you can always substitute 2% milk for the heavy cream, but why?” says owner Brian Zecchinelli. 

In conjunction with Vermont’s legalization of “recreational” marijuana use, the Wayside sold “pot brownies” on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights during July! In reality, their popular chocolate brownies were simply baked in pots and garnished with a Vermont flag, classic counter humor from an old-fashioned restaurant, that’s worth the ride to check out! 

The book is an easy, fun read. The Wayside is iconic in the region. The book reflects on why they have survived for 100 years and are still going strong. Happy Anniversary, to all the great folks who make It Worth the Ride to The Wayside. For more information visit WaysideRestaurant.com.

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