Tuesday, September 7, 2010

OH Henry(s)!

Henrys Diner
155 Bank Street
Burlington, Vermont 05401

Back in 1987, GrandfatherOchoCinco told T-shirt-and-Amp-JeansOchoCinco (before he was SuitOchoCinco): "They don't make em like they used to"

Of course, as all of us grow up, we find out that our parents and grandparents were right more often than not (much to our dismay).

Take power tools for example. My Dads drill lasted 30 years, mine lasted 2
Or furniture -- note that particle board has replaced this novelty called "wood"

Cars. Do I have to even go there?

Well in this case, as always, I'm talking FOOD...

Nowadays, the streets of any city I am dispatched to by my fearless leaders are all peppered in "diners."

And each one of these diners promises the ambiance, service and "home cookin" we all crave.

But yet again, "They don't make them like they used to"

Usually the eggs are from a carton, the potatoes are frozen.

The OJ is from concentrate and the coffee is as weak as the Obama administration.

And if you have read anything I have posted in the past you know my affinity for pig products is second to no one else

But too many of the so-called "Diners" of today serve pink saran wrap flavored with turkey grease in my not so humble opinion.

But NOT HENRYS in Burlington Vermont.

This is quite literally as old school as they come. Henrys is a small disheveled diner located in the heart of Burlington that has been around since1925 and is the quintessential DINER.

I woke up on a sunny day in August after a night filled with local micro brews such as Long Trail and Magic hat.

FACT: Vermont Ranks NUMBER ONE in the nation for having the most "Craft Breweries" per capita.

Yes on top of the abundance of gay married couples, cows and organic food, Vermonters love their beer and they were happy to share with me.

And prices??? Lemme tell you, you can't get better.

I cannot confirm or deny that I went to four different bars with five people over the course of the evening prior to Henrys and my total bill for all of us was a whopping $125.

Yes four bars. Five people. $125.

Make no mistake, all of us reached the proverbial "promised land" in our consumption way before Cinderella was forced to go home.
But I digress.

After said night of drinking I needed grease, and a lot of it. Isn't that what we all need when we can't have the "hair of the dog?"

Certainly. And trust me, Henrys was more than happy to oblige.

We walked into this near One Hundred old treasure and were sat in a booth immediately.

This beautiful young lady in her classic diner garb approached the table and handed us the menus.

I asked her if she had "REAL" Vermont maple syrup and she cocked her head like a confused cocker spaniel and answered "YES" (clearly the YES was code for "yes bonehead -- that's the only way we roll")

My equally hungover companions and I proceeded to scan the menu and it was promising.

I ordered the Vermonster Skillet, which promised me finely chopped bacon, eggs over easy, melted cheese, sporadically dispersed chopped sausage and real hash browns all mixed together in a 400 degree skillet served with butter soaked thick wheat bread.

In short, I ordered heaven in cast iron.

My companion ordered French Toast with ham.

Now this was the challenge.

French Toast in Vermont are like a a golden calf. Are they gonna be thin and dry with 2 cold cut slices of ham or are they going to be tasty Thick Cut pillows cooked to perfection with a slab of ham and soaked
in churned butter and real Vermont Maple syrup?

When the food arrived we were more than
pleasantly surprised.

In fact I proclaimed "Holy Crap!"

It was all we wanted and more.

No less then an entire ass cheek of ham rested proudly on top of his French Toast that were larger than the pillows we used at the crappy Rodeway Inn (this place was a "pig sty") we stayed at the night before.

My Vermonter Skillet most definitely lived up to its name and was a pile of greasy pork soaked goodness piled atop a piping hot cast iron skillet.

It was on like Donkey Kong.

I surrounded the skillet with my huge cup of coffee large glass of fresh Orange Juice and 2 glasses of water no ice (lest we not forget the level of hungoverness).

There was so much damn food my companions and I wearily gazed upon them wondering if we
were going to be sacrificing the rest of our day by ingesting such a feast.

Finally, we decided to come down on the side of gluttony and dug in with unrivaled zeal.

This was probably the best breakfast I have had in over 20 years.

Every bite was better than the last and the silence of my companions proved they were in equal ecstasy.

The server kept every drink overflowing without the hint of a request or even a glance from us and showered us in hospitality the entire time.

The only problem with such an amazing meal is that the rest of the day's meals would almost assuredly pale in comparison . . .


I had 2 more stops on my trip that the locals deemed "worth it." Only time would tell.

RATING: Would have bought the shirt... (but they didn't have my size)

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