Williston village is the surviving remnant of an agricultural past, when the fields to the west were home to family farms and horse stables. After the completion of the I89 Interstate, and its suitably located Williston exit, it was inevitable that this easily accessed and relatively flat land would be slated for development. And so it was. The intersection of Rt.2 and Rt.2A (Taft Corners) is now Chittenden counties most intensely built up shopping and services area. For us, this means an easy lunch time hunt for hordes of hamburgers, surfeits of salads, a plethora of pastries, and babbling brooks of craft brew. This guide will offer ideas in four locations, all within 2 ½ miles of CanAmCon 19 (see map).
Taft Farm Plaza; from the Armory turn left onto Williston Road, proceed 1.9 miles (just past the fire station) to the first traffic light, turn right onto Talcott Road, go 100’ and turn right onto Cornerstone Dr. Park anywhere in the central lot.
- Williston Coffee Shop, cleverly understated appearance opposite the drug store. Offers lunch sandwiches and salads $6-10 and coffee goodies, including expresso. Open Saturdays 7-2.
- Domino’s (chain), all the expected pizza variations and all things made of bread, pasta, and tomato sauce.
- Naru (local), adjacent to Domino’s and a gem of an Asian restaurant (take out & eat in) offering selections of both well-known Chinese dishes and lesser known Korean offerings, including Korean lunch combos. Moderate pricing, and quality food.
- Chef’s Corner (local), an upscale breakfast and lunch restaurant, newly located at the end of the shopping plaza. Beautiful décor, quality offerings at slightly upscale pricing (sandwiches $11.25, salads $10-13) and one of the best pastry cases in Chittenden county – don’t leave without an individual maple cheesecake. Has a strong local following; open to 4:00.
Taft Corners Shopping Center: as above, but proceed straight at the first, second, and third traffic lights; the shopping center is on the right at the major intersection of Rt.2 and Rt.2A (multiple traffic lights.
- Friendly’s (chain), actually on the other side of the road from the shopping center. Burgers, sandwiches, bowls, and soup/salad. Specializes in ice cream concoctions, resulting in little grommets on sugar highs ricocheting around the parking lot.
- Texas Roadhouse (chain), actually thru the intersection 200’ on the left. Bountiful food at nominal prices; steaks, salads, country dinners, chicken $11-15. Surprisingly, no alcohol.
- Ramunto’s Brick Oven Pizza, Ok…..Ok, really, it’s in the shopping plaza. Offering pizzas (duh!) $14-24, calzones $11-27, salads, subs, and others.
- Ninety Nine Restaurant (chain), all-purpose resto with salads, seafood, burgers, and special lunch entrees.
- Men at Wok (local), classic all-American find-them-everywhere-all-purpose Chinese take-out restaurant.
Maple Tree Place, as above, but go past Tafts Farm Plaza and turn left at the next light, as though turning in to go to Shaw’s supermarket. Go past the supermarket and turn right at the next road, 200’ to a grass covered common. Park anywhere. Scanning 360 degrees around the common will show the following.
- Asian Bistro, a sit-down bistro featuring an extensive sushi menu and a full list of more traditional Asian offerings $11-15.
- Pho K&K, minimalist décor, eat in or take out, Vietnamese noodle dishes, stir fries, and pho. Sparse, but authentic.
- Belle’s Café (local), coffee, tea, sandwiches, pastries, and other goodies.
- Grazers (local), adjacent to the movie theater. They take great pride in their burger selection and rightfully so $12-15. Also salads, sandwiches $12-15 and other entrees $13-15. They have 12 Vermont craft brews on tap; convenient, or what?
- Agave Taco (local), diagonally adjacent to Graziers. A very modern and upscale Mexican bistro. No fake cactus and dusty wagon wheels here. Offering tacos $5, salads, bowls, and other entrees $13-16, plus drinks.
- McGillicuddy’s Alehouse (local). Irish pub meets American sports bar – do Irish pubs really have a telly in every booth? They have self-expressed “pub fare” $10-14, salads $7-14, burgers, and, of course, beer.
- Vermont Sandwich (local), as it suggests, your basic stop for a made-to-order sandwich in a dazzling variety of combinations. Chips, sodas, and the like.
Marshall Avenue intersection, as for Maple Tree Place above, but continue straight, past Shaw’s and all other side roads, around the minuscule traffic circle, and to the traffic lights on Rt2A. Scattered around here are the following.
- Chili’s (chain), at the light. A selection of burgers, fajitas, ribs, steak, tacos, and similar.
- Longhorn Steakhouse (chain), at the light. A long list from the longhorns, including burgers $12-15, steaks, chicken, and other fare.
- Vermont Tap House (local), across the intersection on the right. Proudly local with local sourcing. They have poutine (YES! – POUTINE!), salads, sandwiches, pizza, small plates, and poutine. Their claim to fame lies in having 36 draw beers on tap, including local micro-brews. There is bound to be one that goes well with poutine. Strangely, they seem to have surrendered in the burger wars. Substitute poutine.
- Panera Bread (chain), near adjacent to Vermont Tap House, on the right. Another American icon – tasteful décor, healthy selection of soups, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, one lone surviving Panini, and coffee shop genre of pastries. Good light fare at moderate prices.
- Moe’s Southwest Grill, across the intersection and past Vermont Tap House to the first traffic light (300’). Turn left and Moe’s is on the right. Cafeteria style ordering where you walk down the prep line while specifying exactly how to make up your order. Choose from tacos, burritos, bowls, stacks, nachos, and salads, plus soft drinks. Speaking of which, they house the most complicated self-serve Coke-Cola custom mix machine known to exist in Vermont. Orange Coke, anyone?
Now, through the caloric blur and with an Alka-Seltzer raised high, you want to return to CanAmCon 19. It’s always easy to locate the big intersection of Rt.2 and Rt.2A. Turn as appropriate onto Rt.2 East (Richmond) and it’s about 2 ½ miles to the Armory.
Mount Mansfield Scale Modelers, April ‘19