Wayside family Restaurant
MONTPELIER, Vt. -
Take a drive on Route 302 from Montpelier to Berlin and you're sure to see a familiar sight, The Wayside Restaurant.
It's been in business since 1918.
The Wayside started out small, but through the years it has grown to accommodate 160 diners at a time.
These days Brian Zecchinelli and his wife Karen own and operate the restaurant. It's been in Karen's family for half a century.
"That first family was the Ballou family and the lady that opened the Wayside was Effie Ballou, she lived in the house and would bake her apple pies and homemade donuts and would bring them down to the Wayside, " says Zecchinelli.
That's right. Pies have been a part of this place from the start.
"I have no idea. I've made a ton, " says Anthony Martin.
Martin has made countless pies in his 8 plus years here as a baker.
He knows a delicious pie starts with a solid foundation.
"Good pie dough. You have to have good pie dough for good pie, " says Martin.
Pie dough at the Wayside is made using both shortening and butter.
Martin says the shortening makes the dough easy to work with, while butter produces flakiness.
"Ice cold water and chunks of butter, so then they don't break down when you bake them in the oven; the butter kind of evaporates and keeps pockets in it, so it's nice, light and fluffy, " says Martin.
The Wayside employs 8 bakers, who make more than a dozen varieties of pie.
Apple is one of the best sellers, about 2 pounds of granny smith apples go into every one.
"Once the filling is in, we hit it with a top crust, put fork prints on it, so it doesn't look like you got it at the store, like they do the crimping ones, " says Martin.
Brush on a little milk and add a sprinkling of sugar for golden color and shine.
"After it's all done, into the oven it goes, " says Martin.
It's time for a taste test with my new friends Allen and Lois Flint Of Chelsea. They've been coming to the Wayside for more than 45 years.
And maybe we'll take a souvenir to go too.
"We came up with a hoodie and some magnets that borrowed from our friends in New Hampshire. Live free or die in New Hampshire. Live Free or pie at the Wayside, " says Zecchinelli.
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Both are good. Vermont is a great place anyway. Anywhere would be nice.