No, this blog is not dead! As I was doing work for Mieum Media’s video series interseCTion, I was far busier than before, but I am still visiting all sorts of tasty places. In November 2018, right before the midterm election, I went on a trip to my friends’ cabin in Vermont with my significant other. The owners of the cabin gave us some great recommendations. On November 5, we tried out J.J. Hapgood General Store and Eatery in Peru, Vermont.
We stopped by the restaurant on our way back to Connecticut after an enjoyable weekend. When we arrived, we skipped right past the general store area, and went straight for the eatery. I ordered a grilled ham and Fontina cheese sandwich with caramelized onions, honey mustard, and apples, and Ms. R ordered a chicken cranberry walnut sandwich. For readers unaware: many small towns in the northeast have combination country stores (basically a convenience store but with a rustic ambiance) and restaurants that usually serve breakfast and lunch.
For the weekend itself, we stayed in the town of Chester, a quaint, small town with no cell phone reception whatsoever. It was an incredibly relaxing time – until a windy rainstorm knocked the power out. Unfortunately, this mean that we lost internet in the cabin. And electric heat. And the water, which for some reason required electricity to run. Neither of us really knew how to use a wood stove, so we had to drive half an hour to Springfield, VT, where there was cell phone reception, in order to look up instructions.
As I mentioned above, J.J. Hapgood is in Peru, Vermont. (I am sure that many people have made jokes about “visiting Peru” before, so I will refrain.) We visited a country store (which sold delicious fudge, as well as gaudy knick-knacks) in Weston, VT before arriving, so we didn’t really examine the country store part of J.J. Hapgood well at all. We were only there for the food!
One more thing about the windy storm: after getting the instructions to use the wood stove, it took a long time to get just a small fire going — and then we realized that we were literally playing with fire – in a desolate cabin with no cell reception, no internet, and no way to call for help if something went wrong. Oh, and did I mention that Ms. R was also sick at the time?
The food absolutely hit the spot. My ham, cheese, onion, honey mustard, and apple sandwich hit marks of the contrast between sweet and salty flavors. Mixing apples with otherwise salty dishes seems to be a hallmark in many Vermont restaurants, and I was glad to try it myself. Ms. R said that the chicken cranberry walnut sandwich was deeply satisfying.
We enjoyed our getaway to Vermont. Poking around Chester was great, particularly at the green where we enjoyed lunch at the Fullerton Inn, window shopping at Misty Valley Books, and dinner at the Free Range. We took a day trip to Bernie Sanders’ stomping grounds of Burlington, where we ate lunch at The Red Onion and tried some beer at Foam Brewers, before checking out the capital city of Montpellier and enjoying a meal at The Skinny Pancake. One evening, we had a slightly-fancier date night at Leslie’s in Rockingham, as well.
J.J. Hapgood was a great way to end our adventure in Vermont. It’s a pretty modest establishment and they do not serve dinner on Mondays or Tuesdays. But the food was superb, and we would love to visit Peru (…Vermont!) again and return to the restaurant.
Tasteless | Bad | Okay | > Good < | Tasty
Name: J.J. Hapgood General Store and Eatery
Phone +1 (802) 824-4800
Credit Cards? Yes
Apple Pay [?]? No
Take out? Yes
Outside seating? Yes
Wheelchair friendly? Yes
Dogs allowed? ???
Bike parking? Yes
Car parking? Yes
Monday: 07:30 – 17:00
Wednesday: 07:30 – 20:00
Thursday: 07:30 – 20:00
Friday: 07:30 – 20:00
Saturday: 07:30 – 20:00
Sunday: 07:30 – 20:00
Address: 305 Main Street, Peru, Vermont 05152