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The Alchemist: Waterbury Vermont
Pub and Brewery
Since we were camping at the nearby State Park, we opted for an early dinner so as to get back before dark. Praising their use of locally produced food, the park ranger recommended The Alchemist in Waterbury, Vermont, so we checked it out.
Although the food is quite good and the service is excellent, the Alchemist is much more a pub than a restaurant, offering several beers handcrafted on-premise. They offer a weekly Cask Conditioned offering, different each week and seasonal in nature, a pilsener, a red, a porter, and an I.P.A. When I asked the waiter to recommend an ale with a bite to it, he suggested the Holy Cow I.P.A. I was not disappointed.
The Holy Cow I.P.A. served that night was blonde in color with a respectable head and easily delivered the bite I was looking for without quite the drain cleaner finish I might expect from an Arrogant Bastard ale or Three Philosophers. It had been a thirsty day, and Holy Cow hit the back of my throat with just the right force to wash my thirst away. Despite its rich, strong, flavor, I still had plenty of room for my red beans and rice.
My wife and I both ordered the red beans and rice, which we found to be rather unnecessarily topped with shredded cheese. I think it must be an ordinance or something, or Vermont state law, maybe, everything has to be topped with cheese. Nevertheless we found the dish to be beautifully presented and tasty. The cheese and the salsa-style tomato sauce gave the dish a Mexican flavor.
We split the house salad, which was a huge and beautifully presented pile of baby greens, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers and other assorted veggies. We had it with the house dressing, which was light, flavorful, and unobtrusive.
Our daughter ordered the sauteed shrimp, which arrived literally awash in butter garlic sauce. She found the dish a little heavy. She definitely enjoyed the Ceasar salad.
The Alchemist is definitely a pub. At the early hour of our visit, the bar was full while the restaurant was sparsely populated. The pool table in the back and the juke box reinforced the pub atmosphere. Clearly the place is loved by the locals - always a good sign.
The Alchemist Pub and Brewery
23 South Main Street
Waterbury, VT 05676
The Alchemist is fully accessible for people who use mobility devices.