Parson’s Pub and Grille: A Downtown Dinner Destination| 01.09.21
Pros: Wonderful use of seasonng; Consistency; Family Friendly; Friendly Staff; Great Vibe; Plenty of Parking
Downside: Dinner service can be slow (they are still new with young servers)
This restaurant in Barton, Vt is a great example of simple food done well – exactly as downtown country food should be. Everything we have tried from this location has been well seasoned, and well proportioned. And while they are really just getting started, and have had to contend with Covid restrictions, this local eatery is hitting the ground running.
(Stay tuned for more on the best Haddock we’ve had in the Kingdom)
Located at the corner of Glover Street and Elm Street in downtown Barton, Vt – Parson’s Pub and Grille has revamped a local breakfast hot spot into a downtown dinner destination.
Upon walking in the front door, regulars of the old Parson’s will immediately be blown away – the old rounded counter has been removed and the open kitchen closed in creating a quieter atmosphere.
Fresh paint and country decor is warm and inviting – as are the smells that waft over the swinging kitchen doors.
This space supports high top pub tables. And though there currently isn’t a bar space, there is a casual atmosphere that fits the pub/grille style.
Moving into the dining room the country theme continues with old Vermont Life Prints, farm implements turned into art, and a number of local touches that are understated and inviting.
The two room dining area has retained all of the original features that reflect this building’s heritage – the old parson’s house, a charming element of the space that diners have enjoyed for well over a decade.
We first visited Parson’s for dinner in late October – and we have been back many times since!
What struck us from the very first bite was the incredibly well done seasoning – something we often feel is missing from diner and grille style food in the region.
On this first visit we tried a few appetizers and a couple of sandwiches, as we were looking for lighter fare.
The appetizers arrived in a short time period. We enjoyed the popcorn shrimp tossed in a house made Thai Chili sauce. That balance of sweet and heat is always a favorite with us, and we were impressed with the crunchy batter on the shrimp.
We also tried an order of wings tossed in Spicy Chili sauce. The wings were well cooked and crispy (a must for us). The sauce unfortunately wasn’t our favorite as there was a distinct after flavor caused by one of the ingredients in it. But after everything we have tried at this location, I think this was more of a personal preference issue, and I’d be willing to try them again, or opt for a different sauce.
Dinner was served soon after consisting of the fried chicken sandwich and their fried haddock sandwich.
The first bites had us hooked. Both sandwiches were fried to perfection with crispy, airy batter filled with flavor. It was then we realized that the seasoning in the batter made all the difference and is what sets this restaurant apart.
The haddock is seriously the best fried haddock I have had anywhere in the Kingdom, and that is saying something since it is one of my favorites and I order it a lot.
My husband, who is not a fan of white fish and never orders haddock, returned the next week just for that sandwich – and has ordered it since.
Because we so enjoyed our simple sandwiches and the flavor they contained, we returned the next week with a friend to sample other menu items.
Our friend ordered the fried seafood dinner – which consisted or a large piece of the signature haddock, shrimp, scallops, a salad, mashed potatos and a roll. He was not disappointed – and it gave me a chance to sample their scallops. Battered lighter than the fish, they still had all of the flavor and crispness I had experience with the other fried food here. And they were not even slightly overcooked! Soft, succulent and sweet – these scallops paired perfectly with everything else on the plate.
On this occasion my husband ordered the marinated steak tips cooked with mushrooms and onions, and served with your choice of potato and a vegetable.
Again, we were impressed with the seasoning – salt, pepper, and garlic as well as other flavors blended with the perfectly cooked beef which was melt in your mouth soft.
I ordered the lobster bisque and the chicken parmesan. Slow cooked lobster shined in this bisque paired with that traditionally sweet sherry cream base. It was delicious.
And the parm didn’t disappoint. Thin chicken breast fried to perfection and covered in their house marinara was so delicious that I couldn’t stop eating it. In fact, I left most of my pasta, and just ate the chicken. Bite after bite, the batter on the chicken held up, and the sauce was a wonderful consistency, with a well developed flavor.
Impressive Food and Consistency
The food from Parson’s Pub and Grille has truly surprised and impressed us.
We have returned for lunch, breakfast and takeout over the early winter and have enjoyed everything else we’ve tried.
The portions are large, entrees will leave you with plenty for a second meal and they come with salad and rolls.
The prices are very reasonable for the quality and quantity of food you get. This is a business that understands where they are located, who their diners are, and the economics of the region – and they have brought in delicious food that fits this market and its wallets.
But the most impressive thing for me has been the consistency. The food I have ordered from here has been consistently well cooked and well seasoned. Return visits for the same items are met with the same result – and they have all been delicious!
Since we have dined-in at this location, they have also added liquor, so are experimenting with cocktails. I had tried their early mimosas, and am excited for other options. They have also added a full pizza menu, flatbread pizzas, and for the winter they have a new weekly dinner menu that keeps a few of their specialties while rotating out other entrees. Lunch sandwiches and burgers are also available for dinner.
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