A Single Pebble

For our first full day in Vermont, James and I had planned an early morning run. With four barking hound dogs and our two kitties begging to be let out of my small cerulean room, waking up early was not a problem. Rummaging through my tightly packed, well worn suitcase trying my best to not disturb the two neatly folded columns of clothes, I found my running gear. 5 minutes later James and I were out the door and running down the weather beaten gravel driveway. We were followed by Betty, one of the barking dogs, as well as a swarm of unwelcome guests. Deer flies! Waving our hands frantically to protect our delicate skin, we turned around and sprinted after the dog back up the driveway. While our attempt at a long morning run failed, I was out of breath upon reaching the doorstep.

Not having any plans for the day, my mom wanted to take James and I into Burlington. We always end up on Church street, and today was no different. After a little shopping, all three of us were hungry for lunch. With so many highly recommended dining options in the immediate area, it can be challenging to decide on a place to eat. After some mild consideration, we decided to eat at A Single Pebble. A restaurant cooking in the traditional Chinese Szechuan style, there are a variety of vegetarian options, and many of the dishes can be made with vegetarian alternatives. All of the food is cooked to order, and each dish is brought out immediately after cooking. Dining is family style so be prepared to share your food using the vermilion lazy susan placed on the center of each table.

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Having been here before, I know how tasty and well prepared all of the food is, so we were having trouble selecting our dishes….

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Until we spotted an option that provided us with an alternative. Instead of being forced to narrow down our options from the fantastic and full menu, for $15 per person, we would be brought a sample of many of the different options on the menu chosen by the chef. They even agreed to keep our lunch completely vegetarian! We started our meal with a cast iron pot of green tea.

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Our first dish was Red Thai Curry soup with tofu, noodles, and coconut milk. The sweetness of the coconut milk combined with the spicy curry for a perfect balance of flavors.

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Following the soup, Lotus with cilantro and a tofu peanut salad was brought out. I really liked the crunchy texture of the lotus, and even ate a few peanuts from the tofu salad.

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Vegetable Dumplings

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Cha Tzu style eggplant: Japanese eggplant in tempura batter with ginger hoisin sauce

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Dou Hua Spicy Bean Curd: silken tofu with ginger curry sauce. This was a very light dish and the flavor was not as strong as the description implies. It actually worked very well with the strong flavors of some of the other dishes (no picture).

Buddha’s Sesame Beef: crispy seitan with mixed vegetables in sesame garlic sauce. If I had to guess, I would say that this was James’ favorite dish because of its resemblance to General Chou’s Mock Chicken.

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Double Garlic Broccoli: wok fried broccoli in garlic sauce with cashew nuts. This broccoli was delicious, but because of my suspected garlic intolerance, I only dared to eat one piece.

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Vegetarian Ma Po with seitan and tofu

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Beijing Street noodles: Wheat noodles tossed with fresh garlic, chinkiang vinegar, & soy. Also served with watercress, these noodles were very well seasoned.

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After sampling all of this wonderful food, our stomachs were refreshingly full. Little did we know that we would have to make room for one more small surprise. Lychee nut and Raspberry sorbet.

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The check was presented with a single pebble.

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The rest of our day was spent at rehearsal for the wedding, and a fun rehearsal dinner at a local St. Alban’s restaurant called Chow! Bella

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