Spring may be “sugaring” season when the maple syrup runs, but fall is when it shines in cool-weather recipes.
The log benches in Eaton's Sugarhouse may not be comfortable, but the food is certainly comforting. Vermont is best known for rustic cuisine, and Eaton's lives up to the expectation with down-to-earth dishes: sticky buns bound together with pure maple syrup canned on site and huge, delicious pancakes in imperfectly pleasing shapes made to order for the sturdy, flannel-clad farmers who line the counter.
Lunch options such as country-fried steak or Vermont baked beans are equally hearty.
Eaton's is an unpretentious oasis for travelers who find themselves in rural South Royalton. Try to pin your hometown on the world map on the restaurant's wall and you'll struggle to find a free spot. Visitors from Boston to Beirut have landed in this part of the Vermont woods.
Connie Poulin, who has owned the restaurant with her son, Justin, since 2004, says the humble restaurant's worldly travelers are her favorite aspect of managing the place. "Especially on holidays or during foliage season, a lot of people plan their trips so they can catch us, and everybody's in a good mood because they're on vacation," Poulin says.
No yeast is required to make these walnut-studded maple breakfast buns with the heady flavor of cinnamon.
Baked from dried beans, this hearty side dish is slightly sweet with the flavor of maple syrup and so much lighter and fresher tasting that meat-laden baked beans.