The Valley News broke the story last night. Click here to read today’s full story.
Hint: There was more than macaroni and cheese.
The entry that judges said was the best macaroni and cheese at the 6th annual Vermont Mac & Cheese Challenge in Windsor on Sunday had everything from wild boar to edamame in it. Chef Joseph Madzia of the Omni Mount Washington Resort said the winning Wild Boar and Short Rib Mac and Cheese included smoked Tilsit Cheddar cheese, tomatoes, smoked baby carrots, edamame and mushrooms.
“We made a barbecue sauce for it. It was a Harissa and pineapple barbecue sauce, and then we did fried onions on top that we dusted with the maple Castleton crackers,” he said in a phone interview on Monday.
“There was a lot going on,” he added.
Chef Joseph, who grew up in Ohio and has been at the Bretton Woods, N.H., hotel for three years, said it was his first time at the Windsor-based competition.
“It was very exciting. There were more people then what we expected, but we were ready for them,” he said. “I think I looked down once, and looked up 10 minutes later and there were probably 1,000 more people in the room.”
Madzia said the resort regularly offers mac & cheese, but the winning entry is only available periodically as a special.
White River Junction! You’re movin’ so fast!
In May, we told you about plans for Lebanon-based Phnom Penh Sandwich Station to open a second location in White River Junction at the former Polka Dot Restaurant site.
This afternoon, those plans became more visible as one sign came down and the other went up.
Check out video from our Facebook page below.
But what will happen to the Polka Dot sign?
In an email Monday morning, property manager Tim Sidore said that the Polka Dot sign will be displayed inside the new Phnom Penh. And he said that “things are shaping up inside!” (No word on a target date for Phnom Penh opening.)
Building owner Mike Davidson noted that that’s the same setup as the old Gulf sign displayed inside Lucky’s Coffee Garage, which was one of his many re-development projects throughout the Upper Valley.
(This section about the fate of the Polka Dot sign was added to this post on Monday morning.)
Of course, this scene played out against the backdrop of new construction.
Developer Bill Bittinger recently finished construction on that new building behind the restaurant, and it includes a mix of apartments and first-floor businesses, including JUEL Juice + Smoothies and Little Istanbul, a shop of Turkish wares run by the same folks who run the Tuckerbox Restaurant across the street. I can personally attest that JUEL Juice + Smoothies (which started out as a sweet little food “truck” and is now a full-on “modern apothecary cafe” with coffee, snacks and more) was bustling on Saturday!
So long, Polka Dot sign.
See you on the inside.
When I said there would be a fizzeo, I meant there would be a fizzeo.
Thanks to Jennifer Hauck for this ~exclusive~ behind-the-scenes photo of me looking 100% ridiculous bc Brenda’s real funny.