Need meals to-go in an era of COVID-19? This farm in Shelburne offers curbside pickup

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The Burlington Free Press will publish a weekly feature on a Chittenden County eatery offering takeout food for as long as the COVID-19-related prohibition on dining inside Vermont restaurants makes takeout the next-best option. In the meantime, enjoy the weekly food for thought, and take care of yourselves!

What’s the place? Bread & Butter Farm, 200 Leduc Farm Road, Shelburne.

What’s on the menu? It varies. This week’s options from the farm’s Blank Page Cafe started Tuesday with a Thai yellow-curried beef bowl with jasmine white rice. Wednesday’s menu has Tuscan kale and white-bean soup with chicken and bacon plus a spinach salad. Thursday’s feature (already sold out) is shepherd’s pie with braised balsamic cabbage and mushrooms.

How is it ordered? Online preferred; also by phone.

How do you get the food? Curbside pickup, though for a farm on a dead-end dirt strip off Cheesefactory Road, “curbside pickup” is a relative term.

What’s the experience like? On Monday I went to the farm’s website to peruse the week’s choices and listened to my taste buds. They told me Tuesday’s offering of Thai curried beef was the right choice.

Ordering online was a snap, pickup a little less so. The website indicated alternately that I could get my food between 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and noon-3 p.m. I arrived just after 10 a.m. Tuesday to pick up my lunch but, alas, it wasn’t ready. An employee explained to me that the ordering app Bread & Butter Farm operates through has a default 10 a.m. pickup time that the farm hasn’t been able to change yet.

My day was a little tight Tuesday – not something I’m used to in this coronavirus world where we all seem to have A LOT of extra time on our hands – but as I don’t live far from the farm I managed to find a moment around 11:30, and my hot meal was ready. (For future reference, you should definitely count on the noon-3 p.m. window.)

It was so good. You could put coconut milk on roadkill raccoon and I’d think it tasted divine, but everything else in that bowl — the delicate meatballs, chunky carrots and flavorful rice — combined for a satisfying lunch. My wife and I easily split a single order, making the nearly $20 price tag more palatable.

The farm threw in a bonus cookie to make up for our pickup-time miscommunication, which of course they didn’t have to do but I appreciated nonetheless. We’re all just starting to grapple with this COVID-19 mess, so we have to be forgiving of each other as we stumble around in an unfamiliar world.

Pretty much everyone I’ve dealt with in person the past couple of weeks has been delightfully accommodating and generous. I want to bottle these good vibes we’re sharing and uncork them whenever it is that we return to the rat race.

Hours/contact: Order online by 8 p.m. the night before; pickup available between noon-3 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday. (802) 985-9200, www.breadandbutterfarm.com.

Contact Brent Hallenbeck at 660-1844 or bhallenbeck@freepressmedia.com. Follow Brent on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BrentHallenbeck.

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