Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dishcrawl Pioneer Valley: Greenfield -- Eat Local!

Dishcrawl is quickly becoming one of my favorite monthly events. The last one I attended was in June, but they do one a month. Four restaurants, four courses, up to 12 different samples of food--what's not to love? Here's how it works: you buy your ticket--$45, but if you follow them on Facebook there are always coupons and fun contests to lower the cost a bit. I actually won $15 off my ticket for getting second place in the caption contest, and my mom used the Early Bird coupon--and then you wait to hear where you will meet for the crawl. It's all a surprise, and you don't get to know the meeting place until the night before. The following restaurants (4 in total) aren't revealed until you are actually walking to them... very fun!

And our fearless Dishcrawl leader here in the Pioneer Valley, Jenn, is amazing and finds all sorts of fun places. Plus, this month's Dishcrawl was in Greenfield, the town I currently call home, so there was no way I wasn't going! The theme was "eat local" something we're good at here in Western Massachusetts, with all this farmland and whatnot. And my date for the evening?

My lovely mom, of course! We had fun chatting and sipping wine in between courses. This time was a little different than my last Dishcrawl--there were THREE samples of food rather than two at each place. Smaller portions for sure, but I liked that we got to try more items. Our first stop was the only place that it turns out I hadn't actually been before, so I was excited to see what they offered!

I've lived in Greenfield for about a year now, but I'd never been to the Greenfield Grille, our meeting point and first stop. It's a Greenfield favorite, and immediately upon walking in I noticed some locals. Our Grille host, Tim, was the most energetic of our hosts for the evening, and he had my mom and I laughing after he took a picture of himself with her iphone when he offered to take our picture. I assured him we'd use it as her background. He was also very accommodating to the allergies in the group--since my mom has an allergy to peppers, her dishes for the evening were slightly different than mine.

My plate: a house-made veggie burger, a bacon-wrapped scallop, and garlic bread with a gorgonzola dipping sauce. Can you guess how fast I devoured my plate? Pretty dang fast. I love homemade veggie burgers, and this one was perfectly crisp and filled with fresh veggies. I do wish we'd gotten a few more scallops (or just a bigger scallop), since this delicious bite was over far too soon. My mom did not get the veggie burger, because of the peppers, and instead got mussels. The mussels were cooked well, but I would have appreciated some sort of sauce over them, as they were a little dry. Great if you love the flavor of mussles themselves, but I tend to like a little butter or light sauce at least. Mom was not a fan (her seafood legs are wobbly), but I ate them for her and didn't complain--more food, more happy. Yes. While waiting to check into Dishcrawl we had a moment to browse the menu and the seafood section caught my eye for sure. I need to come back here sometime for a full dinner!

Next up was one of my favorite places in town to grab a bite--the People's Pint! I love the People's Pint (simply called "The Pint" by locals) and my go-to meal is always always always the pulled pork. And, whaddya know, pulled pork was the main bite on our plate!

This was the fullest plate we got, packed to the brim with fresh, local veggies. With the pork we also got house made coleslaw, a goat cheese salad with house dressing, and a sample of gingerale. Since there were peppers in the pork, my mom was given a sample of the house-cured bacon--the picture at the very top of this post. OMFGJGSDFOPSFKFG the bacon was good. I am glad she shared. The house made gingerale was lovely, and it was cool to get a little drink in addition to the meal! I typically get the Farmer's Daughter here (brown ale with gingerale) but didn't realize it was homemade, so it was cool to get a taste sans-beer. There apparently was peppers in the gingerale, so Mom got rootbeer instead. Very tasty. I cleared my plate here, too.

Up next was a place I've only been once, Magpie! Since my last visit had been a date with a guy who ended up being the most epic of douchenozzles, I was looking forward to making a better memory impression with Magpie this time around. The specialty here is pizza, and my family is fiercely loyal to another pizza place in Greenfield only, Village Pizza, so I rarely make it across the street to Magpie. However, the pizzas at Magpie are so different than the Greek-Style Pizza of Village, that it's impossible to compare the two. I'm not the biggest pizza fan, but I was impressed with my food here. And, in fact, we didn't even get Pizza at Magpie.

Here we were given a meatball, a peach slice wrapped in prosciutto, and some sort of amazing zucchini Parmesan wonderfulness. My mom's plate was almost entirely different because of the pepper avoidance, and she got roast corn and heirloom tomato salad. Both plates were wonderful and so full of flavor--I need to re-create this zucchini thing!!--but way too small. We finished in seconds and sipped on white sangria for the rest of our stay. It pretty much sealed the deal for me that I need to return to Magpie for dinner sometime, though. If these small bites are any indication on how they do dinner, they do it well. I mean, look at this menu... this is no ordinary pizza place.

Although I'd correctly guessed the two stops prior, the last stop was a total surprise to me, mostly because this restaurant typically closes mid-afternoon!

Oops, forgot to snap a pic of the place myself, photo credit the Brattleboro Reformer

The Brass Buckle is probably in my Top 3 Favorite Brunch Spots in the area, so it didn't occur to me that they would be our dessert and final stop on the Dishcrawl. They occasionally stay open for special dinners, and they stayed open for us this time! I am in love with their Huevos Rancheros and the Sausage Gravy Over Biscuits, but had never tried their baked goods.

Dishcrawlers hanging at the buckle

Our dessert was an Apple Pie Cupcake with cream cheese frosting. It was incredible, but at this point I was a little too full to finish it.

Overall, a very successful Dishcrawl! I was happy it sold out quickly--ensuring that Dishcrawl will continue on! Thanks so much to Jenn for putting it all together. The next Dishcrawl will be Springfield, and the October Dishcrawl is a surprise. I do know that it'll be a Halloween crawl, and there will be a costume contest! SCORE! I hope there are many, many more Dishcrawls to come :)

 Do you have a Dishcrawl in your city? Have you ever done it? I'd love to hear your experience!

Jenn said we look alike, but my mom and I disagree. What do you think?


  1. I've heard about Dishcrawl and always wanted to try it! Looks great :)

    1. It's awesome! PS. I just thoroughly checked out your blog and
      1. Your wedding pictures are the most gorgeous I've ever seen
      2. Totally following you on my feed now, your posts are kind of fantastic.

      Maybe I'll see you around town... or at the next Dishcrawl? ;)

  2. Aww I think your mom and you look alike and you two are beautiful! It seems like you had a great time with her. :)

  3. mom and daughter? wow! your mom is young and so beautiful...

  4. Thanks lady! Glad you and mom had fun!

    Since I was with Group A I wasn't sure what the folks with allergies were having. Now I'm kinda jealous.

  5. Aww this is so fun!! I wish there was something like this in NYC! And you and your mom are adorable!

  6. Looks like a lot of fun. Such a sweet picture of the duo.

  7. Oh this does sound like such a fun way to enjoy a meal!

  8. I went to school in The Pioneer Valley but I have never heard of this. I wish I had when I was still there - it sounds like a ton of fun!

  9. This sounds like so much fun! And a great way to try some new places to eat! Plus, all that food looks delicious. So glad you had a great time with your mom!

  10. How fun! Sounds like some good food and good company. :)