Considering the success of their older restaurant, named The Skinny Pancake, it makes some sense that the proprietors christened their new bakery / coffee shop with a similarly silly sobriquet: The Chubby Muffin. The good muffins come both sweet and savory. Apple-cinnamon, banana chocolate chip, corn, and cheddar-jalapeno all deserve a whirl. Also available at breakfast are freshly-baked English muffins to accompany local eggs, local sausage, or bacon.
Breakfast pastries are just the beginning. Lunch is grand, too. I love what’s called the Southern Gentleman – one of those English muffins packed with Vermont-smoked pork in tangy maple barbecue sauce. You can’t go wrong with the 1/3 pound Beef Burger (local beef with Cabot cheddar cheese); and for vegetarians, there’s a Black Bean Burger, also available with Vermont cheddar. Chubby Muffin bread and paninis hold locally-sourced and artisan-made ingredients, from Vermont-cured bacon to basil-sunflower-seed pesto. No matter what else you get, do have cheese curds on the side. These squiggles of dairy goodness are encased in a spicy batter and fried until the cheese within begins to ooze through fissures in a golden-brown crust. Chubby Muffin also makes its own ice cream. It is hardly a mere muffin hut!
The Chubby Muffin also calls itself a coffee house. In that category are expertly made lattes, cappucinos and the like, as well as hot cocoa, tea, and smoothies. Among interesting bottled drinks is a barely-sweet sparkling maple seltzer that goes well with just about anything.
Well-meaning and with an admirable locavore mission, the Chubby Muffin is a likeable place just so long as you aren’t in a hurry. Whether the staff formally subscribes to the slow food movement, I don’t know. But I did watch them prepare food with measured care and expertise, with no apparent short cuts. Dining facilities consist of a few crowded-together seats in a tiny dining area and a scattering of tables out front on the sidewalk.