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Afternoon Lunches

by Alaina on September 7, 2013 · 1 comment

These past two weekends I’ve had the chance to dine out with two very special people at some delicious new restaurants.

Last Sunday I took my grandmother out for lunch, as it was the 3rd year anniversary of my grandfather passing. The past two years, my parents and I have been with her but since my parents were in Maine that weekend, I took her out myself. Smile I always love seeing my Grammy.

We decided to try a new restaurant in Essex called Castle Kreek. It took us a bit to find it, and when we realized we were going the wrong way down 133, Grammy suggested we try this new place where Lewis’s used to be. Well, then the light bulb went off in her head and said, “Oh my gosh, this is the restaurant where Lewis’s used to be!” Then it took us no time at all to find it.


The lunch crowd was light and we were sat right away. I had an iced tea and some Italian bread to start. For lunch I got the mustard crusted chicken with feta cheese and caramelized onions Panini with a side salad.


This sandwich was delicious. And huge! I ended up having the second half for lunch the next day. The chicken was perfectly breaded, the feta gave it a nice tang and the caramelized onions were stringy and sweet. Everything was great, even the service. I would definitely come back to this spot for either lunch or dinner.

Castle Kreek is located at 234 John Wise Avenue (Rt. 133) in Essex, MA.

Castle Kreek Cookhouse and Bar on Urbanspoon

Lately I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to hang out with some friends that I just don’t get to see all that often. One of them is Lyz, whom I shared a townhouse with my senior year of college. Since graduation we’ve gotten together a handful of times and this afternoon we were able to meet up, along with our significant others. And hopefully not let a couple of years go by again! Smile

We decided to meet halfway and I found a few restaurants in (what I hoped would be and glad to find out it was) the charming town of Bellows Falls, Vermont. My initial choice was Shona Grill but that ended up being more of a take out place. Lyz found an adorable restaurant named Popolo and the menu won me over.

Popolo (which means people) is an Italian-inspired, farm-to-table restaurant. From their website:

We hope to help unite our community through a commitment to locally sourced products when available, a diverse and affordable menu, and hospitality held to a standard as high as for our food and cocktails. We want it all – quality, style, price, and fun. We’re not judgmental but you should want it all, too.


I started off with a refreshing Peroni and for my entrée I had the ham and cheese Panini (man, I LOVE Panini’s!) which was prosciutto de Parma, provolone, spinach and fig jam.


I loved that it came with a side salad! The sandwich was amazing. The prosciutto was salty, a bit tough, but really stood out as far as ham and cheese sandwiches go. The provolone was perfectly melted and I loved the sweet addition of the fig jam. I had no problem finishing this off. And Lyz ordered some of their fries which were hand cut, with the skin on and very lightly salted. Overall, another amazing lunch. With some amazing company.

Popolo is located at 36 The Square in Bellows Falls, VT.

Popolo on Urbanspoon

On our way back to the car, I couldn’t help but take a couple of pictures of the main street. I would have taken more, but my battery died!


That lampposts have koozy’s on them! Getting ready for the winter it looks like.

Before we left for good, we stopped in to the Vermont pretzel and cookie shop.


I got the coconut, almond and chocolate chip biscotti. So good! Perfect sweet treat to end the afternoon.

Another couple of delicious lunches under my belt. And boy can I feel it. Winking smile

Have you dined anywhere noteworthy lately?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Kim Bovill June 9, 2015 at 8:04 am

Hello Jogging Concierge,

My name is Kim Bovill, I am the owner of Shona Grill. I happened across your information of your trip to Bellows Falls. I am so glad you enjoyed our town, and dining.

I just thought I would reach out hoping next time you come to town you will give Shona Grill a try. It isn’t just take out. I have an elaborate menu, local products, a dining room on the second floor that seats 25 people and outside deck that seats an additional 12 to 15 people. I am also BYOB which for some is quite nice if they have been around VT at the various Breweries and Wineries you can bring your purchases here and we have chilled wine glasses and bottle openers for your use.

We take your order downstairs and you and your guests can relax in our spacious dining room and we deliver your meal to you and service your table after the meal. Shona Grill is a Gourmet Burger and Sandwich place, with gourmet salads with Arugula and mixed greens and local Vermont cheeses and more.

I realize you did not solicit this information, but I have been challenged with the funky building and I want to expand awareness that we treat our customers in a 5 Star fashion. Despite looking like a Take out Joint.

Shona is Gaelic and Means to Spread Happiness.

I hope you have a great summer with all your jogging Adventures. In October there is the Front Porch maybe this is something you would enjoy jogging. I could get you more information on it.

Best Wishes




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