The Worthy Kitchen

The Worthy Kitchen

In the past five years, the Worthy Kitchen has raised more than $26,000 for the Vermont Foodbank. “We are blown away by the success of this event,” says John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO. “The way the Worthy Kitchen brings together individuals and businesses from the community to fight hunger is truly inspiring. Their efforts help us provide nutritious food to the 1 in 4 Vermonters who face hunger. We are so grateful to the Worthy Kitchen for taking a stand to ensure that all our neighbors have the food they need to thrive.”
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The Worthy Kitchen

Worthy Kitchen is a 100 seat restaurant with outdoor lounging located on Route 4 in Woodstock, VT. The Worthy Kitchen, like the Worthy Burger, is able to serve high quality, farm fresh food at affordable prices because we deal directly with farmers, feature streamlined counter service, which cuts down on our labor costs, while our simple menu produces almost no waste and is easier to keep local.
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The Worthy Kitchen

For the locals, the answer would be yes. Woodstock proper is not very large. Depending whether you on if you are approaching the village of Woodstock going north on Rt. 4 you will find Worthy Kitchen, on your left, within a quarter mile of passing the 25 MPH sign and the Vermont Liquor Store. If you approach Woodstock driving south on Rt. 4, you will have to pass the Woodstock Green and the Woodstock Inn, through two to four block of quaint shops and restaurants, pass Maplewoods on the left, the Police Station on the right as you approach Worthy Kitchen on your right. Please obey the posted speed limits – Woodstock is known as a Speed Trap! Enjoy!
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The Worthy Kitchen

The 18 beer draught list is focused on the best small breweries of Vermont and New England, resulting in a well balanced menu with all the major styles represented. The innovative beverage program also has 3 wines on draught, A Artisnal wine by the bottle program, local hard ciders, and Rookies Root Beer and Ginger Ale to keep designated drivers from complaining too loudly. All liquid offerings are served in the Worthy Glass, specially designed to preserve volatile aromas and flavors that might otherwise escape. The Worthy Staff knows beer and are more than ready to guide your taste buds wherever they want to go.
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John Miller, assistant dean of admissions at Vermont Law School, which is located here, takes prospective and admitted students to the restaurant. The school specializes in environmental law and runs the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems. “Worthy Burger sits well within the mission of the law school,” he says, “focus on local, sustainable food.” In this close-knit community, Miller adds, Worthy staff know their regulars, and it’s “this really trendy, interesting place where you have good food and good beer.”
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“This was our most well-attended Night Before The Night events in its history and was also the most fun!” Says Jason Merrill, COO of the Worthy Group. “The generosity of our breweries, the miles driven for the special beers, and Worthy fans all coming together to support the Vermont Foodbank –it was an inspiration. It truly warmed our hearts to see everyone rally around this important cause.”
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Brodrick, Merrill, and Lessard all live in Barnard, near Woodstock, where many of Worthy’s purveyors farm. Young farmers were having a hard time getting their meat and produce into restaurants, says Brodrick; the Worthy trio now keep them busy.
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This donation is the result of their annual Night Before The Night event. For five consecutive years, Worthy Kitchen has brought people together to share a meal, enjoy an exceptional beer list, and bid on silent and live auction items to benefit the Foodbank. The silent auction features an array of 60 artistic, creative local items, products and services from local businesses committed to ending hunger. The $8,200 raised this year marks a record-setting donation for the event.
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The event attracts a significant following because of the fixed price farm to food offerings and the many rare beers featured. “This was a wonderful opportunity for our kitchen staff to really show their stuff and get creative and explore new flavor combinations,” adds Kurt Lessard, CFO of the Worthy Group.
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They launched Worthy Kitchen in 2013 and call it a “farm diner.” The place is twice the size of the burger spot, with traditional entrees such as fried chicken cooked in lard. Doughnuts are also cooked in lard. (These restaurateurs love animal fats.) Fillings for popular tacos and burritos vary, but the chicken is always on the menu.
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Opened in 2012 in an 1850s railroad freight house, the industrial-looking Worthy Burger is not easy to find, and when you do, the area is slightly down-at-the-heels. The menu doesn’t offer a lot more than four burgers, fries, occasional specials, a Vermont cheese plate, a couple desserts, and craft brews.
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Some cooks say that pastured beef, while more flavorful than feed-lot beef, can be dry. The owners tried beef blends, which many chefs do (some butchers have a secret blend for every restaurant they supply). Black Watch Farm in Weathersfield sends beef to Worthy, and grinds “the whole cow,” says Brodrick. That means there are cuts like tenderloin in the mix, which you typically don’t find.
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At one end of the old freight house is Freight House Brewing, which expects to open soon. A Worthy catering arm goes to parties with a mobile wood-fired grill, and the company also does high-end catering.
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A year after opening the South Royalton location, co-owners Brodrick, Jason Merrill, 39, and Kurt Lessard, 44, realized they needed a bigger kitchen. They found a spot for a commissary on East Woodstock Road, which leads into the picturesque town. “The kitchen was so expensive,” says Brodrick, “we needed to open another restaurant.”

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