I live about 20 miles from Saxton's River. In 17 years I've driven through Saxton's River ummmmm 4 times? 5? Rural Vermont town. Not much there besides Vermont Academy and now some natural health practitioners. Population: 1,000 (I'm guessing). I had to go down there this morning for don't ask what, but driving down Main Street I noticed the words "Authentic Mexican Specialties" at the very bottom of the sign for the Golden Egg Family Restaurant. Looks like any other small-town family restaurant -- breakfast served all day kind of place, mostly pick-up trucks in the parking lot -- except for that "Authentic Mexican Specialties" part. My system instantly went into high Chow Alert mode...and I pulled in.
The interior is just as unassuming. About 7 naugahyde-benched booths, formica-topped chrome-edged tables, some random wooden kitchen chairs. Specials scribbled on a white board. You know -- the usual. Even the menu gives little away. All the standards for a breakfast/lunch joint, plus a smattering of "Mexican Specialties" -- quesadillas, a burrito, huevos rancheros, plus a couple other huevos treatments. Okay, it could be worse. So I order a chorizo quesadilla w/homemade salsa, which comes with sides of refried beans and Mexican rice. I start to get more interested when I get a gander at the cook. He's a tall, strikingly handsome guy and clearly a full-blooded Hispanic.
When my plate is put in front of me, I get a steaming whiff of something delicious and true. I take a tentative stab at the beans with my fork and then have my first taste; they're soft and unctuous and warm, like pudding, studded with a few soft, whole beans. Then the rice -- the grains are separate, just slightly toothy and perfectly seasoned with red chiles and a hint of shredded pork. I don't expect much from a flour tortilla with melted cheese and sausage, but the chorizo is of such good quality, perfectly spicy and oozing fat, and the pico de gallo so right on, it is a transcendental quesadilla.
In the midst of my lunchtime transport, I notice a hand-written sign -- Mexican Night Fri. & Sat. When the waitress comes around to check in, I ask to see a dinner menu. She hands it off to me with an apology, "It's all only Mexican, though". Oh, Honey. Hunn-nee. Damn right it's all Mexican. Not sanitized Tex-Mex, it's MEXICAN. Enchiladas Suizas, Mole Tamales, Puerco en Salsa Verde, Chiles en Nogada, Carnitas, Soft Tacos with Poblanos. Real Mexican Beer -- Tecate and Negro Modelo. Damn! 20 miles away! I've been dying -- DYING -- for real Mexican food. It's what I crave when I have cravings. And there it is, right there in Saxton's River!
I'm going back for dinner with a crowd, if not this weekend, next, and I'll report back in full.
FYI -- The owner and cook, Slyvestre ("Sly") Gallegos comes from Aguas Callientes, MX, by way of Chicago. The Golden Egg is open for breakfast and lunch 7 days. Dinner (Mexican only) served Friday and Saturday nights from 5:00 - 8:30 p.m. The waitress tells me Fridays are always busier, so get there early (5:30) or else fuggedaboudit.
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