Wayside Restaurant & Bakery in Vermont
I spent Christmas week in Vermont and spent a lot of time hanging out with Dad. I grew up in Vermont and one of my first jobs was bussing tables in a local diner called The Wayside. Shortly after I turned 16 I was waiting tables a few nights a week and on weekends. I would bring my uniform to school and drive straight to the Wayside after work, where I would spend the next 6 hours serving things like salt pork & milk gravy, pickled tripe, maple cream pie, endless cups of coffee, and beer to my customers. Wait – I couldn’t even serve my own beer until I turned 18. Another waitress had to actually bring alcohol to my tables for me – silly VT rules.
So… during the holidays, for the first time in about 4 years, I went back to the Wayside with my Dad for brunch. I was surprised to see how little had changed – the menu looked exactly the same, the same waitresses and managers were still there, the same “Counter Guys” were still sitting around drinking coffee, and there was still a large stack of Bag Balm on the counter by the register. My dad and I even got put in the same small corner booth that no one ever wanted to sit at – table 55. (I made sure not to complain – I know how hard it is to keep tables in section 5). The waitress was actually excellent (she wore a Christmas-themed hat complete with antlers) and the food was delicious. Happy 90th birthday Wayside!
I’ve been thinking a lot about waitressing lately – I just finished reading Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress, Debra Ginsberg’s memoir. What would my life be like if I was still waiting tables? That’s another blog post entirely.
posted by Julie