Critics' Corner

Vermont Flatbread Company, Pittsburgh, PA

By Nancy McAdams

"Welcome to Vermont Flatbread Co." announces the menu, "where we make traditional Northeastern Native American style bread, flavored with maple and quickly baked in our wood burning clay oven. Create a unique meal with a hint of the past."

The Vermont Flatbread Company has a clean-looking interior, with wooden tables and wall lighting shaped like maple leaves.  The logo is a cow eating wheat, and sheaves of wheat decorate the tables.  The wood oven has a digital thermometer on the outside.  The oven temperature was 793 degrees the day we went.

We asked for dark beer.  We were given several options, and chose Blue Ridge Steeple Stout that was on draft.  "The draft handle is shaped like a steeple," Lou, our server offered.  As we enjoyed our beer, we considered the menu.  The beer menu is as follows:

MICROS / HANDCRAFTED
1. Anchor Liberty Ale
2. Anchor Porter
3. Anchor Steam
4. August Shell Pils
5. August Shell Schmaltz' Alt
6. August Shell Weizen
7. Black Dog Raspberry Honey Ale
8. Blue Moon Belgian White Ale
9. Brooklyn Brown Ale
10. Brooklyn Lager
11. Celis Raspberry Beer
12. Devil Mountain Five Malt Ale
13. Dock Street Amber Ale
14. Dock Street Double Bock
15. Dock Street Bohemian Pilsner
16. Dixie Crimson Voodoo
17. Dixie Black Voodoo
18. Harpoon India Pale Ale
19. J. W. Dundee Honey Brown
20. J. W. Dundee Honey Brown Lt.
21. Killians Irish Honey
22. Lancaster Milk Stout
23. Lancaster Porter
24. Latrobe Bohemian Pilsner
25. Latrobe American Pale Ale
26. New Amsterdam I.D.A.
27. Oregon Honey Ale
28. Oregon India Pale Ale
29. Oregon Nut Brown Ale
30. Penn Dark
31. Penn Pilsner
32. Penn Gold
33. Pete's Wicked Ale
34. Pete's Honey Wheat
35. Red Hook Extra Special Bitter
36. Samuel Adams Lager
37. Samuel Adams Lightship
38. Saranac Golden Pilsner
39. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
40. Stouts Fest Marzen Style
41. Stouts Gold
42. Stouts Scarlet Lady E.S.B.
43. Stouts Triple Abby Ale
44. Valley Forge Imperial Stout
45. Wild Goose Amber Beer
46. Wild Goose India Pale Ale
47. Yuengling Chesterfield Ale
48. Yuengling Black and Tan
49. Yuengling Lager
50. Yuengling Porter

WINTER BEER SELECTIONS
1. Anchor Christmas Ale
2. Blue Ridge Snowball's Chance
3. Brooklyn Chocolate Stout
4. Harpoon Winter Warmer
5. Penn St. Nickolaus Bock
6. Pete's Winter
7. Samuel Adams Winter Lager
8. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
9. Weyerbacher Winter
10. Wild Goose Snow Goose

MACROS / NA's /HARD CIDERS
1. Budweiser
2. Coors Light
3. Rolling Rock
4. Kaliber NA
5. Rebel Draft Cider
6. Miller
7. Straub Light
8. St. Pauli Girl NA
9. Woodchuck Amber Cider
10. Zima

DRAFTS
Try One of Our Ever Changing Micro Selections By The Pint, Pitcher, Or Our Beer Tour (sample of all taps).

We spoke with one of the owners who told us that the draft selections are continually changing.

When it was time to order dinner, I asked, "What's good that will make us want to come back again?"  "Me, your server," was the answer.  I must admit that Lou was charming.  He recommended we start with an appetizer, and suggested the sweet peppers stuffed with chorizo sausage, bulgar wheat and asiago cheese baked in the wood oven.  Tasty!

I ordered the chicken salad sandwich with cranberries and almonds grilled with jarlsburg cheese on focaccia bread that was served with pasta salad.  My husband ordered flatbread with tomato sauce, pepperoni, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and Italian sausage.  "Pizzeria pizza," said Lou, understandingly.  "Lots of people start out that way, and move on to duck or salmon toppings."

It's hard to describe focaccia bread.  It's not chewy like bread but slightly crispy like a thick pizza crust, and definitely worth your while to try it.  We both enjoyed the dinners and are sure to go back to the Vermont Flatbread Company.

Atmosphere - so-so.
Service - outstanding.
Food - outstanding.
Beer Selection - very good.

When you're in Pittsburgh, be sure to go to The Strip District.

Nancy McAdams,
Penn Hills, Pennsylvania