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Recognizing The Wayside Restaurant

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy

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Mr. President, today, I would like to pay tribute to the Wayside Restaurant--a trusted and venerated Vermont fixture and a staple of the community surrounding Montpelier, our State capital. The Wayside is a local business that has remained true to the values of its humble beginnings. For nearly a century, the Wayside Restaurant has been a place where Vermonters can count on quality service, reasonable prices, and a quality meal that is sure to satisfy both the stomach and the heart. I am honored to join Vermonters in celebrating the Wayside Restaurant's 95th anniversary.

In 1918, when Effie Ballou first opened the Wayside's doors, many of the restaurant's offerings were prepared in the kitchen of her home and carried down to her roadside eatery. Never did she imagine that her small eating house would become the bustling spot that it is today, drawing both locals and out-of-State travelers and serving nearly 1000 customers daily. Every day, diners--from families to office workers pile into the Wayside Restaurant. Its warm environment, familiar staff and signature Vermont cooking make the restaurant a home away from home for locals and visitors alike.

The owners and staff of the Wayside Restaurant are devoted to providing extraordinary service to the crowds of loyal customers who stop in to pile their plates high with Wayside's fine fare. Regular customers of the Wayside Restaurant can order their meals to-go or can dine in while enjoying friendly conversation and classic Wayside dishes like the salt pork and gravy, honeycomb beef tripe, or maple cream pie.

Current owners Karen and Brian Zecchinelli have remained true to the restaurant's early virtues--preparation of quality, old-time favorites as well as modern cuisine, and a focus on family and community values. As a member of the Vermont Business Environmental Partnership, the Wayside Restaurant has implemented earth-friendly initiatives that are kind to our natural environment. In 2012, the Wayside Restaurant was recognized as the first and only ``green'' restaurant in Montpelier and was praised for its support of small business by buying locally produced products, a tradition they have kept throughout the years.

Today the Wayside Restaurant continues as a symbol of both longstanding tradition and effective progress. From Effie Ballou's humble beginnings to the eatery's current, booming success, the Wayside Restaurant holds a special place in Vermonters' hearts. Marcelle and I are always delighted to join them for a meal and visit with other patrons. I want to join the many others congratulating the Wayside on 95 successful years of enriching its community and supporting Vermont's local economy.

Every time I go there to eat I remember going with my parents, brother, and sister when I was a child. It was great then and still is.