Joey’s Junction – Highgate, VT
Location, location, location. The famous mantra of many a real estate agent, as it applies to restaurants, usually assumes that the “location” in question is the one with the greatest visibility and therefore the greatest potential for success. Not so with Joey’s Junction, a small bakery/cafe/art gallery in northern Vermont where they are consistently serving the most diabolically delicious breakfast that you’d be hard-pressed to find in even the most hipster-infested joint in NYC. Joey’s sits on a plot of land at the intersection of two country roads in the small town of Highgate, VT, just outside the middle of nowhere.
I believe a certain Kevin Costner movie once said, “if you build it, they will come”. Well the boys at Joey’s built it, and sure enough, they came. The chocolate iced and custard filled Godzilla doughnuts they’re pumping out probably don’t hurt. There are only a couple of tables inside with a couple more outside, but if you visit, there’s a good chance there’ll be at least a couple of parties enjoying a rib-sticking breakfast. Joey’s isn’t the type of place where you have to call ahead or wait hours in line for. Luckily it’s far enough from Williamsburg that the beardos haven’t flocked to it before it gets too cool.
My family and I have been going there for a few years now, and over time, they’ve managed to refine and reinvent the breakfast staples. On our most recent visit, we spied a rack full of freshly made doughnuts, “we’ll have two” my father proclaimed. Now just look at these things, I don’t know if you can judge the scale from these photos, but these things were freaking huge. Slathered with icing by hand and generously filled to capacity with the most delicious homemade custard. On top of that, the doughnuts were fried to perfection, golden brown with a bright white stripe around its equator. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and spilling over with custard, which promptly merged with the chocolate. This was definitely not an “eat a dozen glazed doughnuts on the way to the real breakfast” routine you might pull with a joint like Krispy Kreme. While I’m sure I’ll reap the full wrath of my colleague, but I felt that the quality, decadence and taste surpassed even Doughnut Plant, King, Queen, you name it. Yes the doughnuts are that good.
Not to be outdone is the savory fare at Joey’s. The traffic jam in our aortas wouldn’t have been complete without a breakfast sandwich and a side of home fries. Now I know what you think of when you think breakfast sandwich. Maybe an english muffin or biscuit with a piece of country sausage or bacon, maybe a fried egg and a slice of cheese? You’d be right, but somehow this isn’t enough for Joey’s. They really should put quotations around the word sandwich, because it only loosely describes what you’ll get if you order it. We were presented with two pieces of bread, I’d estimate 2 or 3 fried eggs, a mountain of onions and mushrooms, swiss cheese topped with sausage. The whole affair must have been tossed with a couple sticks of butter and thrown on the flat top because the flavor was just glorious. It was a good thing we had four people to tackle this monster, because the home fries were waiting in the wings.
If the breakfast sandwich was Mt. Everest, the home fries were K-2. Talk about value, I think they fried up two whole potatoes and a couple of onions for one order!
Now I know most of our readers will probably never make it up to Highgate. While Joey’s is absolutely worth a trip in itself, if you happen to take my advice and head to Montreal for a little Maison Kam Fung, or L’Express, take the day, drive across the border and hit up Joey’s, you’ll be glad you did.