Depot Street Malt Shop
- 57 Depot St, Stowe, VT, 05672
- (802) 253-4269
(Published in 7 Nights 2005-06)
You feel right at home ordering a "black-and-white" at the Depot Street Malt Shop. For one thing, the 50s-styled downtown diner is crazy for checkers. They're all over the floors, walls — even the tissue paper that lines the onion-ring baskets. Plus, the waitress actually knows what a black-and-white is: a milkshake with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. After all, she's working at a "retroraunt" that prides itself on old-fashioned soda-fountain creations such as egg creams, sundaes, lime rickeys and frappes. Fancy coffee drinks are available here, but you can't beat the regular joe.
Rachel Chevalier is the proprietor of Depot Street, but it seems like Marilyn, Elvis and Jimmy Dean have equal stakes in the place, too. The "Happy Days" theme extends from the parlor-style front room to the antique Coca-Cola machine back by the counter. All kinds of collectibles, like framed Betty Boop, Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie comics, add to the atmosphere.
But what really sells the place is the good, simple, affordable fare. An elderly woman watches her granddaughter devour a burger. A group of middle-school-aged kids takes over a booth to order popcorn chicken and cheese fries.
They might learn something, too, while they wait for their food. Many of the tabletops in the restaurant are unique art works. While most are funny or frivolous, one is a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. Supported by cool images of the civil-rights leader, the collage's centerpiece is a ransom-note style excerpt of his "I have a dream" speech — a welcome reminder there was more to the '50s than poodle skirts and sock hops.