Maple season is fast approaching, but in St. Albans it will arrive a bit sooner: this Thursday at 7 a.m. with the opening of the Maple City Diner.
The owners of the new eatery are familiar faces in the Maple City itself — Marcus and Erika Hamblett, the owners of One Federal . Kim Smith, also previously of One Federal, will run the front of house.
The menu, prepared by chef de cuisine and fellow One Federal alum Stephen Young, takes a cue from sugaring time. Breakfast includes a bacon waffle topped with maple butter; brown-sugar-pecan French toast; and skillets such as the Vermonter, with apple, caramelized onion, bacon and cheddar over home fries and eggs.
Lunch features classic diner fare, such as hot open hamburger and turkey sandwiches and a variety of burgers and clubs. Dinner brings seared pork loin and chicken topped with cheddar, apples and bacon. One Federal’s popular house maple vinaigrette will adorn salads. Nearly everything will be locally sourced and made from scratch, as it is at the Hambletts’ 4-year-old restaurant.
Though Maple City Diner will serve a full menu from the beginning, the owners have plans for growth in coming months. New England Culinary Institute  grad Marcus Hamblett envisions a grab-and-go counter similar to the one at the now-defunct Burlington NECI Commons. There, freshly made breads, sandwiches and prepared salads will be available, along with homemade pies, cakes and other pastries, including “big maple-cinnamon buns.”
Doughnuts will also be part of the fun. A doughnut machine will soon be popping out fresh desserts, including a bacon flavor.
Maple lovers of the world, unite.