On a recent weekend trip to Burlington, VT (where I went to college and many of my friends still live) I stopped by my ALL TIME FAVORITE breakfast place in Winnoski (well, pretty much my favorite place anywhere). Sneakers has recently relocated down the street from it's original location on the main rotary in downtown Winooski. It is still on the rotary, but now in a slight larger and more modern location just down the block. They still have some of the original booths from the previous location, but now there is a bit more seating and it's a LOT more spacious. I chose to eat early, as the wait can get a bit long as the day progresses, especially on the weekends. If you do get there and there is a wait, you can get coffee and juice next door at The Monkey House (they have games and the paper to keep you occupied). Don't worry, they know to look for you there when they are ready to seat you. I haven't tried to eat there with a party larger than 4 people, but I've also never seen it and I don't know if they have a table large enough, so be warned and call ahead if you plan on bring more friends there. Also be warned that generally they won't seat your party until everyone is there.
I've never been disappointed in the service. I don't even know if it could be truly terrible unless someone was downright rude because it is always easy to get someone's attention. I will say that considering how busy they can get, they never make you feel rushed. When I was there the other day meeting up with a friend, we spent about 20 minutes chatting after we had gotten the check and no one bothered us.
I got there early and ordered a green tea as it was chilly and raining outside. I was impressed that they utilize loose leaf green tea and presented it in a traditional chinese teapot. My friend hadn't quite had his coffee yet and ordered the watermelon mojito thinking it was a mimosa. Even with the mistake, it was not a disappointment! The watermelon flavor was almost intense, not watered down or artificial in any way. It was a beautiful red, ripe watermelon in a glass. The mint added a pop of brightness and freshness, making the drink very reminiscent of a mint and watermelon salad I grew up with. I have to admit that I could not take the alcohol at all and could have downed this in about 30 seconds if it was mine to consume.
Now, I have several favorites at Sneakers, and there are always interesting sounding specials. But today I branched out and tried something new. To be completely honest, I couldn't decide so found an option that let me have a few different things going on. I got "The Homer" which is one slice of Kahlua battered french toast, one scrambled egg and normally comes with a side of home fries. Now, if you've read other posts, you know that I do enjoy a good side of potatoes, and Sneakers does theirs well, but what they do even better and which can't be found many places, is a great side of fresh fruit. I don't think I've ever gotten a side which wasn't fresh and ripe, and from living in Vermont for several years, finding ripe fruit in the winter is not an easy task. So if you like fruit, this is the place to replace those empty carbs and fat of potatoes and replace it with a healthy and fantastic option (all for the tiny price of an additional $1). Now, on to the rest of the dish. I haven't had the french toast before, but their pancakes are also amazing, and I've been tempted by these Kahlua flavored treats in the past and never indulged. Well, I'm going to have a hard time not ordering a side of them at my next visit. They were warm and moist on the inside, almost custard in consistency, with a nice crust from the griddle on the outside. The bread they used feels like challah so you get that great chew factor from the edges of the slice where the bread was browned more during the first cooking. The Kahlua flavor was definitely prominent, but not overwhelming and all the alcohol was cooked off, so it didn't feel like drinking a mudslide or something like that. I wouldn't even say it was strong on the coffee flavor, but more of a liqueur feel. It almost could have been amaretto or something else, but did taste like kahlua. I also got to sample their scrambled eggs for the first time. Now, scrambled eggs can bit a hit or a miss with me. I liked the way sneakers made then, scrambled but folded together kind of like an omelet without anything in it. They were slightly soft, almost undercooked, which is how I like my eggs. Take this as a warning if you don't like your eggs this way, you might want to specify that they be cooked a little longer. I would rather they be light, fluffy and slightly moist than overcooked and rubbery. I find the latter option far more common at breakfast locations.
Now, even though I didn't actually eat these items at this visit, I would like to mention my other favorites at Sneakers in case any of them strike your fancy. The California Benedict (veggie sausage, portabello mushrooms and avocado) is a frequent on my plate, along with the crab cake Benedict (how can you go wrong with crab). My fiance thinks the pancakes are some of the best ever! I was also able to try the chicken-n-waffles that day with my friend, but my general dislike of gravy kind of made the dish a "miss" for me. I also felt that the chicken and gravy generally overpowered the waffle, which I think was a shame. However, my friend enjoyed it very much!