At Colchester's Mead Hall we're committed to offering every patron a chance to eat like a Viking. That may not mean what you think it means, however. The idea of a bunch of dirty, surly men scarfing down piles of meat is much more Hollywood than history. To honor our forebearers, we stick to the following principles:
Our produce selection changes with the season. We source all of our vegetables and most of our herbs from Lewis Creek Farm. That means that for parts of the year, your food options are: Turnips or Beets. In the spring and summer? The sky's the limit! (Vikings loved their veggies.)
Our cheeses are all imported from Scandinavia and also change throughout the year. Since cheese depends so heavily on high quality and varied milk, we always get the real deal. Local cheese is amazing - some of the best in the world - but it simply won't taste the same as Nordic dairy.
Good food must also be good for the environment. We do our best to source all of our food ethically, but we are obsessive about our herring and our meat products. Our bratwurst are made for us right in the New North End of Burlington by Bessery's Butcher Shoppe and we purchase all of our fish from companies that participate in the Marine Stewardship Council. Vikings might not have been kind to their enemies, but they sure as heck took care of the earth and sea.
Most importantly, our community comes first. Many people have commented that our menu seems quite inexpensive given that we use locally grown and produced ingredients in almost everything we make. When we founded our Mead Hall, we wanted it to be a place where everyone felt welcome. One of the ways we do this is by insuring that our menu is extremely affordable. The way to keep a menu affordable is to keep it short. Long menus with lots of options means two things: large (usually poorly compensated) kitchen staff and lots of food waste. By all but eliminating food waste and curating our menu to be varied and seasonal, we have a restaurant which compensates our staff very well and is always affordable for our beloved meadiacs.