Unique menu comes to Burlington
New restaurant promises to deliver variety of cultural cuisine
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 23:09
In less than a month, Esperanto, a restaurant from Saratoga Springs, will open its second location in Burlington to bring what head chef, Will Pouch, calls tasty and affordable food.
After 17 years of business in serving fast but fresh food, Pouch, the co-founder of Esperanto, saw the timing ﬁt to spread his cuisine.
“We’ve wanted to open up another business for a while now,” Pouch said.
“The time was just right and Burlington was our ﬁrst choice.”
With a menu ranging from veggie burritos to Thai chicken curry, Esperanto offers cuisine from different regions of the world to which Pouch has traveled to.
Despite the variety, their trademark dish continues to be their “dough boys,” a creation consisting of sliced, sauteed chicken breast, cheese and scallions, rolled up into pizza dough.
“I went to Chile for the ﬁrst time and had an empanada and wished that I could have something this good, this fast in the U.S.,” Pouch said.
For those who are vegetarians, Esperanto serves a variety of dishes without meat including the “dough girl,” a chickenless version of their trademark dish.
“I love [dough girls] a lot — enough to get one every weekend,” sophomore Skye D’Aquila said of the Esperanto in Saratoga.
Thus far Esperanto has served more than one million dough boys, evidence that customers are satisfied.
“Over the years we’ve been lucky enough to retain our customers,” Pouch said.
Brad Gabero, Esperanto’s head chef for the Burlington location, explained that they are looking to add something different to Burlington’s already thriving food culture.
Gabero said that they are conveniently located across the street from Burlington’s weekly farmers’ market, as they plan to incorporate as many locally grown products as possible into their specials menu.
“We try to cater as much to locals as we do to college kids,” Gabero said. “A Big Mac costs four or ﬁve bucks and a dough boy is fresh, unique and only costs $3.75.”
They also plan to adjust to their surroundings by cutting items from their menu such as their falafel, to round out rather than compete with surrounding restaurants.
“We believe if you support folks, they’ll support you,” said Pouch.
While the staff of Esperanto strive to serve unique food, they also hope to make the overall experience as appealing as the food. Already they have connected with artist Alexis Herzog to contribute her paintings of Easter Island to the restaurant.
Students of UVM who have passed through the restaurant’s Saratoga location already bring support to Esperanto as they look forward to its opening in Burlington.
“[Esperanto] is deﬁnitely a recommended place to go,” sophomore Sam Barry said. “All of their food is so fresh and unique.”