The Lazy Farmer Food Truck Pulls Up in Burlington
“Simard studied cooking at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa before deciding to focus on ecological agriculture at the University of Vermont. After college, he pursued both his passions by cooking at Tiny Thai and farming in Charlotte, supplying his employer and now his own trailer.
Time in San Francisco has influenced Simard’s opening menu. His affection for that city’s Korean barbecue found its way into Mexican-style tacos with marinated chicken, beef or mushrooms. The corn tortillas are also filled with fresh tomatoes, cucumber and cabbage with cilantro and flavored sour cream. Noodle plates and Asian slaw are on the lunch menu, too, but Simard says he plans to change the offerings frequently, so Eastern flavors may not always dominate.”
Pork & Pickles BBQ Opens in Essex Junction
“Simard, of food truck the Lazy Farmer, has been building out the restaurant since last winter, with kitchen support from sous-chef Andrew Wyslotsky. Besides pickles, their menu offers fries and curds that melt together with gravy whisked from smoker drippings. Smoked-trout hush puppies arrive with citrus aioli for dipping, while tangy mustard-seed sauce enlivens the pork-belly lettuce wraps.
Mouth watering yet?
Those are just the starters. Entrées at the new 'cue joint are built around smoked meats — Boyden Farm brisket and Snug Valley Farm St. Louis-style pork ribs; beef ribs and pulled pork. These issue from an open kitchen in sandwiches or paired with mix-and-match sides such as potato salad dressed with mustard grains, corn bread with honey butter, maple baked beans, mac and cheese, smoky braised greens, or cider vinegar slaw.
Then there are the birds. "I am so excited to share the fried chicken," Simard says. He describes it as buttermilk-brined, then double-dipped and fried to a crusty, spice-tinged crunch. Simard toyed endlessly with the recipe while on the road with his truck, which still makes occasional stops around Chittenden County.”
Pork and Pickles brings barbecue to Essex
“...There was some barbecue on The Lazy Farmer’s eclectic menu, but the full-time focus on the style is new for Simard. (Lazy Farmer fans will be happy to see that his pork belly lettuce wraps jumped over to the restaurant appetizer menu.)
“This is what I like, some of my favorite things to eat and cook,” Simard said, noting that he’s not a barbecue purist. “I live in Vermont. We’re off the barbecue chart.”
On my second visit, the fried chicken sandwich was excellent: juicy brined meat encased in a crackle of crust piled with fresh veggies and a tangy house ranch dressing. A small sample plate of brisket was also tender and well-flavored.
Of the sides we tasted across two visits, the cornbread made with locally grown corn topped with a generous knob of honey-butter is a stand-out and the braised greens made with smoked tomatoes were also delicious.”
Burlington free press (2016)
Lazy Farmer Food Truck Opens BBQ in Essex Junction
"Some lazy farmers quit the business. Others, apparently, open a food truck, then a restaurant. ...Pork & Pickles will offer a more refined approach than locals have come to expect from the truck. "The food at Lazy Farmer was just an eclectic mix of what I felt like doing at the time," Simard says. "Now I'm trying to focus in on the things I felt like I was really successful with, and expand on that."
That means smoked meats such as ribs, brisket and pulled pork; Simard is installing a new smoker in the space. The menu will also feature fried chicken and — wait for it — lots of house-pickled vegetables. Most of the food will come directly from area farms and producers."
How Do Burlington's Food Truckers Survive the Cold Months?
“Simard says he uses any free time he has in the off-season to perfect his culinary skills — and his exquisite kimchi pork and Peking chicken tacos present ample evidence. "I do a lot of recipe testing and development and work on marketing and business planning and stuff like that," he says.
Simard also has a solution in the pipeline to beat the winter doldrums. "I am trying to get a brick-and-mortar together," he reveals. The business plan is prepped, but appealing spaces get snapped up quickly, the chef says. He's still "looking for funding to make it happen" — perhaps by next season. If Simard gets his full-time restaurant, the truck will supplement it as a test kitchen and catering outlet."
Off-Campus Dining: The Saintly and the Sinful
“Saintly: Asian noodle bowl. The name says it all. When chef Chris Simard doesn't use ingredients he grows himself, they come from local farmer friends. You'll taste every bit of freshness in this noodle dish. Made with slippery mung bean noodles, it's even Paleo Diet-friendly. Simard cooks up your choice of marinated local protein and serves it with noodles in a tangy fish sauce accompanied by a salad of tiny tomatoes and herbs.”
'The Lazy Farmer' hustles to open barbecue spot on Park Street
“...The LeCordon Bleu Ottawa trained chef kept feeling need to go further. "I needed to develop that into doing sandwiches, and what else can I do with that, " Simard asked in a phone interview. "So, I started doing catering too, and then doing weddings without the food truck. I got into festival and again took it further. It's really evolved.”