For a while there, several years ago, Wasp’s had no sign outside at all. That was fine with the staff and the regular customers, who really weren’t all that interested in crowding the shoebox-shaped wooden diner with accidental passers-by. This is their place, and there seemed no need to advertise it to others. Once a maple syrup shop, Wasp’s is small enough so that once you’re inside, you’re part of the crowd. At its eleven-stool counter, where workmen, housewives, dowagers, teenagers, artists, and eccentrics congregate at breakfast and at lunch, conversations tend to be town bull sessions at which just about anyone’s opinion is welcome.
Needless to say, Wasp’s Snack Bar and Diner in Woodstock, Vt, is straight out of 1930s America, and worth a visit if you’re even within 100 miles of the joint.
It’s been a while since I was last there, but I’ve heard from friends that little has changed, including its business hours – Wasp’s isn’t open for business on weekends – and the fact that its primary clientele is mostly Woodstock locals. That, and the decidedly low-key storefront keep the place from showing up on the radar of many tourists.
The first thought most people have upon entering Wasp’s is “wow, this place is small!!”, and indeed it is, with approximately 11 seats at the counter . So be warned: if you’re there when it’s busy, even a short line can mean a long wait. But trust me, it’s worth it.
While space may not be at the top of their list, it is more than made up for by the fact that nothing they serve takes second place. Their breakfasts are works of art, and the staff is always attentive and hard-working. Add to this, a clientele that is invariably pleasant and colorful.
1. My breakfast of eggs Benedict and home-fries was spot-on, despite them running out of Hollandaise sauce and having to whip up another batch on the spot (which the cook did flawlessly, in 1/10th the time it would take me to do the same). Although Carol ordered the same thing, everyone else seemed to be quite pleased with their food as well.
2. Service. Despite being very busy, the staff at Wasp’s seems to do a very good job at preparing food quickly and paying attention to the customers. Heck, they apologized to me for a five minute delay in my meal (due to the Hollandaise sauce running out), while at a good number of places around here I’d still be trying to flag down a waitress. And, for the locals, the staff seems quite good at remembering people by name. So, no complaints here.
3. Local. Again, this is one of those places that obviously caters to local Woodstock people, although they were friendly enough to the weird guy taking pictures of his food.
1. The small seating area. Because of this, you’re likely to have a wait. Tough. Deal with it and be patient. It’s worth it.
2. Closed on weekends.
So, if you can make it to Wasp’s on a nice, quiet weekday morning, do it. And if possible wear your best faded flannel, be patient, and don’t bring a large group.