John Mahoney's Free-fire Zone
John Mahoney
John Mahoney
is editor of the Log Cabin Chronicles.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 04.27.05
Fool's Hollow, Quebec


Poutine, as quick as you can say 'Shanannie'

Shawn Flynn

DERBY LINE, VT | How does a fella feed his poutine hungries in a small Vermont border village like this?

Or come Sunday morning and a girl gets a hankering for eggs benedict -- what does she do?

They could slide on over to Shanannie's Grill on Main Street - just a stone's throw from the US-Canada border - and ask Shawn Flynn to lay it on them.

Shawn, a Derby native, and his wife, Anne Crawford who grew up in a log cabin down the road in Fitch Bay, Quebec, opened their new village grill on Monday, April 25.

They started in a good space - the late Dick Alberghini operated a food market and grill here for years. The snack bar was the daytime social club of the village. When Al Hauver had to close it a few years back, something went out of the life of the community -especially for the morning coffee drinkers.

Shawn, a 1985 graduate of North Country Union High School in Newport, says he has been cooking since he was 15 years old. At 38, that means he has nearly twenty-five years experience in the kitchen.

He says that although he took cooking courses in high school, he's mostly self-taught plus what he's picked up from other cooks on the job. He's cooked at places as varied as the Miss Lyndonville Diner and Mulligan's, at the Newport Country Club.

Shanannie's Grill will be open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, and on Sundays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can order soups, salads, hot and cold sandwiches, a variety of hamburgers and hot dogs, and a number of breakfast combos and sandwiches, including Shawn's own Shanannie Sandwich.

The weekly lunch specials (Monday - Friday) are posted early in Monday.

This week (on Thursday, for example), prices ranged from $3.29 for a grilled cheese and a cup of tomato bisque to $5.99 for chicken & biscuits and mashed potato.

All soups are homemade, and Shawn says he serves corn chowder every day. The home fries and onion rings are "made fresh as you order."

Fresh-baked bread and goodies are made on the premises. Their telephone number is 802.873.3300.

Shawn and Anne have a merged family with six children ranging from a two-year-old to a 14 year old - 2 boys, four girls.

And what about when the work day ends? Does Anne find her husband in the kitchen, whipping up a dream supper for eight?

"I do as little cooking as home as I can possibly get away with," says Shawn as he flips another rasher of bacon onto the grill.