We were having such a successful visit to the Normal Rockwell Museum yesterday that we decided to stay for lunch. The museum cafe was rather appealing despite being out on a covered terrace on a cold day, but due to a combination of dietary restrictions and dietary preferences it would have been hard to find something we all would and could eat, so we had a snack and decided to have a late lunch when we were ready to leave.
So, we left at about 2 pm expecting to resort to some lowest-common-denominator family food option. Instead, we ended up stopping at the Shaker Mill Tavern in West Stockbridge. Exile #2 asked about gluten-free options (the menu advertised GF pasta on the evening menu, so we were hopeful) and was informed that they had three GF rolls left. Not sure what to make of that, at ordering time she asked if the polenta was gluten free. The server went to check and came back saying that it was not. While Exile #2 considered another option, the sous-chef came rushing out of the kitchen to correct his error and confirm that the polenta was OK. I was greatly encouraged by this - both because they were willing to correct the error and that their not-sure position was to assume that it was not safe. Exile #2 said that the polenta was excellent and she was delighted to be avoiding the uninteresting GF staples she often has to fall back on.
Even better, all three of the kids chose pasta rather than something-flavourless-with-fries. The bowls of pasta were huge but astonishingly most of it disappeared - just as well we had worked up a good appetite inspecting the robots.
In fact, I was the only one who succumbed to fries - accompanying a rather good chicken BLT sandwich with chipotle mayonaise. I'm not sure it really classed as "southwestern" as it was billed but it was rather good. Nicely cooked and interesting flavours. On the menu it was listed as including swiss cheese. Of course I declined this, but I was left wondering why on earth anyone would want a slice of swiss cheese on this sandwich. No, I take it back - I'm still wondering!
All this in the rather appealing surroundings of the Inn. It seemed so cold yesterday (after a 15 degree temperature drop from Friday) that we could easily imagine how cosy it could be with the fire burning on a cool winter evening. As it was, we enjoyed our food and got back on the road.