Dining on a Dime (and a Joint): Prohibition Pig and Zenbarn Farms

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Eggplant hoagie and chicken wings from Prohibition Pig, with a hemp joint from Zenbarn Farms - SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS

  • Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days

  • Eggplant hoagie and chicken wings from Prohibition Pig, with a hemp joint from Zenbarn Farms

When I decided late Monday afternoon to drive to Waterbury for a free joint at Zenbarn Farms, I figured I’d make a little road trip out of it. Get the hemp joint, walk the dogs on the Short Trail, and pick up dinner to-go on the cheap ($12 or less) at Prohibition Pig.

Checking the restaurant’s online menu from home as the plan took shape, I spotted the Staff Meal ($12), a salad with arugula, farro, grapes, Brussels sprouts and more.

“That’s it!” I told my daughter. “That’s what I’m getting.”

“A salad?!” she said. “That’s the most un-stoner thing you can eat.”

I reminded her the joint I was driving 25 miles for — with a THC content of less than 0.3 percent — wasn’t gonna get me stoned. But I got her point and checked the menu again.

That turned out to be a very good thing, because I found a $10 sandwich, the vegetable hunter, that consists of roasted eggplant, mozzarella cheese and tomato jam on a hoagie roll. I ordered it online, along with a pound of Buffalo chicken wings ($12) — maybe the most stoner thing you can eat.

Then I drove to Waterbury and my first stop: Zenbarn Farms, a CBD shop on Route 100 that opened in August. The store’s array of CBD products includes some made from hemp grown on its Waterbury farm.

Noah Fishman, co-owner of Zenbarn Farms and Zenbarn, the nearby restaurant and music club, was behind the counter when I got there. I told him I’d come for the free joint.

Packed in a little tube, the joint was machine-rolled and filled with hand-trimmed flower from a hemp farm in the Northeast Kingdom. It retails for $8, or three for $20. (This was quite the deal I’d stumbled upon!)

Fishman explained that the Monday giveaway, new this week, is an admiring nod to the local Mobil station. The gas station/convenience store on Route 100 near the Waterbury highway exit, Billings Mobil, offers free coffee every Monday. (A 12-ounce cup is usually $1.) Rick Blake, owner of the business, said he’s been doing that “forever.”

A free-coffee regular, Fishman has borrowed the idea to introduce people to CBD, he told me at the store.

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Noah Fishman, holding a hemp joint, for Monday free joint day - SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS

  • Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days

  • Noah Fishman, holding a hemp joint, for Monday free joint day

I pocketed the joint and headed to the Short Trail — a lovely path behind the Green Mountain Club that’s marked with interpretive signs. The dogs and I had the snowy woods to ourselves, the moon was on the rise, and dinner was being cooked a few miles away by someone else. (If you find an orange leash out there, it’s ours.)

At Pro Pig, our bag of food was on the bar when I got there at 5:30. Back home in Burlington, I warmed up the sandwich in the oven before eating it. The hoagie was salty and cheesy enough for a stoner; the roll was soft and performed its essential duty: holding the sandwich together. But it was the key ingredient, eggplant undisguised by breading or the deep fryer, that inspired one of the few hashtags I’ve written: #eggplantfortheeverlastingwin.

We smoked the joint and turned on the television. CBD in its various forms is said to provide all sorts of benefits, from relieving pain to easing anxiety. But I think I can make a new claim. After a few hits, I watched an episode of “The Bachelor” without losing my mind or leaving the room. I’m pretty sure I even saw Matt James, the man who will pick his wife on ABC, working out with a tree trunk.

Dining on a Dime is a series featuring well-made, filling bites (something substantial enough to qualify as a small meal or better) for $12 or less. Know of a tasty dish we should feature? Drop us a line: [email protected]

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