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St. Albans, Vermont is located 30 miles north of Vermont's biggest city, Burlington. While Burlington has a wide variety of dining choices, there are little known gems to be found up north in St. Albans.

My favorite is a restaurant called "The Old Foundry". It is located one block west of Route 7, on Federal Street. The old brick building once was home to a foundry, hence the restaurant's name. The menu has a great selection of steak, chicken, seafood and superb daily specials. All meals come with their salad bar, that despite the size has a huge variety for all. Prices tend to be in the $13 - $17 range, with a special section of lower price, half-sized dinners for those with lighter appetites. Their charbroiled prime rib is one of the best cuts of steak around.

Another place not to miss is located right on Route 7. Jeff's Maine Seafood is a restaurant with a seafood shop in the same building. The menu consists of seafood and meat specialties ranging from Pecan Crusted Salmon with Honey Mustard Butter for $16 to Grilled NY strip steak with wild mushrooms and carmelized onions with a wine sauce for $18. The range of prices go from $15 to $18. Look for daily specials, too. After eating take a peek at their lobster tanks, some of the largest lobsters I have seen sit in the open tanks awaiting purchase.

Right down the road from the Foundry, on Lake Street, sits a smaller restaurant called "McGuel's Irish Burro." McGuel's cooks a variety of Mexican and some Irish foods with prices around $12 to $15. The portions are huge and impossible to finish. The fajitas are incredible and will easily feed two people. On weekends, it is very crowded so expect a wait.

Located in the Highgate Shopping Center off Route 7 is "Diamond Jim's Grille". Diamond Jim's has a little bit of everything and cater very well to children. Prices range from $7 to $16. Kids meals run around $4 and come with a free sundae at the end of the child's meal. Their fajitas and handmade tortillas are wonderful. The variety of hamburgers is supreme. They also serve seafood, chicken, steak, pork and vegetarian dishes. All meals come with homemade bread and a house salad.

There are other restaurants that come and go, but these four have stood the test of time. Instead of taking the trip into Burlington, try out the less crowded St. Albans. You are sure to love it.