A culinary online center dedicated to promoting the importance and the joy of American home cooking with an emphasis on local products and talent, celebrating the unique spirit and energy of the new food world ethos, especially in Vermont.

amuse bouche

I love quotes that add meaning to my life. Here are a few to live by:

Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
—The Dalai Lama

Rhubarb is a metaphor for finding happiness in your own backyard.
—Garrison Keillor

Buy your snacks from a farmers’ market.
—Michael Pollan

Even when he had a garden in Paris, Thomas Jefferson cultivated Indian corn, “to eat green in our manner, …as quickly after it left the stalk as possible.
—Evan Jones, from American Food

We Don’t Do Restaurant Reviews

Natalie and I never do restaurant reviews. We’re too interested in aspects of the Vermont food scene that aren’t always easy to see. It’s the people behind the specialness of the culinary world in our Northwest corner of Vermont that interests us.
But, we’re making an exception with this week’s post. Hearing the excited comments from reliable diners about the exceptional menu and atmosphere at a new Burlington Old North End eatery, Butch + Babes, we had to see for ourselves. And what a treat it was!
Here is our experience sampling the cuisine and the ambience of Butch + Babes. It is the product of owner, Kortnee Bush, raised in Chicago and chef, Narin Phanthakhotborn, born in Bangkok, who make the restaurant a very cool place to enjoy a bowl of ramen or the world’s best Brussels sprouts…We’re still telling everyone we know how good it is!
And, come back, next time, for another round of unique restaurant insider looks with our post on Stone Soup’s enigmatic, iconic owners, Avery Rifkin and Tim Elliot

Butch + Babe’s: Good News In The North End

IMG_4934

A Reflection of the Neighborhood
On a cold winter afternoon, we sat down with Kortnee Bush (pictured below), owner of Butch + Babes, over a cup of coffee, to discuss the creation of her restaurant and upcoming possibilities for Kortnee and chef, Narin Phanthakhot. The newly rooted restaurant in the Old North End is not only a reflection of the neighborhood, but also a representation of Burlington’s local food movement as a whole. Kortnee and Narin are not only sourcing locally, but also creating dishes to reflect the interests of their North End community. In doing so, Butch + Babes has created a space that is warm, inviting, and totally unique.

Pilgrim’s Progress of The Food World
Sitting at a small table in front of the long windows that front onto North Winooski Avenue at Butch + Babes, Kortnee’s quiet intensity and her avid food interest lit up our conversation. Her story felt like the saga of a much longer life, a sort of “pilgrim’s progress” of the food world. At a young age she spent time with her grandparents, Rich (Butch) and Marlene (Babe), who owned a bakery and catering business in Chicago. Drawn in by good things to eat, she realizes now she learned the demands of owning a restaurant by watching her grandparents work.

unnamed-1

Butch and Babes’ passion translated into Kortnee’s passion and led her to a diverse number of jobs, including two in Manhattan: managing the catering department at Eli Zabar’s Madison Avenue deli and restaurant, E.A.T., and working for Mary Cleaver heading up Green Table’s concessions on the West Side’s High Line. Falling in love with a Vermonter led her to her next job, working at Twin Farms, a famed Vermont hostelry, where the price of admission creates a very private experience for the resorts clientele. It was at Twin Farms where she learned the fine art of catering to individual tastes, and fortunately, met Narin, a chef at the resort whose passion for good food rivaled her own. They connected over their love of good food and their shared sense of humor.

Burlington School Food Project
Though she’d been trained at the French Culinary Institute, Kortnee admitted, where she really learned how to cook was as a “lunch lady” at Edmunds School in Burlington one as part of the Burlington School Food Project. This was a job that fed her soul as well as the appetites of young students, and provided her an opportunity to discover her new community. While she was working at the farm to school organization, she contributed to New School Cuisine: Nutritious and Seasonal Recipes for School Cooks by School Cooks. Kortnee’s 100-kilowatt intensity doubled as she described the 206-page compendium of recipes, all using grains, fruits, vegetables and meat sourced from Vermont farms across the state.

Her Own Creative Venture
After her stint as a valued member of the local “lunch lady” team, Kortnee was ready to think about a restaurant. Narin had moved from Twin Farms to open Worthy Kitchen for the Worthy Burger owners in Woodstock, bringing his interest in local sourcing with him and his flair for original flavors and love of home-cooked food. After Narin agreed to join her team, Kortnee started the search for a “real’ location where her desire to “feed the neighborhood” could be realized. The Old North End, Burlington’s original “downtown, ” seemed like the perfect place.

FullSizeRender

“Really Boring, Really Safe”
When discussing the process of creating the menu, Kortnee emphasized that she wanted it to be fun and have a community-pub-feel. She and Narin began with the idea that they needed a menu that seemed all of a piece, what one of the established Burlington restaurateurs they consulted called, “really boring and really safe’. She “threw all of it out” after Avery Rifkin, Stone Soup’s co-owner, gave her his honest opinion. She and Narin spent more hours honing a new menu for Butch & Babes that is surprising and seductive. It’s a menu that offers so many old ideas in new clothing that you have to keep going back to try them all out.

A New Menu
Nowhere does the eclectic background of both Kortnee and Narin show itself as well as it does in the menu of Butch + Babes. It’s where their combined food experiences –Narin was trained at the New England Culinary Institute (NECI) – meld and mix into a fascinating read: Kimchee hotdog with Korean Chili mayo (pictured below); Clear Noodle Soup, a lemongrass and ginger broth direct from Narin’s Bangkok childhood; and, Mac + Cheese Pancakes with habanero maple syrup, clearly finding their way onto the menu from Kortnee’s childhood by way of her Vermont lunch room sojourn. Narin explains, “people no longer dine out just to feed their stomachs, people now seek out a certain experience.”

IMG_4944 unnamed-2

IMG_4962 IMG_4954

A Restaurant For Everyone
Despite their unusual and alluring Thai and Midwestern flavor combinations, they ultimately seek to provide a menu that appeals to everyone. Smiling with the same intensity that Kortnee seems to bring to everything she cares about, she mentions that she loves the variety of ages that come to her restaurant, from small babies in strollers to the very elderly. And, she points out the menu caters to every age. “We don’t have a children’s menu”, she says with a smile.

Sixty seats (including the bar), a menu that puts a new spin on eclectic, and two owners who know what ‘s good and dare to make good their own thing– that’s Butch + Babe’s.

Take a walk down North Winooski Street. You may just decide this is your neighborhood restaurant no matter what neighborhood you live in…and find yourself eating here –at least– once a week.

***

By: Bronwyn Dunne & Natalie Lovelace
Photos Courtesy of Christian Stovall, UVM Junior

Posted: 2-21-2016

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Natalie and I never do restaurant reviews. We’re too interested in aspects of the Vermont food scene that aren’t always easy to see. It’s the people behind the specialness of the culinary world in our Northwest corner of Vermont that interests us.
But, we’re making an exception with this week’s post. Hearing the excited comments from reliable diners about the exceptional menu and atmosphere at a new Burlington Old North End eatery, Butch + Babes, we had to see for ourselves. And what a treat it was!
Here is our experience sampling the cuisine and the ambience of Butch + Babes. It is the product of owner, Kortnee Bush, raised in Chicago and chef, Narin Phanthakhotborn, born in Bangkok, who make the restaurant a very cool place to enjoy a bowl of ramen or the world’s best Brussels sprouts…We’re still telling everyone we know how good it is!
And, come back, next time, for another round of unique restaurant insider looks with our post on Stone Soup’s enigmatic, iconic owners, Avery Rifkin and Tim Elliot

Butch + Babe’s: Good News In The North End

IMG_4934 A Reflection of the Neighborhood On a cold winter afternoon, we sat down with Kortnee Bush (pictured below), owner of Butch + Babes, over a cup of coffee, to discuss the creation of her restaurant and upcoming possibilities for Kortnee and chef, Narin Phanthakhot. The newly rooted restaurant in the Old North End is not only a reflection of the neighborhood, but also a representation of Burlington’s local food movement as a whole. Kortnee and Narin are not only sourcing locally, but also creating dishes to reflect the interests of their North End community. In doing so, Butch + Babes has created a space that is warm, inviting, and totally unique. Pilgrim’s Progress of The Food World Sitting at a small table in front of the long windows that front onto North Winooski Avenue at Butch + Babes, Kortnee’s quiet intensity and her avid food interest lit up our conversation. Her story felt like the saga of a much longer life, a sort of “pilgrim’s progress” of the food world. At a young age she spent time with her grandparents, Rich (Butch) and Marlene (Babe), who owned a bakery and catering business in Chicago. Drawn in by good things to eat, she realizes now she learned the demands of owning a restaurant by watching her grandparents work. unnamed-1 Butch and Babes’ passion translated into Kortnee’s passion and led her to a diverse number of jobs, including two in Manhattan: managing the catering department at Eli Zabar’s Madison Avenue deli and restaurant, E.A.T., and working for Mary Cleaver heading up Green Table’s concessions on the West Side’s High Line. Falling in love with a Vermonter led her to her next job, working at Twin Farms, a famed Vermont hostelry, where the price of admission creates a very private experience for the resorts clientele. It was at Twin Farms where she learned the fine art of catering to individual tastes, and fortunately, met Narin, a chef at the resort whose passion for good food rivaled her own. They connected over their love of good food and their shared sense of humor. Burlington School Food Project Though she’d been trained at the French Culinary Institute, Kortnee admitted, where she really learned how to cook was as a “lunch lady” at Edmunds School in Burlington one as part of the Burlington School Food Project. This was a job that fed her soul as well as the appetites of young students, and provided her an opportunity to discover her new community. While she was working at the farm to school organization, she contributed to New School Cuisine: Nutritious and Seasonal Recipes for School Cooks by School Cooks. Kortnee’s 100-kilowatt intensity doubled as she described the 206-page compendium of recipes, all using grains, fruits, vegetables and meat sourced from Vermont farms across the state. Her Own Creative Venture After her stint as a valued member of the local “lunch lady” team, Kortnee was ready to think about a restaurant. Narin had moved from Twin Farms to open Worthy Kitchen for the Worthy Burger owners in Woodstock, bringing his interest in local sourcing with him and his flair for original flavors and love of home-cooked food. After Narin agreed to join her team, Kortnee started the search for a “real’ location where her desire to “feed the neighborhood” could be realized. The Old North End, Burlington’s original “downtown, ” seemed like the perfect place. FullSizeRender “Really Boring, Really Safe” When discussing the process of creating the menu, Kortnee emphasized that she wanted it to be fun and have a community-pub-feel. She and Narin began with the idea that they needed a menu that seemed all of a piece, what one of the established Burlington restaurateurs they consulted called, “really boring and really safe’. She “threw all of it out” after Avery Rifkin, Stone Soup’s co-owner, gave her his honest opinion. She and Narin spent more hours honing a new menu for Butch & Babes that is surprising and seductive. It’s a menu that offers so many old ideas in new clothing that you have to keep going back to try them all out. A New Menu Nowhere does the eclectic background of both Kortnee and Narin show itself as well as it does in the menu of Butch + Babes. It’s where their combined food experiences –Narin was trained at the New England Culinary Institute (NECI) – meld and mix into a fascinating read: Kimchee hotdog with Korean Chili mayo (pictured below); Clear Noodle Soup, a lemongrass and ginger broth direct from Narin’s Bangkok childhood; and, Mac + Cheese Pancakes with habanero maple syrup, clearly finding their way onto the menu from Kortnee’s childhood by way of her Vermont lunch room sojourn. Narin explains, “people no longer dine out just to feed their stomachs, people now seek out a certain experience.” IMG_4944 unnamed-2 IMG_4962 IMG_4954 A Restaurant For Everyone Despite their unusual and alluring Thai and Midwestern flavor combinations, they ultimately seek to provide a menu that appeals to everyone. Smiling with the same intensity that Kortnee seems to bring to everything she cares about, she mentions that she loves the variety of ages that come to her restaurant, from small babies in strollers to the very elderly. And, she points out the menu caters to every age. “We don’t have a children’s menu”, she says with a smile. Sixty seats (including the bar), a menu that puts a new spin on eclectic, and two owners who know what ‘s good and dare to make good their own thing-- that’s Butch + Babe’s. Take a walk down North Winooski Street. 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Natalie and I never do restaurant reviews. We’re too interested in aspects of the Vermont food scene that aren’t always easy to see. It’s the people behind the specialness of the culinary world in our Northwest corner of Vermont that interests us.
But, we’re making an exception with this week’s post. Hearing the excited comments from reliable diners about the exceptional menu and atmosphere at a new Burlington Old North End eatery, Butch + Babes, we had to see for ourselves. And what a treat it was!
Here is our experience sampling the cuisine and the ambience of Butch + Babes. It is the product of owner, Kortnee Bush, raised in Chicago and chef, Narin Phanthakhotborn, born in Bangkok, who make the restaurant a very cool place to enjoy a bowl of ramen or the world’s best Brussels sprouts…We’re still telling everyone we know how good it is!
And, come back, next time, for another round of unique restaurant insider looks with our post on Stone Soup’s enigmatic, iconic owners, Avery Rifkin and Tim Elliot

Butch + Babe’s: Good News In The North End

IMG_4934 A Reflection of the Neighborhood On a cold winter afternoon, we sat down with Kortnee Bush (pictured below), owner of Butch + Babes, over a cup of coffee, to discuss the creation of her restaurant and upcoming possibilities for Kortnee and chef, Narin Phanthakhot. The newly rooted restaurant in the Old North End is not only a reflection of the neighborhood, but also a representation of Burlington’s local food movement as a whole. Kortnee and Narin are not only sourcing locally, but also creating dishes to reflect the interests of their North End community. In doing so, Butch + Babes has created a space that is warm, inviting, and totally unique. Pilgrim’s Progress of The Food World Sitting at a small table in front of the long windows that front onto North Winooski Avenue at Butch + Babes, Kortnee’s quiet intensity and her avid food interest lit up our conversation. Her story felt like the saga of a much longer life, a sort of “pilgrim’s progress” of the food world. At a young age she spent time with her grandparents, Rich (Butch) and Marlene (Babe), who owned a bakery and catering business in Chicago. Drawn in by good things to eat, she realizes now she learned the demands of owning a restaurant by watching her grandparents work. unnamed-1 Butch and Babes’ passion translated into Kortnee’s passion and led her to a diverse number of jobs, including two in Manhattan: managing the catering department at Eli Zabar’s Madison Avenue deli and restaurant, E.A.T., and working for Mary Cleaver heading up Green Table’s concessions on the West Side’s High Line. Falling in love with a Vermonter led her to her next job, working at Twin Farms, a famed Vermont hostelry, where the price of admission creates a very private experience for the resorts clientele. It was at Twin Farms where she learned the fine art of catering to individual tastes, and fortunately, met Narin, a chef at the resort whose passion for good food rivaled her own. They connected over their love of good food and their shared sense of humor. Burlington School Food Project Though she’d been trained at the French Culinary Institute, Kortnee admitted, where she really learned how to cook was as a “lunch lady” at Edmunds School in Burlington one as part of the Burlington School Food Project. This was a job that fed her soul as well as the appetites of young students, and provided her an opportunity to discover her new community. While she was working at the farm to school organization, she contributed to New School Cuisine: Nutritious and Seasonal Recipes for School Cooks by School Cooks. Kortnee’s 100-kilowatt intensity doubled as she described the 206-page compendium of recipes, all using grains, fruits, vegetables and meat sourced from Vermont farms across the state. Her Own Creative Venture After her stint as a valued member of the local “lunch lady” team, Kortnee was ready to think about a restaurant. Narin had moved from Twin Farms to open Worthy Kitchen for the Worthy Burger owners in Woodstock, bringing his interest in local sourcing with him and his flair for original flavors and love of home-cooked food. After Narin agreed to join her team, Kortnee started the search for a “real’ location where her desire to “feed the neighborhood” could be realized. The Old North End, Burlington’s original “downtown, ” seemed like the perfect place. FullSizeRender “Really Boring, Really Safe” When discussing the process of creating the menu, Kortnee emphasized that she wanted it to be fun and have a community-pub-feel. She and Narin began with the idea that they needed a menu that seemed all of a piece, what one of the established Burlington restaurateurs they consulted called, “really boring and really safe’. She “threw all of it out” after Avery Rifkin, Stone Soup’s co-owner, gave her his honest opinion. She and Narin spent more hours honing a new menu for Butch & Babes that is surprising and seductive. It’s a menu that offers so many old ideas in new clothing that you have to keep going back to try them all out. A New Menu Nowhere does the eclectic background of both Kortnee and Narin show itself as well as it does in the menu of Butch + Babes. It’s where their combined food experiences –Narin was trained at the New England Culinary Institute (NECI) – meld and mix into a fascinating read: Kimchee hotdog with Korean Chili mayo (pictured below); Clear Noodle Soup, a lemongrass and ginger broth direct from Narin’s Bangkok childhood; and, Mac + Cheese Pancakes with habanero maple syrup, clearly finding their way onto the menu from Kortnee’s childhood by way of her Vermont lunch room sojourn. Narin explains, “people no longer dine out just to feed their stomachs, people now seek out a certain experience.” IMG_4944 unnamed-2 IMG_4962 IMG_4954 A Restaurant For Everyone Despite their unusual and alluring Thai and Midwestern flavor combinations, they ultimately seek to provide a menu that appeals to everyone. Smiling with the same intensity that Kortnee seems to bring to everything she cares about, she mentions that she loves the variety of ages that come to her restaurant, from small babies in strollers to the very elderly. And, she points out the menu caters to every age. “We don’t have a children’s menu”, she says with a smile. Sixty seats (including the bar), a menu that puts a new spin on eclectic, and two owners who know what ‘s good and dare to make good their own thing-- that’s Butch + Babe’s. Take a walk down North Winooski Street. You may just decide this is your neighborhood restaurant no matter what neighborhood you live in…and find yourself eating here -at least- once a week. *** By: Bronwyn Dunne & Natalie Lovelace Photos Courtesy of Christian Stovall, UVM Junior" ["post_title"]=> string(30) "We Don't Do Restaurant Reviews" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(84) "Read about the charming new resturant in Burlington's Old North End, Butch + Babe's!" 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Natalie and I never do restaurant reviews. We’re too interested in aspects of the Vermont food scene that aren’t always easy to see. It’s the people behind the specialness of the culinary world in our Northwest corner of Vermont that interests us.
But, we’re making an exception with this week’s post. Hearing the excited comments from reliable diners about the exceptional menu and atmosphere at a new Burlington Old North End eatery, Butch + Babes, we had to see for ourselves. And what a treat it was!
Here is our experience sampling the cuisine and the ambience of Butch + Babes. It is the product of owner, Kortnee Bush, raised in Chicago and chef, Narin Phanthakhotborn, born in Bangkok, who make the restaurant a very cool place to enjoy a bowl of ramen or the world’s best Brussels sprouts…We’re still telling everyone we know how good it is!
And, come back, next time, for another round of unique restaurant insider looks with our post on Stone Soup’s enigmatic, iconic owners, Avery Rifkin and Tim Elliot

Butch + Babe’s: Good News In The North End

IMG_4934 A Reflection of the Neighborhood On a cold winter afternoon, we sat down with Kortnee Bush (pictured below), owner of Butch + Babes, over a cup of coffee, to discuss the creation of her restaurant and upcoming possibilities for Kortnee and chef, Narin Phanthakhot. The newly rooted restaurant in the Old North End is not only a reflection of the neighborhood, but also a representation of Burlington’s local food movement as a whole. Kortnee and Narin are not only sourcing locally, but also creating dishes to reflect the interests of their North End community. In doing so, Butch + Babes has created a space that is warm, inviting, and totally unique. Pilgrim’s Progress of The Food World Sitting at a small table in front of the long windows that front onto North Winooski Avenue at Butch + Babes, Kortnee’s quiet intensity and her avid food interest lit up our conversation. Her story felt like the saga of a much longer life, a sort of “pilgrim’s progress” of the food world. At a young age she spent time with her grandparents, Rich (Butch) and Marlene (Babe), who owned a bakery and catering business in Chicago. Drawn in by good things to eat, she realizes now she learned the demands of owning a restaurant by watching her grandparents work. unnamed-1 Butch and Babes’ passion translated into Kortnee’s passion and led her to a diverse number of jobs, including two in Manhattan: managing the catering department at Eli Zabar’s Madison Avenue deli and restaurant, E.A.T., and working for Mary Cleaver heading up Green Table’s concessions on the West Side’s High Line. Falling in love with a Vermonter led her to her next job, working at Twin Farms, a famed Vermont hostelry, where the price of admission creates a very private experience for the resorts clientele. It was at Twin Farms where she learned the fine art of catering to individual tastes, and fortunately, met Narin, a chef at the resort whose passion for good food rivaled her own. They connected over their love of good food and their shared sense of humor. Burlington School Food Project Though she’d been trained at the French Culinary Institute, Kortnee admitted, where she really learned how to cook was as a “lunch lady” at Edmunds School in Burlington one as part of the Burlington School Food Project. This was a job that fed her soul as well as the appetites of young students, and provided her an opportunity to discover her new community. While she was working at the farm to school organization, she contributed to New School Cuisine: Nutritious and Seasonal Recipes for School Cooks by School Cooks. Kortnee’s 100-kilowatt intensity doubled as she described the 206-page compendium of recipes, all using grains, fruits, vegetables and meat sourced from Vermont farms across the state. Her Own Creative Venture After her stint as a valued member of the local “lunch lady” team, Kortnee was ready to think about a restaurant. Narin had moved from Twin Farms to open Worthy Kitchen for the Worthy Burger owners in Woodstock, bringing his interest in local sourcing with him and his flair for original flavors and love of home-cooked food. After Narin agreed to join her team, Kortnee started the search for a “real’ location where her desire to “feed the neighborhood” could be realized. The Old North End, Burlington’s original “downtown, ” seemed like the perfect place. FullSizeRender “Really Boring, Really Safe” When discussing the process of creating the menu, Kortnee emphasized that she wanted it to be fun and have a community-pub-feel. She and Narin began with the idea that they needed a menu that seemed all of a piece, what one of the established Burlington restaurateurs they consulted called, “really boring and really safe’. She “threw all of it out” after Avery Rifkin, Stone Soup’s co-owner, gave her his honest opinion. She and Narin spent more hours honing a new menu for Butch & Babes that is surprising and seductive. It’s a menu that offers so many old ideas in new clothing that you have to keep going back to try them all out. A New Menu Nowhere does the eclectic background of both Kortnee and Narin show itself as well as it does in the menu of Butch + Babes. It’s where their combined food experiences –Narin was trained at the New England Culinary Institute (NECI) – meld and mix into a fascinating read: Kimchee hotdog with Korean Chili mayo (pictured below); Clear Noodle Soup, a lemongrass and ginger broth direct from Narin’s Bangkok childhood; and, Mac + Cheese Pancakes with habanero maple syrup, clearly finding their way onto the menu from Kortnee’s childhood by way of her Vermont lunch room sojourn. Narin explains, “people no longer dine out just to feed their stomachs, people now seek out a certain experience.” IMG_4944 unnamed-2 IMG_4962 IMG_4954 A Restaurant For Everyone Despite their unusual and alluring Thai and Midwestern flavor combinations, they ultimately seek to provide a menu that appeals to everyone. Smiling with the same intensity that Kortnee seems to bring to everything she cares about, she mentions that she loves the variety of ages that come to her restaurant, from small babies in strollers to the very elderly. And, she points out the menu caters to every age. “We don’t have a children’s menu”, she says with a smile. Sixty seats (including the bar), a menu that puts a new spin on eclectic, and two owners who know what ‘s good and dare to make good their own thing-- that’s Butch + Babe’s. Take a walk down North Winooski Street. You may just decide this is your neighborhood restaurant no matter what neighborhood you live in…and find yourself eating here -at least- once a week. *** By: Bronwyn Dunne & Natalie Lovelace Photos Courtesy of Christian Stovall, UVM Junior" ["post_title"]=> string(30) "We Don't Do Restaurant Reviews" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(84) "Read about the charming new resturant in Burlington's Old North End, Butch + Babe's!" 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3 responses to “We Don’t Do Restaurant Reviews”

  1. Can’t wait to try this place… Thanks so much for mentioning it to me again…others have also told me it is great! Best, CF

  2. Katherine Picard says:

    I love Butch and Babe’s. The last time I was there I had the chicken you showed in this article. It was melt in your mouth good and the Brussel sprouts were to die for. Congrats to Butch and Babe’s.

  3. Laurie says:

    Great story on Butch and Babes and I cannot wait to go!
    It looks like a place I will return to often. Thank you for sharing and introducing this to us! YAY!
    -Laurie

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