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Beth Webb, a member of The Gazette’s restaurant review team The Four Dishes, picked up an entire kale and smoked gouda quiche during a recent visit to Bushel & Peck’s in downtown Beloit.

BELOIT

Creativity is the only way to move through this pandemic. We still need to eat, and we should do our part to support local restaurants.

Bushel & Peck’s in Beloit is both a restaurant and a retail store, offering a variety of house-made items such as jams, pickles, sauces, soups and fermented foods. On a side note, these are all great holiday gift-giving ideas.

The restaurant area of Bushel & Peck’s is quite casual and friendly with assorted tables, chairs and even a sofa. However, during COVID-19, only takeout is available via phone, online or walk-in. Indoor dining is not available at this time.

I made an extra trip to see what to recommend beyond our group’s large takeout order. The online menu (on the website under “order food to go”) is limited and only really available for lunch.

But I knew there was more.

I started by bringing home an entire quiche ($14). Bushel & Peck’s offers several types of quiche, but many were sold out. I was left with a kale and smoked gouda quiche, which was fine by me.

Quiche makes a great lunch or dinner, but I’m usually rushing out the door in the morning and love having a quick slice of protein. This quiche featured a thick layer of melted cheese on the bottom of a flaky crust, and the chopped kale topping almost resembled a crumble. I knew it was healthy, but it was so finely chopped and incorporated that I didn’t have the usual kale debate.

Do I think I like it? Yep, I did.

On my return trip, I saw a case full of scones. I need to remember that.

This time, I brought home the slow-roasted pork ($12.99 per pound). It was frozen, so the possibilities were endless.

I warmed half of the pork with barbecue sauce to put atop some polenta. The other half made a great stir-fry dinner with the last of my CSA cabbage harvest.

I also bought a serving of Bushel & Peck’s pesto veggie pasta salad. Twisty pasta, olives and a lot of fresh basil pesto—I highly recommend it.

And don’t forget the add-ons. You can find big, soft oatmeal cookies ($2) filled with raisins, and I also had to sample a chocolate chip cookie bar ($3).

For her meal, Jennifer ordered the tuna salad sandwich ($12), which included a side. She opted for pasta salad.

Jennifer was quite impressed by both choices. She wasn’t able to eat until much later in the day, and she was psyched to discover her sandwich was still fresh and moist hours later.

Served on a French roll and stuffed with an abundance of tuna salad, it had tiny chopped celery pieces and just enough mayonnaise to hold it together. An heirloom tomato slice, sliced gouda and mixed greens put this sandwich over the top.

Nikki got the chicken pot pie ($8), which came frozen. It is the perfect staple to have in the freezer as a go-to comfort food.

Now that the weather has cooled off, there’s nothing like the scent of a baking pot pie to warm up the house and whet the appetite. Flavors vary and include the chicken pot pie that was on the menu the day we ordered, as well as vegetable and cheeseburger pot pie options.

Helene ordered the vegetarian Italian picnic sandwich ($12), which came with several options: soup of the day, pasta salad or pickled beets. Helene chose the soup, which was a creamy squash soup.

The silky-smooth soup was peppery, and the flavor of the squash really stood out. Like the soup, the sandwich tasted fresh and summery with bright tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, arugula and lots of house-made pesto in which the basil really shone through. Soft mozzarella cheese provided a nice texture.

Served on a soft French roll, this sandwich couldn’t have been better. And it was large enough to easily feed two people—at least two people who weren’t famished but peckish.

Helene also tried the pasta salad, which was superb. In fact, she ranked it high on her list of all time favorites. Rotini pasta, finely chopped radishes, bits of broccoli, crispy kale, kalamata olives and cubed feta were tossed in a delicate basil vinaigrette. What she loved most about it was the textured kale, the olives and the amazing dressing.

If you are looking for great, locally sourced food at unbeatable prices, look no further than Bushel & Peck’s in Beloit.

The Four Dishes—Nikki Bolka, Helene Ramsdell, Jennifer Spangler and Beth Webb—review regional restaurants for The Gazette.

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