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Mar 7, 2005 08:54 AM

need a spot on I-84 in CT for lunch

  • l

we do alot of traveling through I-84 from NJ to MA or ME and need a spot for lunch. There's a long stretch of highway on I-84 above Waterbury, or the Darien area. Does anyone have any suggestions for a nice place to stop for a quick lunch? Doesn't have to be fancy, just a good place for homemade soups, sandwiches, etc. Thank you!

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  1. Depend on your entire route... if you're heading further, then Dave's Place in East Windsor a mile off the highway on rt 140. It's a real family run place, with Dave in the kitchen, and soup/sandwiches/hot plates that are worth the minor detour. I go there when I need to be at Suffield Acadamy,and at least for breakfast or lunch it has been great.


    5 Replies
    1. re: 1K diner

      If you want to stop right after Danbury, there is a good place off exit 9 in Newtown called Hot Shots. Get off the exit and make a right, at the light make another right and it is right there, couldn't be easier and the food is good...kind of a sports bar but they have changed the menu and have made it more family friendly after the smoking laws changed...we bring the kids there when my husband is in the mood for wings, and I usually get a really good soup and salad...There is also the diner right off exit 10, some people love it and some don't..

      1. re: 1K diner

        Dave's Place is off I-91, not I-84. It's about 10 miles north of I-84.

        1. re: Chris

          Chris-I realize the location. I was only suggesting to luv2eat if their path eventually was taking them from I-84 into Mass or into VT/NH, then this could be on their way

          1. re: Chris

            Chris... I realize from my past posting that you recommended Dave's Place to me in the first place... for a family run restaurant it was worth the detour!

            1. re: 1K diner

              Glad you enjoyed it.

        2. There's always Maggie McFlys. There is one in Southbury, right off Exit 14, and there is one in Middlebury off Exit 17. They have a website, although I am not sure of the address, if you want to check out their menu or get directions.

          1. Well, for some reason Rein's NY Deli gets disparaged in this forum (usually because it is "not up to New York standards," although I'd venture to guess a lot of people are remembering NY Standards of a bygone era), but we love it. It's off exit 65 of I84 in Vernon. Excellent blintzes, chopped herring, smoked salmon, rye bread (that's been disparaged here too, but pay no heed!), pickles, and more. I can't testify for their meat products, since I don't eat the stuff.

            It's open at least until midnight. Always crowded. Much better than your standard interstate fare, and fun.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Dan S

              You'd be better off at McDonald's.

              1. re: JRL

                Here's a case in point for you. I hope not everybody is discouraged by unqualified (and ludicrous) hyperbole like this. Go and decide for yourself.

                1. re: Dan S.

                  Don't know about you, but I'm one of those New Yorkers who knows what deli is supposed to taste like and Rein's "Deli" doesn't come close. And, FYI - blintzes, smoked salmon and chopped herring are not actually considered deli.
                  Beyond that, Rein's doesn't even make decent soup.

                  1. re: JRL

                    Well, I'm one of those New Yorkers who doesn't give a damn what deli is "supposed to taste like." I miss Zabars and Russ & Daughter, not Katz's. (Of course, you CAN get blintzes and those other items at any of the big time NY delis but who cares). Just because Rein's may not meet your definition of what an NY deli is, doesn't mean it's MacDonald's. I can't vouch for their soup, but they have a bunch of excellent food, and they do take care in preparing it (and if I'm not surrounded by six-inch high pastrami sandwiches, so much the better).

                    1. re: Dan S.

                      Sorry to stick my two cents in . . . Reins in a word . . . "feh!" As to delis, there was a time when an appetizing store was an appetizing store and a deli a deli. The distinction has unfotunately gotten blurred over the years . . . you couldn't get a blintz in a deli and you couldn't get pastrami in an appetizing store. Would it were still that way.

                      1. re: Dan S.

                        Nobody gave them the name - Rein's chooses to call itself NY style, thereby suggesting a particular standard. The fact that they fail to meet that standard is what prompts the divergent chowhound views.

                        The big time NY delis weren't always the standard; they're only what's left - I miss the small neighborhood delis (and every neighborhood had one and they didn't sell any dairy products because most of them were kosher) that all had great corned beef and pastrami. Zabar's is not a deli - it is a universe unto itself which started out as an appetizing store - a place to buy smoked fish. Every neighborhood had one of those, too. The quality at the one in my neighborhood was on a par with Zabar's. Now, Zabar's and a few others are all that's left.

                        All of that notwithstanding, nothing I have ever eaten at Rein's has been good. I happen to agree with you about 6 inch pastrami sandwiches, but the food - whether deli-ish or ordinary American, is just plain bad. And, BTW, so is the service. The only thing Rein's has going for it is location.

                        1. re: JRL

                          Well, let's agree to disagree then!

                2. re: Dan S

                  Rein's in fantastic! Great breakfast. Also Mitchell's in Vernon is suppose to have great breakfast food and it is not that far off 84 heading towards Boston. I believe it is Exit 67 or 68???

                  1. re: tammiteacher

                    Agree about Rein's...the best of what you can get in No. Central CT. And where else do they sell Carnegie deli cheesecake? And their rugellach is to die for.

                3. I think that you want a place that serves simple food so you may enjoy The Traveller Restaurant (and bookstore where you can pick out and take home a free book!) just off I-84 in the Union, CT area almost to the Mass. Pike. There is always the Cracker Barrel Restaurant on Route 20 east just prior to the pike. I would not suggest Maggie McFlys as another posted did as they don't serve the kind of food you are looking for.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Lily

                    I beg to differ about Maggie McFly's not having soups, sandwiches, etc. Maggie's has such a large menu, and there are soups and sandwiches (at least one whole page of them)plus pizzas, burgers, salads (again at least five choices), and entrees. It pretty much has something for everyone.

                    1. re: Becky

                      I didn't mean to suggest that Maggie's doesn't serve soup, burgers, etc. but they wanted a place for a quick meal (above the Waterbury area which Maggie's isn't). I have eaten at Maggie's several times and have always had to wait a long time before being seated and have always found it to be very noisy and busy. Also, I'm not sure if it is open at lunchtime either. Someone can (and I'm sure they will) correct me if I'm wrong about this. Maggie's is a great place to eat if you are into the hectic bar scene type of restaurant...not for a quick bite to eat.

                      1. re: Lily


                        You are correct both in that Maggie's is not above Waterbury (although the Middlebury is not so far from Waterbury as not to suggest it as an option) and can be not too quick at dinner time. Despite this, I drive past there at least three times per week at lunch time, and it is never crowded. I imagine lunch service would be more prompt, and with such a far reaching menu, it seems worth suggesting, even though it doesn't meet all the parameters. Plus, I don't think of it at all as a bar scene type restaurant. At least as far as the Southbury one goes, we go there with our pre-schooler, and it always seems to be families dining more so than a big bar scene. Just my opinion.

                        1. re: Becky

                          Gotta agree on the negatives on Maggie McFly's.
                          It is a trendy 20 something pickup bar that happens to serve food.
                          While the bar action is not going on at lunch and it is possible to get seated, the trend factor is still high and menu strikes me as rather typical.
                          The wife and I call it Maggie McBeautifulPeoples'.
                          My suggestion: pass.

                    2. re: Lily

                      We've always called it Food and Book. Man, I love their rice pudding! I haven't been there in years. I'll have to swing through next time I'm in the Sturbridge/84 area.

                    3. If you're into Jamaican food, consider a stop at Rufus' BBQ & Jerk in East Hartford. Exit 58 Eastbound (marked as Silver Lane). Hard right off the exit, it's at 285 Silver Lane, probably a little less than a half mile down.It's a small place on your left, almost directly across the street from a boarded-up Pizza Hut or similar-looking place. They have BBQ, Jerk Chicken or Pork, Oxtail Stew, Snapper and at lunch, even Jerkburger, also Caribbean-style soda - Pineapple, Ginger Beer etc.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Des in WMA

                        take exit 44 off I-84 onto Prospect Avenue which is the dividing line between Hartford and West Hartford. Head north 1/4 mi. and turn right onto Park St., 3 buildings down on the right is Lena's Pizza. You can choose between waitress or cafeteria style. They have great soups, huge salads, and slices of pizza including their rightfully famous stuffed pizza.
                        My wife and I love to split an antipasto and a meatball calzone. If you want a sandwich or burger turn left on Park and look for Effies's Place on your left.

                        1. re: Des in WMA

                          Hmmm. I've driven by that place a few times and wondered if it's good. I may have to get a bunch of jerk chicken to go one of these nights.