b4 Wallingford CT
While not a culinary find, Brothers Restaurant in the center of Wallingford right behind the railroad station is a solid option. Large menu, large restaurant, good, standard, primarily American food, reasonable prices and only 5 minutes from the Oakdale. Can't recommend Westbrook Lobster. Three tries have yielded mediocre food and amateurish "service".
Pizza isn't the best match for your evening, but I must mention Jerry's Pizza in Middletown. Their white Sicilian pizza is fabulous. No cheese, no tomato, just anchovies, garlic, parsley and red pepperflakes. Another great pizza place is Little Rendezvous in Meriden. Their oven is from 1890, which does up Napoletano - crispy - crust style pizza. Their hamburger pie is the best.
Napoli Rt 5 Staples Plaza - Solid Italian, Typically good pizza/calzones/etc.
Teds Steamed Cheeseburgers Meriden
Archie Moores wings/pub fare
Trackside Pizza Wlfd
Antonio's Wlfd/NH Line - Family Italian
Ive had mixed result at Michaels. First time is was real good, second time the bread had ice crystals in it, service slow, things were a little sloppy in general - but the second time was lunch (maybe that matters)
I'd say its an extreme overgeneralization (and perhaps oversight) to write off the whole area of "decent restaurants". I think there are some decent places for sure.
Wallingford is seriously lacking in decent restaurants that aren't of the Applebees/Chili's variety. I have had some good meals at Westbrook Lobster (Rt. 68 at the intersection of Rt. 150). They can be a little pricey for what you get, but the food is usually good. Just stay away from their Lobster Bisque, it isn't great.
The Yankee Silversmith is pretty good as well (right off exit 66 off of the parkway). If you want pub grub, Sabbaticals is decent, as is Archie Moores.
If you are looking for fine dining, look elsewhere.