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Alternative dining in an area devoid of it? (ct)

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anything special in the horrible route 8 corridor? (waterbury-ish on down)

anything worth eating seems to be far away, places like New Haven (A-BEETS!), West Hartford, Fairfield (Firehouse Deli FTW!), Danbury, etc.

i would like to try something new, exciting, fresh. i find a lot of the places around here to be quite unimaginitive, bland and cookie cutter. It's all your generic pizza/chinese/tex-mex/burgers/sushi. i can't really find any place that really tries...

maybe someone could point me in the direction of some good Thai, Latin American (Peruvian, Chilean, Columbian, Cuban, even Puerto Rican) or Polish Places? even if they're far away that's fine, i only want you guys to confirm that yes this part of the state is devoid.

plus I have a natural aversion to overly nice places...something about brand new huge buildings (that's you downtown Shelton) and valet service screams "super high overhead" which means high prices and a menu that seeks to hedge itself... Aka. put in a bunch of generic menu choices to appeal to as many people as possible so we can afford our super-high overhead.

PS. is the Katz's that's down on (I think) George St. in New Haven the same Katz's as in the city? are they open? i'd stab someone to bring back that diner (I think it was called Diner 21) that was on George St. The ambiance, decorations, waitstaff, everything about it was great for those nights of clubbing downtown and stumbling looking for food at 2 A.M. I distinctly remember the food being absolutely delicious, but come to think of it, i think the alcohol clouded my judgment most of the time :)

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  1. Katz's is not related to the NY deli. I like the food there, but find it a little uneven.
    ie: a 10 dollar tongue sandwich with about 4 ounces of meat, great potato pancakes, a decent corned beef sandwich, ect.

    1. We've been talking about this for weeks on another thread. There are actually quite a few places popping up. Look for that thread and it'll tell you all the new finds.

      So, sorry I can't concur with you that this corridor is devoid of interesting choices any longer. Mind you, it's not the cat's meow, but there are definitely some places to be enjoyed.

      1. It's not adventurous, but Nardelli's in Naugatuck makes a seeeerious sandwich, and has lots of nice Italian grocery-type items as well. Other than that... I think the valley is mostly the suck, but I'd love to be told otherwise.

        1. i went back a month and a half on the "tri-state" boards and could not find the topic "masteroflightchick" was referencing (digging up a post over a month old is usually a no-no on forums anyway, but chowhound's etiquette post doesn't explicitly say so) so if anyone knows what she refers to it'd be great to post it.

          I agree on Nardelli's, it's our saving grace over here. otherwise it's still devoid, or at least until we start getting some names and addresses that prove otherwise.

          to stimulate actual conversation on the topic, i'll share with you guys my take on a local restaurant. my take will be on First Street Apizza, at 21 First Street in Seymour.

          -from the outside, First street looks like it could be kinda nice. classy neon sign, located a block down from the train station down the street from the stately post office and Bank of America.... it looks like this was a typical downtown circa the 1950's... could be quite charming if it wasn't for 50 years of suburban sprawl, but all that's left is a couple of antiques shops that change hands every couple of months, a dumpy Walgreens, a TV repair shop that hasn't taken in a TV they knew how to work on since the 1980's and a charming old movie theater that needs desperately to connect with 2008. Now it seems that mostly hipsters and indigents use the train station and no one walks the streets anymore....it's a shame.

          the place itself has a simple take-out counter, and a couple of chairs and tables. It's well done for what it is, but simply too small, i think like 4 tables and 8 chairs is all that really fits. Pretty classy, nicely furnished, just small. Menu choices are pretty standard. I found this searching for their menu written about their menu: "the menu includes a variety of gourmet toppings such as artichoke hearts and broccoli rabe, while specialty pizzas-red or white-include customer faves clams casino..." but I think that they've acclimated to being in Seymour because the last time I ordered from there, they had neither spinach nor Feta to put in a calzone for me. First St. seems to pride themselves on "New Haven Style apizza" (as the owner of First St. is also the Owner of Dayton St. Apizza in New Haven) but I found it had more in common with valley pizza than New Haven apizza. the pizza was good, don't get me wrong, but i think that it lacked the burnt bottom, misshapen pie size, thin crispy crust, tangy sauce, etc. of Sallys/Pepes/Bar. It certainly didn't look the part, and only sort of tasted the part. In terms of cost, it was slightly more expensive than the traditional fare available here, but that wasn't what bothered me.

          what I took out of the couple of times of having First St. apizza is "why should I get First st. apizza?" regular folks could be convinced that the neopolitan-esque pizza was what New Haven apizza should taste like, but i've eaten the lion's share of new haven apizza and knew better. I couldn't convince myself that it was authentic enough or cheap enough to not just take a ride down to New Haven for great apizza.

          Ps. the link I quoted above is here: http://www.playnewhaven.com/site/news...

          1 Reply
          1. re: ctdubbin

            no need to look older than a month - the last post on the thread was 5 hours ago:
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/384140

            then this thread from late last week:
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/487902

            both of which cover the Route 8 scene...

          2. well my apologies, as i didn't look closely enough, so maybe someone could answer me this question.... what' the difference between the tri-state forums and the new england forums? your posts are pulled from the new england forums and this is the tri-state forum, so no wonder i can't find any posts in the tri-state forum!

            seriously though, i'm new on chowhound and i feel like a dunce, but why is there two different boards for the same place? I thought tri-state fit Connecticut better than "New England," but hey, you guys are the one running this place, don't let me screw it up.

            hopefully i can get at least one person to chime in and say "yah it's slightly confusing"

            1 Reply
            1. re: ctdubbin

              Yah, it's slightly confusing. Seriously! I think the overlap is for those of us who live north of Stamford. I mostly read the tristate board for Fairfield through Greenwich stuff, but we never travel beyond Greenwich in that direction for our regular dining rotations. I also check the New England board for stuff north of Fairfield, up to New Haven, but we rarely venture further than that in our regular rotations. So you kind of have to look at both boards depending on what area you are looking to dine in. Personally I find very little on the New England board that relates to me because it is so vast in it's coverage, basically CT through ME, a lot of area. Tristate is a much smaller area, but more dense in number of restaurants. Hope you find what you are looking for, don't give up, we are mostly a helpful bunch!

            2. I spend a lot of time in Bridgeport and Waterbury so I know route 8 well.

              If you are looking for Latin American food there is plenty to be found. In Waterbury I suggest Peruvian Corner on East Main Street, Cubata for Brazilian, La Cazuela for Dominican, and La Vijenita for Colombian.

              Check out this thread for more info:
              www.chowhound.com/topics/379816

              I have heard of a few Brazilian places in Naugatuck but I haven't had a chance to try any of them yet. There is the Old Corner Cafe which is interesting because it is so old and well preserved you feel like it is the year 1945 when you are in there. Another Chowhounder recommends Anna Donte in Naugy for their homemade ravioli, I have stopped by twice so far but I was either too early or too late to get any grub.

              www.chowhound.com/topics/441424

              There are a ton of Latin places in Bridgeport too. Here is a thread about Mexican spots:

              www.chowhound.com/topics/403597

              If you like West Indian:
              www.chowhound.com/topics/464053

              I saw a Jamaican place in Ansonia not too long ago that is on my list of places to try.