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Glastonbury help, please?

I have to work in Glastonbury for four days, doing demos at the new Whole Foods...I've read some old posts about Glastnbury, and it doesn't sound like there's a lot there....Now, granted, there will be plenty to eat...WF usually does good prepared foods, pizza and sushi, especially during a store's openig week; they really pull the stops out, so I don't need any of those, unless they're really can't miss. But I'l love any dives with good ethnic, orf almost any kind....Any ideas?
Thanks!

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  1. Hmm, I'm not sure that "dive" and Glastonbury have ever been mentioned in the same sentence. :) Within a 15 minute drive gives you a few options. I've heard good things (from Filipino friends) about Philippine Cuisine on Silver Lane in East Hartford. I believe it's take-out, and resides in tiny strip mall.

    Oak Street Cafe (also called Oak Street Pub & Restaurant) in Manchester offers nice Portuguese food, and it has an attached bar which used to be popular with bikers, so that may qualify as a dive, but the dining room is decent and very casual.

    Speaking of Whole Foods, how many people are going today? I'm hoping it will be less crowded after 8:00 this evening. For some reason I have a need to go on opening day.

    9 Replies
    1. re: dugbee

      Ooh, ooh, ooh, my favorite Portuguese place in Peabody had a side that was a biker bar; excellent, and I adore Portuguese food. The Phillipine place sounds good, too. I've never had it, but that's never stopped me before. Is it really meat-intensive?

      As far as opening day at WF, you are indeed a sick and demented individual...Thankfully, I will be missing opening day...They have plenty of demos and free snacks all thru the first few weeks, but if you really want to experience novice cashiers trying to get the buys out of a new computer system.....;)

      I've always found 2-4 to be a slow time at these events, if you have a flexible schedule...

      1. re: galleygirl

        Here's a short write-up by someone, you can search on the names of the dishes - but I don't think it has to be meat-intensive:
        http://mariekshan.wordpress.com/2007/...

        I wasn't aware of the commonality of Portuguese food and biker bars, fascinating! And as long as the cashier can ring up my Piave, I'm good. I'll deal with the crowds just for free stuff, dementia included.

        1. re: dugbee

          I've already printed out my directions...

          1. re: galleygirl

            Just note that the area by the Philippine place is rather stagnant, unless you consider a post office or laundromat entertaining. The Portuguese place in Manchester is off of Main Street, which isn't quite stagnant, but nowhere near vibrant either.

            For a retail/chain mecca you'll have to head into the mall area of Manchester. And both Glastonbury and West Hartford center have have many non-dive, non-chain restaurants as well, though some of the other regulars here can speak better in regard to the high-end spots.

            And finally, go to Daybreak Coffee Roasters (reasonable walking distance from Whole Foods) for an excellent cup of.. coffee. Enjoy!

            1. re: dugbee

              Thanks for the coffee tip; very important!
              Neighborhoods aren't as important as the food...;)
              I'm trying to avoid driving as far as west hartford; that's about 1/2 hour, isn't it?
              I'd actually like to hear about some non-dive restaurants in Glastonbury, too, as long as the food as good...

              1. re: galleygirl

                Glastonbury is an upscale suburb - hence WF & the lack of dives, but so is West Hartford....
                Glastonbury does have some good restaurants - many are pretty upscale - if you search for any of the following you'll get more detail - you'll want to check on lunch hours & will need a reservation at weekends (& possibly Thurs eve)

                Sauce - couple of blocks from WF - upscale Italian, their take on pasta is somewhat 'lighter' than Max Amore in my experience (though portions are large), I like the 'little plates' (don't recall their name) - like tapas, v. small, simple flavored but good if you like to try lots of little tastes! - they had a beet one & a carrot one on special when I went, the calamari one is great).

                Max Amore - in Somerset square - upscale Italian (sensing a theme here) part of a mini chain in the Hartford area - can be hit or miss, salads are OK, pastas lean towards the long cooked meat sauces (usually good), entrees so so.

                Max Fish - In Somerset Sq - same chain as Max Amore, recently opened, focus is fish (but you could have guessed that) - getting mixed reviews - has a more casual bar menu and a formal dining area & menu.

                2Hopewell - in South Glastonbury, keep going down main st about 10 mins drive - locally sourced, mainly organic, getting great reviews. It's owned by the same folks as Center of the Plate which is a natural/organic butchers in the Pier One strip mall (hopefully they'll survive WF). Also has a bar area and dining area.

                Portuguese place mentioned in Manchester is great - must try the salt cod cakes if you eat fish

                Daybreak is also good - their's a starbucks closer to WF but Daybreak is only a couple of mins walk from there & it's locally owned.

                There's a lot of pizza (not sure how one town sustains quite this many places) all are OK, none are great IMO. Jalisco (sp?) is passable mexican. Adriatiks has OK gyros.

                I would avoid Chikurin (japanese)

                Min Ghung (Glen Lochen mall) is rather over styled but could be fun - sushi/asian.

                Unfortunately you're coming at the wrong time to experience my favorite Glastonbury foodie stuff which is the local farms - local berries, organic PYO etc.

                Hope this helps, enjoy

                1. re: ctbrit

                  I'm all over fish, so the salt cod cakes are a must...Are the little tapas you're thinking of called cicchietti?
                  Is there a bar at Sauce?

                  1. re: galleygirl

                    Sauce does have a bar:
                    http://connecticut.metromix.com/resta...

                    And make sure you get the little skillet potatoes @ Oak Street! They're curiously amazing.

                  2. re: ctbrit

                    Must offer my 2 cents re Max restaurants in Glastonbury: we have never been disappointed by either of them. For that matter, we've never been disappointed by any Max restaurant. We/ve had at least 6 lunches or dinners at Max Amore and Max Fish over the last couple of months, so we're not working with a limited sample here. Nice ambiance (especially Max Fish), excellent servers, large portions, tastes great. Not sure why some on this board are anti-Max, the success of this group is undeniable. Cheers.

      2. Go to Augie and Ray's in East Hartford. It's what I call "beach food", fried fish and seafood, burgers, dogs, sandwiches etc. I love their fried fish. Just follow Main st. Glastonbury north and very soon after you cross over into East Hartford, near the route 2 entrance, it will be on your right.

        1. Glastonbury has a couple of very good Indian restaurants. Ambassador of India on Main Street has been around for years and is quite good. For Asian, try Char-koon in South Glastonbury. High quality and very good. If you want a sports bars type place, try the Diamond on Hebron. The food is good bar type grub but the service can be a bit slow. As others noted there are several upscale places in town: Max Fish (pricey seafood), Max Amore (Upscale Italian), Sauce (upscale Italian), 2 Hopewell (upscale American), Gilberts (steaks) and Glas.

          Took a tour of Whole Foods on Monday and it is nice. I am sure it will be mobbed. There are plenty of people will to spend their Whole Paycheck in this area. Jay

          1. I ate at this Thai place quite awhile back and keep meaning to go back, but I tend to forget it's there, even though we had a really good experience there. It's across the bridge in Wethersfield, very drivable from Glastonbury.

            http://chicago.citysearch.com/review/...

            Now a question for you, can you get me a job at WF?:)

            6 Replies
            1. re: geminigirl

              Wow! I'm up and down the Silas Deane all the time and never noticed it. Thanks! I'll try lunch there soon.
              Jim

              1. re: jkuhlen

                Yeah, its very easy to miss! I'll be interested to know what you think.

              2. re: geminigirl

                I don't work for Whole Foods, BUT, I asked, and they are still hiring. You have to apply online first, at their website,, then they call you in for an interview..

                1. re: galleygirl

                  Look for the Oceanic in East Hartford...drive in off Ct Blvd...it;s a (B+) and if you take Hebron Ave (rt94) east from the center of Glastnbury and take Rt 83 north towards Manchester it will tun right into Main St where The Oak St Tavern (C+) is and right across the St is Sinnamon Shop(A-)...great for breakfast...

                  On 83 right before you go over the highway into downtown Manchester is Mulberry St Pizza. (Solid A) All take out but great sandwiches and Pizza.

                  1. re: sodagirl

                    I think you a talking about Mickey's Oceanic Grill on Pitkin Street in East Hartford. It's just off the RT-2 West, Pitkin St, exit. Best Fish Sandwich around but only open weekdays.

                  2. re: galleygirl

                    Thanks for the info, i've applied on line, but no calls...I'm not in the "food" business really, trying to break in in any way possible!

                2. Just as an FYI, for all you CT hounds, Oak Street Bar and Grille is only serving soup and sandwiches at the bar til next month, no Portuguese....I found out the hard way, by driving over...oops!

                  1. I highly recommend Min Ghung restaurant. It's an incredible Asian Bistro that offers the best of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cuisine. It's stylish, cool, fun, and absolutely delicious. Eat either inside the brightly-colored restuarant near the fresh, chic sushi bar or, if it is warm, outside in the lantern-lit patio. Its dishes are entirely authentic and delectable and service is warm and friendly. Try the avocado eggrolls, stir-fry, or bulgogi beef in particular, but anything is sure to hit the spot!

                    1. Okay, hounds, i have a shameful tale to tell. After driving all the way to Oak Street Bar and Grill, (detailed below) and finding they weren't serving Portuguese food til next month), I drove back to Glastonbury, albeit with a short stop for the Sobriety Patrol, brought to you by the Connecticut State Police, off of 84...It was 7:30 on a Friday night, what's up with that???

                      That was the only rest I had mapquested for, so I was stuck...Got back to Main St, and went about 5 or 6 miles, far enough to get to Augie's &?, the beach food place, which was CLOSED, and lots of very drink-intensive places. Now, I'm a drinking kinda girl, but when you've been on your feet, talking, for 8 hours straight, you know your liquor tolerance is low...

                      So, after finding nothing open but a family Italian place, I went to the Houlihan's, opposite my hotel. Yes, dear friends, I visited a chain. I vaguely remembered a tuna salad I had there when a client dragged me..

                      There was a seared ahi tuna salad on the menu. But it involved a banana vinaigrette, bananas, cashews, and cilantro...Bananas?
                      Still, your woman in Glastonbury needed sustenance....

                      This salad was a revelation. I'm not kidding here. Chopped Napa, with cilantro, slivers of banana, cashews, the seared slices of ahi and crisp wonton strips; and a sprinkle of something soysaucelike...A banana-ginger vinaigrette, that I would kill to have the recipe for.. It resembled nothing so much as the flavors of Yum Pla Duk Fu, a Thai salad that involves crispy catfish, cashews, greens, and typical Thai dressing ingredients. The corporate chef who came up with this gem had to be firmly grounded in traditional Asian foods...I loved it. It was perfect. I went back the next night, and ate exactly the same thing.

                      Not chowish, you may say. But isn't it being truly houndish to find the best food, no matter where you are? Even in a chain? Your call...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: galleygirl

                        Galleygirl - Sorry that you made the trip up to Oak Street. I thought someone said it was not serving Portuguese food this month. Anyway, the food at Houlihans is okay and there really is not much you can do wrong with a salad. I think their other food though is not that great. If we want corporate food we go to the 99 on the other side of Route 3.

                        You are right that there is not much on Main Street in East Hartford north of Glastonbury. you might have been better off heading south into Glastonbury and eating somewhere around Whole Foods. As for the Sobriety Patrol, well MADD pushes its weight around and gets these set up. I guess they are out looking for those Happy Hour people that had a little too much. Jay