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good ethnic food

kubasd Mar 3, 2009 03:34 PM

Ok, so i grew up in CT, but then moved to DC for six years and just moved back. I got seriously spoiled down there with all the ethiopean, el salvadorean, indian, thai, chinese, etc. I am now bored out of my mind here in boring white bread new london county. Does anyone have any good ethnic finds? I need help please!!

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  1. Shoreliner RE: kubasd Mar 3, 2009 05:12 PM

    Well, I'm in Branford, so don't know if you travel close. For Indian, I love Darbar and for Thai food I think that Thai's One is excellent. For Chinese, we go to Clinton to Taste of China - the food there is really good, but the last time I was there I was put off by their attitude in trying to sell me an expensive bottle of wine. I chose a bottle of red at $28. but without even checking they said they were out of it, then I chose another bottle under $30 and without checking they were out of that also. But the food was very good.

    1. theferlyone RE: kubasd Mar 3, 2009 05:34 PM

      Bangkok City (Thai) and Little Tokyo (Japanese) are right in New London, and both are pretty good. There's an Indian place in Groton right across from Wal-Mart that I also think is quite decent...I'm blanking on the name right now. I really can't think of a stand-out Chinese place in the area...they're all pretty average. If you find an Ethiopean place, let me know...the food sounds good, but I haven't seen anything around here.

      1 Reply
      1. re: theferlyone
        t
        thinks too much RE: theferlyone Mar 5, 2009 07:08 AM

        I don't really care for Bankok City, but there is a new Thai place on Bank Street where Sophia's used to be. I've been there once, and liked it. I also liked Northern India on State Street, though I haven't been for a while. Darbar is better, but also farther. Chester's has barbecue that shouldn't be this good in Connecticut. They have a tiny space in New London and a larger one in a strip mall in Groton; I've only been to the one in Groton. Russel's Ribs in Groton is, well, not so much. I've also heard good things about Singapore Grill.

        For Ethiopian, I simply scrounge invites from my colleague. His wife's cooking is amazing! :-)

      2. EastRocker RE: kubasd Mar 5, 2009 07:45 AM

        You may have to come visit us in New Haven for some of these cravings.

        5 Replies
        1. re: EastRocker
          kubasd RE: EastRocker Mar 5, 2009 01:13 PM

          I'm getting that my choices are woefully inadequate. I've been to Bangkok city... and I've had way better (but it is a sentimental favorite). I keep telling myself i need to try mirch masala (the one in groton), so maybe i'll do that tomorrow. Which one is the new Thai place? And I've got to say, I'm jealous of anyone who can get homecooked Ethiopian food.

          East Haven? I think for some serious eats I might be persuaded to make the trek to New Haven...

          1. re: kubasd
            kattyeyes RE: kubasd Mar 5, 2009 01:37 PM

            I believe the Bank St. place people mentioned is Singapore Grill & Sushi Bar. I haven't been.

            When I'm in that area, I have always enjoyed Bangkok City. Wonder what you and the others dislike about it? I love their pad prig sog and tom ka gai. I also like that you can order sushi and Thai simultaneously.

            -----
            Singapore Grill and Sushi Bar
            938 Bank St, New London, CT 06320

            1. re: kattyeyes
              kubasd RE: kattyeyes Mar 5, 2009 06:24 PM

              It's hard to say exactly what is wrong.... something with the spices.... just doesn't taste quite right. And, as usual with ct.... it just feels americanized.

            2. re: kubasd
              t
              thinks too much RE: kubasd Mar 6, 2009 07:20 AM

              I wouldn't say that the choices are "inadequate." Merely that you have to look a little harder. You mentioned New London County. Are you living in New London or elsewhere?

              If you head over to Mystic, you have Rice Spice Noodle, which is Asian fusian. Their drunken noodles are addictive. If you head farther over to Westerly, there is the dubious looking Golden Chopstix, which makes it's own dim sum. No carts; just order off the menu.

              If you are looking for ethnic groceries, you have Lee's in New London, right under 95. Golden Choptix also has an Asian grocery next door, which is run by the same family. There's an Indian Grocery on Rte 1 in Groton, and they also run one in Norwich.

              I like Mirch Masala for other things than I like Northern India for. Northern India has great breads. I think Mirch Masala is better with paneer dishes.

              The other thai place I mentioned was Jasmine Thai, 470 Bank St. I've been there once for take-out and thought I'd like to go back next time I have time.

              There are also a couple of Caribbean places lurking in New London, but the one I went to is now closed. I also have seen a Dominican place, but I think that too has given up the ghost.

              When you explore more and make great discoveries, please share.

              Recently I've been focusing more of my searches on the Rhode Island side, which has yielded lots of stuff in Providence and Cranston. (Yummm, Sonia's.)

            3. re: EastRocker
              j
              junipersong RE: EastRocker Mar 5, 2009 02:56 PM

              Seconded.

            4. Scargod RE: kubasd Mar 5, 2009 01:54 PM

              Taste of China
              233 E Main St
              Clinton, CT 06413
              (860) 664-4454
              This is the best I can contribute. It's supposed to be the best Chinese on the coast.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Scargod
                kattyeyes RE: Scargod Mar 5, 2009 02:02 PM

                Taste of China is good but so is Samurai--it's new in Westbrook (or is it Clinton--I think it's on the borderline) and is great for Chinese/Thai/Hibachi/Sushi. Under new ownership and very tasty. We found it one night when Taste of China had no parking. Taste of China has some real gems--like their Chengdu dumplings and a spicy duck dish we had. But Samurai has been consistently good all three times we've been...and they have 50% off sushi on Sundays. I don't mind driving 35 minutes to get there, either. There is not much Chinese in my neck of the woods that I like these days.

                -----
                Lao Sze Chuan Chinese Restaurant
                1585 Boston Post Rd, Milford, CT 06460

                1. re: kattyeyes
                  Scargod RE: kattyeyes Mar 5, 2009 02:14 PM

                  You listed Lao Sze Chuan, in Milford, yet talked about Samurai, in Clinton. There is one in Old Saybrook.
                  I put it on my map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?oe=utf...
                  Is that the one?

                  1. re: Scargod
                    kattyeyes RE: Scargod Mar 5, 2009 02:24 PM

                    OOPS! Because I misread your post as I was typing. :) I thought you said "best Chinese on the East coast" rather than "best Chinese on the coast"...so what I had started to type was that Taste of China is good, but Lao Sze Chuan in Milford (your neck of the woods, right) is even better. If the OP really wants to go for a ride...that's probably the best Chinese I've had in CT in a long time.

                    Yes, Samurai on your map is the right one--it is actually Old Saybrook, not Westbrook as I had said before. Thanks! I'll add it here, too.

                    -----
                    Samurai Asian Fusion Dining
                    1596 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475

                    1. re: kattyeyes
                      Scargod RE: kattyeyes Mar 5, 2009 02:30 PM

                      I'm going to give Lao Sze Chuan a try; it was already on my map!

                      1. re: kattyeyes
                        kubasd RE: kattyeyes Mar 6, 2009 09:38 PM

                        wow.... looking at their menu (lao sze chuan's) makes me want to drive there right now and wait for them to open in the am....

                2. thew RE: kubasd Mar 5, 2009 02:34 PM

                  for ethnic food in new england i like clam chowder

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: thew
                    kattyeyes RE: thew Mar 5, 2009 02:44 PM

                    Yeah, yeah, yeah...I knew before I even opened your comment that it would be a wisecrack on "ethnic." Funny how we get to "know" people just from their input on other threads.

                    But we do make some fine clam chowder here in the Land of Steady Habits!

                    1. re: kattyeyes
                      thew RE: kattyeyes Mar 5, 2009 03:01 PM

                      and yet - i was entirely serious

                      1. re: thew
                        kattyeyes RE: thew Mar 5, 2009 03:58 PM

                        Though, of course, I think you realize the OP isn't looking for clam chowder or food indigenous to New England. ;)

                        1. re: kattyeyes
                          thew RE: kattyeyes Mar 5, 2009 04:26 PM

                          yeah i do - but i maintain that that is the ethnicity best represented in the area :)

                          1. re: thew
                            Scargod RE: thew Mar 5, 2009 05:52 PM

                            (The area is) Totally represented by fine seafood places, too! Being a (Texas), flatlander, I love the seafood opportunities up here! The area OP is whining about is totally inundated....

                            1. re: thew
                              kubasd RE: thew Mar 5, 2009 06:27 PM

                              I love OUR ethnic food, of course!!! but.... when i want to taste something different... yeah that's when i have the problem.

                    2. r
                      RachelEsq. RE: kubasd Sep 6, 2009 05:20 PM

                      We went to Northern India in New London based on the recommendation in this post. I hate to say this, because the owner and wait staff were very nice, but it was not very good. We asked for papadum and chutneys (unlike in most Indian restaurants, the meal did not come with it, which is fine, and we were willing to pay for it), but the onion chutney that came out was inedible. It was thick and tasted as if the onions had spoiled. The rest of the meal was dull and flavorless. I do agree that the bread was very good.

                      However, I'd eat at Northern India any day over A Taste of India in Mystic. I've given this place many chances because we live so close by, but never again after the last meal I had. My navrattan korma was made with the frozen vegetable mix that contains green beans, crinkle cut carrots, broccoli stalks, corn kernels, etc. This in itself is inexcusable, but then I realized that the sauce was overly sweet because - wait for it - the dish also contained *canned fruit cocktail*. Yes, little chunks of canned peaches, pears, pineapple, and syrup-laden, soggy little grapes. Now I knew that A Taste of India was fond of canned fruit cocktail - its "coconut soup" contains it - but to put it in a vegetable dish??? I only wish it wasn't takeout, because I would have sent it back and walked out. Instead, I just wasted $11.

                      Mirch Masala is the best Indian in the area, although even Mirch has slipped under its new ownership. My husband believes, however, that the meat dishes are better now, but the veg dishes I get are not as good.

                      Randomly, the best Indian I've had in the area is at Cosmos International, an Indian grocery store in West Hartford, which has a lunch counter in the back. The food is well-spiced and flavorful, and the cook occassionally makes random little specialties, such as sweet bean-stuffed turnedovers. The main dishes and sweets can be bought by the pound, or you can get made-to-order dosas at lunchtime, 4 choices of chaat, or a combination meal of rice and 2 main dishes - eachs are *$4.95*. The only negative is that it's not closer to Mystic.

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