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Jul 16, 2009 02:04 PM

chowish lunch w/kids between Middletown & Waterbury CT.

We are heading towards waterbury from the shoreline w/the kids looking for something interesting and definitely not fancy.

We've already done Ted's cheeseburgers. Is there anything REALLY yummy we should try?
Any ethnicity is fine - on the cheap to moderate side is good.

We'd rather not have pizza or O'Rourke's please :)


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    1. re: Scargod

      Obviously, I second that! ;)

      Another tasty/decidedly non-fancy option in Middletown's North End is Pho Mai (Vietnamese), *BUT* they are on vacation through August 6th. I just called and heard their outgoing message. My personal favorite entree is #39 for anyone's future reference--see description on my list for details. :)

      Iguana Ranas is right next door to Pho Mai, so ya know.

      Another option? Head over the bridge (Portland Bridge/Arrigoni Bridge) and hit the PR (Portland Restaurant) for a beef cutlet or meatball grinder. It's about as unfancy as it gets, but they're good for a hot grinder fix. It's on the left after you pass Dunkin' Donuts and the Hess station.

      ONE MORE! How 'bout vegetarian Indian at Udupi Bhavan in the Tradewinds Plaza on Saybrook Rd.? If your kids are as chowish as you are, give it a try. They make huge dosas, which I think would be a big hit even with a picky kid. Think of it as Indian fried dough. :)

      Here is my Middletown favorites list.

      Mikado is another possibility for you--their lunch specials are quite reasonable and there's something for everyone (though I am a big fan of their sushi, so I don't usually eat other non-sushi/sashimi items). Check them out online. It will probably be slow at lunch, so ask if you can sit in one of the tatami rooms. Very cool setting, very fresh fish.

      Tasty travels to ya!

      1. re: kattyeyes

        Kattyeyes, what a great list! My son goes to Wesleyan and we are always interested in trying the restaurants. I haven't been to Mikado- it looks fabulous. We will check it out in August (along with another trip to O'Rourkes). Pho Mai looks great. My son really likes Thai Garden on Main St. and the Indian spot on Washington. I also had a great meal at Luce. There are so many great places for a relatively small town. The ice-cream spot Pralines is really yummy.

        1. re: sherry f

          I think you'll enjoy Mikado. The weekends can be crazy busy and the place is mobbed when Wesleyan has homecoming, but do try it out when it's not so busy so you can enjoy the atmosphere. They renovated last summer and did a bang-up job.

          I haven't been to Thai Garden in a long, long time. I like to head to South Glastonbury (over the bridge to Portland, then one more town) north to Thai Angel. Luce is a good pick, too.

          Don't forget Vecchitto's Italian Ice down by the railroad tracks on DeKoven Drive! They make the best Italian ice anywhere!

          What Indian spot am I missing on Washington St.? I only know the one on Route 17 (walking distance from home for me)--Haveli--it's very tasty. Haven't been to the one downtown since it changed from Taj of India.

          1. re: kattyeyes

            Thanks for the tips, especially Thai Angel. We have always stay in Glastonbury (is that the same as South Glastonbury?) at the Hilton Garden Inn and have been to J. Gilberts, Max Fish and Max Amore. Had great meals at all three spots and found J. Gilberts to be incredible value. I made a mistake. The Indian spot my son likes is on Main St. -Tandoor.

            1. re: sherry f

              South Glastonbury is part of Glastonbury. Head down route 17 toward Portland and it will be on your right just before the giant green FERRY CROSSING sign. It's just after the intersection of Main and Hopewell and (call to confirm) is BYOB on Wednesdays. :) My favorite dish there is the green curry and I love their chicken coconut soup (tom ka gai, right?). Save room for the bananas wrapped up in the thin wrapper and drizzled with honey!

              I love J Gilbert's, too. Have you had their jumbo lump crab cakes? Get on their e-mail list and you'll get coupons that make it an even better value. And a free birthday meal to boot, so have everyone sign up and you can enjoy the discounts throughout the year!

              Ah, Tandoor. OK. That's what replaced Taj of India. Thanks for clarifying.

              1. re: kattyeyes

                Is there better Indian around Middletown? This is same people as in New Haven and I would have to give them only a slightly better than passing grade though I have not eaten at this location. I have eaten at the NH location quite a few times.
                Like Thali a LOT more.

                1. re: Scargod

                  I haven't eaten at Tandoor to have a POV on that one way or the other, but our "formal" Indian of choice is Haveli on 17. We get them for takeout, too, since it's so close to home. For casual/vegetarian Indian, we go to Udupi Bhavan on Saybrook Rd.

                  Still need to get to Thali!

                2. re: kattyeyes

                  Thanks for the tip on the coupons. Will definitely try the crab cakes next time we are there.

                  1. re: sherry f

                    Katty Eyes,

                    I moved my son into Wesleyan two weeks ago and we paid another visit to J. Gilberts. It was a lovely meal after a long drive, hot and sticky move-in and a nice hot shower in the hotel. The $10/off coupon was great. Thanks for your tip! I had the J. Gilbert salad and the crab cake appetizer. My son had some of the crabcake and loved it as much as I did. My son had a shrimp cocktail and a New York steak. He was really happy.
                    I also had a wonderful glass of red wine (the special cellar red- it was great and well-worth the $15.00). I always say have one great glass of wine than two mediocre ones.

                    We are going to visit him in October or November and were thinking of taking him to lunch to the new burger place in Glastonbury- "Plan B" before we do some shopping for him at the Evergreen Walks Mall. I am curious what your thoughts are about Plan B if you have been there. We will be taking him and his friends to Mikado in Middletown for dinner.

                    1. re: sherry f

                      Hi, Sherry!

                      So glad you enjoyed J. Gilberts (the coupon helps, doesn't it?). :) You will continue to get them through e-mail now that you've signed up.

                      I've been right by Plan B in Glastonbury, but haven't eaten there. Each time I'm in that plaza, I'm heading for Sakura Garden for sushi, which I also recommend highly:

                      Sakura Garden also has a location at Evergreen Walk (I haven't tried it yet), so you might try that, also...but for a burger, I wish I could help you, but I've got nothing. You might try Ted's in Evergreen Walk:

                      I know, it's a chain, but so is Plan B, and at least I've been to Ted's before personally. Once it was good, once it wasn't--everyone has a bad day; I'd say it's worth a try before you go shopping. Evergreen Walk also has a Johnny Rockets if you feel like an "old school" (read: totally non-fancy) burger. On the upside, the prices at Johnny Rockets are kinda old school, too. ;


                      Remember that Mikado is off-the-wall busy on Wesleyan homecoming weekends, so please, please make a reservation well in advance, maybe get there earlier in the evening before it's a total zoo. Middletown dining in general is a zoo on any Wesleyan "special" weekend...if there are 8-10 in your party, request the tatami room. You'll thank me later.

                      P.S. I'm sure your son has figured this out already--downtown Middletown has a new chocolate shop, Tschudin (next to Amici) replaces the old Sweet Smelling Savour Chocolates. I have sampled quite a few of their almondy varieties, including an amaretti truffle and chocolate-covered marzipan and they go down too, too easy. :)

                      Wishing you many more tasty meals to come!

      2. Blackie;s Hot Dogs
        2200 Waterbury Rd
        Cheshire, CT a Connecticut classic

        Blackie's Hotdog Stand
        2200 Waterbury Rd, Cheshire, CT 06410

        2 Replies
        1. re: bagelman01

          thanks all for the tips - we'll jump in the car and make up our mind enroute.

          all excellent choices!
          Veggie indian is hard for us because hubs is allergic to lentils *sigh*

          BTW does Pho Mai make Vietnamese sandwiches? Banh Mi (one of the best things to eat ever - I am always on the hunt but still no luck here in CT)


          1. re: debvil

            No sandwiches that I know of. Tons of pho, and lots of stir-fry dishes, but no banh mi. But when they open again in August, I'm sure if there are Vietnamese sandwiches to be found in CT, they will point you toward them if you ask. Very nice folks--family business.

        2. Here's another one for ya--we tried to go tonight, but they are on vacation (so please call first--I forgot the dates but believe they'll be open again VERY soon): Napoli Pizza in Meriden. It used to be a little hole in the wall farther down W. Main St. They moved to a strip mall now and the decor is a huge improvement from the old vinyl banquettes and the old school pizza joint feel. Gotta love the Goodfellas on the wall. But here's the most important part: THE CALZONE. Napoli makes my FAVORITE calzone ANYWHERE. If I remember correctly, they make them with ricotta from Liuzzi and I love their sauce. This place is a hidden gem in a downscale strip mall, but the calzone is one HEAVENLY dish. And the kids might enjoy "pizza pops." I don't bother ordering calzone anywhere else. Need another bonus? You can BYOB. I've been enjoying this place for at least 15 years. You'll love it, too.

          Napoli Pizza
          (203) 235-8016

          1 Reply
          1. re: kattyeyes

            Adding a link to Napoli Pizza here...

            And though I know your post says you'd "rather not have pizza"--this isn't just pizza--it's out-of-this-world calzone! ;) Ciao, bella!

            Napoli Pizza
            311 W Main St Ste 1, Meriden, CT 06451

          2. We actually ended up at Nardelli's grinders in Waterbury (No one was hungry in Middletown)

            Wasn't sure if it was going to be all hype since they were on TV but I must say it was VERY good. I had the Italian grinder with EVERYTHING including that cucumber/onion pepper salad my husband the stuffed Pastrami and both were fantastic.

            They even did kids meals which worked great.

            Thanks for all the suggestions - we'll be definitely hitting the Taqueria & Pho places in Middletown soon.