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Places I wish were Good...in Hartford Area-CT

I saw someone else's thread for the Cape with this title and thought, let's get a list going for CT places.

I'll start:

AC Petersen's in West Hartford. I live close enough to walk there and yet I will DRIVE out of town to get something similar, like Shady Glen for food and ice cream, or ANY OTHER Place just for ice cream. AC Petersens has so many things going for it (patio, decent inexpensive menu, ice cream) but it's never clean in there and I've seen both customers flip their lid waiting 10 minutes at the register to pay their bill (because their waiter left them sitting at their table and I've seen staffers lose their cool too.

What's on your list?

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Shady Glen
7 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 01376

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  1. Mo's Midtown, Monte Alban, Half Door, Sgt. Pepperoni. Those are the ones in my neighborhood that have great potential but fail miserably on food.

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    Monte Alban Restaurant
    529 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT 06105

    Half Door
    270 Sisson Ave, Hartford, CT 06105

    6 Replies
    1. re: ratbuddy

      Have you been to Monte Alban in the past year? I hear it's better than it used to be. Went recently and thought their mole enchiladas were very good.

      1. re: Uncledave

        Nope, as I've confessed before, I haven't given them a second chance yet, but I will. We had it about three or four years ago and the food just sucked. Worse than Puerto Vallarta, even.

        1. re: ratbuddy

          I suspect you'll find it much better than Puerto Vallarta. I do recall going to MA several years ago and not being impressed and then finding it to have improved when I went back this year. The mole enchiladas are the real standout. They paid attention to the refried beans and guac sides compared to other joints (eg Coyote Flaco's guac is way to oniony for me). But in general, yes, Mexican in Central CT is mediocre. Have you eaten much through El Mercado market?

          1. re: Uncledave

            Not at all. It worth checking out?

            1. re: ratbuddy

              I've been there once. It's on Park Rd. in Frog Hollow, so a bit funky, but a bit of a culinary adventure for our region. It's a Hispanic grocery store with a food court containing independently run stalls of various Latin American cuisines. From what I remember there's a couple of Mexican and Puerto Rican stalls, a Columbian one, and more. Cheap stuff too. Not surprisingly I was the only gringo in the place!

      2. re: ratbuddy

        Gotta defend Monte Alban. I've been there half a dozen times over the past year or so. Food has been very good and a very good value. I recommend the Camarones a la Mexicana, and I thought the Mole Chicken was also very good. Never had any enchiladas or tacos there. Maybe its like so many places. Depends on what you happen to order.

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        Monte Alban Restaurant
        529 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT 06105

      3. I'd put Braza is on the list. Great space and patio, and I'd think a strong clientele for good Brazillian. It's mediocre food at best.

        And Ichiban, though my expectations for passable Korean food in this area is minimal.

        2 Replies
          1. re: Nickmerill

            I like the Hazard Grill. I like most all of their food.

        1. Love this post!

          My vote is Dish-n-Dat; Great location, fills a niche for family dining, but the food is just mediocre. I really want them to succeed!

          1. Just thought of another. Damon's Tavern. I really wanted to like ths place but our waiter and most of the food we ordered were pretty bad.

            1. Shady Glen...the cheese is great, the minstrone soup is great, the ice cream is great ...the atmophere is great...

              the burger is getting thinner and thinner and for $9 bucks...well...if only five guys did the crispy cheese...

              Cavey's.. the food and service are great...the vibe is gone...get back to a little of the basics....close the French...make it for special events...meld the two kitchens together and bring Andre upstairs...and serve a littler more pasta ...still one of the best around...but spread too thin.

              This should cause some discussion...i've stopped going to both except for maybe once in a blue moon...

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              Cavey's Restaurants
              45 E Center St, Manchester, CT 06040

              3 Replies
              1. re: jms123

                Agreed on the Shady Glen burger. Plus they're frozen and seem to have a high fat to lean ratio. I still love the place however and usually get something like a BLT or other sammich when I'm there (as well as a side of crispy cheese).

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                Shady Glen
                7 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 01376

                1. re: jms123

                  I've long thought the Shady Glen burger one of the most overrated anywhere. Cheese and bun great, meat stinks. The cheese dogs are good, though.

                  1. re: ratbuddy

                    I don't know how people call that a cheeseburger. It's like indoctrination. Nasty, frozen meat from milk cows.