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Apr 11, 2011 06:47 AM

NYC to BOS Roadtrip TOP TEN

I am making a food trip thru Connecticut and Rhode Island next weekend. What are the top ten food venues: roadside, dinner, restaurant, purveyor etc?

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  1. Bill's Seafood - Westbrook, CT - Hot Lobster Roll
    Clam Castle - Madison/Clinton line, CT - Clams and Clam Chowder
    Frank Pepe's - New Haven, CT - White Clam Pizza
    Rib House - East Haven, CT - Ribs, Onion Block
    Chick's - West Haven, CT - Split, griddle hot dogs, Clams, Onion rings
    Leon's - New Haven, CT - Higher end Italian. All good.
    Lucibello's - New Haven, CT - Italian Pastries and cookies
    Carmen Anthony's Steakhouse - New Haven, CT - Steak and Seafood
    Tre Scalini - New Haven, CT - Upscale Italian
    Penzey's Spices - Norwalk, CT - The best spices....period.

    Rib House
    16 Main St, East Haven, CT 06512

    Clam Castle
    1324 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 06443

    Tre Scalini Restaurant
    100 Wooster St, New Haven, CT 06511

    Bill's Seafood Restaurant
    , Old Saybrook, CT 06475

    3 Replies
    1. re: awm922

      Wow. All awesome. To think I have lived my whole life here and never stormed The Clam Castle. Go figure.

      Clam Castle
      1324 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 06443

      1. re: awm922

        That's a LOT of choices in a small area. If it were me, I'd stick with the clam pizza at Pepe's. That's the most unique thing available on that list. Clams are better the closer you get to Ipswich Mass so I'd skip clams on the Ct. shore.

        Hit Horton's in Providence for your clam fix.

        1. re: awm922

          Stop for clam cakes and chowder at Iggy's in Oakland Beach (part of Warwick), RI. Not too far off I-95.

          Providence is a great food destination all its own and there are tons of recs on this board (and since 95 goes right through Prov, all at least relatively convenient for a through traveler).

        2. if it's lunch, i highly recommend reins.
          when i lived in boston, i made this drive weekly. i don't like fish. reins was a mute conspirator. not perfect, but what the heck. nice pickles.

          6 Replies
          1. re: fatheryod

            Don't stop there, though, if you like Hard Salami! A deli without hard salami?

            1. re: L2k

              If the OP is going to RI, Id guess they will be taking 95 rather than 84/Mass pike.

              1. re: AdamD

                Rein's hasn't been any good for at least a decade anyway.

                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                  well i moved west from boston in '90, so i guess my opinion was a bit out of date. in the '80s it was one of the few decent stops along that route.

                  1. re: fatheryod

                    I was pretty hot in the 80's as well

              2. re: L2k

                If you are from NYC ( or the metro area) there is NO reason to stop at Rein's. It's fair at best, and you've got all that deli food and more right here at home.

            2. Not sure what route you are taking, but I'd definitely recommend stopping in Fall River, MA for some great portuguese food.

              17 Replies
              1. re: davisready

                Well, if the OP is going from NYC to BOS via CT and RI, Fall River is out of the flight path. Not too far, really, from Providence, but if the OP wants to try Portuguese food he should look in East Providence and Pawtucket.

                1. re: Bob W

                  What are my choices for Portuguese cuisine? Love Hartley's Meat Pies. That may have to be a stop.

                  1. re: EATTV

                    Where is your final destination? That will help on the recs.

                    In Providence, O Dinis Restaurant seems to get the most mentions. Both Fall River and New Bedford, Mass. have numerous excellent choices.

                    1. re: CapeCodGuy

                      Landing in Boston this road trip culminates in the Quick Pic 10lb suckling pig dinner for 4 (serves 8). It begins in NYC including Brooklyn, Queens then 95 along the coast with stops in CT and RI.

                      Here's what's making the list:

                      NYC: Wondee, Kin Shop, various: kati roll, artichoke pizza, bahn mee, jao tze, bao
                      BK: Vinegar Hill, various
                      OB: Goo Gang Tan, Sripraphai, Malls
                      CT: Merritt Canteen, Rawley's, Sally's Apizza, The Clam Castle (need a photo of storming it), Louis Lunch, Ted's
                      RI: Pizza Strips (Calvitos), Aunt Carrie, Mike's Kitchen,
                      MA: S&I, Neptune, Coppa, Quick Pic

                      Mike's Kitchen
                      170 Randall St, Cranston, RI 02920

                      Sally's Apizza
                      237 Wooster St Ste 1, New Haven, CT 06511

                      Clam Castle
                      1324 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 06443

                      Aunt Carrie's Restaurant
                      1240 Ocean Rd, Narragansett, RI 02882

                      Merritt Canteen
                      4355 Main St, Bridgeport, CT 06606

                      1. re: EATTV

                        Great call on Mike's Kitchen. That is a place I would be a regular at for sure if I lived in RI. Not only is the food really good, but the local (non-food) flavor is off the charts.

                        You will never get consensus about which place in South County has the best chowder and clamcakes -- Aunt Carrie's is probably a safe choice.

                        Mike's Kitchen
                        170 Randall St, Cranston, RI 02920

                        Aunt Carrie's Restaurant
                        1240 Ocean Rd, Narragansett, RI 02882

                        1. re: EATTV

                          In CT, if you're referring to Ted's Steamed Cheesebugers, it a little off your path up 91 in Meriden. Also, if you're going to Louis Lunch, they are closed from April 22nd to May 3rd and they are closed on Sunday's. Both are worth the stop.

                          1. re: EATTV

                            Skip Aunt Carries. Drive 10 minutes south on Rte. 1 to Matunuck Oyster Farm. Far superior in every way.

                            Aunt Carrie's Restaurant
                            1240 Ocean Rd, Narragansett, RI 02882

                            1. re: helen wheels

                              REALLY> Duly noted. Thanks helen wheels

                              1. re: helen wheels

                                I would second Matunuck Oyster Bar. Man that place is awesome. The only way in which it is not superior is price...but you get what you pay for!

                                Their oysters are incredible, and it really is the perfect setting.... More in on their website here-->

                                I put together a Rhode Island "food based" travel guide which you may find helpful-->

                                For NYC, if you are going to be in Chinatown at all and are in the mood for hand-pulled noodles (as I am at all times!), Xi'an Fine Foods, and Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles (aptly named) are awesome.

                                In Brooklyn, Bark Hot Dogs is well worth a stop! ...and the peanut butter milkshake is particularly recommended!

                                ...oh, and if you DO make the trip to Fall River (which I would recommend as there is not much of note from PVD -- BOS via 95), don't miss Sam's Bakery for outstanding Lebanese meat pies...

                                Have fun!

                                1. re: ezra9876

                                  Great stuff ezra9876! Much ablidged.

                                  I made a preemptive scout on PIzza Strips today at Superior in Cranston which was recommended by an Ocean Stater. Is Crugnale, Palmieri or DeFusco much different? So far I am a bit underwhelmed in an english muffin, jar sauce kind've way. What am I missing?

                                  1. re: EATTV

                                    Yes, they are all quite different. I'm a J. Palmieri fan....they are all quite greasy, but some are mostly grease! If you still have a shot give J Palmieri in Johnston a shot. Try the regular & the "old fashioned". It's a great bakery.

                                    Pizza strips in general take a while to acclimate to. It's a very strange food. Same with Hot Wieners actually. I wasn't crazy about them when I first tried them, now I'm a huge fan.


                                    1. re: ezra9876

                                      I have to say that pizza strips are one of the only foods I can think of for which the current reality surpasses the memory. In my case, the pizza strips I remember getting as a kid -- from a box on milk store counters -- were mostly grease. Of course we still loved them because they were cheap and delicious. But the ones I get now have much more sauce and some grated cheese that adds a nice sharpness. Overall, a much better product.

                                      Now wieners, they don't seem to have changed at all -- which is a good thing!

                                  2. re: ezra9876

                                    Agreed, Sam's meat pies are a must if in Fall River. I'd also recommend picking up an Italian grinder from Marzilli's Bakery. You can then hop right onto Route 24 North to Boston.

                            2. re: EATTV

                              EATTV it depends a bit on what you are looking for. If you specifically want 'unique' and to include Portuguese cusine, a side trip down 195 and then up 24 is absolutely worth the investment especially if you are already turning onto 195 to go to East Providence. For instance there is nothing in East Providence or the Blackstone Valley similar to Churrascaria Aveirense -- charcoal/wood grilled meats, plus specials like fried cod cheeks, lapas (barnicles, probably not in season if your trip is 'imminent") and there are other examples which are similarly destinations. And certainly not 'O Dinis" which is a decent homestyle Portuguese place, but focuses a bit on big portions and cuts some corners (crab stick in seafood specials, frozen foodservice warehouse desserts) -- I like it, but its decent comfort food and not the pinnacle of Portuguese food. However, that doesn't rule out the south coast as separate trip -- in two days you can eat around Fall River and New Bedford hitting a lot of stuff not just Portuguese, plus Portuguese markets, Sid Wainer's and something like Fleet Fisheries' retail store could be an excellent route for another cooking adventure of yours. And there are some other 'unique' options up Route 24 (and plenty along the 90 -> 84 -> xxx corridors) such as Maninha in Avon which serves Acaraje certain days (informally available in a few settings, but less so in restaurants) but its more 'unique' than a destination.

                              On your current route, if you were chowing around I _would_ suggest checking out the Blackstone Valley, in particular Central Falls for some different Central and So American options as well as Portuguese. Or you could hop into the bar of a Portuguese social club for some Y chromosome color. But I don't get there often enough to have some specific recommendations (I did a few years back) and it sounds like you are looking for destination places which you do have a good list for 10.

                              1. re: itaunas

                                As always you have the best stuff and are so cool about it. Black eyed pea fritters of Brazil. I cannot resist. I have recently visited some social clubs in Central Falls and Pawtucket. I have to figure out how to do this for a living...oh wait...

                                1. re: EATTV

                                  Heh appreciate the good word and enjoyed your last cooking/shopping adventure. If you feel like getting a haircut (and maybe shave) some Saturday in Framingham from someone who may not understand English(!), pop into a busy barber on Hollis St and you might get offered acaraje, sonhos mineiros, sweets by women going door to door. About as close as you can get to Brazil... Probably work in Astoria, Newark or maybe Long Island City too.

                                  1. re: itaunas

                                    E eu não recebi nada por você...

                        2. EATTV - I implore you to go to Roseland Apizza in Derby, CT and get the shrimp oreganato pizza WITH bacon. I personally guarantee that you will find it to be the best pizza you have ever had. Pepe's is duly famous, but I have never had anything like this.

                          I think you should also throw in a visit to a Duchess franchise restaurant and if in Bridgeport, go to Tomlinson's on the corner of Boston Ave and Noble Ave and get a dog with the works and a double cheeseburger with the works.

                          Roseland Apizza
                          Derby, CT, Derby, CT

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                            Why Duchess? What do you find special? Kind of reminds me of Denny's honestly.

                            1. re: CapeCodGuy

                              Honestly, never been to a Denny's except for breakfast -

                              I like Duchess burgers (specifically the Big D) and dog with the works - they are fresh cooked to order, i.e., no heat lamps so if doing drive-through, you pay and they queue you up in the parking lot until your food is ready...the fixings are fresh - it's just a good example of what a fast food restaurant strives to be. There's nothing quite like it in the Boston area, so perhaps just nostalgia.

                              Speaking of nostalgia, Duchess used to be the only place I have ever seen that had liver, onions and bacon on a fast food menu, but that's long gone (probably not a big seller).

                          2. Super Duper Weenie in Fairfield is very close to on/off from I-95!

                            Too early in season for ABBOTS in the Rough I think in Mystic, but you can check

                            Bills' Seafood ? IMO - overpriced and quality gone way down hill -0 suggest Lenny and Joes - 2 locations in Madison or Clinton

                            Mindy K Deli , Old Saybrook (Not far off the highway) - not really a trad deli - more of a Thai - American fusion takeout - with a couple fo table to eat in - great family runs the spot - bring cash though - no credit cards - and btw - have NEVER HAD ANYTHING here I didn't like - big sandwich/wrap/salad menu - with alot of popular standbys and some specials every day - incl their Thai offerings

                            Pasta Vita in Old Saybrook has alot of prepared meals and yummy items to take out only

                            One of the worlds best Dairy Queens in Old Saybrook as well - just noticed they opened for the season again as well!

                            Very good cheese shop in Old Saybrook - FROMAGE; new one recently opened in Centerbrook which I like - owners there very friendly as well - both give lots of samples! So pick a new cheese for the car !

                            Stonington Ct has 2 of my favorite water spots as well - good food, service and if tis nice out - you might even sit outside - NOAHS and Skippers Dock - both in Stonington itself

                            Super Duper Weenie
                            306 Black Rock Tpke, Fairfield, CT 06825

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: few

                              Abbott's does not open until the first Friday in May.

                              Lenny and Joe's IMHO is more of a tourist trap and feels like a cafeteria. Not to mention, the last time I ate there, the food was mediocre at best. I haven't been to Bill's in a couple of years, so it might not be as good as usual.

                              Second the Stonington picks, nice area. If you have time, there's a great winery, Stonington Vineyard about 15 minutes inland off of 95.

                              1. re: awm922

                                Disagree on Lenny and Joe's vs. Bill's. The L&J in Westbrook is far from a cafeteria. Their food imo is far superior to Bill's. The only thing Bill's has over L&J is their outdoor seating. As for Stonington, love Noah's but I think Skipper's Dock food is average while their view is among the best. If eattv is really hungry and likes lobster, I would recommend Nordic Lodge's all you can eat Lobster buffet. Pricey but really good. Not just lobster on the buffet either. Check out their website for details. Only open Charlestown, RI...

                                Nordic Lodge
                                178 E Pasquiset Trail, Charlestown, R.I., RI 02813

                                Skipper's Dock
                                66 Water St, Stonington, CT 06378

                                1. re: chowmensch

                                  I've only been at the Lenny and Joe's in Madison. I always enjoyed the foot long hot lobster roll at Bill's. I'll have to try it this summer to see if they have gone down hill. I hope not. I will have to try the L&J's in Clinton. I have heard that is the better of the 2 for some reason.

                              2. re: few

                                I love Skippers Dock. Beautiful views. They make a great bloody mary there as well.