where to have lunch in the "quiet corner"?
Sometime over the July 4 weekend I plan to drive up from New Haven to get an ice cream at We-Lik-It in Pomfret -- it seems like a good excuse for a visit to a pretty area on a nice day. Ice cream alone is insufficient to sustain a day's meandering, however, so I'm on the lookout for good inexpensive lunch options in the general area. I've seen recommendations here for the Vanilla Bean Cafe. Any others?
Yes, for the Vanilla Bean. The Harvest would not fall under "inexpensive" for lunch to me, though the food is quite good. If you are willing to travel just a few miles further, Putnam offers many options - 85 Main, Someplace Special, Courthouse Bar & Grille, Thai Place and several others. There is some talk on this blog about a good taco place (Turtle's Tacos? Don't quote me..), but the reviews are mixed. Plus Putnam has a good assortment of other distractions that can easily fill an afternoon visit.
85 Main St, Putnam, CT 06260
58 Main St, Putnam, CT 06260
Followup report - we ended up having lunch in Hamden (Glenwood Drive-In) before hitting the road, so never stopped at the Vanilla Bean. We liked We-Lik-It -- good ice cream, pretty location -- though disappointed they were out of Grape Nut ice cream by the time we got there, and probably won't be going back again any time soon (there's plenty of good ice cream closer to home, after all).
Afterwards, drove around the area a while, & stopped in Putnam at Victoria Station Cafe for coffee -- a delightful store, very well laid out with lots of comfy seating groups & a nice outdoor space too, & their baked goods looked delicious. (Not on today's menu after the ice cream, but I bought a ham & cheese croissant to heat up for breakfast tomorrow.) If Putnam were closer to Hamden I'd probably go back there a lot!
Victoria Station Cafe
83 Main St, Putnam, CT 06260
I keep seeing people recommend the Vanilla Bean - my wife and I have eaten there on separate occassions and found it over-priced and the food unimpressive. Another comment that slayed me was anyone saying anything good about Turtle's Tacos! Yikes, I wouldn't eat their food if it was free. The meat tacos have such tiny chopped up pieces of mystery meat, and then they charge ridiculous amounts for it. I can't believe it is still open.
Another option to 85 Main for pricier food is Bella's Bistro right next door. GREAT food, fresh ingredients, large portions, great chef and staff. Highly recommended by me, my wife and several friends who eat there semi-regularly.
If you want a place the locals of Woodstock go, that has great sandwiches, pizza, seafood - got to Sweet Evalina's on RT 169. Great local joint; they have terrific breakfast, too.
Finally, I'm glad We-Li-Kit is getting props - it is the most heavenly ice cream I've ever encountered! (I just don't want it to get overrun with "outsiders", LOL)
Finally, as a serious backyard BBQ'er, who spent quite a bit of time in TX, I've got to give Grandaddy's BBQ in Putnam 1/2 star. Their brisket was dry (even though it was smothered in bland BBQ sauce, go figure) and so overpriced as to border on ridiculous. Seriously, there was maybe 2 oz of meat on a SMALL bun for $5.99. Really? Ugh...