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Aug 5, 2012 02:00 AM

Hamden lunch recommendations?

We are meeting another couple for lunch on Wednesday and Hamden is approximately equidistant for both couples. We will likely want to linger over lunch. I have done a little research and identified Luce, Cumin India and The Playright as possibilities, but would appreciate some guidance since none have of us have dined in Hamden previously.

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  1. Luce is usually very good, upscale Italian fare. I have eaten dinner there dozens of times over the last few years. I only had one bad service experience on a Sunday afternoon.

    Town House on Whitney Ave. is basically diner fare, but just a notch above. Great place to hang after lunch.

    Bread and Chocolate is a nice place for soup and a sandwich. It's a bakery/cafe on Whitney ave.

    Ixtapa does Mexican very well. Also on Whitney Ave.

    1. Recently had a very nice lunch at Mickey"s on the corner of Whitney and Dixwell. Seared scallops with white beans, a lamb burger very leisurely . Cumin has a nice buffet, I have not been to Luce in a very long time but was always good when I did go

      9 Replies
      1. re: mmalmad

        Boy, have I been gone for a long time! I'm picturing the corner of Whitney and Dixwell from memory and on one corner is the Brownstone House restaurant, 2nd corner is/was a pharmacy, 3rd corner is the courhouse with Reilly's restaurant next door. I can't remember what's on the
        4th corner where the golf course is. So, where's Mickey's??

        1. re: mucho gordo

          Mickey's is on the southeast corner(where you remember a pharmacy), on the same side of Whitney as the Brownstone. What you refer to as the courthouse is the old Hamden Town Hall/Fire station, currently closed and under renovation. The corner where the golf course was is a small park built some 35+ years ago. The golf course was done in by the building of a new Hamden Middle school and veteran's memorial.

          Only the Brownstone remains a constant at the intersection of Doxwell and Whitney.

          1. re: bagelman01

            Brownstone House has the best over easy, sausage links, and rye toast anywhere. A wonderful constant for me, coming up on 50 years. My grandfather owned part of the Meadowbrook Golf Course, and we offered our portion to the town in 1963, but a lawsuit with the Hamden Plaza and Mall derailed things.

            1. re: Veggo

              We're guilty...My father was President of The Plaza Merchants Association and instrumental in the lawsuit to keep any part of Meadowbrook from becoming competing retail space. <VBG>

              1. re: bagelman01

                We were well paid for the took a long time, though
                EDIT: curious that we went to Wharton, a year apart, and never met until Chowhound!

            2. re: bagelman01

              Thanks for the blast from the past, I've been out of the area for a long time too!!!

              1. re: bagelman01

                I seem to recall there was an Elementary school (or was it a library) where the golf course was. I remember during the war my mother went there to get ration coupon books for sugar, coffee,etc.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Just a quick request that this conversation refocus on places that people can eat in Hamden now. Nostalgia is fun, but there's just a lot of things to be nostalgic about, and it doesn't help people eat better right now.

          2. Le Petit Gourmet on Whitney at Putnam (next to Books & Co., across the street from the Playwright) serves a very good lunch W-Sat -- emphasis on sandwiches & salads, but they sometimes have other things too.

            I can also echo most of the other recs: Mickeys, Cumin & the Playwright are all good for lunch.

            (Not a fan of Ixtapa, though. For Mexican my taste goes more to Aunt Chilada, further up Whitney.)

            14 Replies
            1. re: benbenberi

              Is 'Aunt Chilada' the site of the former 'H. L. Wilfreds", at the golf course by Sleeping Giant and across from (IIRC) Shepard Ave. ? Ahhh, my mis-spent youth......;)

              1. re: KSlink

                Ah yes, H.L. Wilfreds, from back when bars were for kids.

                We baby boomers miss our glory days.

                1. re: Pipenta

                  Yes, I'm just having an evening of nostalgia--thank you all for joing me in my temporary time warp!!!

                2. re: KSlink

                  and for some of the old-timers...Aunt Chilada's was started by Sid Goldbloom who had owned Sib's in The Ct Post Mall, Milford from opening in 1962 until a fire in the early 1970s

                  1. re: bagelman01

                    Sid also owned H.L. Wilfreds, right? I remember him well, what a nice guy. I was out of state by the time it became "Aunt Chilada's", was under the impression he had sold everything years earlier.....

                    1. re: KSlink

                      Thanks for the suggestions, but our friends opted for lunch at SBC. We arrived at 11:30AM and the place was deserted for most of our 2 hour stay. Our waitress was very accommodating - neither rushing or ignoring us either. My wife and I each ordered a special of the day - hers was peach salad with grilled chicken and caramelized walnuts that was dressed with a peach vinaigrette. The peaches were not ripe and the chicken was way overdone. I fared not much better with a pesto chicken wrap that included grilled red peppers and prosciutto and accompanied by house made potato chips. I did not feel the amount of ingredients in either of our dishes warranted their respective price tags; $9 wrap and $11 salad. The wrap was excessively oily from the pesto and the chicken was similarly overdone. The other couple's corned beef and BBQ pork sandwiches just looked okay. Overall we are not inclined to seek a repeat performance.

                      1. re: westie

                        Unfortunately, SBC relies on drink killing its patrons' senses of taste and smell. I have never had a decent meal at any SBC location (Fairfield is best of the lot) and only go when a client insists.

                        1. re: westie

                          All those nice suggestions and you ended up THERE? :( You need some new friends ;)

                          1. re: stormshadow

                            Nah, just do things other than eating with them.

                            Personally, I find Hamden a little challenging for sit down eating. But Sapori D'Italia on Circular Drive is a stellar little deli. They have a bakery. They have a garden in the back. You can get squash-blossom fritters and bruscetta and then take it out back at sit at a picnic table and gaze out over the tomato, squash, eggplant, parsley and basil plants as you eat. On a fair day, it's a very agreeable spot for a picnic and the food is yummy. I've also been known to put together a picnic from the goodies available at Thyme & Season market. I'm partial to the inari, but that is in the same case with the bread pudding and I can't even let myself LOOK at that bread pudding. Just my eyeballs glancing over it can ruin a diet. But there are good fresh soups and salads and then it is off to Sleeping Giant Park to enjoy the out of doors.

                            1. re: Pipenta

                              Heartily second Sapori D'Italia. Their stuffed breads are outstanding!

                              1. re: Pipenta

                                Holy thread revival, batman! Sapori is a great place, in the former pharmacy of my back-in-the-day neighbor

                    2. re: benbenberi

                      Tried to go to Mickey's for lunch today--didn't realize they were closed Sundays.

                      Landed at Le Petit Gourmet, which serves a nice brunch-ish menu on Sundays (omelets, Belgian waffles, etc.) from 10:30 to 2. I enjoyed every bite of my croque monsieur (mmmmm!), and the Belgian waffles my friends had looked quite delish. I wouldn't hesitate to drop in again when in the area.

                    3. #1 Fish on State St., technically in North Haven but spitting distance from Hamden, is now making excellent prepared foods, in addition to their superior fish. The owner grows his produce.