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Jan 5, 2014 06:23 AM

"These are a few of my favorite things..." - (Connecticut, 2014)

I thought it might be fun to share some of our favorite dishes and drinks from different places. It's been a while since we did.

Mondo (Middletown): the Toscano salad - mixed greens, fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes, olives, artichokes and warm polenta croutons with balsamic vinaigrette. They dress and toss the salad the way a good salad should be served. And what's not to love about warm polenta croutons? Mmmmm. And, of course, their pizza--both the more creative (truffle!) and the Mondo special (kitchen sink).

Napoli Pizza (Meriden): CALZONE. My favorite--broccoli and pepperoni ANYWHERE. I've been going at least 20 years now. It never changes. It's always OUTSTANDING. No one makes a calzone like Jerry. NO ONE. And his sauce is excellent!

Los Mariachis (Wallingford):
There's a combo appetizer platter I can't see on the online menu--a couple of tacos, a tamale and something else. Try it! Their salsa is so spicy and fresh.
I love their spicy pork chimichanga and--very important--the Stan margarita. It's Don Julio 1942 Ultra Premium Tequila, Grand Marnier and Cointreau. SMOOOOTH as the day is long. Stan's the man!

Saybrook Soup & Sandwich Company (Old Saybrook):
Any sandwich from here gets my top billing, tho' I'm partial to the pork loin, pastrami and smoked turkey breast. I keep encouraging them to open a Middletown storefront. PLEASE. PLEASE!

Napoli's calzone in three shots here...

Whatchoo got, food friends?

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  1. How did I forget one of my favorite recent food finds?!

    Neil's Donuts (Wallingford): donut deliciousness to the extreme, especially the Boston cream! They split the donuts in half and fill them VERY GENEROUSLY! MOO. I like their seasonal coffee flavors, too. I miss caramel apple!

    8 Replies
    1. re: kattyeyes

      We're driving from Boston to Poughkeepsie on Sat. via 84, is this donut shop a doable stop? Any other thoughts? I was just wondering what was in Western CT. Or maybe one breakfast stop in east CT and a snack in the west if you can help out.

      As far as favorite CT bites, Shady Glen cheeseburger in Manchester, crabcakes at J's in Hartford, dogs at Super Duper Weenie in Fairfield, also at Glenwood in Hamden. Just went to Deary Brothers in Putnam last summer, cool place.

      1. re: Joanie

        Super Duper Weenie, and Gleenwood..YES

        1. re: Joanie

          Sadly, Wallingford is out of range for you unless you REALLY want to take a detour--you can get there from 91 or 5 & 15.

          Dottie's Diner (never been/can't vouch) would be closer to your route. Maybe someone here can confirm whether it's worth a breakfast or snack stop:

          1. re: kattyeyes

            Unless you want to go looking for new yorkers and tv heads I wouldn't bother. There are better diners and coffee shops in Woodbury and probably regular restaurants where you'd spend less and get better food.

            1. re: junescook

              I think it would be a kick to bump into Dustin Hoffman, but I'm glad you chimed in because I only know it's there. Where else can we send Joanie for breakfast? :)

              P.S. I like your Christmas hat!

              1. re: kattyeyes

                I think I'm gonna zip to the original Dottie's (the other location says it's closed Sat/Sun) and at least try a donut. Maybe stop at the Yankee Diner in Charlton MA for the earlier part of the trip.


                Thanks for the tip.

                1. re: Joanie

                  Please tell us about the donuts if you get to Dottie's. They look great from the pics--especially the eclair! :D Safe and tasty travels to ya!

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    Made it there and they only 3 flavors when we arrived. Worth the detour I think. Writing a separate review later today, thanks for the tip.

      2. I knew I forgot something special...
        Taino Smokehouse (Middletown): killer brisket, awesome burgers, handcut fries that remind of how we made them in my family when I was a kiddo. KEEP ON SMOKIN'! This almost makes it OK there's not scacciata there anymore. ;)

        1. Current Favs:

          The Szechwan Wontons from Char Koon, Glastonbury...They look like little brains, served with some kind of peanut sauce

          The Lazy Burrito from Iguana Rana, Middletown...Topped with chili and french fries

          6 Replies
          1. re: BiscuitBoy

            "Iguana Rana"? Funny name, a rana is a frog. I did enjoy 5 days back in CT last summer after a 6 year absence, and I basically camped out at the Glenwood and Pepe's. Oh, and #1 Fish. A bit out of kattyeye's territory, but in your old briar patch.

            1. re: Veggo

              Ah, Glenwood, yes. Another fav is the steak sub from Frank&Mary's on Wooster St, but they're long gone. #1 Fish?

              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                State St, near the Hamden-New Haven line. Incredible fresh, fresh fish. And the owner gardens and sells his produce there also, in season.

            2. re: BiscuitBoy

              HA, yes, they DO look like little brains! But so delicious, I love them, too.

              I'm adding rugelach from Katz's in Woodbridge, too. Especially the apricot ones as that is my favorite flavor.

              1. re: kattyeyes

                Awesome apricot ruglelach runoff--AHM NOM NOM NOM!
                Katz's in Woodbridge--these tasty treats are the kat's ass (yes, I shall sport them proudly, HA HA!)! :D

              2. re: BiscuitBoy

                A new one (for me) also from Iguanas Ranas in M'town:
                poblano corn chowder served in a tortilla bowl

                This woefully dimly-lit picture does it absolutely no justice, but what is not to love about a soup with a nibble-able bowl. My goodness!

                Their white bean soup with cilantro is equally excellent.

                Get one to stay and one to go for the next day. I did. :D

              3. MM's Gyros in downtown Hartford

                combo plate: rice, choice of fresh, crisp salads, chicken or lamb roasted on a spit topped with store made tzatziki and hot sauce

                1 Reply
                1. re: brookerme

                  Hey there--would that be the same folks who used to be in the Richardson Mall food court (also downtown)? :) Those were great!

                2. Mine are going to be pretty FFC-centric:

                  Oceanview Bistro in Norwalk: Rustic, simple, classic French food, in a very VERY laid back space (seriously, there's a strip club next door) and a BYOB policy. Service is also... shall we say, rustic, but the chef, Jean Paul, will make you feel right at home. Bonus: the BYOB thing is super easy because 99 Bottles is right down the strip mall.

                  Espresso Neat in Darien: Expensive and sometimes overly precious, yes, but damn, I wouldn't get my cortado from anywhere else.

                  Mecha Noodle Bar in Fairfield: Cute, small space, good friendly service, yummy ramen (especially the vegetarian!) and passable pho.