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Help with an expedition to Yale, please?

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I'm planning a day-trip to New Haven, to the Yale University Hospital, on 800 Howard Street, coming from NYC.

And I'd appreciate any guidance on the following:
-Is the bus substantially cheaper than the train?
-Does that neighborhood have a name?
-The office says the train is a 20-minute walk; is the bus depot nearby?
-Is it a risky neighborhood to walk through?

-Food suggestions! As long as I'm going, I was hoping for an interesting little place to have lunch.

Roadfood lists these in New Haven:
1)Louis Lunch: cheeseburger, hamburger
2)Claire's Corner Copier: Lithuanian Coffee Cake, French Toast, Soup
3)Ashley's Ice Cream: Sweet Cream Ice Cream, Coffee Oreo Ice Cream, Hot Fudge Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream
4)Orangeside Luncheonette: Donut, Chili Dog, Egg & Cheese Sandwich, Philly Burger
5)Sally's Apizza: Fresh tomato pizza, Sausage & Peppers Apizza , Clam Pizza, Bacon apizza
6)Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana: Fresh Tomato Pie, white clam pizza, Original tomato pie, Original Tomato Pie with Mozzarella
7)Dayton Street Apizza: Chicken Parmigiana Sub, Foxon Park Soda, Sausage Pie, White Clam Pie
8)Modern Apizza: Italian bomb, white clam pie, Sausage & Artichoke Pizza, Pepperoni & Pepper Pizza
9)Archie Moore: Bottlecap Sliders, Buffalo Wings, Honey BBQ Wings, Pulled Pork Nachos

Apart from the fact that I don't know if they're nearby, none of these really grabs me, and I'm not that interested in pizza. I'd be curious if that's a real ice-cream parlor, though.

Anyway, anything nearby that you'd recommend?

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  1. Ashley's has been there since the 70's, named after a Frisbee catching dog. It's a real ice cream parlor, their sweet cream ice cream is the best I ever had. Easy walk from Louis Lunch, you should hit them in a row. I like all the pizza places. Archie Moore is a working class crowd, cool in its own way.

    1. Claire's food is good but her desserts always seemed very dry to me and I'm always disappointed. It's too bad because they always look good. The pizza places are both excellent but they would be a good walk from downtown, not horrible.

      1 Reply
      1. re: javaandjazz

        As would Archie Moore, a Spring Glen bus on Whitney Ave. from Church and Chapel.

      2. If you're a female, I'd be cautious walking around New Haven by yourself at night. Take a cab.

        1. The bus and trains come into the same station. I cannot speak for the buses, but I do use the trains and they are good. I believe that there is a shuttle that will take you to or nearer to the hospital. That area is called "The Hill" and can be a bit spotty.
          There is a large array of food trucks outside of the hospital worth checking out.They are on York St. outside the main entrance. If I had to choose one of the pizzerias, it would be Pepe's another choice and right across from Louis is Bar, a brew pub with while clam pie that rivals Pepe's. I am not a big fan of Modern, they tend to burn too many pizza's. I love Ashley's ice cream and hot fudge

          1. 20 minute walk from the train sounds about right, it's a safe trek during the day. The hospital buildings are on the fringe of what was called the "Hill" neighborhood, tho I think folks are trying to shed that image...razed city blocks on the western side are a reminder of what a hole that area was. Ashley's is a nice stop for ice cream, maybe another 20 minute walk, depending on what building you're coming from. Louis Lunch is something to see, or a favorite of mine is Ivy Noodle....about 10 minutes from Ashley's by foot. There are many surprisingly good food options from the mobile vendors, right outside the main hospital too

            1. Thanks. This is for lunch, so walking at night isn't an issue, luckily. And keep in mind, the issue isn't how far these places are from each other, but how far they are from that hospital (800 Howard - I don't know if that's considered "downtown" or not). Mmalmad, a secretary at the hospital said she'd inquire about shuttles, although it surprised me that she wouldn't already know about something like that.

              It just dawned on me, though, that no matter how much I love ice cream parlors, maybe that's a dumb idea if the temps will still be in the 30s in early March. I'll check out Ivy Noodle, which sounds Chinese which is fine by me. I thought I read about a Cuban restaurant, but I can't pin it down.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Fida

                Cool weather is NO EXCUSE to avoid Ashleys. In the heat of the summer, it melts too quickly!

              2. The hospital's in kind of a weird neighborhood; I don't consider it "downtown" (downtown is really centered on the New Haven Green, in other words, the Yale Campus proper). Most of the restaurant "life" lies in the Yale area, other than the Pepe's and Sally's which are not just "Pizza" but for many, destination-worthy. (I like Modern Apizza, but that's a hike) But New Haven's not really big so you could get to most of the places mentioned in 15 minutes or so (walking). The hospital area is safe, certainly in daytime, but a bit ugly. It would be nice if you got a chance to see the nice side of New Haven up by Yale.

                1. I'm a New Haven Native, In fact I was born in that hospital 60 years ago this week, long before it was called or owned by Yale.

                  Howard Ave is not a nice neighborhood. That said, if you wish to walk into downtown New Haven for lunch, DO NOT walk out of the hospital on Howard Ave. Instead use the underground hospital walking tunnels to the Memorial unit and exit on York Street. Then you have a 'safe' 10 minute walk to the downtown dining destinations on York, Crown, Temple, Church and Chapel Streets. You should be able to get a Yale shuttle back to the hospital.

                  When you cross the RT 34 connector on York Street, turn right and walk two blocks east to College Street for Ashley's. I'm not an ice cream lover, but they are my ice cream of choice in the area. Lots of dining on College, Chapel, Crown and Temple to choose from. If I was planning on Ashley's for dessert, i might not choose Claire's for my meal. But a hamburger at Louis Lunch follwed by a stop at Ashley's on the walk back to the hospital is a nice outing.

                  Sally's doesn't do lunch. Pepe's could be iffy based on your time limitations. Archie Moore's is ordinary bar food that doesn't live up to its reputation from days gone by.
                  Modern and Dayton are not worth the effort without a car, and really aren't that good. I'm a New Haven Apizza snob. If I'm not on Wooster Street, then it's either Ernie's in Westville or Zuppardi's in West Haven.

                  For an interesting meal, I'd probably get the shuttle to the New Haven Green, eat Lunch at ZINC-964 Chapel Street between Temple and College, walk back on College t Ashley's for an ice cream, then a short walk back to the hospital.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: bagelman01

                    I'm confused. I've been to NH many times (kid there) and never noticed Ashley's. I googled it, and it says it's on York (looks like it's near Toad's). Is that not right?

                    1. re: DGresh

                      CRS setting in. They are on York. The other location I was writing about no longer exists. I actually go to the one in the Hamden Plaza with the free parking.

                      1. re: DGresh

                        The Original Ashleys and Louis Lunch both moved from their original locations. In the case of Louis Lunch, the entire structure, albeit small, was moved.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          Where did Ashley's used to be? Like bagel, my goto branch was in Hamden (when I wasn't at Wentworth's!)

                      2. re: bagelman01

                        Many thanks, Bagelman, for the heads-up about the neighborhood.

                        1. re: Fida

                          Cool. I also was born in that hospital 2 years before bagel, and was cured from meningitis there, and had a tricky bone graft that successfully saved my right wrist. Excellent hospital, but Jello is Jello.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            Veg...I recently posted a Grace New Haven Food story on another board and I'll excerpt it here: Note the gelatin is included

                            At 60, I am the youngest child in the family and the only one born in New Haven. My older siblings were born in the Bronx and moved with my parents to New Haven two years before I was born. In 1958, I was in Grace New Haven Hospital (Now Yale) to have my tonsils out. The evening after the operation I was in my bed awaiting supper. The nurse came in and brought a tray with vanilla ice cream and gelatin. I refused the food,complaining that my mother had ordered Pot Roast for my supper. the nurse told me that there was no way I could eat pot roast after the procedure. I made a loud fuss and they got my mother from the solarium at the end of the hall.
                            The nurse told my mother; 'Mrs. B. Your child can not possibly eat pot roast after having his tonsils out.'
                            My mother said:
                            "Young lady, this is my third child to have tonsils out, and his older siblings had pot roast for supper that night. He'll have no problem eating it with the gravy. Go call the doctor."
                            The nurse reluctantly went to the nurses' station and called the surgeon. He told her: "The B children eat meat twice a day, every day. This is the third set of tonsils I've removed in that family. If Mrs. B ordered Pot Roast for the child's dinner, you call down to the kitchen and have it sent up."
                            Twenty minutes later the nurse came in, all red faced carrying a tray with pot roast, mashed ptatoes and gravy. I was happy.

                      3. Megabus will bring you to Union station in New Haven. From there I'd suggest a cab vs. walking. Outside of YNHH there are a lot of food carts if you are into that kind of thing.

                        1. Thali Too, vegetarian Indian. Amidst Yale proper.

                          1. Just wanted to return to thank you all. Good trip, although unfortunately colder than expected. I discovered that, oddly, the train is cheaper than the bus, but having missed my train, I splurged on a taxi, and having been warned about Howard, I was looking down the street with some uneasiness, since it was blocked by a police car. It turned out that, no, not any big crime in progress, just a very long truck that had jammed itself in trying to turn without enough room, so the street was impassable. Had to laugh at my anxiety. The street looked fine to me, at least at high noon.

                            I decided to check out Louis' for a hamburger, since I was very curious. I'm surprised no one mentioned what an odd place it is - small, cramped, with uncomfortable seating, and no menu. That they apparently only serve hamburgers and cheeseburgers put me in mind of the old John Belushi sketches. I guess the wait wasn't so very long, but it certainly seems long when you're uncomfortable - and most people were left standing. I wasn't crazy about their serving the burgers on toasted white bread, and irked that there are no condiments, and skimpy on the onions, but, wow, that was a substantial hunk of meat. I noticed they had pies listed, but also noticed no one was eating them, so I passed that up. Glad I went, but doubt I'd return.

                            Wandered around a bit, stopped by the Yale British art gallery, which was wonderful. Lovely, light, and wonderfully cheery, welcoming staff.

                            Then on to Ashley's. I was a little put off by their sundaes being so expensive, especially considering it's not what I expected in terms of a comfortable ice cream parlor existence, but I got some chocolate malt chip, which was fun. I wish there were more malt flavors around!

                            Poked my head into Book Traders, and don't know if I'd eat there, but was amused by some of their literary menu names, like "Hamingway and cheese."

                            Also stumbled across a candy store called Chocolate Maya (47 High Street) which may be too pricey for me, but, wow, how gorgeous. They had some amazing candies that looked like ceramic - the guy said they were painted with the butter from the cocoa bean (I think).

                            Thank you all for your contributions. I'll probably be going again next month, and maybe I'll try the Cuban place I passed.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Fida

                              If you like art, you might like to try the Yale Art Museum (different from the British Art museum, which I have not yet visited, as my daughter has to be dragged kicking and screaming to art :)). It's been recently redone and is lovely. If you're there during the right season (I think it starts in April), they sometimes have tours of the buried cemetery underneath the Center Church on the green. We were in NH yesterday and had dinner at Istanbul Cafe; fine, but not as good as I remembered the first time.