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02sbxstr's Profile

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Pepe's is coming to Danbury, CT

You're entitled to your opinion about Pepe's. But it's been around for 85 years. I can speak to the New Haven and Manchester locations and, in my opinion, it's the best pizza I have ever had. The open market is a cruel place for businesses, and if the public felt that "Pepe's just sucks in general," thenPepe's would be out of business. The fact that it's not proves your opinion is an outlier.

Jun 04, 2010
02sbxstr in Southern New England

Frank Pepe: What's the deal with the random slicing?

It is what it is - whether it is a 'shtick' or not, I don't know (or care). There's always a bit of edge to hold on to, and past that, it's the pizza I'm interested in - not the shape of the slices.

Dec 18, 2009
02sbxstr in Southern New England

Restaurants on the water in and around Hartford

I should also have added my appraisal of the food at these suggestions. Apricots (pub menu) - very good, my benchmark burger; Grist Mill - on the short list to go, went there years ago; Mitchells - roadside burger and hot dog joint, okay; Angelicos - haven't been for 3 or 4 years, okay at the time; Blue Oar - went yesterday for the first time, very good lobster roll and blue cheese burger (moves onto my top burger list) (BYOB and cash only).

Restaurants on the water in and around Hartford

The answer depends on your definition of 'waterfront.' I asked a similar question a year ago or so and got responses chiding me because, after all, Hartford is 50 miles from the ocean, how could there be waterfront dining? However, my definition of waterfront would include include river frontage, e.g., Apricots and the Grist Mill in Farmington on the Farmington River (higher end places) and Mitchell's (Rocky Hill) and the Blue Oar (Haddam) on the Connecticut (more roadfoodish places). Angelicos in East Hampton (Lake Potacopaug [sp]) would qualify in my opinion.

Impudent Oyster, Chatham (Cape Cod)

Nice to read the IO is still tasting good. We owned a house in Harwich from the late 80's until 2003. When we visited, a mandatory stop was the Oyster. Particularly when we went up in the winter. We loved to sit at the bar for dinner. My wife is more adventurous in cuisine than I, so she would sample the specials and always found them good. However, I always opted for steak au poivre as it was my benchmark against which to judge other restuarants. We are looking to go back later this summer for the first time since we sold and will be visiting the Oyster of course.

Best Burger in CT

For those frugal chowhounders out there, Max Fish in Glastonbury is offering a happy hour menu at the bar with fantastic bargains. Offered are calamari, cheeseburgers, cup of chowder and many other munchies for $2. And the servings were NOT meager. The cheeseburger had to be 6 - 8 oz. I ordered 2 expecting sliders but our waitperson advised me I might want to reconsider. Every night from 4 to 6 and the last hour of service. $5 minimum bar tab and no substitutions but well worth it in my opinion. Other Max locations are offering other menus.

May 15, 2009
02sbxstr in Southern New England

2 queries: West St Grill & Max Burger

First, I read that a few weeks ago there was a kitchen fire at W St Grill in Litchfield. Are they open? The website implies business as normal. Also, I read some very negative reviews from the last few months on indicating poor customer relations and favoritism. Any observations? Second, anyone been to Max Burger yet? THeyapparently opened over the past weekend. The Max site doesn't acknowledge existence yet - a gripe of mine is failure to update regularly these sites - it's just bad business.

Smokehouse's in Central Vermont

We've been very happy lately with bacon from North Country Smokehouse in Claremont NH. It's a short hop off I91 across the river.

Sauce In Glastonbury!

We went to Glastonbury J Gilbert's Tuesday and were surprised at how busy they were around 6:30. Can't say what it was like later in the evening but the place was full when we were there. I think it benefits from business business with the Hilton nearby - I know I've used it for business dinners frequently in the past. As for Sauce, while I definitely don't want to see the business fail, we were never very pleased with the place. Tried it a few time after opening through early Fall and were consistently disappointed: long waits even with reservations, poor service and mediocre and skimpy food. I understand the new chef is from the Max group, so maybe there's hope.

Fish Lunch in Greater Hartford Area

Max Fish in Glastonbury can't be beat. Easy to get to: Route 3 exit off I91 over the Conn River, then first exit, left at the lights, you go by the restaurant on the right and then first right for parking.

What are the best bacons made in New England, especially Maine?

Recently been buying from North Country Smokehouse in Claremont, NH - been very happy with their bacon.

I tried Modern Apizza (New Haven)

Mrs 02sbxstr and I have been many times to Pepe's in NH and have never encountered a waitstaff member with an attitude. We always go at lunch time - maybe its different at dinner. I know of Sally's reputation re the 'in crowd' and that is a reason we have never considered going there. (Aside from the fact they're not open for lunch.) We like Modern, but we're making a special trip from Glastonbury and don't want to settle.

Lunch around Decatur GA next month

I'm visiting my parents and sisters east of Atlanta next month and would like to treat them to a good lunch. They've all had some bad luck recently and could use some cheer. So ... anyone have a recommendation for a good spot near Decatur? Cost isn't really an issue for me, thankfully. When my husband and I go out for lunch, the tab is usually in the $50 - $75 range - so this is what I'm looking for. One suggestion was Wahoo in Decatur - any comments? Thanks is advance.

Lunch suggestions near Metropolitan Museum

Walking distance - good sit down starting at high end burgers and above. Beef- and seafood-centric. Midweek March.

Jan 20, 2009
02sbxstr in Manhattan

Glastonbury Update

Haven't seen much lately about local restaurants. Anybody have any thoughts about Tango and/or 2 Hopewell?

Fleming's Steak House

Grant's isn't a steakhouse - its a fine restaurant that serves steak. Steakhouses don't serve 'pistachio crusted trout' or free range chicken (about as for from a steakhouse entre as you can get). So what you are saying is that if you are a successful proprietor, cloning your business model elsewhere makes you an unworthy chain operator. Don't understand this bias.

Fleming's Steak House

The problem is its hard (maybe impossible) to find a local steakhouse comparable to the chains in the Hartford area. IMHO, the anti-chain arguement is usually a red herring. Technically, I expect you would consider Peter Luger's a chain as it has 2 locations, but I wouldn't - so its arbitrary as to what a 'chain' is: 2 sites, 5 sites, 100 sites. Many of you 'chainists' decry Ruth's Chris, but I've been eating there for years and have never been disappointed. Ditto Mortons - but I like Ruth's better. If you can recommend a local steakhouse, I'd certainly be glad to know about it.

Sirloin Saloon in Rutland, VT

I was at the Sirloin Saloon about 4 months ago on our annual Vermont golf expedition - 20 guys nearing retirement acting like college kids, but never-the-less, a trip looked forward to by all. We've been there a few times over the last few years on the first night of our 4 day trip - most likely because the first day's bet is the losers buy the winners dinner and this minimizes the expense. Hemingways is not where the losers want to end up. Anyway, its casual, its comfortable, and its got a great salad bar. The steaks are just okay at best. Iwouldn't drive 10 miles, let alone 50, to eat there.

Pickles Deli, Glastonbury, CT

I've been waiting for this place to open for a few weeks now, and when I saw the open sings today, I stopped in around 11:30: a few diners and lots of staff standing around. But all in all, a decent space - not crammed in like Rein's. I ordered my personal deli benchmark: roast beef on rye w/ onions, swiss cheese and Russian dressing. $6.95 for half a sandwich plus $0.50 for cheese and $0.95(!) for onion seems a little steep ($8.95 for a whole). The rye was excellent, the beef okay - it was pretty rare and bland. I wish them well because I welcome the addition of a deli-like option (they have a brick oven which to me doesn't fit the deli paradigm) in Glastonbury, but I think they need to address the value issue.

Oct 27, 2008
02sbxstr in Southern New England

The Counter @ Blue Back Sq, W Htfd vs the competition

We went to the recently opened Counter for lunch today - definitely a 'go back' even though its not that easily accessible and lacks free parking not really a big deal). Benchmarks are Plan B and 5 Guys. Our schedule put us there early, 11:15, we were the first seated. The place subsequently filled up fast. I was pleasantly surprised they had a liquor license but wasn't impressed by their draft beer and wine offerings. I had a 1/3# burger with red onions, blue cheese, and bacon with peppercorn sauce on the side (this was nice to have the sauce served this way). Mrs 02sbxstr had the same burger with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and garlic aioli. I like that you can order 1/3, 2/3, and 3/3# burgers. Plan B's burgers are too big for me and the sliders aren't an option while 5 Guys has their 'little' option. The burgers were ordered 'steakhouse medium' and that was what was delivered - they were excellent. We also ordered fries and they were good but with the garlic aioli were much improved. 5 Guys fries are world class. In summary, all three of these places have their pluses and minuses. The Counter's burgers are excellent (great tasting beef) and you have the option to gorge yourself or not and they serve beer and wine (albeit of limited selection). Physically, its an industrial interior and loud, but the sound level at least drowns out children. Plan B (Glastonbury) offers a great selection of draft beers, has salads and more pub food selections in a very comfortable atmosphere, but the burgers are too big. 5 Guys has great burgers and especially the fries, but its business model is different and the dining experience is different. If the three places were adjacent, we would go to 5 Guys if we were short on time, the Counter for a lunch on a work day, and Plan B for a meal out after work.

Glas in Glastonbury Closing/Re-Opening

There's a sign outside announcing Tango Restaurant & Bar is opening soon and hiring. It's billed on the sign as an 'Italian restaurant with Argentinian flare.'

Plan B Glastonbury recently?

Just about the time you were posting this query, my wife and I were sitting down to lunch on their outside patio. This was the 2nd visit since they opened - first was in June and we didn't experience then the woes some posters have reported. Today's visit was great - pleasant surroundings (New London Turnpike is not too noisy or busy), speedy and accurate service, very good burger bar food: a small garden salad at $2.99 was a bargain; my bacon cheeseburger was juicy and tasty, as was my wife's 3 mini-cheeseburgers and fresh potato chips. If they were having teething problems just after opening - they now have things under control. Two nitpicks: the burgers are simply too big for my 59 year-old appetite and they really should have a list of the beers on draft rather the expect the server to go through the whole list. Don't know how busy they would be on a Friday around 6, but they were pretty much fill when we left around 1 this afternoon.

1st Anniversary Dinner - Hartford

I'll partly accept your price range with your (now expressed) qualifier, but the truth is that $40 is more accurate. In fact, I only saw 1 entree for less than $30 at Cavey's downstairs, which was your primary recommendation. Eliminating the high end menu items is deceptive.

1st Anniversary Dinner - Hartford

FoodieJim has done an excellent job in recommending suitable restaurants in the Hartford / near Hartford area, but he's being optimistic in suggesting a $22 - $30 range for main courses - try an upper limit of $40 or so. Any of the Max locations or Apricots works. Happy Anniversary!!

Another Pepe's Apizza Coming

We've been many times to Pepe's in NH and maybe 5 times to Pepe's in Manchester and fail to see any material difference between the two. In both cases, great coal-fored pven pizza - I've watch them fire the coal in both locations. As to the chain condemnation, its a red herring: McDonalds didn't become a multibillion $ operation by failing to produce consistency and a level of quality from site to site. Nor did Ruth's Chris or Mortons. As long as management pays attention to the product, I don't care if there are 2 or 20 Pepe's.

Lunch & dinner recs near Michigan Ave bridge

Thanks Leek - Marriot @ 540 N MI is right. I well understand there is a fundamental difference between Chicago deep dish and New Haven pizza, hence my interest in finding a good example by which to judge. I am zeroi;ng in in Pizza Due. WIll try your suggestion re Frontera reservation attempt 8:30. The menu at Frontera is more appealing to me than the menu at Topolo. Here's a new query: is the Weber Grill only a tourist trap or can I get a decent lunch there? Thanks in advance for any comment. Looking forward to visiting what is, I assume, your city.

Jul 31, 2008
02sbxstr in Chicago Area

Lunch & dinner recs near Michigan Ave bridge

First visit to Chicago 8.15 - 8.18 after golf at the American Club in Wisconsin. We are staying at the Marriot just north of the bridge and would like any recommendations you might offer for lunch and dinner within walking distance of the hotel. Steakhouses, burgers, Chicago pizza (our benchmark is Pepe's Pizza in New Haven so we'll see ....), Asian, local seafood (lakefood?). Atmosphere, outdoor dining, good libations, minimal kids important; $$s not. How about Rick Bayless places? Distance from the Marriot? Appreciate your help.

Jul 29, 2008
02sbxstr in Chicago Area

Plan B in Glastonbury

In defense of a restaurant that had opened only 5 days previously and has exhibited a winning business plan elsewhere, I have to offer a contrary experience. We also ate at Plan B on the same evening as Josh. Our server, Liz, was ever attentive without being over bearing. My Blue Cheeseburger was excellent, as was my wife's Ultimate Cheeseburger. Plan B is a welcome addition to Glastonbury - well positioned between fast food and pizza and Max Fish/Amore and J Gilbert's.

Not sure what 'central ct hipster clowns' are - we're in our 50's. People seem to like to pick on Glastonbury. Perhaps ohio could inform us of his picks for burgers.

I do have2 nits to pick with Plan B though. I h ope someone from the restuarnat will read this. 1) The burgers are too big! They should offer a smaller option - but please don't call it a Senior option. 2) They need a listing of the beers they are serving included in the menu.

Plan B in Glastonbury

We've been to Plan B Burger Bar in West Hartford a number of times - very good burgers and a wide selection of beers and ales. Plan B burgers are unique in that they are very loosely packed and very fresh and flavorable. Another welcome addition to the food scene in Glastonbury.

Glastonbury help, please?

Must offer my 2 cents re Max restaurants in Glastonbury: we have never been disappointed by either of them. For that matter, we've never been disappointed by any Max restaurant. We/ve had at least 6 lunches or dinners at Max Amore and Max Fish over the last couple of months, so we're not working with a limited sample here. Nice ambiance (especially Max Fish), excellent servers, large portions, tastes great. Not sure why some on this board are anti-Max, the success of this group is undeniable. Cheers.