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Iconic CT foods

Re not being sure term grinder is used outside CT:

Grew up in MA. We had grinders!

about 3 hours ago
sundeck sue in Southern New England

Lobster Price Watch for SW CT

Along with the tented parking lot: over-cooked crustaceons (my beef [sic] with all these places that will cook for you--though they don't offer seating or a full meal, the Big Y, also happy to do the dubious honors of over-kill for too long in a steamer).

Should have said that the lobsters I've gotten @ the $4.99 price from Stew's this summer have all been soft-shells, so less to eat.

Lobster Price Watch for SW CT

Stew Leonard's has had them for $4.99 on and off this summer--and very good ones (lively, delicious--if you can put up with singing cows, the fish counter is better than the Big Y's, where at least at the New Milford store, the quality and freshness has been mixed this summer).

I see Stew doesn't have the $4.99 lobster special this week. They did last week; and I bet, given the holiday, they'll go down then. Pretty sure last summer Stew's had them for $3.99 over Labor Day.

CT Arethusa and Community Table report

LOL re affectionate cow. And thanks--will note those ice cream tips--and try that milk again for sure!

Oakhurst Diner, Millerton

Great-looking diner.

And some good food. Had a lovely kale + pesto + goat cheese sandwich on wonderful whole-grain bread, w/ a side of kimchee.

On another visit, my husband thought his burger was good, not great (a bit more done than he likes or asked for). And I thought my vegie omelet was similarly fine, but nothing to write home about (not sure vegie omelets have that write-home-about potential anyway).

Very good coffee. Blueberry pie plus-minus--filling lovely, but crust not butter-y (a little cardboard-y).

Service also plus-minus. Nice folks. A bit slow.

Yet and still, one of the better diners I've been to in these parts! Will for sure be back.

CT Arethusa and Community Table report

I've tried Arethusa's milk, but can't tell the difference from other milk! Clearly, not a discerning palate, at least in this department. Would love to know how you characterize what's special about theirs, as opposed to others, so I can see if I can taste the difference.

And I just tried Arethusa's butter pecan and didn't like it at all--too sweet, cloying almost. And I had a taste of their seasonal peach, which I thought was terrible--again, too sweet and not very peachy.

Fish store/truck in driving distance of Sherman CT

I worried a tad, reading Junescook's post re West Shore Seafood. And sure enough. We went back tonight. Not a happiness.

The fried clams were still great. Ditto shrimp cocktail.

But it took forever and a day to get our main courses.

We got clam chowder, which wasn't very hot (we asked them to heat it up, which they did, cheerfully, but not apologetically). The broth was thick/gummy and under-salted (better than over....); and it wasn't very clammy. The fries with the fried clams, which last time were first-rate, were soggy. And maybe worst of all, the lobster roll was awful--not much lobster, too much butter, the main taste sensation: greasy.

Go figure....

Doughnut Dolly, Berkeley

I'm a fan of the naughty (creme fraiche) doughnuts--worth $3 and better than those sold elsewhere!

THE BEST SW CT Farmer's Markets

Would that I knew my CT geography better, but will try to weigh in and hope it's relevant/helpful.

It's probably already past time for many of the Sat Farmer's Markets (usually AM til early afternoon). I've been to ones in Litchfield and New Milford and like both (expensive and only partly organic, speaking as someone used to lower California prices and ready access to organic produce!).

Some farm stands I like: Sullivan Farms on 202 just outside New Milford, en route to Litchfield--and a new one, Clatter Valley Farm, on Rte 7, in New Milford, just past the 202 intersection, if you're heading to Kent.

But if you're driving in the country, at this time of year, you should "bump into" other farm stands--and you probably can't go wrong. Have fun!

New Farm stand on Rte 7 in New Milford

Three days ago, Clatter Valley Farm got the go-ahead from local authorities to set up a farm stand on Rte 7--if you're driving from New Milford to Kent, it's just a little way past the 202 intersection, on the right, next to the apparently abandoned Sclafani's sandwich stand. The farm stand was tended today by one of the farmers, a nice woman, minding her chubby 19 month old daughter with fabulous red hair, while tending to customers. They had good corn, tomatoes, cukes, onion, lettuce, cauliflower--and good-looking peaches from a farm in Washington. The prices were quite reasonable. I didn't think to ask their hours, but I drove by around 5 pm and came screeching to a stop (not really--but I was surprised and happy). They had brochures for their CSA. www.clattervalleyfarm.com

Musings on the relatively low activity on Southern New England Board

I think the fish truck guy went into real estate (a parable for our times...). But he evidently didn't sell the business, if he ever owned it. I liked him--Anton something--and loved his Captain's Cut scrod.

There is a fish stand on 202, between New Milford and Bantam, behind a gun shop--but the prices are way higher, the quality less terrific, the sellers a bit stand-off-ish, the provenance of the catch more variable (to be fair, Anton had some non-New England fish too, but we only got the stuff he drove up to Maine for each week, freshly caught; and you could taste that, boy).

There's also evidently a fish truck in Kent, which we've yet to get to. Ditto a fish store in Morris, off 202, on Bantam Lake Rd., West Shore Seafood (we just found this place and have had their fried clams and lobster rolls, which we loved, but not yet fish from the store).

As for farm on Rte 7--I can't remember the name (sigh). Maybe in Brookfield, not far from the flea market, on the opposite side of the road. Just remember that at a particular moment in the summer, they had amazing melons.

Mamie's, Roxbury

Stopped in for lunch today @ Mamie's in Roxbury. I love the location and building and decor. The place is so New England. The menu always sounds wonderful. I even love the name. I so want to love it.

But as has been the case in the past, it wasn't all I hoped for.

Service was fine.

Lobster roll special and gazpacho soup of the day were tempting.

But I was more intrigued by the Bacon, Lettuce, and Fried Green Tomato sandwich on whole-grain toast. I ordered it with salad, not fries (a modicum of restraint + fried veg in the sandwich, though it did occur to me I was maybe doing salad two ways as opposed to two things fried).

I am a BLT fan; and the concept of using fried green as opposed to fresh red tomatoes caught my fancy. The sandwich was clearly freshly made--the fried green tomatoes, hot off the grill--too hot to eat at first. And the sandwich was a tower, beautiful to behold, with stacks upon stacks of the tomatoes, some lettuce, and shards of bacon. And the individual parts were great--amazing bacon, perfectly fried (from a local farm?), perfectly fried tomatoes that were a beautiful shade of pale green,wonderfully fresh leaves of lettuce, good mayo, great bread (I didn't ask its provenance--I know they bake delicious old-fashioned sweets--don't know if they bake their own bread).

But my tower fell.

It was too tall to bite into--and the layers weren't melded, so they started to fall out, before I tried to bite it, when I tried to pick it up. It was also too tall to cut easily (and large pieces of crisp bacon don't cut).

And in terms of taste--compared to ripe, raw tomatoes, the sweetness of the green tomatoes were not strong enough, fried green tomatoes not juicy enough--and the fried coating of the tomatoes felt like gilding the lily of the fried bacon (by the end, I felt just a touch of the queasiness you can get when you eat a lot of fried stuff). And it was a little bland and dry. I added salt, which didn't do much. It didn't come together.

A serviceable diner-type BLT can definitely be improved upon. It becomes positively brilliant when you go out of your way to include terrific ingredients: heirloom tomatoes, just-picked lettuce, bacon from happy pigs, bread from a great bakery, home-made mayo.

But in terms of the concept, maybe the message is: don't mess with perfection--a classic is a classic for a reason.


My geography not great--is Norwalk close enough to Stamford/Greenwich?--if so, Stew Leonard's also has them (pretzel buns).

CT Arethusa and Community Table report

:) re small world!

And of course,if your work trip comes through, I'm happy to give any/all advice re SF (which will, of course, start with an annotated tour of the Bay Area Chowhound Board!)

CT Arethusa and Community Table report

p.s. realize I didn't answer your query re whether I were "here or SF"--answer: both--Berkeley CA and Sherman CT. And a northern New Englander, born and bred--Haverhill MA, right on the NH border.

CT Arethusa and Community Table report

Re chocolate lace--we also love Dr. Mike's (Bethel) ice cream; and chocolate lace is their "star" flavor (my husband also likes their chocolate; and they make a good hot fudge sauce that I've bought to take home and keep in the fridge when we're feeling esp. indulgent)--have yet to try Bacio, though it's on our list from recommendations on this Board--they must use the same chocolate lace candy from a local candy-maker (just Googled and think it's Hauser Chocolates, which look to have operations in Bethel, as well as in RI).

CT Arethusa and Community Table report

How you know you have a similar palate to a post-er--they love the same coffee ice cream that we do!

Thanks for this. We haven't been to CT table for a while and haven't been at all to Arethusa (other than ice cream bar, where we've definitely been!). This makes me want to go to both.

Musings on the relatively low activity on Southern New England Board

Want to underscore this encouragement.

At least in western CT, where I am, there's a lot of change, some bad (Rte 7 development gobbled up another of my favorite farms; and the fish truck guy who used to drive down from Maine to New Milford each week went into real estate), some good (I keep hearing of new artisanal farmers and craft food purveyers).

Which is to say: updates on local food sources, more than welcome.

Anywhere in CT to buy local chicken or grass fed beef

I was just @ the Sherman IGA--and they have a whole frozen foods case of local beef (can't remember the name of the farm, but in the neighborhood). Haven't tried it, but intend to.

Also pork products from a local farm (I've had the bacon, which is great).

Musings on the relatively low activity on Southern New England Board

Full disclosure: the Bay Area is my "home" Board, to which I was unfavorably comparing the SNE one. :) No surprise--no "objective truth" re what constitutes good food OR how hounds do or don't go at it!

Musings on the relatively low activity on Southern New England Board

I'm wondering why there is little activity on this Board compared to others.

Are there few people logging on because they don't know about Chowhound or care about the kind of info available or find themselves drawn to other sources for such info?

Is the geography too broad to build an on-line Chow community (I live in CT and have to wade through Cape Cod)?

I can see how it can easily get circular. Few people logging on because there's not much new to see. Few posting because they get few replies.

I assume the folks running Chowhound have data on some of this.

But I wonder what might be done by those of us reading this that might help to ramp things up and make it a livelier, more fun, and more useful scene.

Fish store/truck in driving distance of Sherman CT

Doesn't sound good. For what it's worth, the staff were on the ball the night we were there. Re beverages--we brought a bottle of wine, which made it seem esp. economical, since we weren't paying a restaurant mark-up.

How was the food when you went?

We thought the fried clams w/ bellies were perfectly fried (as good as The Clam Box in Ipswich or Arnold's on the Cape)--my husband, who's not a french fries guy, commented that the fries were nicely done--the lobster in the lobster roll, also cooked just right (so many places over-cook)--it was not a ton of lobster meat (when I make lobster rolls, I use a lobster per roll!)--but for a $15-ish (can't remember exact price), it felt like a fair amount of meat and very tasty.

Fish store/truck in driving distance of Sherman CT

Oh dear re West Shore Seafood. What was your experience?

Fish store/truck in driving distance of Sherman CT

The places suggested sound great (thanks to post-ers).

And I've found a place even closer--it's apparently been under our noses for seven years; and we had never heard word one about it.

West Shore Seafood in Morris CT. They have a stand @ the Litchfield Farmers Market (how we discovered them).

And a fish store and restaurant, where we had a great dinner. In-the-rough--picnic tables outside, paper plates, BYOB (they give you paper cups for the wine). Nice folks. And delicious shellfish--we're tough graders and gave the shrimp cocktail, steamed littlenecks, hot lobster roll, fried clams w/ bellies and fries solid A's.

We've not tried buying fish from the fish store. But we intend to and promise to report back.

And while the prices for the restaurant were reasonable, the fish store was higher (the restaurant doesn't serve the high-end kinds of fish that the market does--eg. swordfish or halibut).

And we ended the evening by driving no more than 5 minutes to get ice cream @ Arethusa (sweet cream w/ dark chocolate for me, coffee for my husband--perfect all around!).

Danbury down-scale dining

Would love tips on places for low-key breakfast/lunch/dinner in Danbury.

I was tooling around yesterday and came upon the New Holiday Diner--had a fine BLT w/ good slaw & a great pickle--and they threw in a free cup of soup, white bean, pretty good (and thankfully under-salted--so rare in this day/age--so I could add just enough!). Service, excellent. Prices very reasonable. My only diner wish: tapioca pudding (they had only rice)!

And earlier in the week, we stopped at the Royal Guard Fish and Chips and had some excellent biryani (they do veg, chicken, or mutton)--so well seasoned (even if my husband didn't love the fact that the chicken and mutton come w/ bones; and the mutton was chewy [I think mutton just IS chewy]). A definite find.

So those are my two recent recommendations!

That said, when I look on this Board, the only recent ('13-'14) Danbury posts I see are for specific restaurants, nothing more general.

I know Jim Leff has some old posts on the many wonderful holes-in-the-wall there were (presumably still are) in this town.

But just driving around, I had no idea which of the burgeoning number of tacquerias are good, where to get the best Brazlian fare, etc.

Suggestions, critical notes, raves, please!

Fish store/truck in driving distance of Sherman CT

We continue to miss Elliott's Fish Truck in New Milford.

Just got smoked scallops and fresh bluefish at the fish truck on 202, mid-way between New Milford and Litchfield. Really pricey and not as much local (Maine/Ma/CT) catch as we'd like.

Bought steamers the other day @ Stew Leonard's, which were quite good;and I like the guys in the fish dept. (you just have to brave the singing cows)

Cod @ the Sherman IGA, good but not brilliant.

Any tips on great fish stores/trucks not too far from Sherman CT? (will drive for wonderful, fresh fish!).

stone fruit 2014 bad season?

ditto (good as ever) dry creek peach farm (healdsburg)

Biscuits and Gravy: SFBA Dish of the Month July 2014

Serendipity. I was just @ Aunt Mary's in Temescal (Oakland), my favorite breakfast spot by a mile, and was eyeing the order of the woman sitting next to me (she must have thought me quite rude): biscuits and gravy. It looked amazing.

I was having a variant, just w/ more moving parts--
Bubble and Squeak, which includes biscuits and gravy, but also a sort of cake of greens and potatoes, over which the gravy is poured, plus eggs--breakfast heaven (I always say I'm going to try something else and can't bring myself to forego it).

But now in the service of the DOTM, I'm going back for the simpler biscuits and gravy. Stay tuned.

Weekday late lunch near SFO

Picking up an 85 year old relative @ SFO and meeting up with three other relatives--two who only eat veg and seafood-- for a late lunch (what with getting luggage and the like, probably around 1:30 pm).

I had suggested Hong Kong Flower Lounge, but the veg/seafood eaters worried they'd be pretty limited re choices.

Where else would be a nice place that's a quick drive from the airport, serves lunch late, has good choices for veg/seafood eaters, and is most of all a quiet and pleasant place to sit and talk?

Falafel: SFBA Dish of the Month June 2014

re tahini (which seems essential)--in my experience w/ Oasis Market, you can just ask for any accompaniment you don't get/see; and they're happy to give it to you, either gratis or for a song (recently asked for feta to go w/ something; and for a buck, got a ginormous slice).