Wednesday, August 27, 2008

8/23/08-Olive Garden, West Hartford, CT

Staaaaarving after the John Mayer concert at the Meadows (it's still the Meadows, damn you Dodge), Tom and I decided to grab dinner at the Olive Garden (Tom's rationale-they actually have to cook pasta, its not frozen and I had a coupon--that helps too!) Since we arrived about 15 min before the kitchen was closing, we had the quickest service EVER! Started with their typical salad and breadsticks and Tom had the Zuppa Toscana soup. For entrees, I had the pasta bowl with the meat sauce & sausage over penne and Tom had the Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo pasta--everything was great (and super fast!)

8/22/08-A.C. Petersen's, West Hartford, CT

Kirstin and I headed out to dinner, originally to find a pizza joint in West Hartford, but after much driving around (where were our heads that night?!) we came upon A.C. Petersen's and decided to just stop here for dinner. It was such a lovely evening that we sat outside on the sidewalk cafe. Kirstin had the AC Petersen blue sliders and I had the AC Classic sliders--maybe it was just how I was feeling (I was def not feeling well!), but the food was ehhh. As for the ice cream--very different story. I had chocolate chip and it was rich, creamy and out of this world! Good quality ice cream-could have just eaten that for dinner!

No website, but located on Park Rd. in West Hartford.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

8/12/08-Big Bubba's BBQ, Uncasville, CT

Took a drive out to Mohegan Sun to see Rod Stewart (GREAT concert--top 10, really) and me and my mother had dinner before the show at this bbq joint. Awesome atmosphere, a huge bar and towels instead of napkins on the table, I knew we were in for something good. Both mom and I ordered the same thing--the two-meat combo (we both chose the pulled pork and the ribs) and it came with two sides and cornbread. We both ate as much as we could-it was fantastic! I bought Tom a t-shirt cuz they were quite amusing (the one I got him says on the back "Put some South in your Mouth!"--tell me thats not funny!) We had a great time-I would definitely go back.

8/10/08-Abbott's Lobster in the Rough, Noank, CT

Went to the Mystic Arts Festival and stopped off at this popular joint for lunch on the way. I've heard that they have the best lobster roll in the country, so with that type of reputation, it has to be good. Located right on the water, you walk up to the window and order your food, then are given a number to pick it up. We headed outside to eat at a picnic table overlooking the harbor--what a beautiful day!! Both Tom and I had their famous lobster roll (see, I'm doing better about eating seafood!). It was described as "A quarter-pound of pure lobster meat (more than is found in a small lobster) with melted creamery butter, mounded on a toasted bun. Our hot-lobster roll has repeatedly earned Connecticut Magazines "Best of Connecticut" award!" Rightfully so. It was damn good. If you're headed for the shore, its worth the trip.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

8/9/08-Joey Garlic's, Farmington, CT

Been hearing a lot of great things about this place, so decided to head out to Farmington after kayaking today for dinner. In all honesty, not impressed. The place was pretty busy, a good steady flow of people--so much so that there was a kid in the parking lot directing traffic! Although mostly a pizzeria, Tom and I were intrigued by the specials for the evening so we decided to forgo pizza and instead, we started with the garlicky brick bread (the highlight of our dinner--cheesy good garlic bread), followed by the shrimp scampi for Tom and the Veal Parmigiana for me. Sadly, neither of us were that thrilled by our entree choices, the marinara sauce is incredibly bland. The pizzas that this place turns out is most likely a better vehicle for the marinara sauce, def not for pasta dishes. The Oreo milkshake I had with dinner was good, though--a bunch of different flavors, plus old-fashioned sodas. I think if we decide to come back, we'll definitely try the pizza since thats what we've heard they do best. Just an off night for us? Maybe.

No website, but it's located on Rt. 6 near the Farmington/Bristol line.

8/8/08-La Casona, Hartford, CT

It's Taste of Hartford week, so Kirstin and I decided to take advantage of the special pricing--$20.08 per person got us an appetizer, entree and dessert. We put the names of the restaurants in the proverbial hat and pulled La Casona. Located in the south end of Hartford, the neighborhood can feel a bit sketchy--can't say that I would have picked this restaurant myself--but when we walked in, there was a spanish band playing and a good vibe to the place. We were seated and the special menu was placed before us--Kirstin had the Ensalada de Espinacias for the appetizer, Pollo Tropical for the entree and Peach flavored caramel flan for dessert--I had Empenadas Colombianas for the appetizer, Churrasco Argentino for the entree and Chocolate torte for dessert. All of that for only $20.08? What a deal.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

8/2/08-Mo's Irish Pub, Noblesville, IN

For those who are wondering, Noblesville, Indiana is just outside of downtown Indianapolis--a lovely suburb with lots of cornfields (Dorothy, we are definitely NOT in Connecticut anymore!) Just a few minutes from the house is a shopping development similar to Evergreen Walk in South Windsor, and here is where Melissa and AJ's current favorite restaurant is. Cute Irish pub with a campy TGI Friday's decor appeal, the menu is not authentic Irish, but the choices are still good. We started with a basket of the garlic cheese fries--not a big fan of the cheese sauce, but decent flavor. AJ had the Crispy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, Melissa had the Triple Grilled Cheese sandwich with a side salad and I had the Killarney Club Sandwich. Plates were polished, so it must have all been good! Downside? Indiana still allows smoking in bars, so that could become a big turn-off if seated in that area (which we were not, thankfully.) Still, I think I liked the irish pub we went to last time in downtown Indianapolis (whatsthenameagain?)

8/1/08-Qdoba Mexican Grill, Noblesville, IN

OK, for those of you that I work with.....YES.....I called out sick for 2 days and flew to Indiana. Don't squeal on me :) At any rate, late Friday night when my plane touched down, I was pretty hungry, so Melissa, AJ and my new nephew Jackson took me to this chain favorite (we don't have these in CT). I had salsa and chips (the salsa is made from tomatillos, which I was so not thrilled with--I'll stick with tomato salsa, thank you!) and 3 hard tacos--one grilled chicken, one ground sirloin and one shredded pork--all were good, my fav being the chicken. Melissa had a taco salad, which looked great and AJ had the chips and salsa with me along with 3 ground sirloin tacos. For what you get, good prices. Although I am not the biggest fan of chain restaurants, in a pinch, this was an appropriate choice. Plus, we all know how I love my mexican!