Tuesday, July 28, 2009

7/26/09-Durham Dari-Serv, Durham, CT

Summer is made for ice cream and this place just screams summertime to me! Long lines that move pretty quickly, good quality homemade ice cream and a cow statue out front! Tom had a chocolate milkshake and he said the consistency was just perfect, while I enjoyed their Moose Tracks ice cream on a cone--rich, creamy with just the right amount of fudge tracks and mini peanut butter cups swirled throughout. No doubt that we'll be making a few return visits before the season is over!

No website, located on Main St. in Durham.

7/26/09-Modern Apizza, New Haven, CT

I have a love affair with New Haven pizza--I think it's fantastic. There really is no other pizza that comes close. My only problem is, I cannot decide which pizza place I like better--Modern or Pepe's. We went Sunday night nice and early to beat the dinner rush to get a pie and ohhhh was it good. A nice, simple pepperoni pizza is how we roll--charred perfectly on the bottom, cheesy, grease-dripping-down-your-forearm goodness. Service was quick and friendly and we couldn't have been more satisfied after our dinner.

Tom prefers Pepe's. I prefer Modern. So we rotate each time we get pizza between our two faves!


Friday, July 17, 2009

7/16/09-Gaetano's Tavern on Main, Wallingford, CT

Stopped here for dinner before heading to Guilford--we've been here once before, but decided to give it another try--I don't think we'll be returning.

We arrived just before 6pm and the place was dead except for a private party in the back room. The restaurant has a strange garden-like decor theme but it gives an overall awkward kind of feel. They do have an outdoor sidewalk patio, which would be a good option on a nice day. For our meals, I ordered a buffalo chicken sandwich (a thin grilled chicken breast dipped in buffalo sauce, with cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato) with sweet potato fries--the roll was unfortunately soggy by the time i got my sandwich but the fries were pretty good. Tom ordered Lillian's chicken--chicken with 2 shrimp, garlic, tomatoes in a sauce over bowtie pasta--he felt like dish was promising but didn't deliver the flavors he expected. Overall, we were pretty disappointed with our dinners. This place might be more appealing if the prices were lower--I felt that the dishes were way overpriced and didn't really seem to reflect the feel of the restaurant. Michael's Trattoria, which is across the street, has comparable prices and a far better atmosphere and food--you are much better off going there for a nice dinner in the center of Wallingford.

Monday, July 6, 2009

7/4/09-Bobby's Burger Palace @ Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT

Day trip to the Sun! We took a lovely, rain-free drive out to Mohegan to do a little shopping, walking around and dining at Mohegan's newest establishment, Bobby's Burger Palace. A franchise of Bobby Flay's newest creation, it is a small nook with a brightly colored retro diner feel but with much more creative burger options. The menu is limited, as would be expected by the name of the restaurant but that is exactly what he is going for here--a good, American burger joint complete with onion rings, french fries and milkshakes. The burgers on the menu are straight out of his latest cookbook (of which we've tried a few with great success) so we decided on this visit to try two that we had not as of yet attempted to make. Tom ordered the Miami Burger--pressed with ham, swiss cheese, pickles, mustard and mayo--the burger is smaller than what you would recieve at Red Robin or another burger joint but aside from that, it was juicy and the toppings were quite good, especially the gooey swiss cheese. I ordered the Dallas Burger which is spice encrusted with BBQ sauce, monterey jack cheese, pickles and coleslaw (which I omitted)--this was the clear winner between us--the BBQ sauce had a nice sweet & smokey flavor (and I now will have to try and replicate it with the recipe in the book). We also shared an order of the regular french fries (plenty to split between the both of us and tastes as good as the version we've made at home) and it was served with his signature fry sauce (not sure on the ingredients, but horseradish must be one of them--very good). There were also an array of other sauces on the table to try, my favorite being the chipotle ketchup--just a slight kick to it, nice flavor. Tom and I also split a black and white milkshake--it is not like the one I had at Steak and Shake unfortunately (S&S makes fabulous milkshakes, too bad its not available on the east coast!). The milkshake might as well have been a chocolate shake--I guess it was just not what I was expecting--also, you may be accustomed to being served the silver mixing glass with your poured glass of milkshake but that is not the case here so that was a bit of a letdown. In all, good experience--would most likely return if looking for a quick bite to eat.

Note: we were informed of their "no tipping" policy as we were placing our orders before we went to find our seats--not sure why they have that policy, yet have a line on your credit card slip for a tip. Also, as with any food joint at the casino, the lines can get long--I would not wait in it any longer than the entrance to it (at that point, you can expect to be waiting in line approx. 20 minutes).


7/3/09-Rita's, Southington, CT

After dinner we needed to run a few errands and on the way to my parent's house and decided to stop and get dessert. This place is always hopping in the summer with a great selection of water ices and custard creations. I had a small vanilla/chocolate swirl custard and Tom had a small chocolate custard--we both enjoyed them--a nice cool, creamy texture with a thicker and richer taste than soft serve. I can't stop at Rita's without bringing my dad home a lemon ice and I brought my mom a small vanilla custard. My dad's favorite summer treat is their lemon ice and my mother had never had their custard but she enjoyed it! There are lots of flavors for the adventerous but I do believe the basics are the best.


7/3/09-El Sombrero, Southington, CT

In need of a good Mexican fix, we headed for a nice quick dinner at El Sombrero. It's a family owned joint and the food has always been good, especially their chips and salsa--very fresh, nice cilantro flavor. Tom and I were both eyeing the "Quatro" dish so we decided to do an order of that and to try something new--Puerco Adobo. The Quatro had a chicken chimichanga, beef taco and cheese enchilada with sides of rice and beans. The Puerco Adobo was slices of pork tenderloin cooked in their adobo sauce--very tasty but not as hot and spicy as I had expected. Overall, very satisfied with our meals--I could come here all the time and not be bored! The live mariachis were playing, as is customary on Friday and Saturday nights and they are great especially if you have kids because they'll play their favorites like the Sponge Bob theme song. I think Tom and I are going to make a greater effort to come here more often for our mexican fix and continue to try new dishes.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

6/27/09-Ruby Tuesday's, Meriden, CT

Went to the mall to check out wedding bands and stopped here for dinner (sign up for their emails--you'll get a coupon for BOGO entree). It has been quite a while since we've eaten here and their menu has changed quite a bit and that is definitely not a bad thing. Both of us opted for steak dinners--Tom ordered the Cowboy Ribeye-"A 12-ounce cut with secret seasonings, seared to perfection then topped with blue cheese crumbles, crisp onion straws, and our house-made steak sauce with a touch of Samuel Adams Boston Lager"-with a caesar salad to start and white cheddar mashed potatoes and broccoli on the side. Although good in size, he did not care for the caesar as it was too heavily dressed over spring mix salad with diced tomatoes (what happened to romaine?). The steak was cooked to his liking but as much as a blue cheese lover that he is, he found that the melted mess of it on top of his steak was just not as appetizing as it should have been. The mashed potatoes were very good with a nice subtle cheddar flavor. For my entree I had the Top Sirloin with a baked potato and broccoli on the side with their salad bar to start. The salad bar was nicely stocked (not as good as Dakota's but it'll do!) with a good selection of items to choose from. My sirloin was cooked medium and was seasoned nicely.

Overall, a good value. Would return with the help of a coupon, of course!