The Brunch Box opened several months ago, delivering numerous breakfast and lunch sandwiches at locations around Stamford, with occasional visits to surrounding areas and private parties. Jimmy Marcella, a Stamford native developed the concept of The Brunch Box after a lifetime of preparation; as far back as he could remember he wanted to own a restaurant. As a teen Jimmy worked at a local Italian deli in Westchester, scrubbing dishes, mopping floors, stocking soda, eventually prepping, making chicken cutlets and chopping parsley by the case. He saved his money for his self-education, Omakase at 16, elegant dining at 18. He subsequently worked at the Hudson Hotel in Manhattan, toured with his manager and eventually returned to Stamford; he was now ready to fulfill his dream. Jimmy decided to start with a food truck, where he could experience that personal one-to-one interaction with each customer. He thought that “Brunch” was the differentiator from the other food trucks in the area and The Brunch Box was born.
Entries in breakfast (99)
As more and more souls climb aboard the health(ier) train, the opportunities to eat well while eating out are becoming more frequent and less far between. Thankfully, the days of eating out with kids only to have them relegated to greasy, questionable servings of chicken nuggets, trans-fat laden fries, and white bread-grilled cheese or wondering how to stomach another blah serving of pasta primavera if you are vegetarian are fast departing. Enter, The Granola Bar, aka TGB.
Having established a loyal and vibrant following in Westport over the past 3 years, the duo of Julie Mountain and Dana Noorily decided to branch out to Greenwich just four short months ago. Judging from the speed at which the dining area filled up on the day I visited, the enthusiasm is running at full-speed boogie. From making their own granola a few years ago to now running two thriving restaurants, its been a wild ride but not so wild that they have forgotten where the brakes are located; TGB only serves breakfast and lunch, along with copious amounts of snacks. No dinner. That is precisely so that these two women can make it home to their own families for dinner. Hello, balance. It’s nice to see you again.
If it weren’t for the large neon “Let’s Eat Donuts” sign greeting you as you enter Donut Crazy’s newest location in New Haven, you might think you stumbled into a Yale library. Walls bathed in a Yale blue lacquered paint, a seating area with cozy leather chairs and a couch, and soaring ceilings make the 1450 square foot space seem more spacious and studious than it is. Just beyond this warm welcome is a hub of retail activity and a dining area of small tables, and a well-lit wall of Donut Crazy doughnuts in all their colorful and sugary glory.
“I wanted to give the space a library meets bar feel, not treat it like a typical commercial space, and the blue is a nod to Yale,” explained Donut Crazy owner Jason Wojnarowski.
For those uninitiated into Donut Crazy’s world of over-the-top sugary doughnut confections, this location feels like a giant step forward both in selection and ambiance. All of their baked goods are made in-house in a Donut Crazy Kitchen by an overnight team of bakers. In New Haven, Donut Crazy will offer its typical selection of “Dailies” and “Crazies.”
Matt Stanczak, the former owner and mastermind behind Danbury's popular Stanziato’s, has just launched the mobile farm fresh kitchen Eggz. Open for business Monday through Saturday at Holbrook Farm, and beginning in November at the Westport Farmers' Market, Eggz will focus on egg sandwiches and other delicious farm fresh offerings with an emphasis on vegetables.
At launch, Eggz has 5 breakfast sandwich on rotation, based on classic offerings with a creative Matt Stanczak twist. The "Crack is Wack" (pictured below) is a combination of soft scrambled eggs, goat cheese, bacon, fig spread, and arugula on toasted brioche. A "Sausage, Egg, and Cheeze" is layers of housemade chicken chorizo, ever easy eggs, Vermont cheddar, and awesome sauce on a toasted brioche. Other playfully named sandwiches such as the "I'll Have What She's Having" and "Bodega Sandwich" feature prosciutto, scrambled or over easy eggs, and layers of Stanzack's fresh homemade ingredients.
New Haven is about to get their very own Donut Crazy. On Thursday, October 27th, Donut Crazy New Haven will be opening at 290 York Street, with an opening party from 2-5 pm.
For those unfamiliar with the Donut Crazy menu, readers should take note that while they offer the traditional breakfast dounghnut you've come to expect at a shop bearing this name, the key word here is "Crazy." These outrageously delicious doughtnuts are straight out of your ultimate food fantasy (or mine, anyway). Creative varietals including: French Toast (Glazed donut sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar drizzled with vanilla and maple icing); PB&J, (filled with grape jelly, topped with smooth peanut butter and chopped peanuts); and my favorite September special, Pumpkin Pie with pumpkin pie filling, spiced icing and shortbread crumbled cookie dip.
And doughnuts aren't all Jason Wojnarowski, Donut Crazy founder, has to offer. They will also be serving ON TAP nitro coffee, cold-brew coffee, iced teas and chocolate milk using Arethusa Farm’s milk and Shearwater's fair trade Coffee. In addition, they will be serving made-to-order breakfast sandwiches, also available on a glazed donut if you dare! For folks who prefer something more savory, they will have bagels & lox and avocado toast. The bakery team also makes muffins and sconces from scratch and will continue to surprise guests with some really special confections.
As the name implies, The Corner began as a small mom and pop breakfast place -- just around the corner in Milford. Back then, nineteen years ago to be exact, Michelle and Amer Lebel mostly catered to the neighborhood, rarely filling their homey 50 seat café.
The eggs, potatoes and toast were damn good. But the star of the show arrived with the Stuffed French Toast: split French bread, filled with fresh, sugared fruit and berries, bathed in an egg batter laced with orange zest, nutmeg and cinnamon, then deep fried to a golden brown and served under a puddle of nutty maple syrup. The luscious confection scored an immediate hit, eventually inspiring a morning menu as adventuresome, imaginative, and playful as any in Connecticut, if not the country.
Today, Michelle and Amer’s creative breakfasts have been featured on network television and celebrated in all manner of social media.
On the corner Main and Commerce in Portland is a cozy place that’s the “Cheers” of breakfast, Sarah's On Main—“where everybody knows your name and you’re always glad you came.” If you’re from either side of the river, don’t be surprised if you bump into old friends—or make new ones. I do both each time I go. Whether you find a spot at the counter or grab a table, there’s fresh and local deliciousness with a spin of creativity, courtesy of Sarah Weeden.
What began as a quest for waffles grew into a steady habit of breakfast—and occasional lunch—at my newest home away from home.
Day one, I realized I’d stumbled into a little gem when I tried the BLT Bennie. Served on toasted brioche, it’s sheer perfection of a Benedict, drizzled with Hollandaise. The hash of the day was summer squash and zucchini, which I requested instead of home fries. Thumbs up all the way around.
Have you ever had a Boston creme donut, filled and glazed fresh to order, just for you? So the chocolate glaze is still beautifully wet and shiny, like an object of edible art when it’s passed your way?
Or perhaps you’d prefer a cannoli donut, filled to order, then dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a flourish of ricotta cream. This is just the place to get them. And, whoa, the aroma alone will draw you in, straight from the roadside trailer where they’re made fresh each day.
An air horn sounds as a truck rolls by on Route 81 in Higganum on a Tuesday morning. Owner Jeff Blaschke and I wave from the bright orange picnic tables. “That happens a million times a day,” he says with a smile. Open just five weeks, Redneck Gourmet Donuts is putting Higganum, Connecticut on the map. “We have approximately a thousand customers on a Saturday and Sunday, each day. Maybe a little bit more on Sunday.”
Happy National Doughnut Day. Yes, it’s a recognized national holiday, and CT has great doughnuts for sweettooths ready to celebrate. Here are places serving delicious ones...if you have a suggestion for a shop we missed, please let us know below.
Uncle Leo’s, Redding
Tony's Square Donuts, New Haven
Speedy Donuts, Norwalk
Whitney Donut & Sandwich Shop, Hamden
Lakeside Diner, Stamford
Beach Donuts, Old Lyme
Darien Doughnut, Darien
Judith Roll, creator of the popular Tabouli Mediterranean Grill in Stamford, felt that the dining neighborhood north of Bullshead was underserved. “The area needed something a little hip,” she told CTBites recently. “So I thought, take a chance, and try Barbecue.”
As if by wizardry, wisps of sweet hickory smoke were soon wafting over High Ridge Road, not far from the Merritt, as Judy’s Bar + Kitchen opened its doors to a diverse (and hungry) local crowd.
Even though she bills her dinner dishes as “Low Country,” Judith made no pilgrimage to Memphis and Carolina to study the nuances of time, temperature, cuts and woods. Rather she stayed in the neighborhood and developed her menu out of a culinary sensibility honed at CIA and the kitchens of gifted chefs like Wolfgang Puck.
“Simple and fresh are my style,” she says. “Good meat, cooked low and slow, what more do you need to know?”