Sign Me Up!


Sign Me Up For:


Our Sponsors

Our Partners

 



 

Search CT Bites
Eating Out

Get Lunching! Romanacci Cafe in Norwalk: 2 Italian brothers create artisan pizzas, salads, focaccia paninis, crepes & Italian pastries.


Ummmmm.....Tacos..... Run, don't walk to Casa Villa in Stamford if you haven't been. 

Our Sponsors

Twitter
We Wrote A Book!

Entries in Delicious Dives (44)

Sunday
Oct052014

Q's Restaurant: Vietnamese PHO & BBQ in Norwalk 

What's PHO lunch today? As autumn quietly slinks in, there's nothing like a truly authentic PHO to ease us into the chill that awaits. Head on over to Q's Restaurant at 172 Main Street in Norwalk (the old Valencia Luncheria spot) for the real McCoy. Recently opened (about 3 months and counting) and charmingly tiny, Q's is the love child of husband and wife duo Charles Eaton and XiaoNing Liu. Eaton, a Vietnam Vet, met Liu (a native of Old Nanking Province in China) while he was serving a tour of duty in Asia. Together, they have brought a small menu featuring Pho as well as other Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine to their wee, little kitchen. 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb202014

Rincon Taqueria in Norwalk- A Hidden Gem in Plain Sight 

Rincon Taqueria is the epitome of a hidden gem.

The exterior is fairly non-descript and the interior is one large, open space, but the food is delicious. As you enter there are tables for twenty patrons to the left and behind these tables is a long glass deli case containing large baskets and bowls filled with several varieties of chili peppers. Along the right wall are three six-foot tall refrigerators with bottles of soda, home-canned items and take-away containers, including homemade apple sauce, beef and vegetable soup, cassoulet with duck and pork, duck confit. Taqueria?

The young lady behind the counter asked if I needed assistance. I looked at the wall behind her and saw two large hand-written chalkboard menus with more traditional taqueria fare…Huevas Rancheros, Burritos, Chilaquiles, Tacos, Empanadas, Tamales and a Chicken Quesadilla. I ordered a trio of tacos…a fried fish, a beef and a pork. As it turns out the young lady is one of the owners, Maria Munoz Del Castillo.

As I waited, Maria brought a plate of Frijoles con Arroz. In addition to the slightly spicey rice and black beans, the dish contained a few green beans, corn, scallions, diced red onions and cilantro. It was a very pleasant way to wait for my meal.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan122014

Pantanal Restaurant & Churrascaria: Brazilian in Bridgeport

The smell of grilling meat perfumes the air on Frank Street in Bridgeport. What’s going on here? This drab residential neighborhood is crowded with cars. And what’s that funky-looking vividly green-and-yellow building? The sidewalk’s striped green and yellow too, the colors of the Brazilian flag.  This is Pantanal, a Brazilian buffet and churrascaria. We’re going in.

It’s Thursday at lunchtime and the place is crowded. We grab plates and try to take in all that’s offered at the cold and hot buffet. We’re overwhelmed, and we’re in the way. Everyone else knows what they want. We’re gawking, and we know we could easily overload our plates with the choice of salads, fruits, hearts of palm, collards, white rice, Spanish rice, mac ‘n cheese, black beans, pinto beans, fried sweet plantain, fried chicken, fried fish and stews. Customers are digging in to those stews. The chicken and okra stew looks intriguing, but I need to exert restraint. I need to focus. I chose an orange-colored stew of smoked pork ribs and white beans. Excellent choice, smoky and deeply flavorful.  

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul282013

Delicious Dives: Los Poblanos, Mexican in Norwalk

One bite into the tacos al pastor at Los Poblanos, and my husband and I looked up at one another in amazement. Whoa, this is really good. Tender plump bites of orange-hued pork shoulder, coated with ground chiles and herbs, mixed with bits of sweet, juicy pineapple. The flavors melded, cooked together to just the right moment. Warm, soft homemade corn tortillas. The pork topped with minced fresh raw onions and cilantro. 

The exterior didn’t prepare us for food made with such care. I mean, I love discovering a little Mexican hole-in-the-wall. When I noticed a handmade sign for Los Poblanos hanging outside what was still at that point Hubba Luncheonette, in a dingy little strip mall in Norwalk (cattycorner to Penzy’s), I took a quick left turn. The transformation from American breakfast place and luncheonette to Mexican, in terms of décor, at that point was shiny tourist posters of the Puebla region of Mexico. Since then it’s brightened up. The walls are painted cheerful contrasting colors, orange, green and red. The place is small and simple, with four booths, and a couple tables for two. 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul192013

Update: The Mission to Save King’s Kitchen In Southport

Independence Day – the one day a year when this nation of immigrants pays homage to our founding fathers by flocking to beaches; burger and beer in hand. Unfortunately, the three King brothers, owners of King’s Kitchen - known for serving Southport sustainable beachside fare - spent this July 4th battling to save their business.

Last summer, King’s Kitchen made their debut on the Southport shore, serving locally grown and sourced beach food. The menu features about five items and changes daily – items ranging from lobster rolls and quesadilla with a fennel and caper Russian remoulade, to ox hollow grass-fed burgers and short rib tacos. The brothers also offer an assortment of chips, and a variety of organic juices, including refreshing watermelon lemonade. 

Signs reading “Save the Shack!” cover the cabin that once served as King’s Kitchen headquarters for all food preparation, cooking, and serving. This blue-gray building, located at 1505 Pequot Avenue in Fairfield, was built in 1946. It is both a “historic landmark” and “childhood memory”, according to Hunter King, one of the King’s brothers and partners. 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun022013

The Best Warm Lobster Rolls on the Connecticut Coast

Connecticut's signature food may not be New Haven Pizza or Steamed Hamburger.  And it’s certainly not Nutmeg (indeed, not a single nutmeg seed has ever been planted, much less harvested, in the Nutmeg state.  But that's a tale for another time).  

Actually, Connecticut’s truly indigenous dish may be the Warm Lobster Roll, a state treasure.   According to the new edition of John Mariana's authoritative Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, the Connecticut Lobster Roll was likely born in 1927 at Perry's Restaurant in Milford. A customer asked owner Harry Perry to serve his lobster meat off the shell, dressed in butter, and placed in a bun.   No need for a cracker, picks, or bib.  As the New Haven Register tells it, the new sandwich proved to be so popular that Perry soon mounted a large sign over his restaurant that read "Home of the Lobster Roll."     

Today, order a lobster roll in most of New England and you'll probably be served something quite different:  a bun filled with chilled lobster salad, the crustacean mixed with mayo, celery, and various condiments.  But travel along the Connecticut shoreline and your sandwich will likely be similar to Perry's original:  warm lobster meat drizzled in butter and piled high in a grilled bun, either long or round.  

With summer starting, CTBites embarked on such a trip - up the state’s entire coastline in search of the best Connecticut Lobster Rolls. 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May262013

Must Try: Pho Mai Vietnamese in Bridgeport

“You know how to eat that?” asked the kindly woman as she set a steaming bowl of soup before me at Pho Mai.  Did I know how to eat pho? To handle the chopsticks and spoon? To lift the long noodles from the big bowl of broth without slapping myself in the face with a wet noodle? I’ve learned over the years.  But Vietnamese food can be perplexing to the uninitiated. It’s hands-on. 

Pho Mai makes the best Vietnamese food I’ve found in Fairfield County. It’s been open for about a year, and it’s worth a jaunt to Wood Avenue in Bridgeport (across from the Wood’s End Deli) to enjoy the fresh, herb-filled, sweet, sour, and fermented flavors of Vietnamese food.

Pho Mai’s red awnings strike a cheerful air on a bleak corner. Inside, the place is spic and span clean, with freshly painted yellow walls. Big orange fish swim back and forth in an aquarium that bubbles soothingly. The restaurant has been near empty every time I’ve been, and that’s a shame because the food here is seriously good, and it’s a great place for a weekend lunch with a group of friends.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar172013

Must Try: Lao Sze Chuan Chinese Restaurant in Milford 

“How adventurous do we want to be?” Maria asks.  “On a scale of one to 10?”  She’s poring over the menus at Lao Sze Chuan and says it’s so authentic, some of these dishes aren’t found in Chinatown in New York City. Diced rabbit with peanuts. Hot and Sour eel with cellophane noodles. Pork intestines with blood cake.

“We have to have frog’s legs,” she says. “And the clams.” She starts making a list.

Donna and Mark’s list is already on their ipod. They’ve been looking  at Lao Sze Chuan’s menu online since three in the afternoon.  Maria passes me her list. Yes, the spicy ox-tongue and tripe is on it and I’m happy not to make more decisions. The menus – two of them, the main large, multi-plastic-paged booklet and the additional four page menu of Szechuan specialties  -- are overwhelming. Pages and pages of intriguing descriptions like “Silky fowl with black mushrooms and bamboo shoots in casserole.”  

I pass Maria’s list to my husband, who glazes over at the sight of her tiny script of five appetizers and 11 entrees. He passes it to Donna and Mark. They cross-reference against their i-Pod list, and add a couple dishes to the feast. Yes! The pig’s ear. 

There’s nothing like dining with the right group of people at the right place, and our crew of 10 is excited about our adventure to the commercial belly of Route 1 Milford to see if Lao Sze Chuan makes the most authentic Szechuan cuisine in Connecticut.  

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan162013

Casa Villa: Beloved Taco Joint Opens in Bridgeport

Stamford's beloved Mexican restaurant Casa Villa opens a new location in Bridgeport TODAY. The menu will be very similar to that at their East Main Street location, including their signature al pastor tacos and tamales. Congratulations to owner Alvino Villa and his team! Hacienda Villa is located at 2810 Fairfield Ave, Bridgeport CT.  

Click here to read our review of CASA VILLA

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan092013

Kids Review: Vietnam Palace in Stratford via AsherZeats

Asher is an 8th grader at Fairfield Country Day School. He has a true passion for food and started his blog, AsherZeats, in September of 2012. Asher reviews everything from Michelin starred restaurants to great dives. This review originally ran on AsherZeats.  

“Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup. “-- Ludwig Van Beethoven.

This Saturday we traveled to Vietnam Palace (a new restaurant, opened this past June) located at- 955 Ferry Boulevard, Stratford, CT in a very busy shopping center.

When we entered, we noticed two very cool statues of lions and a statue of a Buddha. The ceilings were filled with many upside down umbrellas and the restaurant was extremely clean. We also saw that it was a family run business (the best kind of business) with a very small number of people working there. When we were seated, we were greeted by an EXTREMELY friendly Husband/Wife pair who could not be any nicer.

Click to read more ...