Qdoba Mexican Grill is now OPEN in Westport in Playhouse Square. Qdoba is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant, serving up the kind of quick meal you can feel good about eating...or feeding your kids. Qdoba serves burritos made in the San Francisco burrito style, tacos, quesadillas, taco salads, 3-Cheese Queso, Queso Diablo, tortilla soup, Mexican gumbo, and darn good fresh guacamole. Sure, there is some more authentic Mexican food to be had in Fairfield County, but in the "fast food" category, Qdoba is right up there.
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A good friend told me that the WC Burger served at Walrus + Carpenter in Bridgeport near the Fairfield border was the best burger in the area. Those are strong words from someone I trust so I drove one evening and grabbed an outside table.
The menu is divided into several categories and each reads like a who’s who of comfort food. I was pleasantly impressed when I saw that the chef gave top billing in the Large Plates section to “WC Burger + Fries - Smoked mayo, bacon, bourbon onions, cheddar.” It was a simple decision and I ordered the burger medium-rare.
The burger was served on a metal tray accompanied by fries and small mound of pickle slices. There was a crisp char on the exterior and the texture of the interior was soft. I sampled the meat; it was rich in flavor, reminiscent of grass fed, the medium grind was still loose and it was moist without being overly juicy. It was an excellent patty. The first topping I tasted was the Bourbon onions.
Citizens For Easton (CFE) is pleased to announce the 6th annual Easton Farm Tour. This celebration of Easton, a local farming community within Fairfield County CT, is a self-guided tour of Easton farms couple with an old fashioned community fun day.
Easton Farm Tour 2014 will be held August 16 from 10am to 3pm. This event begins at the Easton Firehouse Green, One Center Road, Easton, CT 06612. At this location, visitors will receive a copy of the road map, passes to events and incentives offered by farmers and community organizations at the different locations throughout day.
During the homegrown event enjoy the many farming delights that Easton has to offer while you and your family learn where your food comes from. Enjoy food tastings, educational 18th and 19th century farm house living and cooking demonstrations, old-time fun and games, pony rides, hay ride, a petting zoo, greenhouse tours, fruits and vegetables from the farm and pick your own.
Author, Hannah Bukzin, is a 14 yr old Staples high school student with a passion for cooking. Hannah has her own blog "Small Chef in a Big World,"and is a contestant in the 2014 Chopped Teen Tournament on The Food Network.
It’s all about comfort food. Everyone has that one dish that makes them feel right at home and for me ...I love nothing more than a simple grilled cheese with some tomato soup. Classic, right? Featuring 13 grilled cheeses with over 10 add-ons, I think the Grilled Cheese Eatery in Westport fits the bill. Tucked away right next to the former Great Cakes, the Grilled Cheese Eatery offers a casual dining atmosphere with amazing food. Owners Ivanina and Henri Donneaux opened this venue after their much deserved success with their location in Fairfield.
We have expanded and updated last year’s popular roundup of the best ice parlors in lower Connecticut.
New flavors abound for 2014. One of our favorite scoop shops melted away, but thanks to our readers, we found a truly magical hidden gem in an unexpected place. Here's the updated list of BEST LOCAL ICE CREAM PARLORS IN LOWER CONNECTICUT.
Ice cream fans, don't miss our companion piece, the 2014 Edition of BEST DAIRY FARM ICE CREAM IN CT.
Strawberries are wrapping up their season in CT, but those beautiful blues should be ready to pick in a matter of days. If you're looking for a fun family friendly activity, here's a great guide to CT farms that offer "Pick Your Own" blueberries. Make sure you call the farm before you head over as picking schedules vary daily.
- Scott's Farm Deep River
- Roses Berry Farm
- Litchfield Hills Blueberry Farm
- Jones Family Farm
- Bishops Orchards
A top secret doughnut recipe, a father and son business, and a dozen or so different types of doughnuts and New York-style bagels mean that mornings in Georgetown just got that much better, thanks to the arrival of Uncle Leo’s “Not Just” Coffee and Doughnuts.
Norwalk residents Leo Spinelli III (age 22) and his father Leo Spinelli, Jr., recently opened Uncle Leo's in the heart of Georgetown, at 19 Main Street, in the former Swirl Ice Cream location. The shop is a second coming for the father and son and the familiar Spinelli surname, who previously owned Spinelli’s Not Just Bagels in Norwalk that closed in 2009.
MY SLURPY SIGNATURE DISH
Ramen Shops in Japan are as plentiful as hamburger joints over here. Every street boasts a shop. Yet none are exactly alike, mainly because each is distinguished by the owner’s unique signature dish, his personal autograph. In that tradition, Tony Pham has created his own signature dish for Mecha Noodle Bar: a unique interpretation of traditional Miso Ramen. Here’s the story behind it.
Tony likes to play with contrasts. And not just the culinary kind.
Case in point. Before trying his signature dish, Miso Ramen, take a look overhead at his futuristic Mecha Noodle Bar. Dangling from the ceiling, an arsenal of over three hundred vertical 2x4’s seem to be aimed directly at every table in the room. Alien, threatening.
Now try Pham’s dramatic interpretation of a classical Ramen. No, don’t taste it, slurp it. Breath in its steamy aromatic bouquet. Savor the deep, contrasting flavors: mushrooms and miso redolent of the earth, noodles that invoke wheat fields, a succulent pork belly that also warms and welcomes, counterpointed by the lively spice and heat of scallion and chili oil. It’s Japanese comfort food,a perfect contrast after a playful scare.
It is a unique place that can transform itself from a casual, family friendly lunch and dinner spot to a young and hip late night stop after a dinner of popcorn at the movies. Romanacci Cafe (which translates as “From Rome”) on the Norwalk-Westport border is such a place, offering Artisan pizzas, salads, Focaccia paninis, crepes and freshly made Italian pastries.
Tucked into a strip center on the Post Road, Romanacci is the handiwork of two brothers, Graziano and Maurizio Ricci. Both hail from Rome, where they attended culinary school and worked alongside their parents as well as in other family-run restaurants.
Graziano migrated to the US almost 18 years ago and eventually oversaw the kitchen in New Haven’s Hot Tomatoes. He subsequently convinced his younger brother, Maurizio, to join him as its maître d’, and they finally chased their dream of owning a restaurant. When the owner of Norwalk’s Osteria Romana decided to sell his business, the brothers decided to purchase the restaurant with the intention of bringing a younger attitude and clientele to complement Graziano’s fresh pastas, breads, and sauces. Osteria Romana continues to thrive with a loyal and regular crowd, outdoor seating and a cozy bar area.
With summer finally here, we have updated and expanded our annual roundup of the best dairy farm ice cream in Connecticut.
You can’t get closer to farm fresh ice cream than tasting it at farm. Not only do you see the cows, you whiff them, and that aroma is part of the authenticity of the experience, if not the charm. Sure, these farms aren’t close by. But WTD. They’re “Worth The Drive” And worth the lick: usually the freshest, creamiest, and most flavorful retail ice cream available in Connecticut.
While Chocolate and Vanilla remain cash cows, dairy farms also offer a greater array of flavors than you’ll find at parlors or in the supermarket freezer case. In fact, farmers have begun to rival restaurant chefs for sheer inventiveness and culinary dairying-doo.
So, for your and your family’s guilty or innocent pleasures, we submit our favorite cow-to-cone ice creams …