Connecticut did not earn its “land of steady habits” nickname for its cuisine.
The birthplace of the hamburger, the hot lobster roll and clam pizza, the Nutmeg State has long been adventurous when it comes to its cuisine. In this feature we look at unique dishes on Connecticut’s culinary frontier. From unusual ingredients (crocodile and invasive sea creatures) to bizarre flavor combinations (doughnut burgers, anyone?), the instantly Instagram-able dishes in this story have in common only their uncommonness. We can’t say these unusual creations will appeal to all tastes, but we can say each was one we’ll never forget.
Two-foot Works Dog, Doogies, Newington
At 24 inches long and smothered in cheese sauce, chili, peppers and onions, this is a hot dog that requires strategy — both before and during consumption. One or both of your other meals during the day should be skipped. Do not order this on a first date. A fork or spoon will be needed at some point, as will seven or eight napkins. Pace yourself, finish strong, and exit Doogies with your head held high. 860-666-3647,
Valley Burger, The Valley Eatery, Ansonia
Decadent to the Nth degree, a burger patty is seasoned, then topped with American cheese and bacon and popped between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts. The result is an over-the-top explosion of sweetness and saltiness. You can wash it all down with a Cake Shake, another unusual menu item offered at Valley Eatery featuring a slice of cake blended with milk and ice cream. 203-516-5588, facebook.com/thevalleyeatery
Peanut butter & jelly wings, Dew Drop Inn, Derby
These are exactly as advertised: chicken wings slathered in peanut butter sauce, with jelly on the side. The wings themselves are large, and nice and tender; the peanut butter and jelly give them a breakfast-food flavor similar to chicken and waffles, but weirder. Other outlandish wing flavors offered at Dew Drop include nacho wings and cream cheese wings. For the timid, there are also standard wing varieties. 203-735-7757, facebook.com/dewdropinnct
Gimme S’more S’mores Shake, Cream and Sugar Cafe, Bethel
Even Willy Wonka would have second thoughts about eating this towering monster of a shake. The epic milkshake comes loaded with hot fudge, marshmallow fluff (which is toasted along with other marshmallows) and s’mores nestled on top of an ice cream sandwich. It’s one of several over-the-top shakes offered at Cream and Sugar Cafe, which also has party bowls — sundaes for large groups featuring up to 100 scoops of ice cream. 203-628-7349, creamandsugarcafe.com