May 24, 2013
My favorite eateries are the kind you never see much trace of on the Internet. You learn about it only through word of mouth, so that once you discover it, you feel like you're one of the select few in the know. Suddenly, you're a true local.
I'd heard about Vocatura's Bakery, at 695 Boswell Ave. in Norwich, here and there over the years. There were whisperings of their amazing bread baked on premises. But then I'd forget what it was called, and then I'd have trouble finding it online, and, well, you know how it is.
I finally dragged my butt over there other day. There's no going back to chain sandwich shops. At Vocatura's, you're in for a true Italian grinder, and a large really is a solid foot long, as long as my forearm.
We went on a Sunday, but there was a line, which meant this wasn't just a throwaway lunch joint you go to just because you're hungry and you need something quick. These people had made the trek past old mills and worn houses to get there, and they knew what they wanted, didn't even have to glance at the menu.
I'm sure they could smell the novice on us. We gawked at the menu, unable to decide what we wanted. Should we get a hot grinder, guaranteed to satisfy with its warmth alone? Or should we go for the true Italian grinder experience, complete with salt, pepper and oil?
The girl behind the counter, clearly used to moving the line quickly, took our order and assembled our salami, capicola, ham and cheese grinder, large, in the blink of an eye. She piled on tomato slices and a handful of lettuce, barely reacting to my dining companion's "It's so fluffy!" commentary on the lettuce.
This is a cash-only eatery, so have your cash on hand or you'll tie up the line. You don't want to do that. Our grinder was $7 - not bad for lunch for two - but some are even more affordable, as low as $5.75.
This is mostly a takeout place. You could sit by the lone picnic table right outside the bakery, but we chose to take our grinder, wrapped tightly in white bakery paper and cradled under my arm like a baby, home.
This is what a grinder is supposed to taste like. Salty, fresh, juicy, with bread that's dense and crusty and chewy all at the same time. Even two hearty eaters couldn't finish the grinder in one sitting, so, you know, pregame for this event by starving yourself for a few days.
May 15, 2013
I thought I knew my frozen desserts. Ice cream, gelato, sorbet, frozen yogurt, ice pops. I am a master champion appreciator of them all.
I'd heard of frozen custard and half-heartedly enjoyed certain...
May 11, 2013
I'm getting hungry again just thinking about it.
If you thought you had to go all the way to New Haven or New York for great falafel and Mediterranean food, you're wrong, and here's why.
April 3, 2013
I have to be in the right mood to enjoy tapas dining. Thankfully, that was the case when we went to Twisted Vine in Westerly. As I said in a review of the new restaurant, which you can read
March 23, 2013
Ten Sandwiches has posted this on Facebook:
Update: The building we occupied on Commerce St in downtown Westerly is going to be knocked down due to the third floor fire on...
January 15, 2013
Last year, Markos restaurant left Narragansett, where it had built a loyal following, and moved to Westerly. One of The Day’s restaurant reviewers, Jill Blanchette, wrote "Narragansett’s loss truly is Westerly’s...
October 24, 2012
My radar went up recently when I heard talk of the new Washington Street Coffee House at the old Bean & Leaf location on Washington Street in New London. The beat on the street is that this places makes some pretty tasty food.
October 16, 2012
Recently, I had lunch at The Pita Spot: A Mediterranean Grill in Mystic. There’s a lot to like here and I’ll start with starters. The list of appetizers is broken into cold and warm options.
October 10, 2012
I’m always excited when I get to try a restaurant for the first time, especially when it’s a type of food you don’t see everyday.
October 9, 2012
Hi folks, I’ll be writing a round up of some good health food or natural food restaurants in the area for an upcoming edition of Night & Day. Let me know if there are any places I should be sure not to miss.
October 8, 2012
I like to think of myself as an urban explorer. I feel most at home making my way on foot through new neighborhoods, seeking out the dives and hidden gem restaurants. An Anthony Bourdain of sorts, albeit one who rarely leaves southern New England.
October 6, 2012
It’s not too often that we review a fast food place here on the Dining Blog, but I’m a firm believer in giving credit when credit is due.
October 3, 2012
I walked up State Street earlier today, thinking of where I would like to grab lunch. A few paces later, I saw the sign for the Atrium Café.
September 26, 2012
Anyone who has ever been to this New London market and café knows how great a hidden gem it is. I've driven past it several times on my way down Ocean Avenue but never made my way inside until today.
September 25, 2012
Everyone seems to know about the great offerings in New Haven, but there are some other places within an hour or two of New London that are definitely worth a try
September 22, 2012
I’ve always been a morning person. I’m the guy who jumps out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and gleefully starts up the coffee maker, the kind of neighbor getting his lawnmower going before 9.
September 21, 2012
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog about the scrumptious corned beef grinder at Carlo and Son Quality Meats in East Lyme. Our executive editor Tim Dwyer told me he’s heard the butcher and grinder shop has been having trouble keeping the...
September 20, 2012
We received a Facebook message today from video producer Dauris Rafael Hernandez introducing the new “Grinder is King” documentary, the story behind the creation of the New London grinder.
September 19, 2012
Several local grinder shops were on hand for the “Grinder is King Festival” last weekend in New London, but only one was voted first place by festival-goers: Giuliano’s in Niantic.
September 13, 2012
Of the recommendations I received from readers, a good number of them suggested I try Hamilton Street Market in New London. And if history’s taught us anything it’s always a good idea to do what a large mass of people say to do.
September 12, 2012
It's day four of my southeastern Connecticut grinder tour, which is due to wrap up the day of The Grinder is King Festival in New London on Saturday. After receiving multiple recommendations from readers and a colleague, today's stop was at Pasta...