Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Favorites

They're so ugly, but they give us such delicious food!

I've been missing California a lot lately. The transition to the East Coast has been everything from exciting to difficult, and I have been missing all of you West Coasters so much. I'm eager to start getting established in the local community more now that I have a job at the preschool, but that takes time, and making friends isn't as easy as I expected it to be.

Yet I'm not writing this blog post to complain. I just want you all to know that I genuinely miss you, and that this distance has made me so grateful for you. It is good for me to know that you are still thinking of me, because I am still thinking of you!

With that said, I originally started this post as way to introduce some of our new favorite places to eat in Connecticut and Massachusetts. So if you come visit, we'll take you!

Richardson's Ice Cream, Middleton. I've mentioned this place before, but during a trip a few weeks ago to Aaron's Nana's house, we ate their ice cream again after trying other East Coast creameries, and I've decided that Richardson's is the best ice cream I've sampled on the East Coast, and quite possibly the best ice cream I've ever had. A small is two mountainous scoops (don't forget the jimmies!), and with cows living right behind the main building, it's some of the most local ice cream you'll ever eat!

Pub 32, Storrs. We drive by this little place every day on our way to the university, and it doesn't look like much from the outside. However, when Aaron and I decided to try it out for our date night about a month ago, we were pleasantly surprised when we entered. Christmas lights twinkled over lovely wood paneling walls, and the atmosphere was cozy and homey. But the deal was sealed when our food arrived. I had a hamburger with avocado, pickles, jalapeños, and chipotle BBQ sauce, and it was one of the best burgers I've ever had. Aaron tried their wings, and found them to be tantalizing as well. Pub 32 has a wide variety of sauces and rubs to go with the wings, enough to last many months of date nights! We've gone back a second time already and our second experience was just as tasty and enjoyable as the first.

Fuel Coffee Shop, New Haven. This is the best coffee shop I've found in Connecticut so far. Their peanut butter mocha was one of the best coffee drinks I've ever had. It was subtle and smooth and just ridiculously luscious. This place reminded me of my favorite coffee shops back in California. Many of the coffee shops I've tried in Connecticut serve full menus of food on top of coffee, and focus on their food just as much as their drinks, but sometimes I just want a traditional coffee shop where I can walk in, smell the coffee, and know that I've arrived at a happy destination for a few hours. New Haven is on the way to New York, so hopefully I'll travel back sometime soon.

UCONN Dairy Bar, Storrs. This is the best local ice cream! I am torn between their Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fudge Brownie flavors...both are scrumptious, and Coffee Espresso Crunch is close behind. You can often find Aaron and I here on a Friday afternoon after work and seminars. And if you drive a little further down Storrs Road, you can see the cows out on Horsebarn Hill that participate in the ice cream process. Thanks, cows!

Perfecto's Caffe, Andover. This is another favorite of Aaron's family that quickly became a favorite of mine too! Perfecto's muffins are delicious! My favorite flavor is Cinnamon Chip, and I know you are all scandalized that it is not chocolate, but one bite of this muffin and I was sold. However, their Chocolate Raspberry muffins are also yummy. I have never encountered another shop that specializes in muffins, so I am lucky to have found Perfecto's!

Maggie's Farm, Middleton. The atmosphere at Maggie's is high class foodie restaurant meets local charm. The décor includes weathered wood, a Moorish chandelier, and a bar. The food is exquisite and they serve the best nachos I've had on the East Coast so far. They have a wide range of food, from hamburgers to sushi, but as we arrived on Ladies' Night (half off on appetizers for ladies), we sampled many of their tasty appetizers. Aaron wonders when Men's Night takes place.

Quincy Market, Boston. Quincy Market is a culinary treasure. Inside a historical building, one can find food from multiple nationalities at stands down a long corridor, and carry their finds into a round, window-filled cafeteria or outside to hear street performers around the market. Craving Mexican food in my first few weeks on the East Coast, I of course got a burrito, and I won't speak of East Coast Mexican food any more than I have to, but Aaron got Greek food and it was delicious. If you can imagine a type of food you're craving, Quincy Market probably sells it.

Mama's Pizza, Willimantic. Pizza on the East Coast is delicious, and I've eaten a lot of it! However, Mama's is the absolute best. Aaron and I even ate at two landmark pizza places in New Haven, and I would still prefer to go to Mama's. Even though they don't deliver, Aaron and I don't mind making the drive to get Mama's pizza. I predict we will even make it in the snow.

So come visit, and we will delight your taste buds. I'll even cook for you too, and round out your culinary experience with some Mexican rice or tacos.

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