Helpful ReplyHot!Connecticut grinders

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lleechef
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/04 16:48:41 (permalink)
I didn't mean to insult folks in NYC or New Jersey........never been to either.  But everywhere I've lived in the US (and there were plenty of places) the pizza was terrible.  Don't normally go seeking pizza when I travel as it's just not one of my favorite foods........unless in New Haven.
 
OK!  Back to grinders!!!
Michael Hoffman
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/04 16:59:41 (permalink)
leethebard
lleechef
That's my take on the old Alka-Seltzer commercial!  I only call it apizza when in CT.  There's a word for all the rest.  Garbage.  Especially in Ohio!


Pizza in New York and New Jersey is NOT garbage.,not by a long shot. Pizza in America originated in New York and it's still tops in my book. Had pizza in "apizza" territory, and it's very good, but not God's gift to pizza. I'll give Pepe's their great clam pie, after that NYC is still champ. 65+ years of pizza eating, but its just this FBI Italian's humble opinion!


New York has terrific apizza. I've never eaten any in New Jersey, but I assume there are plenty of really great pies there. But after nearly 80 years of eating the stuff I'm sticking with New Haven.
leethebard
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/04 17:02:08 (permalink)
No insult taken...but until you've tried pizza in the birthplace of American pizza, you haven't tasted the best pizza there is!!  Got to plan a trip to Lombardi's in lower Manhattan. Prices are very high compared to other great local pies,but heck it's a slice of history....
 
http://www.firstpizza.com/
mlm
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/04 17:21:33 (permalink)
Never mind the nuances just GIMME...  Central Texas is a pizza No Man' Land.
 
mlm
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/04 17:22:10 (permalink)
Our sandwiches aren't that much either..
billyboy
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/04 19:37:53 (permalink)
lleechef, Michael Hoffman and leethebard, NYC does have some great pizza and if your and the Mr. ever make it this way, I'd love to be your Tour Guide into the World of NYC Pizza.  Lombardi's, Grimaldi's, Patsy's, Totonno's, Two Boots, Prince Street Pizza and many more!!  I've been to New Haven a couple of times and have eaten at Pepe's 3 times and once at Zuppardi's in West Haven.  I actually do prefer New Haven style "apizza" over NYC pizza (if I could only choose one, which is just cruel!). I love 'em both!
Greymo
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/04 20:07:58 (permalink)
billyboy, I agree.  We go to NYC quite often and find that the pizza is awesome.  My youngest daughter has lived in New Haven, Ct. area for four years and so we have tried all the best pizza that the area has to offer.  My opinion is that that NYC pizza isl equal, except for the clam pizza at Pepe's.  That is my very favorite.
lleechef
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/04 20:13:15 (permalink)
billyboy
Believe me, if we ever make it to NYC YOU would most definitely be our tour guide!!!!!  I've seen pictures of your "tours" and they look amazing!!  You certainly know your way around the City and all it's great eateries!
Ketteract
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/11 14:01:05 (permalink)
Today I come to you with another Waterbury gem: Ann's Deli, a small, old, straightforward place along tightly-packed Baldwin Street.

Their roast beef had been recommended to me, and I was quite curious to see how it stacked up against Carbone's.



Well, it wasn't Carbone's, but it did compare very favorably.  Soft, tender - not a ton of flavor on its own, but when combined with provolone, mayo, and oil and vinegar, some sort of alchemy happened that raised it several levels.



One thing about Ann's: grinders and other items come sealed under plastic against a foam plate, the way a supermarket does it, as opposed to being wrapped in paper.  I'm not sure if it's because they're takeout-only, but it was the first time that I'd seen a deli do that.



The prosciutto and mozzarella pinwheels caught my eye.



I'm not sure if they were worth a dollar each, but I didn't regret trying them ...



... or the mac salad.



This being Waterbury, there were several products from Milite's Bakery lined up against the counter.  I zeroed in on one in particular:



Just gorgeous.



And it had a smell that took me all the way back to the bread we once made in grade school.  Yeast, I guess.  Whatever it was, it was delightful.



If I wanted to be really thorough, I could go back and compare Ann's meatballs against Santopietro's.  I suppose I'll get to that in a few months or years.
post edited by Ketteract - 2017/02/11 14:02:30
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/13 18:04:46 (permalink)
Or next weekend.
 
That's some good-looking roast beef; nice to see that it has a decent amount of pink.  Maybe a light sprinkle of salt before the toppings and condiments were added would've helped?
Ketteract
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/14 08:22:02 (permalink)
Yeah, I think that's part of what helps Carbone's beef as well - when you ask them for "the works", it includes salt and pepper.  With Ann's, you specify everything individually, and I forgot the s&p.  Oh well, I'm definitely coming back.
lleechef
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/16 11:46:48 (permalink)
It all looks great but that loaf of bread is spectacular!
Ketteract
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/16 12:58:19 (permalink)
Not a grinder update, strictly speaking, but this seemed an appropriate place to show off some other items from D&D Market, purveyor of one of the better sausage and peppers grinders that I've had.  They recently closed down their longtime location on Franklin Ave in Hartford (for reasons anyone familiar with Franklin Ave can guess), but remain in operation at a much more savory location on Wolcott Hill in Wethersfield.
 
This was labeled "pasta al forno with ham and peas", which I guess really just means baked pasta.
 

 
They have a variety of stuffed breads.  This one has broccoli rabe, potatoes, cheese, and sausage.  
 

 
A fantastic meatball.  As good as anything homemade, at least in my experience.
 

 
Well balanced sauce - not too sweet, not too tangy.
 

 

 
A sweeter variety of sausage than what I had in my grinder, but no less impressive.
 

 

 
I'd really been hoping to snag some of their wonderful arancini, but I was informed that they probably wouldn't have any on that day.  Those things stand head and shoulders above D&D's already excellent assortment of prepared foods.  If you had to get only one thing, I'd make it the arancini.
ann peeples
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/16 13:10:18 (permalink)
Yum!
Ketteract
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/18 15:38:05 (permalink)
TnTinCT
The ribeye was unbelievably tender - not a single "bite down and pull out a giant chunk of meat" occurence (at least in the first half - the other half has to wait until tomorrow - the sandwich was 1 1/2 pounds).
 




Finally got a chance to try Carbone's ribeye myself.  This was actually my first visit back since they changed hands.

Dear lord, this was amazing.



Standard toppings on this one are mayo, provolone, peppers, and onions.  



Regarding the meat specifically, my experience was exactly the same as TnTinCT's: so tender that not once did I have an instance of pulling out more meat than I'd originally bitten down on.  Juicy.  Intensely flavorful - more so than their regular roast beef - and well-complemented by the toppings.



Of course, since I was already here, I had to pick up roast beef as well.  For tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the next...





Almost two years later, the prices for the chili, ribeye, and most if not all the other items were unchanged!  This was much different from my experiences in the Hartford area.
 
May 2015:


 
Today:


post edited by Ketteract - 2017/02/18 15:39:33
TnTinCT
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/18 20:34:53 (permalink)
Fabulous! We haven't been since they changed owners, glad to hear quality and quantity haven't changed!
Ketteract
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/21 17:10:08 (permalink)
Three software developers from Epic Systems (headquartered in Verona, WI) came to see me at work today.  For lunch, I decided to show them what a Hartford-style overstuffed grinder was all about, at none other than Franklin Giant Grinder.  And yes, we went there in person, to the South End.  We drove separately, the Epic guys in their rental car, me and my friend in my car: "See you at the ghetto in a few minutes!"
 
So fun to see their reactions.  Two of them couldn't stop giggling at the sheer size of the sandwiches (one honey ham, one turkey) and only managed to finish half of a half.  The third guy wolfed his half meatball down with no problem.  My friend had actually never been there before, and also missed my guidance to order only a half; as a result, he had a half chicken parm to carry home. 
 
Franklin's meatballs were better than the last time I had them - less firm and more flavorful.  Maybe they tweaked something... but I doubt it.  Everything about that place is resistant to change.  Maybe it was just me.  Who knows.
 

 
(There's more meatball in there than appearance suggests, hidden behind the peppers.  The grinder is untoasted, of course, because Franklin will see you in hell before they toast a meatball grinder, unless it's combined with something they will toast: beef cutlet, chicken cutlet, pastrami, eggplant, or pepper and egg.)
post edited by Ketteract - 2017/02/21 17:12:13
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/02/22 05:39:30 (permalink)
Did the Epic guys make any mention of sandwich shops in the Madison area?
Ketteract
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/04/02 18:11:14 (permalink)
Capicola, prosciutto, and Genoa salami at Corner Grinder late last week.



Since they didn't have a defined "Italian combo" like some places, I was left to design one myself.  They had a heavy hand with the vinegar, and it pretty much overtook the sandwich, which was otherwise quite solid.



While I was there, I saw an attractive bowl of pasta e fagioli being brought out to the dining area ("Hot soup coming through!!!")... which led me to embark on this.
mlm
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/04/02 19:54:58 (permalink)
Looks like a lovely sandwich...yum. NOTHING like that down here. I like vinegar myself and am recently using more of it in my cooking and I'm learning that the lines between not enough, just enough, and much too much vinegar does not take much.. Luckily, I was raised in a household where take it as it comes/ waste not was a common motto, foodwise. Better luck next time. I'm going to have to start using an eye dropper or a sprayer or something so I can add just a little tiny bit at a time.
 
Ketteract
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/04/08 07:16:46 (permalink)
I didn't know I was going to have a sandwich for lunch yesterday, but I was spontaneously invited out by a friend to the Harvest Country Store in West Hartford.
 
What used to be a 7-11 is now a quirky and thoroughly modern store with a sandwich menu featuring items like the "Buffalo Soldier" and the "Garlic Lover", a coffee bar, local ice cream, and a ridiculously diverse array of craft beers. I had heard about it before from a coworker who had encouraged me to try one particular sandwich, the "Queen Rachel" ... and so I did.
 
Is this an official Connecticut grinder, or merely a sandwich? You decide!
 

 
Turkey, pastrami, bacon, Swiss, lettuce, tomato, onion, coleslaw, and Russian dressing. I neglected to ask about the origin of the bread, but my, doesn't that look marvelous?
 

 
This was a very well-considered sandwich, with the salt and chewiness of the meats complementing the sweet coleslaw and dressing and the crunchy veggies, and the bread had as much personality as the pic would make you think. A remarkable thing whose creator should be applauded, and a nice change from my usual Italian-type fare.  
post edited by Ketteract - 2017/04/08 07:18:15
Ketteract
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/04/08 07:32:17 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
Did the Epic guys make any mention of sandwich shops in the Madison area?




Nope.  I imagine there must be some good ones, though, in an area that big - especially near the university.
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/04/08 08:47:22 (permalink)
Ketteract

 
Turkey, pastrami, bacon, Swiss, lettuce, tomato, onion, coleslaw, and Russian dressing.

You should invest in a portable scale so that you can weigh some of these behemoths!
lleechef
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/04/08 12:26:59 (permalink)
I don't care what they call it.  I call it "looking absolutely fantastic"!!!! 
chickenplucker
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/04/08 12:33:56 (permalink)
That sandwich looks incredible.... Makes me want to take a road trip...
TnTinCT
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/04/08 13:19:31 (permalink)
Not familiar with this place, will have to look it up. The bread!! So many places with so much great fillings putting them on inferior bread, this latest one looks really terrific.
 
mlm
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/04/08 14:44:07 (permalink)
MMMM-mmmmmm! I'm going to have to develop a GIMMEE emoticon for myself. My reaction goes beyond Yummy.
mlm
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/04/08 14:44:07 (permalink)
MMMM-mmmmmm! I'm going to have to develop a GIMMEE emoticon for myself. My reaction goes beyond Yummy.
TallyMan
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/04/09 16:22:38 (permalink)
This thread is amazing! 16 pages of grinders, with great photos. Ketteract, you are a grinder pro. You ought to offer tours.
Ketteract
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Re: Connecticut grinders 2017/05/17 18:15:19 (permalink)
Cheesesteak from NY Chicken & Biscuits in Hartford.  Little hole-in-the-wall halal place.  I have to say, I've never had beef quite like this.  It's damn near pulverized.  And delicious. Could have used some more cheese to glue everything together... but then I wouldn't have had that second pic.
 

 

 
 
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