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Posted by Chris & Amy Ayers on Saturday, October 12, 2013 6:55 PM

ct river

Wanderingjew's Eastern Connecticut tour in September was a rousing success, as we visited five Roadfood-reviewed restaurants, one that's not yet reviewed, and a state park. Our group ranged from five to ten at various stops, and a wonderful day of food and friendship was had by all. Above is a view of the Connecticut River from Gillette Castle (that's the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry in the water), but waaaaay before that stop, the group met for breakfast at Kitchen Little ( overview) in Mystic. 

Dale met us at the marina, and longtime RF tour participant Waltpiii was also waiting when we pulled up. Our friend Yvel was right behind us, and Karilyn & Beth showed up halfway through breakfast. Amy & I had never been to the original Kitchen Little when it was a tiny building near Mystic center, but now its new location at Mystic River Marina affords it a much bigger dining room and unique view of the docks and boats coming and going:

kitchen little outside

Amy ordered the #16, Portuguese Benedict: Two poached eggs, spicy hot chourico patties on a Portuguese English muffin with spicy Hollandaise:

port bene

An excellent choice, though I'm always disappointed with any chourico that's advertised as "spicy," because it never really is. (This "spicy" means "not sweet," for the bland New England palate.) Same goes for the Hollandaise, which was flavorful but certainly not spicy. I ordered the #10: Spicy jalapeño cheese scrambled with eggs atop grilled corned beef hash, served with rye toast:

jalapeno eggs

These eggs were amazing -- very cheesy with a solid jalapeño flavor -- but the hash looked and tasted like it was straight out of a can (you know, with that cat-food-looking texture). Which isn't necessarily bad, because I love canned hash, but I expected it to be housemade. But the menu didn't advertise it as such, so that's my mistake. Walt ordered the #11, the Portuguese Fisherman: spicy hot chourico and linguica from Fall River, scrambled with eggs, peppers, onions & jalapeño cheese in a lightly spiced sauce with a Portuguese English muffin (again, flavorful but not spicy, per se):

port fisherman

And Dale shared with me his omelet, one of the daily specials with bacon, avocado, tomato, and jack cheese:

spec omelet

All in all, we received a hearty breakfast from Kitchen Little and a friendly welcome from the owner!

kitchen sign

We then opted to walk off those calories with a stroll around Mystic. Karilyn & Beth went ahead to Mystic Pizza for a slice, and they reported that the pizza was just average -- but the restaurant had great photos from the 1988 movie. Meeting up with Sandra, we all crossed the famous Mystic River Bascule Bridge and marvelled at each of its massive 200-ton counterweights:

bascule bridge

We didn't eat at the Ancient Mariner, but we knew that there was a rhyme (rime?) waiting there in the title somewhere:


We love downtown Mystic, the waterfront, its shops, and its walkability. We just wish that it had better food choices (though WJ did stop for coffee at Green Marble and deemed it delicious): 

mystic waterfront

After a short walk, the group sailed onward to New London and Kamp Dog ( overview) for our first lunch. Owner Ken Hochstetler was manning the grill, and he gave us a complimentary Frito pie for starters:

frito pie

Everyone ordered hot dogs to share, and Yvel & I opted for the hottest dog of them all: dynamite sauce (Ken's version of Rhode Island's little known snack), hot sauce, and sliced jalapeños. And it was indeed HOT, but truly one of the state's finest!  The New England split-top buns are grilled, and the Hummel custom beef/pork blends (probably six or seven to a pound, I reckon) are rolled around in oil on the griddle until the skins are browned. This is pure weiner bliss, folks:

hottest dog

Dale chose the namesake Kamp Dog with dynamite sauce, cheese & onions:

kamp dog

And Sandra ordered a BBQ pork slider, which she really enjoyed:

bbq slider

Ken told me that he had to discontinue his jarred dynamite sauce due to quality control. He was using a new manufacturing company to jar the sauce for sale, but some of the taste was lost in their preparation of his recipe -- so the jars are on hold for the time being until he can find a better prep company. Thank you, Ken, for your constant hospitality at Kamp Dog!

kamp dog

Next up: cornbread & chowder at The Shack, burgers at Harry's, and a stroll around Sherlock's house. Stay tuned!


Absolutely wonderful. I'm looking forward to more, and especially to The Shack, one of my favorite places.
Posted by Michael Hoffman on Saturday, Oct 12, 2013 7:15 PM

Posted by ann peeples on Saturday, Oct 12, 2013 9:06 PM

Nice job. Looking forward to the next installment!!
Posted by JB-ME on Saturday, Oct 12, 2013 11:54 PM

Thanks so much a good read. I can't wait for the rest.
Posted by jackzig on Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 5:49 PM

We all had a blast. Thanks to Chris for putting together the digest post :)
Posted by wanderingjew on Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 8:50 AM

Great Food . . . Great People . . . Great Day!!! We even got to go on a ferry ride across the Connecticut River. Dinner and a Cruise! Dale and Sandra were terrific hosts! Thank you!
Posted by karilyn on Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 7:04 PM

I can't wait to share this outstanding report with my colleagues! Ayersian never disappoints!!
Posted by karilyn on Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 7:09 PM

Posted by billyboy on Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 9:33 AM

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