RE: Good places along the Wilbur Cross & Merritt Pkwys
If you're looking for easy-on, easy-off stops, I think you'll do much better along I-95 than the Merritt. Swanky Franks, Rawleys, SuperDawg, and a few others are practically a stone's throw from the turnpike. And Rte. 1 parallells I-95 from the NY line up to around New Haven. Any exit you take along that route onto Rte. 1 is likely to drop you off within a half mile or so of a diner, the authentic kind, not the prefab retro crap that is popping up everywhere you look.
Not so sure what's decent along the Merritt. The areas it passes through are more residential than commercial. There's a few places on this website in the Norwalk/Wilton area on Rte. 7, which is off the Merritt, but I always find the traffic on 7 unbearable. My preference would be to cross over to I-95.
On the Wilbur Cross Parkway, head towards Meriden and make tracks for Ted's.