Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012

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buffetbuster
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2012/10/02 13:04:48 (permalink)

Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012

Everyone is welcome to add their own photos here.  Also, most of the people who go on the bus tours don't really post in the forums, so I don't really know their screennames.  I will try to do some identifying as we go, though.
 
We were meeting in the lobby of the Sheraton at Bradley Airport in Hartford.  When my party (me, cousin Johnny and my girlfriend Mariton) arrived downstairs, Michael Stern had already brought boxes of great looking donuts

from Neil's Donut & Bake Shop in Yalesville and Coffee An in Westport.  Here is Roadfooder paulde

relaxing near the donuts.  Knowing we had six restaurants stops, I decided to skip the donuts, but the people I spoke to said the donuts were excellent.
 
Here is Michael Stern on the bus

letting us know about the stops ahead.  First up, The Lunchbox
 

in Meriden for steamed cheeseburgers.  As you can see,

they knew we were coming and warmly greeted us!
 
On previous trips to Connecticut, I had sampled steamed cheeseburgers at Ted's and K. LaMay's, so I was thrilled they chose The Lunchbox.  Inside is rather small, so we had to eat in shifts.  Since we were at the front of the bus and immediately got seated, we ordered right away, ate quickly (but after photos, of course), paid as soon as the food arrived and got out of the way for other Roadfooders.  Cousin Johnny

even took burger outside to finish.  ChiTownDiner and I split a steamed cheeseburger with bacon and here it is cut in half. 

It was nice and moist and the white cheddar cheese gives it a strong flavor.  Cousin Johnny went a step further and added grilled onions to go with the bacon. 

He seemed very happy with his choice.  As you went expect when you are with CTD, you will have lots of food to eat.  He also got a steamed cheeseburger omelet. 

This was so big, I thought we were going to need the silverware

off of the wall to eat it!  I don't think this worked as well as the cheese was just too overpowering.
 
All the Roadfooders worked as a team to insure that everyone would have enough time to eat and we stayed on schedule.  Here are few more photos from The Lunchbox:





That last photo is Chris Ayers and Lori Melton.
 
As we were about to leave, the friendly crew from The Lunchbox came out to wave goodbye to us. 


We headed off to our next stop..... 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/10/02 18:48:19
#1

102 Replies Related Threads

    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/02 13:27:10 (permalink)
    That was a fun opening stop...that omelet was really heavy duty as they took a complete steamed cheeseburger, bun and all, mixed it into the omelet and added 2 gallons of melted cheese sauce!  Heavy duty!
    #2
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/02 13:29:10 (permalink)
    CTD-
    That omelet most definitely wasn't for the faint of heart.  It was just too much cheese.  And I normally love lots of cheese.
    #3
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/02 14:02:37 (permalink)
    While we were driving from Meriden to Fairfield and the next destination, Super Duper Weenie, we passed this official Connecticut street sign. 

    Coincidence?  I think not!
     
    Two years ago I visited Super Duper Weenie

    and did not care for it.  If I remember correctly, it was a Dixie Dog we tried and I did not like the cole slaw at all.  Getting another chance to hit this highly regarded hot dog shop was much appreciated.  Here is the hot dog menu board:

    Being our idea man, ChiTownDiner did the ordering for our group and did his usual stellar job.  He came back with a fine chocolate shake, truly excellent creamy-on-the-inside fries

    and a couple of hot dogs. 

    The back hot dog is the Cincinnatian, loaded with Cincy style chili, grated cheese and onions.  For better or worse, it tasted just like the cheese coneys you get in Cincy chili parlors.  Not bad, but the New Yorker dog, with sauerkraut, onion sauce, mustard and the housemade hot relish was fantastic!  No one item stood out, but along with the quality wiener, with a nice snap when you bit into it, they made a perfect combination.  Even better than the fries or the hot dogs was the excellent burger. 

    I believe this is the burger deluxe, which comes with lettuce, tomato and grilled onions.  After this meal, Super Duper Weenie is definitely back in good graces!  
     
    While we waited for our food, we had a great view of the grill loaded with wieners

    and workers putting together hot dogs with lighning fast skill.

     
    Here is Karilyn showing off her food:

    And a crowd shot:

     
    Once again, the employees here did a tremendous job or turning chaos into order and got us all in and out of the restaurant in a hurry.  Kudos to them!
     
    Back to the bus for the next stop.....
    #4
    billyboy
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/02 14:15:15 (permalink)
    Lovin' it, BB!!  Keep rollin' that beautiful Roadfood footage!
    #5
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/02 14:16:11 (permalink)
    billyboy-
    Woof!
    #6
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/02 15:10:07 (permalink)
    One minor correction...we sampled the black & white shake.
    #7
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/02 15:27:29 (permalink)
    And here I wasn't sure about the burger and it turns out the shake was wrong.  Maybe I should have taken notes!  Thanks CTD!
    #8
    leethebard
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/02 16:29:49 (permalink)
    Whenever we're I95ing it up to the Boston area, we always make a Super Duper Weenie stop...Love the Dixie dog and the New York style....great fries!
    #9
    karilyn
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/02 17:01:23 (permalink)
    I'm sad not to have seen any Mariton shots yet!!!  But so far so good . . . you never disappoint!!!!
    #10
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/02 18:37:08 (permalink)
    karilyn-
    If there is one thing I have learned after all of these years of doing trip reports, it is to give people what they want!


    #11
    Sundancer7
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/02 19:04:57 (permalink)
    BB:  Great pics.  I only wish I was there but that is a long hop from KTOWN.  Mariton, you look great.
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #12
    karilyn
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/02 21:32:37 (permalink)
    THANK YOU DOUBLE B !!!!!   Got my Mariton Fix for the day!!!
     
    Can't wait to see you both again . . . sooner than later I hope!
    #13
    will_work_4_bbq
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/02 21:39:01 (permalink)
    The start of a great tour!  Yeah, that New Yorker dog looks fabulous!
    #14
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/03 08:19:21 (permalink)
    One of the participants on the bus tour was a young man named Ascher, who attended with his father Dan.  He is 13 years old and already has his own food blog named asherzeats.  We saw him take notes, lots of photos and even get an exclusive one-on-one interview with Michael Stern.  He has already posted the first part of his report here.
     
    Great job Ascher!
    #15
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/03 08:28:16 (permalink)
    Buffetbuster
     
    Great start so far (what no photos of ME?) They never look like me anyway!
     
    I remember that kid, I don't think I had the chance to talk to him. I just assumed his father took him on the bus tour, not the other way around, who would have guessed that he had his own food blog  !
    #16
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/03 08:45:26 (permalink)
    WJ-
    Don't worry, there are lots of photos of someone who looks nothing like you coming up!
     
    I didn't find out he was a food blogger until Sunday morning in the lobby.  After that I paid much closer attention and he seemed to be frequently scribbling in his notebook.
    #17
    Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/03 09:53:34 (permalink)
    I understand he's planning to submit reviews here on Roadfood. I hope so. The kid can write.
    #18
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/03 10:10:52 (permalink)
    Bruce-
    Didn't hear that on the tour. Fantastic!
    #19
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/03 11:13:55 (permalink)
    The bus took us to Norwalk to visit Wave Hill Breads

    Owner Margaret Sapir greeted us as we got off the bus and immediately started passing out small samples of the bread and directed us inside to some dipping oil.  Once we were all inside, Margaret took some time to tell us the history of the place and what all they make. 

    Behind Margaret, you can see Jane Stern who had joined the tour at Super Duper Weenie and was driving her own car from place to place.
     
    The first thing you notice is how spectacularly good all the bakery items look.  The croissants especially caught my eye.




     
    ChiTownDiner ordered some food for us and first up was a lovely, flaky almond croissant. 

    Since it was still morning, we also enjoyed the eggy frrench toast,

    which comes with maple syrup and country ham.  The sandwich we ate was simply wonderful. 

    This is smoked turkey (you could really taste the smokiness), avocado, bacon, balsalmic carmelized onion and garlic mayo on honey whole wheat.  But truthfully, anything on this fresh bread would taste great.
     
    As soon as I finished eating, we headed into the back

    where Margaret was giving a quick tour of the kitchen and answering questions.  Stephen Rushmore pointed out that this oven

    still says Cinnabon on it.  Glad to see it is now being put to better use!  Besides their store, they also sell bread and other goodies at local farmer's markets and here is a rack of pastries

    ready to head out.  A couple of the bakers also gave a demonstration on how to make croissants, which was very interesting.




     
    Before we left, they brought out a couple more trays of free samples to try. 

    I believe the man in the pink shirt was another owner.  I snagged a piece of a ham and brie sandwich

    and this was as good as anything I ate all day.
     
    A few more shots, including Chris Ayers in his bacon t-shirt.



    Wave Hill Breads could not have been more gracious hosts and it was much appreciated.  This was my girlfriends favorite stop of the tour.
     
    Back to the bus

    for the next stop.....   
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/10/03 11:34:04
    #20
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/03 12:01:02 (permalink)
    I loved this stop...the turkey/bacon sandwich was perfection!  While you toured the kitchen, I explored a few more of the bakery offerings inclduing a 3 nut chocolate brownie!  Very nice!  Everyone here was so nice, and that seemed to be the name of the game at most stops! 
    #21
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/03 13:57:23 (permalink)
    buffetbuster
     
    Looks like she could be warning someone...did Wanderingjew and ChiTownDiner get into trouble?
    #22
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/03 14:01:46 (permalink)
    In the sandwich photo above, you can see there is a side of salad with pink dressing on top.  Cousin Johnny quipped, "Isn't that nice?  They knew how much food we were eating today, so they put Pepto-Bismol on the salad for us!"
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/10/03 15:15:17
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    Sundancer7
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/03 14:36:28 (permalink)
    BB:  I wish I could mke croissants like those in the pic.  The almond crusted looked great also along with the smoked turkey sandwich.
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    buffetbuster
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/03 14:48:28 (permalink)
    SC-
    She does look like a school teacher there.  And you just know that one of those two was acting up!
    #25
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/03 15:13:15 (permalink)
    buffetbuster

    SC-
    She does look like a school teacher there.  And you just know that one of those two was acting up!


    Chi Town Diner is always getting be into trouble
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    mr chips
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/04 00:51:40 (permalink)
    Loving it so far.
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    crew84row
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/04 07:38:07 (permalink)
    Wow! Such a nice report!  Great group of folks!  Maybe I'll be able to take one of these tours someday.  Looks like so much fun!  Thanks for sharing.
    #28
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/04 13:54:15 (permalink)
    I got four little words for you:  Free Pepe's Pizza Buffet!
     
    When we arrived outside of the New Haven Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana, there was the usual long waiting to get in. 

    As you can imagine, those people weren't exactly thrilled at seeing a bus pull up and we got quite a few looks.  Who cares, Pepe's was putting out a special spread for us.  

    To be more accurate, we were actually going to be eating next door to Pepe's at The Spot
     
    That's because they were big enough to hold our entire group, plus there was special history here. 
     
    As explained to us by one of Frank Pepe's grandsons,

    who along with other family members, is now running the business, this is the location of the original Pepe's, from 1925 to 1938. 

    They got kicked out by their landlords, who wanted to use the space to run their own pizza shop, so Frank Pepe bought the building next door and set up there.  Pepe's and The Spot stayed competitors until the late 70s, when Pepe's bought The Spot.  So, that means we would be eating Pepe's Pizza baked in the original ovens used when the business started in 1925.  Very cool!
     
    Speaking of the ovens, anyone interested was welcome to go into the kitchen and get photos,


    which can hold as many as 30 pizzas at a time.  We also learned it takes four days for it to cool down.
     
    It wasn't long until the pizzas started rolling out and we all got to eat as much as we could.  I tried to snag a slice of each one, but there was so many,





    I'm not sure if I did or not.  Anyway, this pizza is justifiably famous and everyone was oohing and awwing over how great it was.  This was my first time eating the white clam pizza and it was just as amazing as I had heard.  To drink, Mariton and I shared an excellent Foxon Park white birch beer. 
     
    A few more photos from our visit:





     
    They just kept on bringing pizzas out until everyone was stuffed.  As for the leftover pizzas, I saw quite a few people on the tour walking out with boxes of leftover pizza.  As we walked back to the bus, we once again had to walk past the long line waiting outside. 

    This was a truly unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience that could have only happened by being on the bus tour.        
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/10/05 11:44:49
    #29
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Connecticut Roadfood Bus Tour 2012 2012/10/04 14:03:50 (permalink)
    So many pizzas...so little time!
     
    Trivia - The two combined locations burn 3000 lbs of coal per week.  The paddle handles to get pizzas in and out of the oven are over 10 feet long requiring lots of over th shoulder glances so you don't get bopped in the head!
    #30
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