Quick Trip to Connecticut

Post
phlmaestro
Cheeseburger
2013/09/02 16:41:00
My wife and I visited our friends in Connecticut for the weekend. Sunday was devoted to roadfood for the most part.
 
There is so much good stuff to choose from in Connecticut, and I figured I'd probably only have room and time for two good meals. I decided that I wanted fried clams and a white clam pizza.
 
We started at Lenny and Joe's in Madison. If I hadn't already been to the Clam Shack, I'd have probably chosen to go there instead based on what I've read of the two places, which are almost right across the street from each other. But we wanted to go to places we haven't been to before (which also knocked Johnny Ad's out, since we've also been there).
 

I went with a fried whole belly clam and scallop plate. I took fries. My wife ordered onion rings separately and we split them both. I definitely preferred the onion rings. The clams and scallops were pretty good, but I would say my instinct that the Clam Castle was better was right. I also think the scallops at Denmo's, which we often stop at when we visit Connecticut because of how convenient to Rt. 84 it is, are decidedly better. Still, it did hit the spot and satisfied my craving for some New England fried seafood.  Once again, the salad wasn't mine!
 
After spending some time walking around the main stretch of Madison and browsing in a couple shops, we drove to West Haven for pizza at

 
They offered both freshly shucked and I assume canned clams. There was a big difference in price. But as I only get to eat pizza in the New Haven area very rarely, I wasn't skimping. I ordered a small plain pie with freshly shucked clams. We also ordered a large pie with cheese and sauce. This was top notch pizza. I had no complaints about either pie:



 
There wasn't a lot of sight-seeing on this trip, but we did happen across a road-side giant fairly close to where my friends live. I can't pass up a photo with a road-side giant! I was with my friends' two children:
 

 
I had initially hoped to stop at the Laurel Diner for corned beef hash on our way home Monday morning. But they were closed. We had already been to Dottie's and the Sandy Hook Diner. So we went with the Blue Colony Diner, which is just feet from exit 10 of Rt. 84.
It was pretty standard diner fair, but it hit the spot. My only complaint was the lack of real maple syrup for my pancakes. My wife had blueberry blintzes.
 




post edited by phlmaestro - 2013/09/02 17:23:29
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/02 17:33:29
That white clam pizza looks so good...now I want one!
FriedClamFanatic
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/02 19:57:18
The stuff looks good..nice report.  I'm a fan of Blue Colony for its convenience and general funkiness.
 
The Clams looked to be a bit small, although the pie looks scrumptious!  I have never tried Denmos nor know exactly where it is, but may try and find it on our next trip north.
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/02 20:11:25
I want some GOOD clams! Never had any in land locked Wisconsin! Thanks for sharing your pics and experiences.
rumaki
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/03 10:07:09
I'm with you on Lenny and Joe's.  I think it is perfectly OK, but I prefer other places along the coast.  If one wants a sit-down restaurant, I think Westbrook Lobster (in Clinton) is superior to either of the Lenny and Joe's. 
phlmaestro
Cheeseburger
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/03 10:45:02
rumaki

I'm with you on Lenny and Joe's.  I think it is perfectly OK, but I prefer other places along the coast.  If one wants a sit-down restaurant, I think Westbrook Lobster (in Clinton) is superior to either of the Lenny and Joe's. 

 
I was sort of kicking myself for not noticing Westbrook Lobster in Clinton as an option until after I had gotten back to Philly.
 
But I suspect there will be more weekends in Connecticut in my future.
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/03 11:20:46
phlmaestro

But I suspect there will be more weekends in Connecticut in my future.
With good-looking pizza like that I would tend to agree.
TnTinCT
Cheeseburger
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/04 05:24:11
Great pics! CT truly is a land of terrific roadfood!
jericjames10
Junior Burger
Flagged as Spam (1)
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/04 05:53:34
Wow, I love clams too. Wanna try  fried clams and a white clam pizza. Hope, I can visit there too, soon !
agnesrob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/04 20:36:08
Great quick trip report! I'm very jealous!!
barbie0531
Junior Burger
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/05 00:53:27
Both Pizza's look very tasty but that Fresh Clam Pizza makes my mouth water, I would also pay extra for fresh over canned....Nice Picture's
pnwchef
Filet Mignon
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/05 16:35:04
IMHO, there are no bad fried clams, it's just some are better than others. Looks like you do did a great job in seeking them out............the last time I had a whole belly Clam was, in your town at the Oyster House.......happy you had a good time............pnwc
phlmaestro
Cheeseburger
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/05 17:04:34
Thanks for the comments. 
 
PNW ... I'm due for a meal at Oyster House. I'm craving their fantastic lobster roll!
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/05 17:58:07
Phl - That is one BEE UUU TEE FULL White Clam Pie, and the scallops and clams looked wonderful too.
 
The diner pic made me smile, I miss the East and all the true diners out there.
 
Thanks for taking the time to post and make us all crave some white clam apizza.
phlmaestro
Cheeseburger
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/05 18:34:32
Thanks, Cajun King.
 
Maybe someone else who has been to Zuppardi's can confirm for me that those are gas pizza ovens they use? They appeared to be gas. My hat is off to anyone who can make a crust that good in a gas oven. I was expecting an oven more like Pepe's.
 
While I'd probably give a slight edge to Pepe's crust, the crust at Zuppardi's is still one of the best I've had and would probably be tops in the Philadelphia area. Most of the highly regarded pizza places in Philly that use brick ovens put out pies that I believe are more like authentic Italian pizzas than what you find in the New Haven area. And I have a strong preference for the New Haven style.
 
You can see the ovens in the video on Zuppardi's web site:  www.zuppardisapizza.com
post edited by phlmaestro - 2013/09/05 18:43:15
FriedClamFanatic
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/05 23:08:00
phlmaestro

Thanks for the comments. 

PNW ... I'm due for a meal at Oyster House. I'm craving their fantastic lobster roll!


Was there about a month ago........still fantastic!  And I love the antique oyster plates on the wall.........just wonder why some hold 5 oysters plus a space for sauce and some hold 6
strongy78
Hamburger
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/06 20:30:15
Man!  That clam pie looks fantastic!  I went there last year (Zuppardis)  and had a sausage pie and it was the best sausage I have ever had on a pizza.  Sounds like you had a great little trip!
pnwchef
Filet Mignon
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/06 20:30:38
phlmaestro

Thanks for the comments. 

PNW ... I'm due for a meal at Oyster House. I'm craving their fantastic lobster roll!


Yes in deed, Lobster roll with real good french fries and a side plate of Fried whole belly clams....washed it all down with a few beers................I liked the place, it had a good feel...........Bill
phlmaestro
Cheeseburger
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/06 21:47:18
pnwchef

phlmaestro

Thanks for the comments. 

PNW ... I'm due for a meal at Oyster House. I'm craving their fantastic lobster roll!


Yes in deed, Lobster roll with real good french fries and a side plate of Fried whole belly clams....washed it all down with a few beers................I liked the place, it had a good feel...........Bill

 
Their lunch menu is a little different than the dinner menu and has a fried seafood platter that includes some of the best fried shrimp I've ever had. I agree with you on the fries. They're outstanding.
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/07 14:41:53
PHL - I  called them and yes those are gas pizza ovens, cranked to at least 750 degrees, they are stone lined.  They asked if I was coming in, I said I was in Indiana right now "Oh... Well we wont hold a spot for you... but we do ship our pies worldwide"
phlmaestro
Cheeseburger
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/07 17:24:16
Thanks, Cajun King. I appreciate that!
 
I wish we could get crust like that in Philly.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Quick Trip to Connecticut 2013/09/09 11:07:03
Missed this the first time around.  What a great report, with really nice photos.  As much as I love fried clams, it is the white clam pizza that is setting off the cravings this morning.  Thanks for sharing!