Friday, June 25, 2010

Little City Pizza - Simsbury, CT

Sometimes a girl just wants pizza. This is was the case recently when Jr. and I met up with friends to check out Little City Pizza in Simsbury. I’ve read some good things about it, and we decided a field trip was in order.
The storefront is in a plaza on Rt. 10, and easy to miss (ask “oh she who drove by it twice”), just look for Starbucks and TURN! Once I got inside, I was instantly at ease with the casual d├ęcor and vibe. Folks of all ages were smiling and boy, did the place smell great! The walls are decorated with comic book art, as are the tables. We had fun picking out our favorite superheroes.

The menu has a little something for everyone. Salads, burgers, paninis and yes…pizza. We decided to start with: chopped salad, Caesar salad and curly fries. I wanted a nice simple pie, so I went with one cheese pizza and one pepperoni. One in particular that I WILL be returning to try is the Mashed Potato pizza, it was calling my name!
Salads and fries arrived quickly and well presented. The chopped salad was a generous mound of lettuce, apples, cucumbers, carrots and almonds in a creamy dressing. I thought it was very tasty and the vegetables were nice and crisp. My friend declared the Caesar salad delicious, especially the dressing, which did not overpower. Curly fries were your standard variety…curly and a little spicy.

Pizzas arrived and we dug in. The pepperoni pie was exactly what I was hoping for; thin crunch crust with a little sauce, a gooey layer of cheese and a whole lot of hand cut pepperoni. I was most impressed with the crust: perfectly cooked, not soggy and held the ingredients well. Jr. can be picky about cheese pizza and she ate two slices without a complaint. Good enough for me! And for you health conscious folks, I do believe they make wheat crust, but I would call ahead to confirm.

Part of the reason we visited Little City is that I read a recommendation on Chowhound that their cupcakes were worth trying. On the day we were there, they were offering three flavors: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Each is served with your choice of frosting: chocolate or vanilla bean butter cream. We all ordered different flavors to try: vanilla with vanilla frosting, chocolate with vanilla frosting and strawberry with vanilla frosting. They arrived, each generous sized cupcake with a little chocolate star on top and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. The cakes themselves were perfect, not too sweet. However, the table was in agreement that the frosting was a bit too sweet; but that will not deter us from enjoying them again.

Another plus about our visit that evening was the outstanding service we received. Our waitress was so friendly, and it was fun to hear the conversations she had with Jr. about the food. Unfortunately, I didn’t get her name, but she really made for a great experience!

Next time you’re in Simsbury and have a hankering for some solid pizza, you know where to go.

Little City Pizza

Sunday, June 20, 2010

When Daddy let me drive

Father's Day card shopping, always an interesting experience. The card companies have pigeonholed our dads into three activities: golf, grilling and remote control olympics. I need cards about Nascar and classic cars, where are they??

Here is our menu for today; I will be playing the part of the grill mistress, stand back boys!

Father's Day Menu

Pork Burgers with Saffron Aioli

1 lb. Ground pork
1 Tbl smoked Spanish paprika - key ingredient!
Pinch of salt and black pepper
1 Tbl minced garlic
1 onion, sliced
Olive oil
4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
4 hamburger rolls

Combine pork, paprika, salt, pepper and garlic in bowl, do not over mix. Shape into 4 patties. Grill until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, approx. 10-12 minutes. Add cheese and cook until it melts. Brush onion slices with olive oil and grill until tender, remove with burgers. Add burgers to each bun, top with onions and aioli.

Saffron Aioli

1/4 cup mayonnaise
Pinch of saffron
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest

Combine ingredients in small bowl, can be made ahead of time.

Grilled Corn on the Cob
Old School Potato Salad
Brownie Sundaes

I am pouring a chilled Rose of Malbec and "People's Pint Blonde Ale"!

Happy Father's Day!

-- Post From My iPad

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Meadow Asian Cuisine - Simsbury, CT

After a busy day celebrating Cheeseburger Jr's graduation and feasting on a ton of junk food, we decided that a sushi dinner was in order. Meadow has been on my list of places to return after enjoying a nice dinner there shortly after they opened. Located along busy Rt. 10, it can be easy to miss but you'll be glad you found it. The vibe hits you as soon as you enter; the sleek and restrained decor gives an air of sophistication and relaxation. No need to rush through your meal here.

A bit of laziness hit us as the day progressed, so we opted for take-out. Spicy tuna maki, Dragon maki, Alaska maki and "French Cake" completed our order. (I ignored the fact that French cake was really raw fish). The menu isn't your run of the mill sushi way. They also offer several entrees and noodle dishes. Rack of Lamb, stir fried noodles are just a couple of things you may be tempted to try.

I returned home with our goodies, and we dug in. The rolls were outstanding. The Dragon Maki boasted a colorful display of generous sliced fish; The Spicy Tuna had just enough heat and the Alaska Maki was a straightforward combination of salmon, avocado and cucumber. The standout was the French Cake roll. Salmon and yellowtail topped the roll containing a spicy tuna mixture and avocado. Covering the entire thing was a sweet sauce (eel, perhaps?) and a layer of crunchy panko. Ooo la la.  The flavors melded together perfectly. Sometimes sushi rolls can be too "busy", but I am always impressed when so many ingredients come together harmoniously.

The seafood is extremely fresh and the rolls are generous. Although we were very pleased with our take-out, I recommend that you experience Meadow by dining in. The large front windows open in warm weather, which makes for a pleasant open air dining experience. Do try it! 

Meadow Asian Cuisine

-- Post From My iPad

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jack's at Harbor One Marina - Old Saybrook, CT

I hope you all enjoyed Memorial Day weekend! We were blessed with perfect weather and after enjoying some time with friends at a party, we hightailed it to the beach.

Last summer, we were delighted to find a “hidden” gem down at the marina in Old Saybrook, serving the greatest hot dogs around. (The Mr. fell for the mini-burgers) We snuck over there for snacks in between sand time, devouring dogs on butter grilled buns. Did I mention they also make a mean egg sandwich? *sigh*

SOOOO….with memories of last summer fresh on our minds, we headed over on Monday to check out the place. Rumor has it that someone in the car may have whooped with glee when the “OPEN” sign was spotted. We walked in, checked out the chalkboard menu and couldn’t believe our eyes…NO HOT DOGS. Mostly a selection of breakfast and lunch sandwiches (a $17 lobster roll if you want to splurge). After a quick regroup in the corner, we decided to order egg sandwiches and some delicious Ashlawn Farm coffee. While waiting, we felt bad for the young man working as he had to repeatedly tell people they weren’t serving hot dogs. In the owner’s defense, I would like point out that he does have a place, Jack Rabbit’s on Main Street in Old Saybrook, which DOES serve his famous “Dragon” dogs and creative burgers. But not nearly as fun as sneaking off to the little place in the marina! We sat outside, enjoying our breakfast and savoring the coffee. The egg sandwich is very straightforward…fried egg and cheese on a soft roll. Simple and perfect.

Let’s consider this my open letter to Jack, PLEASE bring back the Dragon dogs.

Jack Rabbit's

Ashlawn Farm Coffee