The Eats Coast: Part One

This is the first part in a three-part series about my food experiences on the East Coast.  This part will cover breakfast foods, wings and hot dogs.

I love to eat.  And thankfully, I have a significant other that shares my love of tasty food.  So when I went to visit her on the East Coast this summer, she showed me some of the best casual, college budget, dining the states of New York and Connecticut had to offer. Here are some of the restaurants we went to out there and my experiences there.

I figured that it would make the most sense to start with breakfast.

Leo’s Diner (CT):  Leo’s was a place that I could absolutely see myself hanging out at when I’m retired.  Leo’s is a small, local diner that provides a very cozy atmosphere.  Just the kind of place I want to go to have a cup of coffee and read the paper and do other old people stuff.  I got a turkey omelet.  Yes.  Eggs, cheese and turkey.  Tremendous.  Not to mention the potatoes were thick cut and well seasoned.  (That’s a recurring theme.  Connecticut knows how to do breakfast potatoes).  Overall, Leo’s was good and the kind of place that you’d keep going back to for a long time.

Paisano’s Diner (CT): Paisano’s I don’t feel I can accurately judge.  I made the mistake of getting a vegetable omelet.  Not that I have a problem with veggies, I just need a type of meat to accompany my vegetables.  The onions and spinach and mushrooms were just a little overpowering for me, personally.  However, the potatoes, the potatoes were right on.  Loved those, and even powered through the omelet.  It had a little bit of a fancy atmosphere, but the dress was very casual, and the employees were friendly.  Not to mention there was a bar section of this restaurant that I’ll absolutely be trying out on my next trip out.

Mary’s Diner (CT): We went to Mary’s bright and early in the morning, and frankly, I can’t remember the main course that I got.  HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that I forgot the potatoes.  The potatoes were unreal.  Thick cut, well seasoned, cooked a little on the crispy side.  Just delicious. The atmosphere was really nice, too.  An older place that is a lot like Leo’s in that it is the kind of place older folks go to enjoy coffee and laugh about the old days.  I really want a place like that when I’m 75 and retired.

Dunkin Donuts (CT/NY): Dunkin Donuts is fantastic.  Good donuts, good breakfast foods, the coffee is tasty, and it’s cheap.  That’s the best part.  It foregoes the fancy look of Starbucks, and charges you less money.  I’ll say it.  It’s better than Starbucks.  It may not look as fancy and upscale, but it’s cheaper and of equivalent quality.  Winner.

Since there’s no real discernible difference between lunch and dinner foods, I’ll go next with chicken wings, since I see those as more of a lunch thing.

Buffalo Wild Wings (CT): Not much different than any other B-Dubs.  Go for the wings and the atmosphere because the service will undoubtedly suck.  Perhaps the best part of the BWW in Waterbury, is that there are Hartford Whalers jerseys aplenty on the walls.

J. Timothy’s Taverne (CT): If you have never been to J. Timothy’s, do yourself a favor and go there.  One of the great things about the East Coast is the historical feel it has.  I’m a nerd, and history fascinates me.  I’m not sure the history of the building that J. Timothy’s is in, but it looks like an old tavern that Ben Franklin would’ve hung out at.  But enough about that.  The wings. I was told, by everyone, that these were the best wings in Connecticut.  I was obviously skeptical, but they lived up to their billing.

J. Timothy’s offers “dirt style” wings.  This means the wings are cooked, sauced, cooked again, then sauced again.  This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to wings.  The meat falls off the bone, the sauce isn’t overpowering, and the wings are crunchy, AND juicy at the same time.  UN. REAL.  Without question the best wings I’ve ever had in my life.  The rustic, early American feel to the restaurant, combined with God’s gift to chicken wings, J. Timothy’s is the place to be.

Following up wings, I’ll go with hot dogs.

Nathan’s (NY): Yes, Nathan’s, the hot dog eating contest people.  And I had a hot dog at THE original Nathan’s at Coney Island.  That was pretty cool, and I’m guessing it made it taste better, too.  This was a warm, juicy hot dog that didn’t take a bunch of nasty, artificial flavors to enhance its taste.  Far better than the packaged Nathan’s dogs you can get in grocery stores across the country.

Sabrett’s (NY): I bought a hot dog at a hot dog cart in Times Square.  Needless to say, that was bad ass.  This hot dog was a type of spicy hot dog that had a serious bite to it.  It helped the hot dog a lot.  Pretty generic in taste, but the grease, and the atmosphere of eating this hot dog while walking by ABC Studios was priceless.  Then the spicy kick came in, and it was over for me.  I loved it.  I could’ve eaten 12 of those if I wasn’t looking forward to the other delicious food.

Frankie’s (CT): Frankie’s is great.  A little, hole-in-the-wall, drive up spot.  I had a hot dog, first, from Frankie’s.  It was delicious.  A juicy dog, with a natural, smoky flavor and a toasted bun made this a memorable experience.  I didn’t even load it with condiments.  I threw a little ketchup on it and chowed.  Just phenomenal.  They also have fried vegetables, which were terrific.  The fried mushrooms had a garlic taste too them that made for a sensational compliment to the hot dog.  If you’re ever in the vicinity of a Frankie’s, I highly recommend it.

Check back for part two coming soon.



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