Tag Archives: Aunty

Family Trip, Provincetown, Cape Cod, September 2019

Provincetown Public Library

“When it was built in 1860 as the Center Methodist Episcopal Church it was reputed to be the largest church of Methodist denomination anywhere in the United States. It cost $22,000 to complete and could seat 900 people in its 128 pews.” Courtesy of provincetownlibrary.org.

Thank you Kate and Peter (and Raven, Aunt Judy, Roxie, and Roly Poly) for a week of family, fun and sun!

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Page Hardware, Guilford, Conn.

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This summer we had to get rid of a (leaky!) old air conditioner. We trusted Page Hardware for the replacement, because every time we go there they have what we need and good advice. The Page Hardware building is riddled with historic flourishes that I would like to learn more about, as evidenced in the appliances section in front front of the store. The Page Hardware guy emerged from behind double-hinged bank vault doors with our new unit. It has been working great and was affordable to buy. Thank you for another solid purchase and congrats to Page Hardware on 80 (well deserved!) years in business.

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Metacomet Ridge

judy blasko arthur mullen metacomet ridge traprock guilford north guilford 3rdarm connecticut autumn fall leaves trees hills colors orange yellow

North Guilford is a community within the town of Guilford, CT. This is the quieter part of Guilford, miles inland from the beaches and seemingly far removed from the tourists jamming I-95 and Route 1. This part of town Aunt Judy claims more closely resembles Vermont, as it shows the range of nature’s beauty along the Connecticut Shore.

judy blasko arthur mullen metacomet ridge traprock guilford north guilford 3rdarm connecticut autumn fall leaves trees hills colors orange yellow

As you drive north on Long Hill Road, across Route 80, you enter rolling hills. This would be the part of the Metacomet Ridge, a line of traprock that runs 100 miles from Guilford / Branford all the way to the Vermont / New Hampshire border. The highest point in town, Bluff Head, is a feature of this ridge. Accessible off Route 77 in North Guilford: it’s a tough hike with beautiful views.

judy blasko arthur mullen metacomet ridge traprock guilford north guilford 3rdarm connecticut autumn fall leaves trees hills colors orange yellow

The heart of North Guilford is where Long Hill Rd joins Ledge Hill Rd. A school, church, cemetery, and farm all abut one another to form the center of the community. It’s a beautiful spot to stop the car, stretch the legs, and take stock of the quaint northern section of town.

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Clam Rolls

lenny joes fish tail madison connecticut judy blasko 3rdarm guilford onion rings

Here is a quick description of the 3 Lenny & Joe’s locations:

New Haven: table service, awesome seafood, beer and wine, right on the water

Westbrook: table service, awesome seafood, beer and wine, cozy sit-down restaurant

Madison: counter service, awesome seafood, no alcohol but they have soft serve ice cream & there’s a massive outdoor seating area with carousel, located right across Route 1 from state park beach

lenny joes fish tail madison connecticut judy blasko 3rdarm guilford onion rings

The Madison location is the Lenny & Joe’s I have eaten at the most, and it’s my favorite, for the casual nature and the beautiful outdoor seating area, where even Roxie the dog is welcome. There is a full size carousel with all proceeds going to charity, and a separate walk-up counter for soft serve ice cream.

In the summer, Aunty’s favorite is the CT-style lobster rolls (hot buttered lobster on a toasted hotdog bun) and in the colder months, she prefers the fried clam roll with tartar on the side. Either way, there will be indigestion.

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Cheese Blintzes

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Chicago’s weather is on an autumn rollercoaster, with lows in the twenties and highs in the seventies. I escaped the Midwest altogether for a 4-day trip to visit Aunty Judy, just as the sickness overtook me.

reins deli vernon connecticut cheese blintzes sour cream 3rdarm

At Rein’s Delicatessen I ate 3 eggs over easy, roasted potatoes, buttered rye toast, a Hebrew National hotdog with sauerkraut, cheese blintzes with sour cream, and of course, sweet and sour pickles. I started to feel a little better!

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Bluefish Hobo Pack

the place unusual restaurant guilford connecticut 1971 arthur mullen favorite chicago 3rdarm corn clams bluefish

I’m a big fan of yelp and an even bigger fan of The Place, my favorite restaurant in Connecticut, maybe the world. It bugs me that The Place’s review average has dropped to 3.5 stars, seemingly on the back of a single one star rating from a night when they were short-staffed. I know that’s the nature of the restaurant business: you’re only as good as your last service.

the place unusual restaurant guilford connecticut 1971 arthur mullen favorite chicago 3rdarm corn clams bluefish

The Place deserves more respect, putting out delicious and unduplicable offerings from a huge backyard firepit since the early seventies! I returned this summer with my aunt for dinner. The clams were briny and spicy, hot off that blazing fire pit. I burned my tongue on a hot clam because I seriously JUST COULD NOT WAIT. The bluefish was one of the best pieces of fish I have ever had: it was unbelievably fresh and cooked to perfection in its hobo pack.

the place unusual restaurant guilford connecticut 1971 arthur mullen favorite chicago 3rdarm corn clams bluefish

The owner (man with beard) was everywhere, making sure all details from the kitchen and in the stump-filled dining room were on point. That’s the recipe for success! It was the best dinner of my summer so far. This the one Place I tell my restaurant industry colleagues in Chicago HAVE to visit when they find themselves on the Connecticut shore.

the place unusual restaurant guilford connecticut 1971 arthur mullen favorite chicago 3rdarm corn clams bluefish

The cooks were super nice (over the top enthusiastic, actually!) to answer a couple questions at the end of dinner about their old school firing board. Basically they’re marking long domino-like tiles with pencil to group tables’ orders into pick-ups. Refreshingly old school, unique and with a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” mentality, just like The Place!

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Connecticut Style

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Aunty was worried when I slept for something like 14 continuous hours the second night of my visit. That’s what happens when you finally get to go home for a break! It took me a day or two to settle down and hit the reset button.

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The best potato salad in the world (along with my favorite egg salad in life) were able to revive me to the point I was ready to tackle my list of chores. The sweet reward was a piece of Aunty’s amazing chocolate cream pie!

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Lobster in the Rough

noank connecticut abbotts lobster in the rough lobster roll connecticut style 3rdarm arthur mullen

Aunt Judy and I had not been to Abbott’s in roughly (see what I did there?!) 20 years. We drove up the CT shore from Guilford for dinner one summer night. Noank is a trip, literally, and well worth the 45 minute drive for one of the world’s best Connecticut-style (read: hot butterered) lobster rolls. Instead of a traditional hotdog bun, Abbott’s serves their legendary version on a toasted sesame seed bun.

noank connecticut abbotts lobster in the rough lobster roll connecticut style 3rdarm arthur mullen judy blasko

Aunty and I agreed the lobster rolls were absolutely delicious, and the local sweet corn was a perfect side for this summer treat. The people watching (tourists who don’t understand the counter-style ordering system common at New England clam shacks) was just as good as the natural beauty of Long Island Sound and Fischer’s Island.

noank connecticut abbotts lobster in the rough lobster roll connecticut style 3rdarm arthur mullen

We joked that if I worked at Abbott’s, it would be in the separate Dessert Hut (this is actually not a joke, in a different life I am known as Jabba the Dessert Hut.) The only thing I would change, if I ruled the world (or at least had some influence on a Connecticut foodie institution like Abbott’s) would be the elimination of styrofoam cups and plates.

noank connecticut abbotts lobster in the rough lobster roll connecticut style 3rdarm arthur mullen

I understand the need to keep costs low… and more and more businesses are starting to understand that we have to keep environmental costs low to preserve nature’s beauty. It would be awesome if Abbott’s got on board! In any event, it was a real treat for my aunt and me. We will be back!

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Plan B

judy blasko plan b burger bar arthur mullen chicago restaurant manager 3rdarm

I was visiting the world’s best aunty from Chicago this summer. She picked me up at the airport and drove me to Glastonbury for an early dinner at one of her favorite restaurant’s: Bricco’s. Unfortunately, it was too early and Bricco’s wasn’t open yet, so we walked across the parking lot to the much heralded Plan B for hamburgers.

judy blasko plan b burger bar arthur mullen chicago restaurant manager 3rdarm

I have eaten many times at all of the best burger spots in Chicago (Au Cheval, Kuma’s, etc.) and Plan B measures up! It’s the real deal. My bacon burger was juicy and pink with tons of pure beef flavor, along with char from the grill, crispy bacon and melted cheese.

judy blasko plan b burger bar arthur mullen chicago restaurant manager 3rdarm

The most awesome part was the way Plan B grinds their meat: it’s a little more finely ground than most, which seems to allow the seasoning to penetrate all the way through, making each bite more addictive than the last. My aunt loved her mini burgers but only ate 2/3. I have serious regrets that I forgot that last little guy in her refrigerator.

judy blasko plan b burger bar arthur mullen chicago restaurant manager 3rdarm

Connecticut is back on the burger map! Plan B is smart, with local craft beers, complimentary pickles whose recipe seems to have to come straight from Rein’s Deli, and a juicy, unique burger. Not to take anything away from Harry’s Hamburgers, my favorite CT burger, but I’ll be going back to Plan B!

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THE by CoreyFeldman

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Etta and I signed up for a produce share through our local green grocery store. In addition to a huge kale salad (that Aunty would say helped me go poopies) Etta has also made me a brown smoothie.

3rdarm arthur mullen roly poly cat west town 3rdarm chicago reefer xoco q2ctf acmectf quake2 worm reefer

Kate and Peter took Aunty up to the wilderness of New Hampshire, so they could hiking (and Aunty could go shopping.) At least it wasn’t Mt. Washington in December!

3rdarm arthur mullen roly poly cat west town 3rdarm chicago reefer xoco q2ctf acmectf quake2 worm reefer

The most dangerous part of climbing Mt. Washington at the beginning of winter, other than falling off the lion’s head in 100+ MPH winds, was when Kate fed the wild fox.

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