Tag Archives: Connecticut

Mohegan Sun

As a gamer (nerdy 90’s PC gamer, not a “gamblin’ man”) i love the Mohegan Sun. My girlfriend describes it as upscale retail, restaurants and entertainment all contained in a cohesive, artistic experience. I see it as the progression of the “GameWorks arcade” to the next phase of evolution: the indoor world, where one is able to find whatever path, playing, eating, dancing, shopping, to fulfill a unique experience. Bravo to the management and staff for making Mohegan Sun a well-balanced fun experience, yes for gamblers, but way more crucially, EVERYBODY ELSE.  Mohegan Sun has become a true CT experience.

Tom’s Urban

The three of us started our Mohegan Sun day trip with appetizers at Tom’s Urban. This was a good move! The atmosphere was lively and the staff, from host to server, were on point with warm hospitality. Fried pickles were wisely sliced thin, making each bite the perfect balance of crunchy coating and pickly brine (don’t forget the housemade ranch!) Nashville hot wings were big on flavor rather than mouth burn. For us, the star of the show was the prime rib sliders, cheesy, meaty goodness and umami was perfectly portioned for satisfaction.

Bobby’s Burger Palace

I was blown away by the high quality execution on hand at Bobby’s Burger Palace (BBP). The order taker was concise and communicated pinpoint precision re: the burger temps (my girlfriend was happy with her burger cooked perfectly as described.)  The staff set us up with napkins, silverware, our drinks and even checked in in us multiple times. Bravo to the professionalism and teamwork BBP team!  My veggie burger was packed with vegetable flavor (black beans, mushrooms, lentils) and craveably delicious. The Coke machine was amazing for me (crisp Diet, moving on to a sophisticated grape Sprite). My friend and GF loved their frozen cactus pear margarita and boozy ice cream shake, respectively. They loved their burgers too much to share! Always a good sign, as were the obviously hand cut fries. The amazing cheese fries and well-seasoned onion rings will be haunting my fast food craving dreams.

Chris’ Place in Lebanon, CT

With the amazing cats Pinky and Moose.

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Temple Street Garage

I think the Temple Street Garage does not deserve the bad rep. Mayhaps people are scapegoating Temple Street Garage for New Haven’s parking problems. New Haven is an awesome city because of its rich history stretching back hundreds of years. Just as in other historic East Coast cities, like Boston, driving and parking is challenging, with narrow streets (mostly one ways), limited options, and high costs. None of which is the fault of Temple Street Garage. I find the garage to be an architectural gem. Its sweeping concrete curves are a memorable feature in the fabric of New Haven. Furthermore, the Temple Street Garage partners with local venues like Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas and the Union League Cafe to offer validated (reduced price) parking. Ditto for reduced monthly parking rates. This parking garage is convenient to downtown New Haven and the interstate highway, and has memorable architecture. I recommend it!

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Family New Havening

Family New Havening

Family time at the around the haunts of New Haven such as the Chetstone gothic Victorian mansion, Georgie’s Diner, Sandy Point Bird Sanctuary, Pepe’s Pizza, East Rock, Lenny and Joe’s, Fairhaven Heights (Dragon), Lighthouse Point, Ragged Mountain in Meridan, and more fun along the CT shoreline. October 2018. Big thanks and love to Kate, Peter, Raven, Aunty, Roxie, Ruby, Cobra, Pink Lady and all who were in on it!

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Lighthouse Point Sunset

Lighthouse Point Sunset

Visited for the first time in October 2018 and was blown away. Lighthouse Point Park was an unbelievable Connecticut shoreline sunset spot. There are large rock formations that make the ideal perch to watch the sun dip down into the Sound. I would love to return for the full experience: the carousel was closed for the season and the beach was almost barren in the hauntingly beautiful autumnal glow, with only a local fisherman as our neighbor.

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Giuffrida Park

Giuffrida Park

Giuffrida Park is an escape to nature that rewards a modest effort with scenic overlooks of traprock cliffs, a reservoir and a waterfall. The trails are not the best marked, but the roughly 2 mile loop around the reservoir (blue blazes) is more of a rugged hiking adventure for that fact. The traprock rising high above the valley is a marvel. Would definitely recommend in spring / summer and especially autumn, for the leafpeepers paradise.

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Sandy Point Bird Sanctuary

Sandy Point Bird Sanctuary

Over 60 acres of barrier beach, tidal creek and marsh, the Sandy Point Beach & Bird Sanctuary, one of the sites featured on the Connecticut Coastal Birding Trail, has been designated an “important bird area”. I would also designate these two long sandy peninsulas arcing into New Haven harbor to be a “astonishingly beautiful bird area.” Sandy Point is a natural nesting & migratory ground for many species of birds on the Connecticut shoreline…  You will find protected wetland & beach habitat teeming with birdlife, with footpath access & ample parking.  Recommend taking a hike in this sanctuary of nature for birds and humans alike!

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West Haven Beaches

West Haven Beaches

West Haven has a scenic drive all along the coast and it’s worth the drive AND worth stopping along the way to take in the fresh salty air, and the beauty of Connecticut’s historic homes and rocky shoreline. For somebody who has lived in Guilford, West Haven beaches opened my eyes to some unseen CT beauty with lots of public access!

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Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

We dined in with a party of 5 on a Tuesday night in mid-October 2018. There was a line stretched outside the door at around 7PM and we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table. This was not a problem as being exposed to the pizza aroma only intensified the gratification of eating the world’s best pizza. The service, white clam and red sauce veggie pizzas were all simply amazing and well worth triple that wait time.

Juicy tidbit: Local news was taping a segment beside the wood-burning oven while we dined. I asked our server what was going on with that, and we chatted about an unfortunate and odd pattern: the jinx of the spotlight. Several times, the Frank Pepe wood-burning oven cook that has appeared in such a taped news segment has had to be let go soon thereafter. Hubris? Goes right to their head? Coincidence?

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Lenny and Joe’s Long Wharf

Lenny and Joe’s Long Wharf

Pleasantly surprised that this branch of Lenny and Joe’s Fish Tale lived up to the best experience I have ever had at an L and J, which was this awesome dinner I had recently in their Westbook restaurant. The lower review average may be due to less New Haven guests “knowing what to expect.” The seafood was fresh (we had raw Blue Point oysters, clams, a fried shrimp roll, and a lobster roll) and the service was on point. The prices were totally in line with the other Lenny and Joe’s.

Note to the team of Lenny and Joe’s servers: As a restaurant industry professional who has “put my time in” (more than 2 decades experience) I would recommend NOT wearing shorts during work. Not only will a full length pant better protect the body from hot food in the event of catastrophic spill, full length pants will also shield the legs from idiotic male guests suffering from demented Hooters mindsets. Just my 2 cents.

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