eat! craft! live!

Baking, crafting, mama-ing and taking photos of it all. When I remember.


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Operation Try New Restaurants: April

OK, y’all, I’m a wee bit embarrassed about April’s new restaurants. After all the excitement of March, I guess I just had to tone it down a bit?

One new-to-me place we hit up was Goody’s Pizzeria, near the kids’ school. And truly, the only reason we went there was because there was some school function or other that required us staying near school instead of going home for dinner and coming back again. It’s within walking distance. They have mediocre pizzas and an assortment of salty snacks and sugary drinks. It’s not McDonald’s, which was the main draw. The inside was old-school charming and my kiddos got a big kick out the photos over every table and the tiny bathroom. It was perfect for what it was.

The other place we went in April was…99 Restaurant. Restaurants? The 99? I don’t even know how to refer to it. Basically the only big box, chain-type restaurants we go to are Chipotle and McDonald’s. But this whole casual style, eat in, chain restaurant thing is new to my kids! It was a family adventure – we met up with my aunt & uncle in their town and they took us out to lunch. I can definitely see the appeal of eating at a place like this with kids. Crayons! Coloring papers! Chocolate milk! Lemonade! Everything included in the kids’ meal, even dessert! (Which I’m fairly certain we never got and never mentioned because really how much sugar do my children need.)

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Everybody wants to sit next to Uncle Jim.

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Operation Try New Restaurants: New Haven, CT

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Oh, y’all. Back in March (yes, March! Again!) I went to so many new-to-me restaurants while on a work trip to New Haven. I was in town for the New England Archivists spring meeting (which was wonderful, by the way) so all the places I went to were new to me.

I picked Shake Shack for lunch because I’ve Heard Things about it. It was good, fine, tasty but nothing mind-blowing. I very much enjoyed my lunch. Crinkle fries!

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We had one dinner at Pacifico, where I dined solely on queso fundido since I wasn’t terribly hungry. I mean, if you can’t eat a dinner entirely made of cheese while on “vacation” then what are you doing with your life?

We had another dinner at Heirloom, which was truly wonderful. I chose some sort of soup, if I remember correctly, which the server really wanted to make sure I understood was soup. (I guess there were some issues where people didn’t quite get that?) It was delicious. You can’t go wrong at a place that serves this:

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I also opted for dessert – butterscotch pudding with a toasted marshmallow, sea salt & caramel milk jam. Oh, my heart. That was delicious. My zebras helped me eat it.

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Another lunch consisted of bubble tea (yum) and pad see ew (also yum) from Koon Thai, right near the conference center we were at.

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Zebras like Thai food too.

That evening I was lucky to be able to meet up with my sister (!) who lives near New Haven. It had been ages since we’d seen each other! I got to meet her partner, a Very Nice Young Man, and we got appetizers and drinks at the Cask Republic. It wasn’t my usual sort of place but my drink was great – some sort of fancy Moscow mule. Heck yes. (Zebras also like drinks.)

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From there we wandered rather aimlessly around town, looking for something for dinner. Most places had stupidly long wait times, but we found a table at Kitchen ZINC and ordered ourselves some kale! (And pizza!) It was a cozy little place with good food and good cider.

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Finally, on our last morning, we revisited a place we’d been to every day while there – Atticus Bookstore Cafe. This place was heaven. I got a fancy croque monsieur with asparagus that was incredibly delicious. This place satisfied my coffee needs every day, plus it was just such a pleasure to peruse. I ended up buying gifts for my kids there, as well as a few things for myself, and wanting to buy so much more than I could’ve carried home.

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Thus ends my culinary adventures in New Haven!


If you’re wondering about the zebras – they are the unofficial mascot of the Yale Center for British Art, which I visited while there. They also had a presence at the NEA spring meeting, where they were giving out these adorable little zebras. I got two for my kiddos, one of whom is now missing his legs. It was such a pleasure to visit a museum all alone! Highly recommended.

Another non-food honorable mention goes to the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. (See first photo.) It. Is. Amazing. You can visit this place! Don’t be intimidated if you’re not doing “research” – it’s OK! They have exhibits you can see and the facility itself is just breathtaking. Go. Now.

Finally, I wouldn’t be a proper knitter if I didn’t also give a shout out to Knit New Haven, where I snuck off to during lunch one day. It was a lovely little store with a nicely curated selection. I picked up a couple skeins of Spincycle Yarns in the most gorgeous pale blue/brown/multi colors. I’m in love!


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Operation Try New Restaurants: Ginza Town

Way back in March (oh yes! March!) I tried Ginza Town for the first time, which is another shameful one (like Bogusha’s) because it’s right down the street from my workplace. I’ll keep this brief since I haven’t been in some time (apparently they’re closed until mid December!) but it was good enough for me to make several lunchtime trips.

I believe on all occasions I opted for their lunch box special. For an excellent, budget-friendly price of $10.95 you get to choose four options: chicken, salmon, or beef teriyaki, or salmon matayaki; wakame or house salad; tempura or gyoza; and a sushi roll – California, Boston, spicy tuna, avocado, or kappa. I chose a different array of items each time and they were all lovely – and generous too! Definitely worth the price.

I thoroughly intend to go back once they’re open again!


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Operation Try New Restaurants: Ice It!

I went for a haircut today. Lo and behold, despite the heat & humidity, it still looks pretty good after walking back to work.

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Hi.

On the way to get my hair cut, I was thinking about lunch. I woke up with a migraine this morning and was too discombobulated to make myself one, so I figured I’d grab a sandwich at The Local Press, which I haven’t been to since I tried it over the winter! But…turns they’re closed for the rest of the week for vacation.

What’s next on my walk back? Well, Elsmere BBQ just opened up not too long ago in the old Siano’s spot, so I thought I’d get some barbecue! Buuuut…they don’t open til 4.

Y’ALL. What am I going to eat?

Next up – well, Pat’s is a few doors down, I’ll just go there! YOU GUESSED IT. Closed for the remainder of the week.

The only remaining option on that side of the street was…Ice It! And, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been wanting to give it a try but it’s not exactly a lunch place, y’know? Regardless, I’m about to gnaw my own arm off at this point, so I stop in and grab a peach smoothie, which is more like a slushy, which is actually perfect for me at this (very hot, humid) minute.

I swear there was smoothie in here. Delicious smoothie at that.

I also grabbed a blueberry muffin, which was a perfectly delightful blueberry muffin, and I ate it too fast to take a quick pic of it. (But just picture your perfectly average, everyday blueberry muffin.) Last but not least, I also picked up a lemon bar because it’s hot (have I mentioned that?) and bright, citrusy flavors always make me happy in the heat.

Lemon bar, oh lemon bar, how I love you lemon bar.

Did I eat a lot of sugar for lunch? Yes. Am I glad I at least got something to eat? Absolutely. Would I go back? Yep, just not for a meal…

And yes, I have tried other new-to-me places! I’ve just been terribly lazy about saying so.


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Operation Try New Restaurants: Little Giant

In February, I met a lovely friend for a lovely dinner at Little Giant. And I…apparently took only one photo and it’s of me, slightly tipsy, modeling the cowl I had just finished for another dear friend? So, uh, hi!

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I started with a knife fight. Which does not involve any sharp weaponry, but is “a bourbon sour, with an edge.” (Bourbon, lemon, pineapple, ginger.) It was strong, and fruity, and definitely had a serious kick of ginger.

For an appetizer, I got the little biscuits with maple-whipped lardo and hot pepper jelly. They were…good. I expected better biscuits frankly (um, I make amazing biscuits), but the combination of the biscuits and the toppings was definitely tasty.

I opted for the LG Burger & Jojos for my main meal and it was quite good. The menu changes relatively often, it seems, and looking at it now, I so wish that the Broad Arrow Farm Pork Meatballs with parmesan polenta, shaved brussels sprouts, pancetta vinaigrette had been available when I went because that sounds amazing. Time to go back?

I also got a second drink on a whim – a special that was benefitting…something or other…and I mostly remember that it had a sprig of lavender jutting out of the top, which at first was unnerving and then was delightful. I could sip my drink and as long as I managed to keep the little branch from poking me in the eye, smell the lavender while sipping. Aaah… (Seriously, it was great but I don’t remember what was in it! Maybe gin? Something fruity? I think it was carbonated? Not helpful.)

All in all, a great night. More expensive than I usually go for, but if I’m feeling a little flush with cash (lol) I would definitely return.


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Operation Try New Restaurants: The Local Press

Last week I got my hair cut (a rarity I need to remedy) and as my stylist is practically next door to The Local Press, I popped over for a sandwich and, unbeknownst to me beforehand, a malt. Yum.

Hello, delicious. Why is it so hard to get a milkshake and even harder to get a malt in this town? Hm?

I opted for the orchard turkey – a panini with turkey, bacon, apples, sharp cheddar, and chipotle mayo. It was heavy on the turkey and fairly light on everything else but it was really good. (I must admit to having a particular fondness for sandwiches I haven’t made.) It was reasonably priced but doesn’t come with anything – there is an assortment of bagged chips & salty snacks to fill out your meal if you wish. I didn’t. Between the sandwich and the malt I was plenty satisfied!


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Operation Try New Restaurants: Bogusha’s

So here’s the deal: I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. But I am one for setting goals. This year I made it my goal to try at least one new restaurant every month. More, if time and budget allow! (So far…not. But here’s hoping!)

I made basically no rules for the project, just that it has to be new to me. Lunch, dinner, breakfast, snacks & drinks…casual, fancy, anywhere in between…anything goes!

I came up with the idea while sitting in traffic on my way to pick up the kids one evening, right outside Bogusha’s Polish place on Stevens Ave. I’ve driven by this place literally hundreds of times, and I work just down the street, but I’d never been. And there are so many places like this! I don’t get out a lot, what with kids and busy schedules and lack of money and and and…

Hopefully, not only will this project spur me on to try new restaurants but also just get out and see friends more often! (Hi friends! I miss you!)

Appropriately, the first new place I tried was, in fact, Bogusha’s. It’s a tiny Polish restaurant and deli, with just 3 tables surrounded by grocery items. It’s very much like eating in someone’s home. Someone who happens to make delicious Polish food.

M & I met for lunch one icy day and both got the Polish platters with pierogi, kielbasa, bigos (hunter’s stew, consisting of cabbage, sauerkraut, kielbasa, ham) and golabki. Everything was wonderful, especially the bigos which I’d never even heard of, let alone tried! We also started the meal with white borscht, which was delicious.

I also picked up kinder eggs for the kids and some chocolate bars for my work stash.

All told, I’d recommend it – as long as you aren’t in a hurry! While the food was great, the service was…leisurely.