Catch Robek’s Melon and Mint Smoothies Before They’re Gone!

Robek’s special seasonal smoothies are here until September 28th and you don’t want to miss them!

smoothie

(Photo from Robeks.com)

Made from primarily locally sourced produce, Robek’s is offering three seasonal smoothies:

Cantaloupe Cooler made with fresh cantaloupe, fresh mint, pineapple chunks, 100% natural orange juice, pineapple sorbet, and a splash of apple juice.

Wailea Watermelon made with fresh watermelon, fresh mint, ripe strawberries, pineapples chunks, 100% natural raspberry and pineapple sorbet, and a splash of apple juice.

Mojito Melon is created with fresh, chopped mint with raw watermelon, raw cantaloupe, and raw cucumber.

But if melon isn’t your thing, Robek’s has a full menu of smoothies and juices for you to choose from. Also, did you know that Robek’s has the ability to create and tailor smoothies and juices to your needs offering countless options? That’s right – for example you can have your smoothie made with almond milk, soy milk, greek yogurt, regular yogurt, or even dairy free if you prefer. Ask your Robek’s mixologist if you need help tailoring your drink, and also for supplement recommendations which you can add to any smoothie or juice.

As Robek’s says, “healthy never tasted this good!” and I couldn’t agree more!

IMG_8188.JPG
On the menu you can expect to find smoothie “Classics” such as Strawberry Banana, “Fan Favorites” like the Hummingbird (passionfruit, mangos, strawberries, bananas, orange sherbet), “Power” smoothies with whey protein, and “Fresh Squeezes Juices” like the Evergreen (kale, cucumber, celery, spinach, apple, lemon) and the Crazy Carrot (carrot, beet, celery, cayenne pepper) and many more options. Don’t forget smoothies specialized just for the kids! One of the most popular is the PB&J Delight (raspberry juice, peanut butter, strawberries, blueberries, non-fat yogurt).

I recently had the opportunity to visit Robek’s in Westport and learn more about their products from the regional director of Connecticut and Southeast New York: Katrina Bickford. As we talked about Robek’s juices and smoothies we sipped on the Tropi-Kale (pictured above) and I tried a shot of wheat grass for the first time.

IMG_8190.JPG

Did you know that one shot of wheat grass (one ounce) is the equivalent to eating two and a half pounds of green leafy vegetables? I wasn’t aware of the benefits of wheat grass until my visit to Robek’s! If you’re wondering what wheat grass tastes like, it does essentially taste like, well, grass. However, the flavor is subtle and something I plan to order regularly now when I visit Robek’s. 

 

IMG_8191.JPG

Robek’s has locations throughout Connecticut in Fairfield (Black Rock and Post Road), Westport, Darien, Norwalk, Stamford (3 locations), and Greenwich (Cos Cob).  

IMG_8192.JPG
IMG_8189.JPG

Disclaimer: I was invited by Robek’s to visit and sample their smoothies, however all the opinions expressed herein are my own.

Join Parallel Post and Onyx Moonshine for a Prohibition Era-Style Dinner RESCHEDULED for Setember 11th

Parallel Post has announced they will be pairing up with Onyx Moonshine, the 2014 International Craft Award winner and the first legal ultra-premium moonshine brand home based in East Hartford, Connecticut, for a dinner pairings event on September 11th!

“This debut collaborative effort will provide guests with a unique opportunity to savor an exclusive culinary menu accented with Onyx Moonshine flavorings including the original Onyx Moonshine, Sweet Stash, Onyx 111, Apple Honey Infusion, and Cape Cod Cranberry.”
 
From 5-8pm you can experience a speak-easy atmosphere and a five course tasting menu flavored with varieties of moonshine as well as glass samplings by Onyx Moonshine as you learn about the once outlawed liquor. Additional cocktails will also be presented by Parallel Post’s resident mixologist, Greg Genias aka “Bootleg Greg.”

Chef de Cuisine, Ali Goss and Executive Chef, Chris Molyneux of Parallel Post will create a menu for the event that “focuses on localism and follows the philosophy that natural and sustainable products, and responsible farming, are the key components in ingredient selection.” You can expect Onyx Moonshine-infused dishes will be featured such as Drunken Scallop Ceviche, Gilbertie’s Fall Harvest Salad with cape cod cranberry moonshine vinaigrette and Prohibition Canapés.

Tickets to the Parallel Post hosted Onyx Moonshine Dinner Pairings event are limited and are only available for advance purchase at $75 (tax and 18 percent gratuity not included) for guests 21 & over (valid driver license must be presented upon arrival).To RSVP for the September 11th dinner, please e-mail parallelpostevents@gmail.com.
 

Parallel Post
180 Hawley Lane
Trumbull, CT
203.380.6380.

To be[er], or not to be[er]…Shakesbeer 2014 is this weekend!

20140605-211028.jpg

To be[er] or not to be[er]…?

Ok, Shakespeare didn’t write those words, but I’d like to think that he would have fully supported a beer festival created with the goal of reopening the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut.

If you’re from the area (Stratford is my hometown), then you’ve probably heard of the Shakespeare theatre and the many attempts to restore and reopen it over the past twenty years.

This weekend come out and enjoy music, beer, and food!

You can expect to see beer from over 60, yup SIXTY, breweries (see the Shakesbeer Festival website for all the breweries here) including Stratford’s own Two Roads Brewery, and food from:

Vazzy’s Brick Oven Restaurant
High On The Hog
Lobster Craft
The Spud Stud
Laura’s Cupcakes
Zack’s Frozen Yogurt
Firehouse Grill

WHERE:
The American Shakespeare Theatre
1850 Elm Street, Stratford CT,

WHEN: August 23, 2014 from 1pm to 7pm

PRICE: $40 / PERSON
*Must be 21 or over to participate in beer tasting.*

Community Plates Announces Upcoming Fundraiser, “Food For All”

As someone who writes about food, it is something that is always on my mind as I know it is for many of you too. However, for many people food is on their mind due to food insecurity and uncertainty of where their next meal is coming from. We can help change that! Join Community Plates at their signature fundraising event, “Food for All” on October 2, 2014 to help end food insecurity in Connecticut and beyond.

IMG_8221.JPG
In case you haven’t heard of them, Community Plates, a direct-transfer food rescue organization is working to end food insecurity in Connecticut and America. Community Plates’ headquarters is in Fairfield, and it also operates in New Haven as well as Albuguergue, New Mexico, and Columbus Ohio with plans to extend to four more markets this year. A volunteer-driven organization, Community Plates connects food donors (e.g., grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, bakeries and other food-service establishments), food runners (individuals who pick-up and deliver donated food) and receiving agencies (e.g., soup kitchens, pantries, etc.) so that surplus food can get to those in need. Using the web and smartphone enabled Community Plates’ GoRescue technology powered by WhenToManage, Community Plates has coordinated more than 700 volunteers and rescued 4.9 million meals to date since their launch in 2011!

 “Community Plates is already responsible for picking up and delivering almost 4 million meals at a value of over $6 Million to food insecure people in Fairfield County.  We’re focused on meeting the need of 110,000 people right here who struggle to know where their next meal is coming from, “ says Kevin Mullins, executive director and co-founder of Community Plates, “The Food for All 2014 fundraiser is our kick-off for our next food rescue season. It’s a lot of fun, the food is amazing, and we do a lot of good in the process.”

Community Plates’ fundraising event, “Food for All” will not only highlight the organization’s goals for the coming year and celebrates its accomplishments, but it will also feature the area’s newest restaurants who will be showcasing their signature dishes and a series of Craft Cocktails  created and presented by Fairfield County’s most innovative mixologists. The fundraiser will also give attendees the opportunity to learn more about Community Plates and their GoRescue smartphone interative food scheduling app that connects food runners to donors to those in need in our community.

You can expect to see the following featured at “Food for All”:

Featured Restaurants (as of 8/11/14):
Azuca Bistro Latino – Stamford
Back40 Kitchen – Greenwich
Bravo – Stamford
Brick + Wood – Fairfield
Craft 260 – Fairfield
Gastro Bar – StamfordHana Tokyo – Fairfield
Johnny Utah’s – Norwalk
Little Barn – Westport
Little Pub – Greenwich
Local Kitchen + Beer Bar – Norwalk, Fairfield
Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters – Trumbull
Sign of the Whale – Stamford
The Granola Bar – Westport
Walrus & Carpenter – Bridgeport
Washington Prime – Norwalk
Craft Cocktail Bars / Featured Bartenders:
Bailey’s Backyard
Cask Republic / Post 154
Match
Mama’s Boy

 

“Food for All” will begin with a VIP cocktail reception (6-7 PM) featuring Marcia Seldon Catering, followed by the main event (6:30-8:30 PM) which will include featured restaurants, libations, music, dancing and more.  Tickets are can be purchased: www.communityplates.org/FFA14

Thursday, October 2, 2014
Darien Community Association
274 Middlesex Rd, Darien, CT 06820
VIP Reception: 6-7 PM, $100
Main Event: 6:30-8:30 PM, $50
www.communityplates.org/FFA14
 

 I hope to see you there as we help to end food insecurity in Connecticut!

*Image courtesy of MaxExposure*

Parallel Post’s “Mussel Madness” Is Here!

Beginning on July 31st, you can experience “Mussel Madness” each Thursday at Parallel Post in Trumbull from 5-10pm.

20140806-130022.jpg
This “Seafood Summer” promo is happening every Thursday through September 4th and entails all you can eat Spicy Mussels with grilled bread for $16!

Parallel Post
180 Hawley Lane, Trumbull, CT
203-380-6380
ParallelPostRestaurant.com

Photo by Roger Ho-Yen of PTR Photography.

Lobster Hut in Milford Serves Up Lobster Rolls That Rival Cape Cod’s

It really is a simple dish if you think about it – all it requires is a soft roll or bun, butter, and fresh lobster…or lobstah. Yet, somehow it takes just the right skill to produce a lobster roll you want to tell everyone about, a lobster roll that reminds you of lobstah rolls in Cape Cod and Maine.

Are you nodding your head in agreement?

Are you saying, you have to go outside Connecticut for that type of lobster roll?

Well, not anymore!

There’s been a little buzz about a local Foodtruck and their lobster roll so I knew we had to check out Lobster Hut in Milford.

20140726-142546.jpg
This is Lobster Hut’s “Extra-large Lobster Roll” which was described to us as essentially being the size of one and a half lobster rolls.20140726-141813.jpg

Let’s talk lobstah roll!

First – the buttah, I mean butter! If you know your lobster roll, you know that means a lot of butter and Lobster Hut has got it just right. The soft bun is buttery and lightly toasted. The Maine lobster is buttery and so, so fresh.

20140726-142015.jpg
Aside from being fresh, the lobster was also a little sweet and expertly cooked by the very friendly Lobster Hut staff.
20140726-145647.jpg

20140726-142557.jpg
Lobster Hut serves up Maine lobster in several different forms aside from lobster rolls such as lobster salad and pickeled lobster. The menu also includes clam fritters, fish and chips, fish sandwich, hot dogs, onion rings, and fries.

20140726-142605.jpg

Lobster Hut’s location is permanent (despite being a Foodtruck) and they do have several picnic tables with umbrellas so you can enjoy your food right away. Also, if your time is limited, you can call your order in. However, the constant line is short and moves quickly.

Are you craving a lobster roll now?

Hours: Tues-Fri 11-6pm; Sat, Sun 11:20-4pm

Lobster Hut
826 Bridgeport Ave
Milford, CT
203-631-2126
(Located across the street from the Land Rover dealership and Stop and Shop)

How Are You Celebrating National Hotdog Day?

Summer would not be summer for me without one grilled to plump perfection. I used to eat them way too often as a kid, annnnnnddddd I probably still do as an adult.

I prefer Hummel’s (and Hebrew National’s and Nathan’s are tied for second place when a Hummel can’t be found). And my absolute favorite way to eat one is plain, on a slightly doughy bun. Maybe that’s boring, or maybe that’s me being a purist. But, then again, cheese, chili, and bacon do bring a hotdog to a whole new level you have to respect and occasionally indulge in!

In honor of National Hotdog Day and one of my favorite foods, I give you the Windmill hotdog with Windmill’s chili (think Coney Island dogs if you aren’t familiar with this classic Connecticut food spot, which you can read more about here.) When I’m craving a hotdog this is where we go.
20140723-174531.jpgDo you want a hotdog now, cause I sure do!

What’s your favorite way to eat a hotdog?

The Windmill Tavern
400 Hollister Street
Stratford, CT
203-378-6886

CT’s FIRST Annual Foodtruck Festival Is Rolling Into North Haven July 19 & 20!

20140717-122031.jpg
This weekend head over to the North Haven Fairgrounds for Connecticut’s FIRST Annual Foodtruck Festival!!

From 11am-7pm on Saturday July 19 and Sunday, July 20 you can expect almost 50 food trucks and carts, live music, a flea market, farmer’s market, and” free fun” for the kids! To read more, check out the CT Foodtruck Festival’s Facebook page.

Admission is $5 and proceeds will help support local CT food banks.

North Haven Fairgrounds
300 Washington Avenue
North Haven, CT

*Photo from CT’s FIRST Annual Foodtruck Festival Facebook page.

Smoking It Slow and Boxing It Up Quick: Smoke Box BBQ, Hamden

20140603-145446.jpg There’s a new addition to Whitney Avenue in Hamden you should check out for lunch – Smoke Box BBQ!

20140603-145554.jpg
You’ll know you’re close to Smoke Box BBQ as you drive down Whitney Avenue because the smell of barbecue fills the air. Seriously. Just follow your nose!

I found out about Smoke Box BBQ through Instagram (check them out- @smokeboxbbq) where they regularly post pictures of daily specials and different menu combinations you can create.
<a
20140603-145544.jpg

The idea behind Smoke Box BBQ?
We chatted with the staff who explained during our visit that aside from bringing delicious slow smoked BBQ to Hamden, Smoke Box BBQ was started to supply its sister business Ordinary New Haven with BBQ when Caseus’ small kitchen (another sister establishment in New Haven) couldn’t keep up with the demand. Smoke Box BBQ slowly smokes high quality meats over oak and apple wood chips and makes all their sauces and sides from scratch. In case you haven’t guessed it yet, this is some amazing barbecue!

The Menu
20140603-145609.jpg

How does the menu work?

There are a few steps to the menu so you can customize your own smoke box, and the staff is very friendly and happy to help you figure out all your options. Also, the boxes come in two sizes – full box for $12 or half box for $9.

Step 1: Choose your meat

Smoke Box BBQ gives you the option of 3 meats:
Berkshire Pulled Pork (rubbed in Smoke Box’s “dust”, slow smoked over oak and apple wood, braised for 12 hours)

Pasture Raised Beef Brisket (rubbed in Smoke Box’s “dust”, slow smoked over oak and apple wood, braised for 14 hours)

Smoked Pulled Chicken (brined for 12 hours, rubbed in Smoke Box’s “dust”, slow smoked and roasted)

Step 2: choose how you want your meat

Once you pick your meat (or two or three), next you get to choose if you’d like the meat on Ciabatta or over BBQ Caesar Salad or hand cut fried or corn tortillas.

Step 3: choose your house made sawz (aka sauce)

North Carolina Apple Cider Vinegar
Texas Spice Sweet n’Sticky
Alabama Tangy Mustard

Step 4: choose some works

Smoke Box offers crispy slaw (a vinegar based slaw), smoked tomatoes, house pickled red onions, and smoked jalapeños, and, you ready for this bacon lovers?! – chopped crispy chicken skin bacon.

And for an additional $2 each you can add 1/2 avocado, Mystic Cheese Co. Melville cheese, or Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese.

Still looking to add some more?

Smoke Box offers corn bread, grilled mac n’cheese, and handcut fries as additional sides, and a soup of the day.

Also, you can choose from four sandwiches: Smoked Cheeseburger, Smokerito Burrito, Boom Box Bomb, and the C.S.L.T, and don’t forget the daily specials.

20140603-145619.jpg

Basically, this menu offers so many options for you to customize that you might feel slightly overwhelmed at first (we were) and then just pile on everything that sounds good (we did!). I have to admit it’ll be hard not to add the whole menu at this point to your box!

After some help from the staff, my husband and I created these two beautiful Smoke Boxes!
20140603-145803.jpg

My husband’s smoke box contained all three meats (pulled pork, beef brisket, and chicken) with all three sauces on the side over fries with Cabot extra sharp cheddar, chopped crispy chicken skin bacon, and slaw.
20140603-145827.jpg

My smoke box was made of pulled pork (sauces on the side- I had to try them all) over a Caesar salad with Cabot extra sharp cheddar, chopped crispy chicken skin bacon, avocado, and a side of grilled Mac n’Cheese piled on top. All three meats offer classic BBQ options with those housemade sauces enhancing the flavor of each. We like all three sauces -
North Carolina Apple Cider Vinegar, Texas Spice Sweet n’Sticky, Alabama Tangy Mustard – and decided it’s really a matter of preference, or you can try all three like we did.

20140603-145846.jpg

I had to include a close up of the grilled Mac n’Cheese. This was my first experience with grilled Mac n’Cheese and I don’t know what took me so long! The grill gives the Mac n’Cheese some added flavor and, most importantly, it changes the texture a little on the outside so you have the soft, gooey, cheesy macaroni inside and a slightly crunchy grilled crust on the outside.

20140603-145905.jpg
Head on over to Smoke Box BBQ and they’ll help you create your own box of barbecue goodness!
20140603-145641.jpg

Smoke House BBQ
2323 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518
203-909-6545

Washington Prime, Eating + Drinking Well Is Coming to South Norwalk!

Get ready SoNo, a new restaurant is about to open it doors! Say hello to Washington Prime, Eating + Drinking Well set to open in mid-July on Washington Street.

 

Washington%20Prime%20-%20FINAL[5]

Located in a new structure on the corner of Washington Street and Water street, Washington Prime, Eating + Drinking Well “is the collective vision” of Rob Moss, a cb5 Restaurant Group alumn, and restaurateur Marco Siguenza along with Executive Chef Jared Falco. Washington Prime, Eating + Drinking Well’s philosophy is simple, “quality food and drink presented by an attentive staff, set within a vibrant, comfortable space. No gimmicks – just honesty and creativity in their offerings and genuine hospitality at the forefront.”

Expect to see an Americana menu with cross-cultural references, “The Connecticut coastline, our combined experience, the cultural backgrounds and the desire to offer some culinary excitement to our customers is what you will see on the menu,” beams Rob. For example, “Knuckle & Claw” with Long Island lobster, Tennessee blue grits, lobster sauce, smoked butter and tobiko or the  Shrimp A La Linda (named after a local loyal customer’s favorite dish) with chili ­flakes, parsley and cognac cream sauce show the bold takes on typical dishes and big flavors you can expect to see at Washington Prime. If you’re feeling like something a little more classic,  “all the Steaks are USDA Prime Certified and aged before being placed in a 900 degree specialized broiler, allowing for that true Chicago steakhouse char.” Furthermore, the menu is almost all gluten free and noted for customer ease!

What beverages will accompany this adventurous menu? With “eating and drinking well” in the name, you can be sure Washington Prime, Eating + Drinking Well will have a thoughtful beverage program. A selection of cocktails, craft beer, spirits, and wine will be available along with Prime Martini service. The Prime Martini service “will come with a side of the guests’ choice of house made items; Blue cheese or anchovy stuffed olives, pickled pearl onions, segmented rosemary clementine, queso stuffed jalapeños, and other offerings. The martini comes with a backup refill of your gin or vodka in a chilled and non-diluted carafe, resting in an iced bath bucket at the table.”

With seating for 95, a private room available for small groups, and an outdoor area for up to 40 people, Washington Prime, Eating + Drinking Well certainly offers a comfortable place where you can enjoy a meal with small or large groups, or hang out at the bar and watch the game.

 

A mid-July opening is in the works for Washington Prime, Eating + Drinking Well.

 

 

Washington Primary, Eating + Drinking Well

141 Washington Street, South Norwalk, CT

www.washingtonprimect.com

 

 

*Rob Moss is no longer affiliated with cb5 Restaurant Group

*Marco Siguenza is no longer affiliated with Scena or 55 Degrees