Wanderingjew's Eastern Connecticut tour in September was a rousing success, as we visited five Roadfood-reviewed restaurants, one that's not yet reviewed, and a state park. Our group ranged from five to ten at various stops, and a wonderful day of food and friendship was had by all. Above is a view of the Connecticut River from Gillette Castle (that's the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry in the water), but waaaaay before that stop, the group met for breakfast at Kitchen Little (Roadfood.com overview) in Mystic.
Dale met us at the marina, and longtime RF tour participant Waltpiii was also waiting when we pulled up. Our friend Yvel was right behind us, and Karilyn & Beth showed up halfway through breakfast. Amy & I had never been to the original Kitchen Little when it was a tiny building near Mystic center, but now its new location at Mystic River Marina affords it a much bigger dining room and unique view of the docks and boats coming and going:
Amy ordered the #16, Portuguese Benedict: Two poached eggs, spicy hot chourico patties on a Portuguese English muffin with spicy Hollandaise:
An excellent choice, though I'm always disappointed with any chourico that's advertised as "spicy," because it never really is. (This "spicy" means "not sweet," for the bland New England palate.) Same goes for the Hollandaise, which was flavorful but certainly not spicy. I ordered the #10: Spicy jalapeño cheese scrambled with eggs atop grilled corned beef hash, served with rye toast:
These eggs were amazing -- very cheesy with a solid jalapeño flavor -- but the hash looked and tasted like it was straight out of a can (you know, with that cat-food-looking texture). Which isn't necessarily bad, because I love canned hash, but I expected it to be housemade. But the menu didn't advertise it as such, so that's my mistake. Walt ordered the #11, the Portuguese Fisherman: spicy hot chourico and linguica from Fall River, scrambled with eggs, peppers, onions & jalapeño cheese in a lightly spiced sauce with a Portuguese English muffin (again, flavorful but not spicy, per se):
And Dale shared with me his omelet, one of the daily specials with bacon, avocado, tomato, and jack cheese:
All in all, we received a hearty breakfast from Kitchen Little and a friendly welcome from the owner!
We then opted to walk off those calories with a stroll around Mystic. Karilyn & Beth went ahead to Mystic Pizza for a slice, and they reported that the pizza was just average -- but the restaurant had great photos from the 1988 movie. Meeting up with Sandra, we all crossed the famous Mystic River Bascule Bridge and marvelled at each of its massive 200-ton counterweights:
We didn't eat at the Ancient Mariner, but we knew that there was a rhyme (rime?) waiting there in the title somewhere:
We love downtown Mystic, the waterfront, its shops, and its walkability. We just wish that it had better food choices (though WJ did stop for coffee at Green Marble and deemed it delicious):
After a short walk, the group sailed onward to New London and Kamp Dog (Roadfood.com overview) for our first lunch. Owner Ken Hochstetler was manning the grill, and he gave us a complimentary Frito pie for starters:
Everyone ordered hot dogs to share, and Yvel & I opted for the hottest dog of them all: dynamite sauce (Ken's version of Rhode Island's little known snack), hot sauce, and sliced jalapeños. And it was indeed HOT, but truly one of the state's finest! The New England split-top buns are grilled, and the Hummel custom beef/pork blends (probably six or seven to a pound, I reckon) are rolled around in oil on the griddle until the skins are browned. This is pure weiner bliss, folks:
Dale chose the namesake Kamp Dog with dynamite sauce, cheese & onions:
And Sandra ordered a BBQ pork slider, which she really enjoyed:
Ken told me that he had to discontinue his jarred dynamite sauce due to quality control. He was using a new manufacturing company to jar the sauce for sale, but some of the taste was lost in their preparation of his recipe -- so the jars are on hold for the time being until he can find a better prep company. Thank you, Ken, for your constant hospitality at Kamp Dog!
Next up: cornbread & chowder at The Shack, burgers at Harry's, and a stroll around Sherlock's house. Stay tuned!