Re: Connecticut grinders

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Gary MorinGary Morin
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A coworker showed me this Instagram:

 

[link src=https://instagram.com/ctfoodlovers/]https://instagram.com/ctfoodlovers/

 

… Yeah. Enjoy drooling over that. I hadn’t planned to eat out for lunch today, but I buckled to the pressure of all those delicious images. I also realized that I hadn’t had a proper Italian grinder in a while, so I spontaneously decided to head to one of the few places in those photos that was close to the office: Hall’s Market in West Hartford.

 

They seem to have recently redone their storefront. I neglected to get a picture of that, and this is the only one I can find – it’s so new that even Street View on Google Maps hasn’t caught up yet.

 

 

I’ve remembered what some in this thread have said about getting grinders at neighborhod grocery stores back in the day, and how that used to be the rule, not the exception. Today, it’s mostly dedicated grinder/pizza shops, but there are some small grocers left; they seem to lie on a spectrum between being a balanced market/grinder operation (Hall’s) and being so weighted toward grinders that the rest of the store is almost perfunctory now (Carbone’s). There are also stores like Krauszer’s that are more like convenience stores than actual grocers.

 

Hall’s is a small, charmingly cramped, clean-feeling place. There’s a butcher counter at the back and a deli counter on the right, hidden behind tall shelves as you walk in.

 

 

Salads galore!

 

 

And other things.

 

 

 

The Italian combo was a stunningly reasonable $5.99. I also picked up some macaroni salad, as I am a macaroni salad fiend.

 

Their packaging is very polished. Though I like old-timey places that are very basic about that sort of thing, I also appreciate places that make some extra effort in their presentation.

 

 

I had been a bit worried that the price would reflect a meager filling, but the bag seemed weighty enough, and indeed it turned out I was being silly.

 

 

Salami, capicola, pepperoni, provolone… and then three key things: red onions, balsamic vinegar, and pepperoncini.

 

 

Each of those latter three items possessed a bold, distinctive flavor that both competed with and complemented the salty spicy meats. They were so good, in fact, I almost fear that any Italian grinder I have after this will feel insufficient without them.

 

I was so focused on the filling that, late into the eating, I had to try and focus on the bread. It was a light, chewy grinder roll with significantly more character than the basic white platforms I’ve seen elsewhere, but it was perhaps not as impressive as the rest of the sandwich.

 

 

I enjoyed how the labeling on the mac salad container was different from the sandwich bag and the storefront, but no less polished.

 

 

It didn’t jump out at me, but for some reason I found it difficult to stop eating. It had just enough herbs and bits of veggies to keep things interesting.

 

 

Purely in terms of the grinder, I would place Hall’s Market at the upper end. They could have charged $2-3 more for what I g,8,752482.028001001001001001001003001001001001001001,14,132491,170.163.27.226
815663,814422,815657,2015-08-13 14:29:26.307000000,Re: Home built fryers.”

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