Short Connecticut Trip

Holly and I hadn’t taken a trip together since we went to Baltimore this time last year. A big reason for this lack of travel has been my getting settled in my new job. Fortunately, we had been enticed to remedy this problem by an invitation to our friends’ engagement party in New Haven, CT.

Not surprisingly, Holly, who is originally from the west coast, had never been to Connecticut. However, I had never been there either, which is surprising considering I have been to every other New England state. I somehow managed to work my way around Connecticut with the exception of passing through it on a train to Boston.

Although the trip was short (we went up on a Saturday and came home Sunday), we enjoyed New Haven and had a great time seeing our friends. Unfortunately, our train broke down on the way there. We made it in time for the party, but we had been counting on having a few hours for exploring. The ride home passed without incident, so now we know how easy getting to New Haven can be, and we’re already talking about going back another time so our friends can show us around.

When we made our travel plans, we allowed ourselves some time Saturday morning to still get to the Rittenhouse Square Farmers Market. Since we were going to be away for the weekend, we didn’t get much. Mainly, we just picked up some fresh veggies. We had been wanting to get some tomatoes from Happy Cat Farm which is a fairly new vendor to the market, so we made sure to at least get a small container from them before the summer winds down. We brought home these beauties:

Tomatoes from Happy Cat Farm

Tomatoes from Happy Cat Farm

Knowing that we didn’t have any eating plans until after we were to arrive in New Haven, we decided to get a couple bagel sandwiches from Spread Bagelry. Occasionally, we do get something from them on Saturdays since their shop is close to the farmers market. We were VERY glad we got something to bring with us for the trip because after the train broke down, we were stuck on the tracks for about three hours. We both got our usual favorite, the frittata scramble with eggs, tomato, smoked bacon, cheddar and Amish jam.

A Frittata Scramble but not either of the ones we took on the train.

As I mentioned, we had been hoping to have some time before the party and had been thinking about trying some famous New Haven pizza, but we had to be satisfied with our bagel sandwiches. The pizza will have to wait for another trip.

At the party, our hosts provided plenty of tasty treats, including a spread with a selection of cheeses, raw vegetables with dip, olives, almonds and crackers. Soon after, trays of hors d’oeuvre circulated with falafel, spring rolls, crab fritters, and salmon. The bar had a nice selection of beers and wines, and Holly and I tried martinis made with Green Hook gin, which we had tasted once before but never had in a cocktail. The gin is made with organic, New York State wheat, Tuscan Juniper, coriander, chamomile, elderflower, citrus, Thai Blue ginger, Ceylon cinnamon, Orris root and elderberry, so suffice it to say the martinis were interesting. We enjoy a variety of gin and are fond of complex, herbal gin for simple cocktails like martinis which let the gin flavor dominate.

Green Hook martinis

The next morning, we had a delicious breakfast at Heirloom, the restaurant at The Study at Yale where we were staying. I had the steel cut oats with brown sugar and berries, and Holly had the blueberry pancakes.

Ssteel cut oats with brown sugar and berries

Steel cut oats with brown sugar and berries

Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry Pancakes

 

Thankfully, the train ride home was uneventful and on-time. Although we knew we would be home in time to cook dinner, we also knew we would most likely be too tired to make anything, so we planned on going to Rex1516 to finally try their pit beef sandwich. They have had the pit beef as a Sunday dinner special for a while. Despite how often we go to Rex, we don’t usually get there on Sundays for anything other than the occasional brunch. But the circumstance was a perfect opportunity to get there for dinner.

The pit beef was all we hoped it would be. The meat was perfectly tender, and the horseradish sauce and raw onions were ideal complements.

Pit Beef at Rex1516

Pit Beef at Rex1516

Because we were going to be away for most of the weekend, we both decided to take Monday off to relax and recover. We took the chance to try Dan Dan, a new restaurant close to us that specialized in Sichuan and Taiwanese foods. Of course, we tried the Dan Dan Noodles, which were perfectly chewy with a spicy sauce and ground pork. We also had pork served with long hots and fish in a fermented black bean sauce. We had been wanting to go ever since it opened (which was only a month or so ago), but we were glad we waited because they just got their liquor license, so we were able to wash our meal down with some beers from their small but interesting selection, including a Workhorse IPA from Laurelwood Brewing and a Sorachi Ace from Brooklyn Brewing. It was a great treat for a day off, and we’re looking forward to trying it for dinner.

Dan Dan Noodles at Dan Dan

Dan Dan Noodles at Dan Dan

Since we had a big lunch, we had a simple dinner of Caprese.

Caprese

Caprese

It was a great long weekend, and we were thrilled to travel again even though it was a short trip.

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