August 9, 2009

Connecticut: The Salad State

I've just returned from a glorious weekend in Connecticut with my family. Today, the weather went back to the dark/dank/dreary business we've endured so much of recently, but Friday and Saturday shined on Connecticut in all the splendor we're meant to have during the summer in New England.

It's late on a Sunday night, and I've just gotten back to Brooklyn, so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, but suffice it to say it was great to get away from it all and spend time with Mom, sister + BIL and niece.

There's a great diner nearby my parents' place, so Saturday's lunch was their "Veggie Salad," which is just a big salad with steamed vegetables on top. I smeared a side of guacamole all over it and called it a meal.

So awesome that you can get great stuff like this at diners nowadays! The guac was GOOD, too.

We spent the afternoon at Stew Leonard's, what to entertain the wee one...and the not-so-wee ones as well. I mean, there's live animals there--what's not fun about that?!

For those of you so unfortunate to be denied the glory of Stewie Lewie's, it's basically a glorified grocery store. I would rather call it an "experience," though--it's not the kind of place you go to just run in and grab a quart of milk and be done with it. No--you go in, grab a quart of milk, and see the cow too. Well, an animatronic cow. The real cows are out in the parking lot.

You can't make this stuff up!

One of the best parts of shopping at Stew Leonard's is the ice cream stand. Growing up, I knew this to be your standard vanilla and chocolate soft serve. Nowadays, however, they've upgraded to including gelato in their ice cream line-up (and local gelato at that!), so I was more than happy to enjoy a dish of coconut + some mocha-y flavor.

In the few moments when we weren't ogling the animatronics or sampling basically everything in the store (Peach cobbler! Fresh donut holes! Ceviche! Pom juice!), we did manage to pick up the fixins for some dinner, which we enjoyed on the patio, overlooking Candlewood Lake.

This is what I call "Pimp My Salad."

On a bed of greens, we have fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, three or four kinds of olives, peppadew (new favorite!), balsamic and olive oil.

And of course, a bit of red vino, what for appreciating the view a little extra.

[Contented Sigh]

Since the weather was wonk today, we hit the mall, which is pretty much an amusement park as far as a three-year-old is concerned. She and my sister rode the train around the lower level and enjoyed nearly running over many a consumer.

There's also a whole big carousel in this mall, which is pretty neat. Although I guess I wouldn't know personally--I was too busy drinking a chocolate shake.

I'm back in my concrete jungle now, and it pretty much feels like a legit jungle in my 8th floor apartment, let me tell you. Forget the farmer's market--it's so humid in here right now, I think I could probably grow my own salad between the floor boards.


Anonymous said...

I got to school in CT, can you post back to my blog with some names of your fav places to buy/eat foods! LOL. I need good/healthy restaurant and snack locations to hit up! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Stew Leonard's!

Lia said...

I didn't realize u were so near! I love Stew Leonard's too! Have you been to that raw/vegan restaurant that opened in Norwalk? It's near a tatoo parlour. Check it out if you're over there again. I haven't tried it out yet, but it is on my list. There is also The Lime? A fav of mine when I'm home!

Caroline said...

Wow, sounds like a great weekend! I wish ALL diners (ahem, even ones in Alabama) had such healthful offerings. I hope you enjoyed that chocolate shake:)

Diana said...

Lia -

I haven't been to those places in Norwalk--I should have mentioned that the Stew Leonard's mentioned here is the Danbury branch, not the one in Norwalk! Unfortunately, I don't find myself there very often and am shamefully unfamiliar with the raw/vegan/healthy options in CT.

loveprevails -

Even though I grew up in Stamford, I really don't know CT very well beyond that! Least of all the area around my parents' condo--that's a pretty recent acquisition. Sorry I'm no help!

Missy said...

That oreo cookie gelato looks amazing! Stew Leonard's sounds fun with all the animals! I love that you can get such healthy meals from diners these days too!

healthy ashley said...

Your trip sounds so nice. Glad you were able to enjoy some time with your family!

K from ksgoodeats said...

That sounds like fun!! I wish diners around here offered stuff like that - yummy salad!

elise said...

nice weekend getaway! sorry you had to return to the humid nastiness.
that is so great that diners are starting to get veg-friendly, the brocc and guac looks SUPER tasty :)

never heard of this stew place...but your niece is adorable!

VeggieGirl said...

Welcome home!! I love CT - glad you had a fun time :-)

Lainie said...

I'm assuming that's your little girl? She's beautiful! Love the "pimp my salad"...isn't fresh mozzarella the best?

Erica said...

aw- glad you had fun :) Summer in New England can be SO beautiful!! You know I am loving all of your beautiful salad (especially the one rocking the guac!) and coconut gelato sounds freaking amazing (I still haven't tried gelato!)

Thats so funny that your husband likes the bell as well. Josh has been going to CTS with his friend Jeremy (who he went with last night) since college!

Diana said...

Lainie -

Oh dear no--I love my niece very much but she is not my daughter! I am neither married nor a mother. :)