Plan B Burger Bar asks, tongue in cheek, “Can you beat our meat?” Lolz. But, taking things to a more serious level, we love us some burgers. Heck, we’re even in the middle of our Burger a Day in the Month of May post. And there, on May 11 is Plan B. While they haven’t done anything specific for National Burger Month, they have planned quite the event for National Hamburger Day, May 28.
Community Plates started January 2011 in Norwalk, rescuing food from restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores that would otherwise hit a landfill. Then, from there, volunteers would deliver the food to local shelters and food kitchens throughout Fairfield County. As time went on, the restaurants and stores started to add up, so did the food collected, and so did the volunteers.
The Community Plates mission only grew from there, with them expanding their food rescuing through volunteerism into Columbus, Ohio and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Getting food onto the plates of the hungry is no easy feat, but the GoRescue app that they developed has made it easier. In fact, in under two years, they have rescued over one million meals that were transferred to over 300 volunteer drivers who then delivered them to over 40 receiving agencies. Now New Haven is on board, too, helping the food insecure. Executive Director Kevin Mullins explains why New Haven was an ideal location: “We selected New Haven as our next launch site due to the high incidence of food insecurity and proximity to our headquarters in Fairfield County, but those were not the only reasons. We are about communities helping their own communities, and New Haven has a rich tradition in grassroots organizations which is critical in this first phase as we sign up volunteer food runners, food donors and receiving agencies. We just knew this was the right place.”
New York has its food truck festivals, Boston, has its food truck festivals, and now Connecticut has a major festival, too. Let’s count ‘em: 15-25 food trucks from Connecticut and surrounding states will show up at the Westbrook Tanger Outlets on 4/27-4/28. Plus, Westbrook Assistant Manager David DelVecchio says he’ll be updating the list (we’ll update for you, too) every few days as Food Trucks 2 Go brings new trucks in. There is absolutely no fee for attending, so you can use that saved dough to pig out. Here is the list as of 4/7:
The food trucks will be there for om noming from 11 am to 6 pm and there will be lots of live music to provide a soundtrack for your gorging pleasure. We’re talking The Red Hill Rockers, The Sin Sisters, The Shiney Lapel Trio, and others. There will also be live cooking demos from Clarke, Kitchen Aid, Soda Stream, Williams Sonoma, Chef Kashia, and lots more.
Our obsession with Restaurant.com (not Restaurants.com) started years ago when we’d shell out $5 and get a $50 pass to restaurants. The amount of money we saved was awesome and we continue to check this site when we want to save some major dinero. We use it for local restaurants and especially when we’re on vacation and want to find a quick, inexpensive meal.
Chef’s Special Roll, Crispy Melt Goat Cheese Roll, and Crunchy Wasabi Tuna Roll at Bambou in Greenwich
It works pretty easily: enter the city and state where you want a certificate then select the restaurant. The most common option that you’ll see is pay $10 for a $25 certificate, but sometimes there will be bigger incentives like $20 for $50, $30 for $75, or even $40 for $100. Before you purchase your certificate, just make sure that there aren’t any terms of the agreement that won’t work for you such as, “Only includes lunch,” or “No dinner on Saturday.” Also, pay close attention to the fine print because some have an order minimum or some include a tip into the amount of the bill automatically.
One of the first things we do when we’re looking for a restaurant to hit up is check to see if it’s on OpenTable. In just a few clicks you can see lots of restaurants in your area that are taking reservations. From there, you can click on a restaurant, enter in your party size and time, then you’re on your way to booking your table. You could even play restaurant roulette and enter a party size, date, and time and see which restaurants in the area have tables nearby.
Dino Poutine is killer, unique to Dinosaur Stamford
Recently, we used OpenTable to get ourselves some nice seats at Bar Sugo in Norwalk and Dinosaur Bar-b-que in Stamford. Plus, we can’t tell you how easy this site makes vacation planning. And, wouldn’t you know it, Dan’s Prius has OpenTable built into it?
When you show up for the reservation, make sure you give your name and they check you in before you find your seat. At most restaurants you’ll earn 100 points for each time you show up and dine out. There are even some restaurants on the site that will earn you 1,000 points for honoring your reservation. When you reach 2,000 points you’ll be sent a $20 gift certificate usable at any OpenTable restaurant.
Here are just some of the OpenTable restaurants that you could hit up in just Connecticut:
Food trucks are awesome…it’s been scientifically proven. Food+Fast+Fun=Major Noms. See? And, when it comes to food trucks, we’ve seen so many: meatballs, crepes, lobster rolls, grilled cheese sandwiches, breakfast food, burritos, waffles, and oysters. Oysters?
Yes, oysters. But, we’re not talking about your regular kind of food experience here. We’re talking about an oyster bar aboard Laurel, America’s oldest oyster boat. She was built in 1891 and was about to be destroyed when her savior, Jean Paul Vellotti, came along. He was on assignment, taking photos for Whole Foods when he climbed on board Laurel to capture that perfect shot. Instantly, he felt a connection with her and felt how sad it would be if this boat was destroyed. Not too long after this, Jean Paul (born in East Norwalk, now in Westport) made an offer on the boat and saved over 100 years of history from being written off the earth.
Since purchasing Laurel, Jean Paul continues extensive work at a New Haven dock to ensure that his ship can make the same legendary trips that she used to make. Years ago, The Laurel harvested countless oysters and took them to ports along Long Island Sound, the Great Peconic Bay, the Great South Bay, New York Harbor, and even Delaware Bay. While there are no plans right now to take Laurel on oyster bar trips to Maryland, there are definitely plans to hit up lots of spots locally. Here’s their current schedule:
It’s a scientifically proven fact that chili makes the world a better place. In the case of Branford, that’s even more true. Chili is bringing the community together with the first annual Chili Challenge for a Cause event. Restaurant owners, chefs, organizations, and locals are all putting together their killer concoctions in hope of winning the title of “Best Chili in Branford” but also getting some serious dough for their own charity. Susan at the Chamber of Commerce told us that she can still add some chefs to the contest, so if you’re in, e-mail her.
On March 23 from noon to 3 pm you need to hit up Branford Green on Main Street to be a part of the action. For $10 you’ll get a wristband that lets you taste as much chili as you can take. You’ll also be given a ballot which you’ll use to vote in your favorite chili!
Have you wanted to explore the restaurants in New Haven, but really haven’t had the time or you’re not sure where to start? Look, we know…it’s overwhelming! There are so many, so it could be difficult to find just one to dine at. Well, boy do we have a nice solution to this problem: a new culinary colossus startup that has just hit up New Haven, Dishcrawl. Right now, there are Dishcrawlers in San Fran, NYC, Montreal, Ottawa, San Jose, Philly, DC, and even more places.
Dishcrawl New Haven’s goal is to help you to find, explore, and taste new restaurants in and around the Historic 9th Square District. They’ll bring together a group of hungry nomers, then will visit four different restaurants in one night. When you go from place to place, you’ll taste what makes the restaurant so great, and you’ll also get a chance to meet the chefs and owners. Here’s the kicker, you won’t know which four restaurants will be participating until 48 hours before the event! Why? Because the point is being adventurous and trying new things! We love it. They will offer up some hints about where you might be going, though, on their Twitter account.