Tag Archives: 4 noms

Fast food, redefined – Station Eats (Filling Station), New Canaan

21 Nov

I’m just going to admit it:  I cannot live without hot dogs or burgers and I don’t care if the high-class, oh-so-sophisticated foodies knock me.  Besides, when you’re at Filling Station (now called Station Eats) it’s not your average, weak, thoughtless, passionless, grill-um-up-and-spit-um-out burger and dog shop.  This place has chops, character, and a great philosophy behind it:  eat well, eat organic, eat local.

Let me give you a play-by-play of ordering, so you don’t seem like such a noob (which I ended up seeming like ’cause I forgot.)  Take a look at the delicious menu that’s posted on the wall when you enter, order one (or more) of two sized burgers, sloppy joe, or dog by the burger presses, then step on down by the register.  When your burger or dog’s grilled, they’ll ask what toppings and sauce you’d like to add and help you to customize your own bit of nirvana.  You have an arsenal of toppings to choose from, most free, some premium at a dollar per choice.  Oh, it’s worth it.

Well, we both wanted to try the famed Fall Turkey Burger.  You’ve got free range turkey from Lancaster County, tomato, lettuce, fresh sage, thick cut bacon, smothered in a decadent and tangy cranberry aoili sauce.  FANTASTIC! Crinkle cut fries with this did the trick:  they were crispy on the outside, yet soft right in the middle.  Really good fries, and organic too.  Their burgers are fairly sized–not too big or small, just right.  By now you might realize that I can take down my food nicely, so I definitely had to order a hot dog to go with that.  I had two premium ingredients on top:  chili with beef from local and organic Wolfe’s Neck Farm and apple-braised sauerkraut.  To that I added raw onions and jalapenos. The peppers added a nice kick to the pup, the chili gave a nice meaty contrast, and the sauerkraut finished it off with an amazing bite at the end.

I was already in heaven, but you really do need something to wash all that amazing food down.  Sure, they have water, but one of their specialties here are their nice and thick milkshakes.  It just so happens that this month they have a special one that brought me to my knees upon the first sip:  pumpkin milkshake.  The shake was thick, yet very creamy.  The taste was outstanding and spot on.  Have you ever tasted a really great pumpkin pie?  Yeah, that’s this shake.  Well done, because they didn’t overpower you with too much spice.

We got to talking with Seth, one of the owners and he shared his passion for his shop and for burgers in general.  He’s been all over the country, tasting burgers whenever he can.  He has a real love of the restaurant and that exudes from him. Kristien and I talked about coming here when the shop opened when he asked if we had one of the regular burgers and he said that they’ve really been tweaking the burger recipe.  Seth asked if we’d like to try them on him, the new and improved versions.  Who are we to refuse?  Two highlights to my burger:  the fried curly onions I asked to be put on top and the fact that it was approaching medium in terms of being cooked.  That made the burger juicy, fresh, and flavorful.  Fantastic burger!

Be on the look out because Filling Station has got some great things in the works…you just might see them open up somewhere else nearby soon.  If it’s any closer than New Canaan, I might have problems.  Serious burger problems!

They definitely deserve 4.5 Noms.  This is the kind of place that you can go to time after time and still order new variations of a tried and true favorite.  I haven’t even tried their sloppy joes yet, so there’s even more reason for me to head back.

Very inexpensive, coming in at only $27! Cash or check only, btw.

Tres Leches Shake/Cinco de Mayo Burger, Caramel Sea Salt Shake/Bacon Bleu Cheese Burger,

Cap’n Crunch Shake/Guinness Chocolate Shake/Buffalo Wing Burger, Original Review

Noms:  4.5

Cost:  $$

Filling Station
Address:  19 South Avenue
New Canaan, CT 06840-5411
Phone:  (203) 966-4445
Site:  http://fillingstationco.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/fillingstationco
 
 

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The grocery store to end all grocery stores – Fairway Market, Stamford

7 Nov

We were a little hesitant to review Fairway Market after our first visit, simply for that fact that it was such a massive sensory overload, there was absolutely no way we absorbed everything in that first trip. Well, that, and it was so freakin’ busy I’m pretty sure I now know what cattle feel like when being herded through a gate.

That said, we agreed that like many Stamfordites, our first impression really would either make or break Fairway Market as our grocery store of choice.  So, for all intents and purposes, we’re just going to ignore that part about the massive crowds since that’s sure to die down in a week or two.

From the moment we walked in we were incredibly impressed by the ginormous fresh area, which you’re forced to walk through first. This unique layout reinforces their whole fresh, healthier positioning by keeping you out of the middle aisles from the start.  In the fresh area you can find every fruit or veggie you can imagine, from the average onion to the more exotic cactus pears and persimmons. Then over to their RIDICULOUS artisanal cheese selection (AKA my personal heaven), then to the fresh pastas, sauces, soups, salsas, salads, pickles, olives, hummus… holy crap! And the olive oil and vinegar section? We didn’t even know olive oil was produced in so many regions, but we darn well sampled them all at their sample bar, which led us to buy the most DELICIOUS bottle of syrupy sweet balsamic vinegar (just like it was in Italy) privately labeled for Fairway as super premium. YUM!

To add to the list of highlights was a full deli, meat market, fresh seafood counter, and bakery with fresh baked breads and sweet, sweet homemade goodies! Now, sure, all our area grocery stores have a mix of two to three of these, but NEVER all four done to the extent Fairway Market’s is! Anything you could need from any of these sections is available at your fingertips.

And, if you find yourself buying everything in site because you’re so hungry, you can stop by the intense cafe area for everything from pizza and paninis, to indian and chinese, to burgers, dogs and fries. Of course we had to get a little sometin’ sometin’ to tide us over, so we indulged in the balsamic chicken sandwich with roasted red peppers, olive oil, mozzarella, and broccoli rabe on their amazingly oooey gooey fresh baked bread.  DE-LISH!

Once we were done exploring the utopia that is the outer perimeter, we ventured into the inner aisles, for a satisfactory, but less impressive experience with the exception of these highlights:

– COFFEE PARADISE – barrels and barrels of deliciously aromatic coffee beans from all over the world armed with eager employees ready to help you choose, grind, and bag, as well as well-written signs to describe each beans’ characteristics.

– A ton of organic / natural choices in all categories, including personal care and home care.

– Fresh granola, nuts, candies, peanut butter, snack mixes, etc. ready for your bagging.

On the flip side, the layout of the inner aisles was confusing, with awkward placing of organic from traditional groceries, and the same types of food being spread out in two, sometimes three different aisles.  Assuming we can get past this strange layout with a view visits, we’re still left challenged with these three pitfalls:

– While all their fresh made and privately labeled food looks phenominal, none of it, not one thing, had the nutritional information on it. For a couple that tries to count calories (emphasis on tries) during the weekdays, this is a huge issue.

– Their selection of pet food and frozen food was very limited, which basically means we need to go to a second grocery store to finish our trip. How much is it to ask to have a ONE-STOP grocery store that has everything you need so you don’t need to waste your weekends grocery store hopping?

– And last, but not least, price. We thought Fairway Market was suppose to be significantly more affordable than Whole Foods, but, sadly it was marginally less expensive. Our bill came to $208, which is about $20 – $25 less than Whole Foods, and about $20 – $35 more than Stop & Shop.

After weighing out the good with the bad, we’re pretty sure Fairway Market makes the cut as our grocery store of choice… mainly because of the fantastic fresh areas and varieties. For this, we’re willing to pay somewhere in between fancy and traditional prices. We’ll be sure to update our blog once we’ve had a few trips under our carts… err, hats.

Address:  699 Canal St.
Stamford, CT 06902
Phone:  203.388.9815
Hours:  8AM-10PM
Site:  http://www.fairwaymarket.com/stamford.html

Fairway Market on Urbanspoon

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