Last weekend I finally got to try a couple of places locally that I've had my eye on for a while...although in no way "healthy" food it was pretty tasty and did the job. First up on Friday night was "Q" in Port Chester. I'm a bit of a bbq fan although I try and limit the amount I eat else I'd be eating it constantly and be 300 pounds by the summer...however, I've done the rounds of some of the more well-known manhattan bbq joints (daisy maes, blue smoke and RUB are particular faves) but none really in the burbs. Oh wait, I tell a lie...I once inadvertantly ate in a despicable "canteen" of a place on the stamford/darien border called "Smokey joes" I think...a complete abomination of bbq if ever I had the misfortune of tasting...disgusting food, dreadfully grilled and smoked...thrown on a plate by some faux-pit masters...be warned, never go near this bbq cess pool. Anyway, onto Q...drove there on Friday night at around 8.30. Place was hopping. Walked in and was surprised how big it was inside from what it looks like out front...quite spacious. Decor of the no-nonsense type...an "order at the front then take your seat" type system in place seemed to be working efficiently. I had no wait and myself and my wife were seated and eating within 15 mins of ordering. Went for a combo of pulled pork, chicken and smoked sausage. All were good. The chicken especially. In fact that is the best bbq chicken I've had in a long time. Loved the sauce...slightly sweet but with a nice chipotle kick at the end. The pork was juicy and flavorful, the sausage the same with the added bonus of that "pop" sound you get when you bite thru good hot dogs...all were accompanied by the house beans (excellent with bacon) and some potato salad and corn bread (salad was also very good). A substantial meal indeed. Devoured it within 15 mins I think. Washed down with a cold "dogfish 60 min IPA" (kudos to Q for their craft beer selection). All in all I'd give it 7.5/10 which ain't bad on my bbq scale and means I shall be returning to try the ribs and see if they truly do know what good bbq is.
Onto the Saturday...lazy day and a pizza longing. Into the car and up to Frank Pepe;s in Fairfield. Now, I love the one in New Haven, in my top 3 of best ever pizza (alongside Grimaldis and Arturos in Brooklyn and the city respectively). Wanted to try the new outpost. Got there about 8pm and seated right away. The place was half full which surprised me a little considering the Pepes in NH is always jammed with lines around the block. This had me worried a little. And my fears were growing when it became apparent the service was not exactly what it should be. You know the situation...a place half full with about 5 servers floating around seemingly busy but not actually serving anyone. This went on for about 20 mins (!) when I finally grew increasingly annoyed and got out the booth and went round to the cash register to grab someone...only then did I get my order taken. That to me is unacceptable...but anyway, 2 tomatoe based small pies were ordered and 20 mins later out they popped hot and fresh. I had sausage and peppers, my wife had mozz and pepperoni. Both were delicious. I have to say they lived up to my previous experience in NH. Crust is fantastic...beautiful charring...just enough...on the heavy side but that's how I like it...sauce superb with a lovely tang to it. Sausage and pepperoni both tasty and not at all like some of the processed meats you'll find on inferior versions...big thumbs up for the pizza. Thumbs down for the service. But I will be back! It's worth the wait imo. Now back into the gym...:(