Ted's, Broad St., Meriden--That IS a mighty good steamed cheeseburger. I'm a little baffled as to why a lump of steamed meat with a flop of white cheese on top can be so tasty, even to one who isn't a burger fanatic.
O'Rourke's, Main St., Middletown--unclassifiable diner. Everyone knows about it already but I went there for the first time this weekend. Has good coffee, great buckwheat pancakes, crispy home fries, and a host of foofy omelets. I doubt there is anywhere else (outside NYC, perhaps) where you can read the words "duck confit" while sitting in an old train car. I'm told O'Rourkes has good steamed cheesies too but they don't serve lunch on the weekends.
Little Tibet, down Main St. from O'Rourke's, Middletown--I thought it was quite good, having never been to Tibet. Or China, for that matter. Forgive me for likening these to Chinese dishes, but it's expedient. I had a dish very similar to pork lo mein, whose name I can't recall, that burst with pork and veg flavors. DH had a chicken dish that resembled sweet & sour Chinese style, but was much less sweet and more flavorful. It came with "steamed bread," my first exposure thereto. This presents the appearance of dough, but the texture of bread. Very peculiar to this ugly American's eyes, but also delicious and perfect for sopping up sauce.
Eli Cannon's, across Main Street from Little Tibet, Middletown--A bar and grill. We didn't eat there but enjoyed the big beer list and exhausting decor (think old barber chairs and old TV's showing "Land of the Lost.")
All four of these places are on our "keeper list" for future road trips.