As Hurricane Irma approached, I happened to have a very well-timed vacation to Simsbury, Connecticut (where my bf is from) planned weeks in advance. We had no idea the storm was coming at the time we booked, but we really got lucky to get out of Charleston before the flooding. Even though I was far away from the effects of Irma, I was still worried about the entire city of Charleston as well as my sister who currently lives in Tampa.
We arrived in Simsbury late Thursday night, which was the day that everyone already started to evacuate Charleston. For the few days that we were there, we were constantly checking the Weather Channel for updates. I never thought I would watch the Weather Channel as much as I did this weekend. I spent a lot of the time worrying about the weather, but there was also plenty of time left for eating.
Day 1: Breakfast at Brookside
Christian has been raving about Brookside bagels for some time now, so I was pumped to finally try their breakfast sandwiches/bagels. I had a BEC (bacon egg and cheese) on a cheddar everything bagel and it definitely lived up the hype. The bagel was less chewy and more tender than most, which I really liked. It was a perfect way to start off the day.
Day 1 continued: Millwright’s had us feelin’ right
On Friday night, we were treated to a dinner at Millwright’s, which is where Christian’s parents had their wedding reception 25 years ago. Millwright’s had classic pub fare along with some more fine dining items. The cocktail I had there was one of the best I’ve had in a while. It was called the Watermelon Crawl and it had fresh watermelon juice, lime, and chili vodka. I was a little nervous about the vodka flavor being too strong, but it was sweet and spicy heaven, which is my ideal drink.
For my entree, I had the swordfish with grilled vegetables topped with a basil vinaigrette. The swordfish was perfectly cooked and the grilled vegetables added a nice smokiness. We had a sweet finish to the night with Girl Scout cookie-inspired donuts. The Samoa donut was topped with caramel and coconut and the Thin Mint donut was coated in crushed up Thin Mints. Both of them were a fresh take on everyone’s favorite Girl Scout cookies.
Day 2: Irmagerd pizzurr
On day 2 we ventured to Sacred Heart University to visit Christian’s childhood/current bff. We went to downtown Fairfield for some pizza highly recommended by Christian’s friend (who’s Italian, so you gotta trust him on pizza). The pizza place was called Brick + Wood and they had a unique selection of pizza, paninis, appetizers, and desserts. We each got a personal pizza and as soon as I saw the word “Burrata” on a pizza, I knew I had to get it.
The Burrata pizza had plenty of burrata on top, which added a creaminess and freshness to the pizza. The burrata was addicting, so I finished the entire thing. I somehow saved a little room for dessert and ordered a cannoli. I have had a long time love affair with cannolis and this one reinforced it. The filling was sweet and creamy and they kept it classic, nothing fussy, which I enjoyed.
Day 3: Oktoberfest in September?
On Sunday, there was a festival going on in the center of Christian’s town called Septemberfest. It was filled with local vendors, live music, and plenty of food. The event on Sunday was called Oktoberfest (in September, yes it’s confusing), so of course we had to swing by for a beer.
We enjoyed some local IPAs (v hipster, I know) and spied a BBQ food truck from the corner of our eye. I was very curious to try barbecue made this far North, and I was pleasantly surprised. We both had a dish called the “Bear Attack,” which had cornbread, mac and cheese, and pulled pork/chicken on top. While I’ve had better barbecue, this dish made me feel like I was back home.
Day 4: Popovers and getting lost in the woods
After all our eating, we decided we should probably get some exercise. Christian told me that the hike we were going on would be about 30 minutes each way, but it ended up being a few hours. Christian led us down a different trail on the way back and we ended up getting a little lost in the woods. I was not a happy camper, but he cheered me up with food afterward, so it was ok.
For lunch after our debacle in the woods, we headed to a place called Popovers. This place had a wide variety of items from coffee to smoothies to brunchy goodness. We ended up getting steak sandwiches served on one of Popovers famous… you guessed it… popovers. The sandwich had all the goodies of tender steak, sweet caramelized onions, and earthy mushrooms. It was an addicting sandwich and it made me almost forgive Christian for getting us lost in the woods.
Rushing to the airport, sushi in belly
For our last meal, we went to grab some quick sushi before heading to the airport. While we were there and trying to rush, we discovered that our flight back to Charleston was cancelled. It was a slight relief because we didn’t have to rush to the airport anymore and we wouldn’t have to swim to our respective houses.
It was a very well timed trip to Simsbury and while I was freezing cold most of the time, I really enjoyed the food scene.