Northwest Connecticut

Posted: July 12, 2012 in Destinations, Food, Food Review, General Musings, Photos, Travel

Picture it, Sicily, 1934… Well, more realistic, Connecticut, 2012. It was a beautiful sunny Wednesday afternoon with temps in the low nineties, and of course, minimal humidity.  I got the call around noon, “I’m getting out of work earlier, still want to ride?”  Hell yeah I want to ride, let’s go!

We left from Barkhamsted around 2, and almost immediately stopped at a local reservoir for a photo-op.  We didn’t take any photos, but we gained a rider at the stop.  As I pulled in to the lot I pulled along side Todd, looked up, and looked questioningly at the man across the way from me.  He stared back in much the same way (boy this post has taken a turn for the different very quickly!!!).  It dawned on both us at nearly the exact same time.  The mystery man was Carl, the brother of one of my best friends.  We invited him to join the ride, and he did.

Some of Connecticut’s best roads are supposedly in the northwest corner of the state.  We religiously followed the yellow routes as indicated on our motorcycle map of CT as some of the finest.  Whoever picks the roads for this map must not be a rider!  Are they scenic, sure.  Are they fun to ride?  Not really.  Are they well maintained?  In most cases, nope. As luck would have it, the best road on the map (route 263) wasn’t even yellow!

Difficulty and challenging these roads were not, but they did offer us a very pleasant day of riding.  We were offered the occasional twisty, but the majority of the roads allowed us to cruise and sweep.

Toward the end of the day we stopped for a rest at Reno’s Drive-Inlocated in Canton, CT (marked B On the below map). Although I wasn’t in the mood to eat too much food, I was drawn to the Reuben Dog on the menu.  After much deliberation, I ordered one up along with a coffee milkshake ($3.79).  This was to serve as a great opportunity for me to see how my Reuben Hot Dog holds up to another establishment’s Reuben Dog.  Not to sound partial, but when I was through I was convinced mine was better – but wouldn’t we all say the same?  Let me substantiate…

Reno’s Reuben Dog ($4.95, pictured below): The dog was large, the buns were slightly grilled.  I thought this hot dog was cheese weak and the dressing could have been a little heavier. The heaping pile of kraut masked the hot dog flavor – there was no balance of meat, cheese, kraut, dressing and bread in any bite. Glad I ordered it, but with so many other toppings available, one is sure to create a tastier dog than the Reuben Dog – choose from jalapenos, peppers, onions, mushrooms, cheese, bacon… you get the idea!

(Reno’s Reuben Dog)

My Reuben Hot Dog: Unfortunately I don’t have a pic so you will have to use your imagination. I will also use slightly more words…  I don’t use foot long dogs, rather I like the bun size franks. Each frank is cooked on the grill (then cut length wise if the eater prefers), then wrapped with Swiss cheese, then wrapped in Pastrami (or corned beef depending on choice). The dog is placed back on the grill for enough time to finish melting the cheese and warm the pastrami [note, the cheese will melt from the inside and out because of the heat of the cooked dog]. When cheese is melted, the dog is placed on a toasted bun, topped with Thousand Island dressing and finally given a layer of kraut. Wrapping the dog in pastrami allows for a perfect balance of meat/cheese/kraut in every bite as well as give the biter the traditional taste of a grilled Reuben with a hot dog twist. If I may be so bold, it is Reuben Hot Dog perfection for the Reuben fan!

…And back to the fun.  Carl headed on home after the stop at Reno’s.  Todd and I moved on through Granby and stopped at Cambridge Brew House for a beer and a growler. The selection of on-site brewed beers was decent; their visiting tap list was decent as well, but nothing that would entice any craft beer lover to write home. We enjoyed an IPA before ordering a growler of their summer session ale (turned out to be sub par to say the least!) and headed on our different ways home.

Overall a great day to ride, great company, decent food and good beer. Absolutely nothing to complain about!!!

Ride hard, ride safe, and enjoy every mile.

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