Build some Tex-Mex at Moe’s Southwest Grill


We typically stay away from reviewing chain restaurants in Connecticut but Moe’s Southwest Grill inspired us to “break the mold.”  Imagine a Taco joint that functions like a typical Subway restaurant.. You can design your own Tex-Mex dish with a variety of toppings. Sounds like a delicious combination, right? Consumers love choice, especially when it comes to food. If you travel to West Hartford, Glastonbury or any of Moe’s 358 locations across the United States, you can try this unique style. We stopped by Moe’s in Glastonbury to measure the hype. Here’s the verdict:

Moe’s Southwest Grill

Overall Grade: B

Locations: 54 Memorial Road, West Hartford, CT

   30 State House Square, West Hartford, CT

2450 Main Street, West Hartford, CT

 Website Menu

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Chain rating system: We have to change the rating system up for chain restaurants because you cannot apply some factors to an entire chain. We cannot rate the service of the restaurant because it may not apply to other Moe’s restaurants. We also cannot rate the atmosphere of the restaurant for the same reason. Chain restaurants differ in their physical and psychological makeup. We can rate the ingredients, variety, price and portions because these factors are universal.  We will also start to reward extra credit to any restaurant or establishment if we find they earn it.

Ingredients: 9/10-The “ingredients” category substitutes taste because you cannot apply the taste of dishes at one restaurant to every restaurant in a chain.  Ingredients, however, are generally consistent throughout chains. You can add fresh meats like grilled chicken, grilled steak, pulled pork and bacon to your dish. You get real pieces of meat with your order. These pieces don’t take on a rubbery facade like the meats at some restaurants.  The tomatillo salsa and kaiser salsa actually provide a “kick” to them.  The actual spice distinguishes Moe’s from other Tex Mex restaurants. We especially recommend the roasted corn pico de gallo and guacamole because they’re a flavorful combination for your taste buds.  For more ingredients, check out-http://www.moes.com/food/ingredients/

Variety: 8/10-Moe’s has a limited variety on their menu. They offer a small variety of burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, salads, fajitas and rice bowls.  But what Moe’s lacks in variety they make up for in their ingredients. You can  customize these menu items with seemingly numerous combinations. Your ability to customize distracts from Moe’s small menu items.

Price: 6/10-Moe’s prices would be fine for a sit-down restaurant like Chili’s but they’re steep for a fast food joint. For example, you will spend over $3 for a taco you’d pay $1 for at Taco Bell.  For small two tacos, one taco salad, two drinks and a small side of chips, we paid over $20. If you replicated this order at Taco Bell, you’d spend half this amount. You also have to spend extra for toppings Tex-Mex lovers crave like guacamole. This seems like a clever way for Moe’s to garner more money out of hungry people’s pockets.  But to be fair, Moe’s subtracts $.50 to $1.00 for every additional taco you buy,

Portions: 7/10-You would think that bigger prices mean bigger portions, but, not at Moe’s. If you order a small taco, you can barely fit the ingredients inside.  This limits the costumer from fully taking advantage of their customization privileges. If you wanted to fill your taco with all the ingredients listed above, they would overflow onto your plate. I found this happened with my taco.

Extra Credit: +3-We reward Moe’s with  a few extra credit points for the customization style. They distinguish themselves from other Tex-Mex restaurants by allowing customers this level of choice.

In a nutshell: 33/40-Moe’s scores a solid B. We recommend you visit Moe’s for their unique style and admirable selection of ingredients. Just be prepared to spend a little more than you’d expect to at a fast food restaurant.

Dinner and a Movie at Gilson Cafe Cinema in Winsted


EVERYTHING about Gilson Cafe Cinema in Winsted excited us.  When we learned a dinner and movie cinema existed in Connecticut, we felt elated.  We thought once we visited old fashioned theaters and drive-ins, we were entrepreneurs of the “classic” movie-going experience. Boy were we naive! This cafe cinema has existed in the heart of Winsted for the past twenty-five years.  Twenty-five years ago, Alan Nero, a former firefighter, converted this abandoned vaudeville theatre into a movie house complete with two screens and a built-in restaurant.  Our hopes were high for Gilson Cafe Cinema.   This is how our night panned out-

Gilson Cafe Cinema

Overall Grade: B

Location: 345 Main Street, Winsted, CT

Website Menu

Type of movies: Occasionally current

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Atmosphere: 9/10-When we arrived in Winsted, we were immediately reminded of Northampton. No, Winsted center is not as big or flashy but it comes equipped with plenty of quaint shops, hole in the wall restaurants and historic buildings that somehow age with grace.  Gilson scheduled a jazz band to perform after the movie but canceled at the last minute. This band might have echoed the building’s vaudeville days.  The movie house provides a retro vibe with its retro wall colors, comfy seats and old fashioned movie screens. Our tables, however, stood no taller than a standard footstool.  We had to hunch over to eat our food.

Service: 9/10-Service was fast.  The waitress provided our meal within the first fifteen minutes of the movie.  She also brought us our check before the movie ended.  It was kind of distracting to see waiters/waitresses walking around the theatre during the movie.  We thought  this protocol make might work better if the servers brought the food BEFORE the movie started and left a large pitcher of water on the tables.  Come to think of it, we would have liked it if our tables stood taller than foot stools.

Price of Food: 3.5/5  Don’t be fooled by the seemingly cheap prices on the menu! You don’t get a lot for your money.  Our $6.50 meals came with small sandwiches and a handful of chips.  If our meals came with larger portions, the price would match.  Unfortunately, our meals were no more filling than a snack off the dollar menu at a fast food restaurant. We recommend you eat at one of the nearby hole in the walls before you are seated for your movie.

Taste: 7/10-The taste of our meals left much to be desired.  By that phrase, we mean we took a bite out of mediocrity-it wasn’t particularly good or bad.  The taste lacked complexity and failed to differentiate from a typical movie theatre snack.  We failed to see why we shouldn’t be eating popcorn or candy.  Perhaps we ordered the wrong items or caught the chefs on a rushed day. We are open to broadening our horizons and re-evaluating this category.

Price Of Movie:  5/5-Gilson Cinema Cafe charges $7.50 per movie ticket!  Most movie theaters charge upwards of $10+ dollars. AMC Loews charges around that amount for college students… but only on Thursdays.  Bowtie Cinemas charges $8.50 for students with a college ID.  Gilson’s charges never waiver.  You pay for great sound quality and a large screen with Cinema-quality graphics.

In a nutshell: 33.5/40-Gilson Cafe Cinema left us with mixed emotions.  We valued Gilson’s historical significance, great movie ticket prices and fine staff.  However, we strongly believe that if Gilson adds variety to its menu and larger portions for the price, it will find more success as a dinner + movie venue.  We recommend you visit for the low ticket price, great sound quality and the historical experience.  You might also want to check out the jazz band (and other musical performances) if you stop by on a Saturday night.

Gilson Cafe Cinema on Urbanspoon

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CT Snapshot Plus-Alive in Northampton Center


Sometimes you want to get away from Connecticut but you don’t want to travel far. We totally understand.  We love Connecticut. We love discovering new places.  BUT it’s nice go on a road trip every once in awhile.  Our CT Snapshot Plus reviews will take you just beyond Connecticut for some weekend fun.  We recommend you experience Northampton, MA, a college town that never sleeps!  Northampton Center is full of many restaurants, stores, museums, clubs, ect.  You’ll never run out of things to do!   While you’re there, you might want to check out Amanouz Cafe and The Roost.

 Amanouz Cafe

Grade:  A

Location: 44 Main Street, North Hampton, MA

Website, menu

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Atmosphere: 9/10-  Amanouz Cafe serves Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine (you probably deduced that from picture above).  This cafe stands out because it rests in the sea of many Mexican and Asian hole in the walls on the strip.  Don’t get us wrong, those places look amazing but we like taking chances with new, authentic foods. Amanouz’ interior looks cute on the inside with a few Moroccan paintings/sculptures mounted to the walls.  But seating is limited and we were stuck in a table for two next to a fridge.  Amanouz would benefit from  more Moroccan decorations and another table or two outside.

Service: 9/10-Amanouz is partially self-serve and partially traditional.  You pay for your food upfront so you are not required to tip (if you love your meals, however, we recommend you do so!). You also handle your own silverware and can refill water via a dispenser. The tap water does not taste that great.  The cooks will serve you your meals in wooden pots and tinfoil wrappers. We didn’t have to wait long for our meals!

Price/Selection:  10/10-Amanouz Cafe offers large portions at an incredibly affordable price.  We’re not messing around here.  The highest price on the menu is 11.95!  The menu provides a wide variety of Moroccan and Mediterranean dishes.

 Taste:  9.5/10- Three words: delicious, authentic, savory.  You will likely enjoy both the quantity and the quality of your dishes.  Your meals are filling, so filling in fact that you’ll have to walk a few blocks to work off those satisfying calories. Your taste buds will thank you for complimenting them with a diversity of spices and juices.  We recommend you try the tagine, a traditional Moroccan dish and the honey battered crepes.  “tajine, or tagine (Berbertajin), is a Berber dish from North Africa, that is named after the special earthenware pot in which it is cooked. A similar dish, known as tavvas, is found in the cuisine of Cyprus. The traditional tajine pot is formed entirely of a heavy clay, which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts: a base unit that is flat and circular with low sides, and a large cone or dome-shaped cover that sits on the base during cooking. The cover is so designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving”  (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/tagine).

In a nutshell-37.5/40-Overall, Amanouz scores a 94% for its incredible price and bold taste.  There aren’t too many Moroccan restaurants in New England so Amanouz also scores high for daring to be different in a town immersed by Asian and Mexican cuisine.

The Roost

Grade: A

Location: 1 Market,  Northampton, MA

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The Roost is a very unique cafe and deserves a unique rating scale.  Check our top four reasons why you should visit The Roost in Northampton, MA!

4.  The Price/selection-9/10

 The Roost boasts a competitive price compared to cafes in Connecticut like Starbucks and Gloria Jeans.  We wouldn’t call it cheap, but it’s “cheaper” than its competitors. You get your money’s worth in proportion size.  You can also choose from soups, salads and sandwiches. We didn’t get a chance to try those but you might want to if you stop by for lunch or an early dinner.  From a glance, the prices appear to rival Panera Bread and Atlanta Bread in those categories.

Good for dates/friends-9.5/10

Whether you’re with friends or lover(s), The Roost is a great place to hang.  The wooden interior projected a log cabin vibe that many stores in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont do.  You never feel like you’re in an establishment restaurant.  You can lose track of time sitting down, conversing or playing board games and still leave before it closes.  Yes, unlike cafes Connecticut, the Roost stays open well into the night!

2.  All nat-ural-9/10

The Roost offers an all-nat-ural feel to its cafe drinks.  Our drinks tasted freshly brewed, blended with mouth watering mocha, vanilla or chocolate.   These specialty drinks prove superior to the the powdery mixes you’ll overpay for at Dunkin Donuts.

1. The Games!-10/10

The Roost offers a variety of board games! You can pick one off the shelf and play for as long as you’d like.  We played Scategories and noticed that the board and the game pieces, though slightly aged,  were still in great shape!  If you plan on staying for awhile, you might want to play a few.  We recommend leaving your names on the scorecards…for historical purposes.  Also, we think it’s part of the traveler’s code.

In a nutshell-37.5/40-The Roost scores an A for its great taste…in drinks, food and board games!  If you’re looking for a place to lose track of time and not pay any attention to your weeknight schedule, we highly recommend you check this place out.  Once you enter The Roost…you’re bound to stay for a drink…maybe two drinks…some food…a conversation…and a plethora of board games!

Amanouz Cafe on Urbanspoon

the Roost on Urbanspoon

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Jerry Springer, Maury And Steve Wilkos in Stamford, CT!


Chances are, you’ve seen Jerry Springer, Maury or Steve Wilkos on TV when you were channel surfing one weekday afternoon.  Maybe you watched a few minutes or the full show.  We know- every episode has the same concept.  But it could be fun to see live.  Speaking of which…these shows film in Stamford, CT!  Better yet, they’ll send you tickets for free.  We plan to visit these shows sometime in the near future..  If you want to check out these shows before we do, check out the links below.

The Jerry Springer Show 

Tickets: http://www.jerryspringertv.com/get_tickets.php

Location: Rich Forum Theater, 307 Atlantic Street, Stamford, CT

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Maury Show

Tickets: http://www.mauryshow.com/get_tickets.php

307 Atlantic Street, Stamford, CT

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Steve Wilkos Show

Location:  307 Atlantic Street, Stamford, CT

Tickets: http://www.stevewilkos.com/tickets

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Farmington Mini Golf & Icecream Parlor


The warmer weather reminds us that spring is right around the corner.  This means it’s time to get organized, start exercising and have fun outside!  But let’s be honest. You probably get organized for about a day, join the gym for about a week and claim you’re having “fun”  by following the same routine you did during the winter. Or maybe, just maybe, you decide to go mini golfing with your friends, family or significant other.  Over the course of spring and summer, CT will review Connecticut’s best and worst miniature golf courses.

Farmington Mini Golf & Ice Cream Parlor

Overall Grade: A-

Location:  1048 Farmington Ave.  Farmington, CT

Open:  late March, early April

Course: 10/10-  Since 1962, Connecticutians have flocked to this establishment for traditional miniature golf and an old time ice cream parlor in a “beautiful park like setting.”  The course spans through a windmill, a castle,  a well, a church, a small pond and several winding holes.  This fifty-year-old course has aged well, as the Guglielmo family and their staff spend a considerable amount of time maintaining it.  Although the course boasts a challenging par of 48, you’ll have a lot of fun trying to conquer it. If you master this course, you might want to sign up for their tournament in late August.  The top five finishers win a cash price of $15-$100.  If you have children under the age of 10, you can visit their annual Easter tournament.  During the month of October, customers of all ages can enjoy Haunted Mini Golf.  The staff revamps the course with spooky decorations.

Service: 10/10-I worked at Farmington Mini Golf from 2009-2010 so I know how dedicated the staff are to their customers.  To work at this establishment, you must be fast and efficient.  I worked as a server in the ice cream parlor and the place was always buzzing with customers. I couldn’t keep up with the weekend crowd so I decided my time was better suited a customer.  The current employees are fast and dependable.

Price of Course: 9/10  $6 before 6 PM,  $8 after 6 PM.  $3.00 repeat games before 6 PM.  We recommend you play before 6 PM so you can take advantage of the $9 for two game deal.  Think about it.  That’s only a dollar more than you would pay for a night game.

Price of Ice Cream Parlor:  2.5/5- The ice cream parlor loses points on price because the price you have to pay for a scoop of ice cream is dependent on the amount it weighs. Generally, a small cup of ice cream (one tennis ball sized scoop) costs around $3.25!  An two additional scoops are the size of golf balls (they’re added to the tennis ball scoop) and run from $4-$5!  To give you an idea of how ridiculous this is, you can buy a pint of Haagen-Dazs ice cream for $4.75 at your local price chopper. Haagen-Dazs price ranks up there with Ben & Jerry’s.  Yet, you will find more than one tennis ball sized scoop inside!  If you want toppings, you’ll have to spend an additional $0.25 to $0.50.  At Friendly’s, you can have a dinner, and medium sized Sunday for drink $9.99.  If ordered ice cream with toppings for just you and a friend, you would actually spend more than that amount.

Selection/Taste:  4.5/5- If you happen to have a considerable amount of money and you’re really craving ice cream, you can choose from a wide selection of ice cream that actually tastes pretty delicious.  Our top five flavors include:  Kahlua chocolate chunk, cherry moose tracks, cowabunga crunch, extreme chocolate and black raspberry.  If you win Farmington Mini Golf’s August tournament, you can afford to buy the ice cream for all of your friends!

In a nutshell: 36/40- We recommend you visit Farmington Mini Golf & Ice Cream Parlor for their traditional style mini golf, great service and fun special events.  Since 1962, Farmington Mini Golf & Ice Cream has provided the residents of Farmington, and the Greater Hartford area, with enough Spring and Summer fun to keep you coming back again and again.  We recommend you visit this establishment during the day to take advantage of their $9 deal for two games and only buy their ice cream if you have a surplus of money.

Cook It Yourself!-Asian edition. Chef Chris Prosperi’s Pad Thai recipe


You don’t feel like going out to eat but you still want to try something delicious and exotic.   We’ve been there before and we recommend you cook it yourself!  If you’re one for experimentation, we recommend you visit A Dong supermarket on 160 Shield Street in West Hartford.  This is  Connecticut’s best Asian supermarket. But what should you buy?  In November 2008, Chef Chris Prosperi of Metro Bis in Simsbury visited Newington’s Lucy Robbins Welles library and shared some of his tastiest recipes.  His Pad Thai recipe proved to be the tastiest.  You can buy all of these ingredients at A Dong Supermarket.

Pad Thai by Chef Chris Prosperi (makes 2 servings)

Pad Thai Sauce

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Pad Thai by Chef Chris Prosperi (makes 2 servings)

Pad Thai Sauce

1 bottle Mae Ploy chili sauce for chicken
2 ½ cups sugar
3 cups water
½ cup fish sauce
3 cups white vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepot over medium heat and bring to a simmer for two minutes. Let cool and store in the refrigerator.

Pad Thai

1 package medium rice noodles
1 pound chicken thinly sliced
4 eggs
1 cup Pad Thai Sauce
1 12-ounce package mung bean sprouts
1-bunch scallions chopped
½ cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
1 lime cut into quarters

How to Cook it: Soak the noodles in warm water for 30 minutes and then drain. Heat the oil in a wok or large sauté pan and then add chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Crack the eggs into the pan and stir-fry until they are cooked and scrambled. Add 6 ounces of pad Thai sauce and bring it to a vigorous boil. Add a good hand full of noodles and cook until the pant starts to dry. Fold in the bean sprouts and scallions. Serve with sliced lime and toasted chopped peanuts.

A. Combine all ingredients in a saucepot over medium heat

B. bring to a simmer for two minutes.

C. Let cool and store in the refrigerator.

                                                         Pad Thai

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Pad Thai by Chef Chris Prosperi (makes 2 servings)

Pad Thai Sauce

1 bottle Mae Ploy chili sauce for chicken
2 ½ cups sugar
3 cups water
½ cup fish sauce
3 cups white vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepot over medium heat and bring to a simmer for two minutes. Let cool and store in the refrigerator.

Pad Thai

1 package medium rice noodles
1 pound chicken thinly sliced
4 eggs
1 cup Pad Thai Sauce
1 12-ounce package mung bean sprouts
1-bunch scallions chopped
½ cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
1 lime cut into quarters

How to Cook it: Soak the noodles in warm water for 30 minutes and then drain. Heat the oil in a wok or large sauté pan and then add chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Crack the eggs into the pan and stir-fry until they are cooked and scrambled. Add 6 ounces of pad Thai sauce and bring it to a vigorous boil. Add a good hand full of noodles and cook until the pant starts to dry. Fold in the bean sprouts and scallions. Serve with sliced lime and toasted chopped peanuts.

 How to Cook it:

A. Soak the noodles in warm water for 30 minutes and then drain.

B. Heat the oil in a wok or large sauté pan and then add chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.

C. Crack the eggs into the pan and stir-fry until they are cooked and scrambled.

D. Add 6 ounces of pad Thai sauce and bring it to a vigorous boil.

E. Add a good hand full of noodles and cook until the pant starts to dry.

F. Fold in the bean sprouts and scallions.

G. Serve with sliced lime and toasted chopped peanuts.

Look for our review of Metro Bis in the near future. If  you want to beat us to it, Chef Prosperi’s restaurant is located at 928 Hopmeadow St. #7B in Simsbury, CT.

Once you get familiar with the Pad Thai recipe, you can change it up and make your own rendition. Check out my version-Lemon Berry Pad Thai. I kept the noodles, the sauce and the eggs and supplemented the other portions with tilapia, strawberries, raspberries, and lemons.

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Dinner And Dessert in the Middle of Nowhere: Haveli India Restaurant and Vida Doce Cafe & Pastry Shop


Think about your last dinner date.  How did you go about selecting the restaurant?  Did a friend or family member recommend it? Did you choose based on the plethora of good reviews? Or did you choose a restaurant based on familiarity? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you fell victim to the dinner date routine! We can sympathize.  We’ve been there before and while routine is not necessarily a bad thing, it can get a little boring after awhile.  Tonight, we ventured into an Indian restaurant that masquerades as a small hotel and quaint little bakery/cafe that hides across from a Citco gas station on the Berlin Turnpike.

Haveli India Restaurant

Overall Grade: B+

Links: Website, Menu

Location: 1300 South Main St., Middletown, CT

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Atmosphere: 8.5/10-Haveli India Restaurant rests just off the highway in the middle of nowhere. There are no other restaurants nearby.  This is why Haveli India Restaurant qualifies as a M.O.N.E (Middle of Nowhere Establishment) instead of a hole in the wall.  This intrigued and confused us. If we hadn’t been looking for Haveli, we would have dismissed it as a modest hotel. When we first entered Haveli, we were reminded of the Stanley Hotel from the 1980 horror flick The Shining. We noticed the same, creepy rug pattern and to add to horror-esq vibe, were the only ones there!  Fortunately, an older couple and a family arrived shortly after us and the creepiness wore off.  We found the Indian paintings pleasing and dug the authentic music as well.  The track repeated after 15 minutes or so.  Authentic music enhances any restaurant environment.  We would have loved more variety.

Service: 9/10- Service is a “make it or break it” deal for restaurants. Bella Anthony’s cracked under pressure with only four small groups of people.  Haveli’s served about the same amount with ease. They handed out the menus as soon as we sat down, delivered the food in a short amount of time (while it was still hot and fresh) and constantly refilled the drinks at every table. We never needed to ask for “more” of anything and we didn’t have to wait long for a check. The waiters weren’t too personable but they compensated with their dependability.

Price/Selection:  8/10- The price is fair but it is somewhat disproportionate to the amount of food you receive. We expected larger portions but that can be a petty American bias.  Haveli’s offers a wide selection in terms of hot/cold appetizers, vegetarians specialties, seafood specialties, chicken and lamb specialties, Indian bread, Kebab’s, rice, and desserts. Haveli only offers a small amount of Indian drinks such as Lassi, a salted or unsalted yogurt drink that is flavored with sugar, rose water, or crushed cumin seeds. The American/Euro-centric amount of drinks could pertain to general pickiness.

Taste: 9.5/10- We ate “seafood” that tasted like a TV dinner at Red Lobster earlier today so we welcomed the savory taste of Haveli’s dishes. Highlights include- the extra doughy bread that soaked up flavor residue like a sponge, the coconut flavored white rice and the curry that complimented our taste buds and cleared our sinuses.  We strongly recommend the chicken or vegetarian curry if you are losing your Indian-cuisine virginity or if you long to revisit your first taste of Indian cuisine with an enlightened perspective.

In a nutshell-35/40- Haveli India Restaurant scores a solid B+ in total and an A in taste. We cannot emphasize this enough.  This is one of the more authentic Indian restaurants in Connecticut. We recommend you stop by for the exquisite taste, the fast service, and of course, the Shining vibe.

Vida Doce Cafe & Pastry Shop

Overall Grade: B  

Links: Facebook, Website

Location: 262 Brockett Street, Newington, CT

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Disclaimer:  We base this grade off of only the dessert/cafe experience.  Vida Doce Cafe & Pastry Shop also offers a wide variety of specialty cakes.  If you’re looking for potential catering, we strongly recommend you contact Vida Doce and schedule an appointment.  You should also look for personal reviews from previous customers who used Vida Doce’s catering services.  We can say that the cakes look creative and simply stunning.

Atmosphere: 9/10-Vida Doce’s interior looks adorable.  It has plenty of tables for two, which is an unspoken welcoming for couples to sit, sip some cafe drinks and socialize.  I secretly longed for some mellow music for my girlfriend and I to chill out to. There was something special about sitting right next to window while the snow fell (even though I normally hate snow after December).  The vibe is inherently New England and somewhat reminiscent of the cafes I visited in Paris.  I longed to share that experience with her so it was nice finding a place that hinted of French tranquility.

Service 10/10: Vida Doce’s staff is very personable and very organized.  We appreciated their pleasant demeanor and the fact that they refrigerated our take-home food while we ate and talked.  The staff also keeps the place very clean without a single crumbs in sight! If you’ve visit enough cafes, you’ll notice that is not always the case.  Finding a cafe in which the staff doesn’t need to wipe down the tables before you sit is a rarity.  The length of time the customers spent in Vida Doce also speaks to their excellent service.

Price/Selection: 7/10 Vida Doce loses a few points on its price and selection. The pastries average $3-5 per portion.  This wouldn’t be a problem if Vida Doce provided larger portions. We finished our pastries in very little time and we were already pretty stuffed from Haveli. The pastry selection lacks some variety.  The desserts on display looked appetizing but they left us wanting more to choose from.  One can probably attribute the lack of variety to the fact that Vida Doce specializes in its special event cakes.  We surveyed plenty of variety in this category!  Vida Doce is also a fairly new establishment. You’ll notice that the pastry portion of their website is “under construction.” They do not list their pastry at the counter so you need to ask.  They are probably still in the experimental phase with these categories.

Taste: 8/10-We felt satisfied with the taste of our pastries. We could easily differentiate these pastries from the pre-made imitations that other restaurants attempt to market as gourmet food.  Their cafe selection wins in the taste category, however.  We recommend you try the cappuccino or some mocha.  The succulent flavor rivals that of Starbucks or Dunkin Doughnuts.  Best of all, they serve it in a large cup and fill it to the top.  Chain restaurants that supposedly specialize in cafe drinks will often fill it only three-quarters full.  *Cough McDonalds*

In a nutshell-34/40– Vida Doce Cafe & Pastry Shop scores a high B in our book.  They are new and promising so this grade is definitely subject to change for the better.  We recommend you visit for the cafe, the friendly service, the adorable tables for two and make your own judgement on the size-portion ratio of the pastries.  If you’re interested in specialty cakes, please visit their social network sites or stop in for a visit.

Haveli India on Urbanspoon

Vida Doce Cafe & Pastry Shop on Urbanspoon