An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Oct 15, 2013
08:15 AMThe Connecticut Table
New London Coffee House Worth Trip for the Food; Go Oct. 16 for Fall Food Stroll
Editor's note: Washington Street Coffee House, whose merits are hailed below, is one of nearly 50 restaurants and specialty shops in New London's Historic Waterfront District participating in the Fall Food Stroll 2013, taking place Wednesday (Oct. 16) from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. See the New London Main Street website to connect, and see a map of participating venues. Meanwhile, here's a caffeinated taste of why New London's food scene is worth digging into:
Location, location, location. If I could wave a magic wand on behalf of New London’s Washington Street Coffee House—on the occasion of its first anniversary—I’d find a setting more inviting than this: a blocky warehouse set in the rear of an apartment building parking lot, facing the back of the bank across the street. (One can’t help but wonder how, in this location, former occupant Bean & Leaf became so beloved.)
The interior could use a little finesse, too—this is the kind of place where the only nod to “decor” is paper Chinese lanterns, a few historic photos and random works by local artists on the wall. Menu specials are attached to the checkout counter with masking tape.
Never mind. The food’s the thing, particularly the tacos, in combinations like fried eggs and Cheddar, spicy pork with Cheddar, chicken and goat cheese and chili lime shrimp (all served with sliced cabbage, cilantro and tongue-puckering housemade jalapeño hot sauce)—yours for $2 apiece on “taco nights.”
Other selections to love are the veggie breakfast ($7), a mélange of local vegetables and fried eggs with wheat toast; the rare R.I. roast beef ($8), served with onions, greens and horseradish on a baguette; and housemade pasta with cilantro pesto, chicken and walnuts. (Washington Street works closely with local farms and New London food co-op Fiddleheads in creating its meals.)
I plan to return only about 400 more times for the couldn’t-be-more-perfect spiced chai latte and dress it up with one of the homemade bagels, a brown butter almond teacake or, perhaps, a whole-wheat bacon chocolate chip cookie. If I’m smart, I’ll time those visits to coincide with some of the many musical performances, a poetry slam or a special event like last May’s Moped Rally (guests enjoyed a heaping helping of Southern-style slow-roasted barbecue pork, coleslaw, baked mac ’n’ cheese and cornbread for $10).
The Washington Street Coffee House is located at 13 Washington St., New London, (860) 437-0664 . Mon.- Sat. 7 a.m- 8 p.m., Sun. 8-6.
In terms of connecting with the Fall Food Stroll, Wednesday evening, here's more information from the website. And those thinking about going should get tickets now, as the website warns that last year's event sold out.
|In Advance||Day of Stroll|
|Group (6 or more)||$20/piece||N/A|
Children ages 5 and under are free with paid adult.
To purchase your button, click the link at the top of this page or visit 147 State Street, Suite B, New London between 11am-3pm Monday-Friday, or by calling 860.444.2489.
Buttons purchased by phone or via internet will be available for pick-up at 4:30pm at The Garde Arts Center (325 State Street).
Limited quantity available! All purchases are final. Military and students must show ID upon button pickup. *Student button does not include drink ticket.
The Stroll is a rain or shine event!
2 Wives Brick Oven Pizza
Bulkeley House Saloon
Dev’s On Bank
East Coast Catering’s Atrium Cafe
Gaspar’s New American Cuisine
Hanafin’s Public House
Kelly’s On The Bank
Mambo Bar & Restaurant
Muddy Waters Cafe
New London Fire Headquarters
The Oasis Pub
Open Door Gourmet
Papi's Ice Cream
The Steaming Kettle
Stone Fleet Tavern
Washington Street Coffee House
Shop & Snack Here
46 Bank Antiques
East Bank Gift Shop
Fiddleheads Food Co-op
Flavors of Life - The Fair Trade Store
Garde Arts Center
Monte Cristo Bookstore
Northern Light Gems
Somaly Hay & Co.
Studio 33 Art and Frame Gallery
The Drunken Palette Art Studio
Bands & Entertainment
The Ancient Mariners
Clan O'Cleary Irish Band
plus special appearance by Radio Mitchell
Parking is available in the municipal lot off of Eugene O'Neill Drive and in these two parking garages, which are within a block of the Stroll:
Water Street Garage
Fall Food Drive presented by Citizens Bank
We are asking strollers this year to bring a canned good to donate to the Gemma Moran Mobile Food Pantry, which will be parked next to the Atrium (165 State Street). The Atrium is also where all of the will-call and day of buttons will be available.
The mobile food pantry was launched by the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center in May 2013 to reach more families in our community that are food insecure. The pantry visits remote areas of New London County where there is no large, retail grocery store or supermarket and/or where transportation options are limited. It is set up like a farmers' market and distributes about one week's worth of fresh produce, proteins and health snacks to each household.