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Archive for the ‘West Hartford Restaurants’ Category

It’s West Hartford Center Days …

Posted by whforums on January 10, 2009

So, until next Thursday, 1/15, West Hartford Center is having its “West Hartford Center Days” (actually started this past Thursday … they run a week). Now, justifiably, I’m sure many of you are asking the question “What’s a West Hartford Center Day?” Well, essentially it’s a giant sidewalk sale in the middle of the January cold and snow … think of it as West Hartford Center does Alaska, but without the glaciers.

More than 150 shops are participating (says the town website), and most of the sales are actually in the stores, so you can stay toasty while supporting local businesses that need your support. Restaurants in the Center/Square are getting in on the action, too — get a list of participating restaurants here (you’ll have to select today’s date from the calendar at the top of the page).

My wife and I recommend the sales at Crate and Barrel (I know, I know … not a local business. But the sales are great!). The sales on the top floor suck, but on the bottom floor, they’re out of this world. We got a rocking dish towel for 2 bucks, Christmas gear at 60% off, and spice jars at 60% off. Score.

If you see other good deals, feel free to spread the word to your fellow “consumers” below …

Posted in Blue Back Square, West Hartford, West Hartford Center, West Hartford Restaurants | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Cocoa Kitchen and Bar — Who’s Got the Scuttlebutt?

Posted by whforums on December 24, 2008

Have patiently watched the transformation of the old Puerto Vallarta into the new (and, from the outside, awfully sexy looking) “Cocoa Kitchen and Bar.” As I drove past today, I saw an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper taped to the window that said:


Not the grand opening I’d imagined, but my curiosity is piqued. Add to that the fact that Google searches bring me only to expired Craig’s List hiring ads, and I really want to know what’s going on behind those walls.

Surely, one of you out there knows something about Cocoa — or perhaps has even set foot inside? Any scuttlebutt? I’m not going to make it there until the new year at earliest, but inquiring minds, etc….


The site “Pursuing Domestic Goddess-ness” gives a review to both Cocoa and Front Street Bistro.  Check it out here.

Posted in West Hartford, West Hartford Center, West Hartford Restaurants | Tagged: , , | 40 Comments »

To Take You into The Weekend …

Posted by whforums on December 19, 2008

Two quick West Hartford Centery tidbits:

1. The town has signed a contract with Parcxmart for a debit/credit card on-street parking system. The card could also be used as a debit/credit card with participating local merchants. Sounds like, at least initially, you’ll run into a $500 limit, so if you find yourself spending a lot of money in the Center, you may have to recharge the card quite a bit. Expect to see the “West Hartford Center Credit/Debit Card” to launch in “first quarter 2009.” Get the full press release here.

2. Let me point you to the work of Andy Perez. Perez was tasked with the job of creating a web ad (dunno if it’s destined for life beyond the web?) for West Hartford Center. If you’re a process oriented person, you can see the process he followed, as well as his own blog post about the ad, on his blog. If you’re one of those “product-only” people, you can watch the ad on the “center and square” website (I had no clue until recently that that site existed).

Andy, I think the ad is great (especially the dancing Noah statue — if Noah could dance, well, I think you stone-cold got his moves)  — if you hadn’t said so, I’d never have guessed it was your first ad. But for the next draft, I need some of those credit/debit cards to float by, too.

Enjoy the snow.

Posted in Blue Back Square, Media, Parking, West Hartford, West Hartford Center, West Hartford Restaurants | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Two Restaurant Reviews. And Farmington Has a New Superintendent

Posted by whforums on December 16, 2008

Posts like these are my favorite kinds of posts — I get to link you out to all kinds of interesting stuff without doing much work myself! That said, there’s some stuff about trains coming later in the week …


First, The Connecticutian gives a very favorable review to Bombay Olive (in the old IHOP location on the corner of New Britain and South Main — across the street from the ever enigmatic Szechuan Tokyo). We ate at Bombay Olive once and our impression generally matches the opinion over at The Connecticutian …

Adventures Through CT gives a favorable review to PF Changs. I know the initial reaction amongst our small community was mixed (and a colleague told me today she “got exactly what she expected” — dunno if that’s good or not), so I’m sure this post may be met with some skepticism. Adventures says current wait time is about an hour, so it’ll be a while before I check it out …


And, on a totally unrelated note … Farmington has a new superintendent (at 181k a year, folks)! Lost in all the local news of late has been our own superintendent search, so I guess I’d ask you to read this article in the New Britain Herald and answer the following question:

What do we see in the profile of this (successful) candidate that we want in West Hartford’s new superintendent, and what do we see that we don’t like?

And yes. I suckered you in with food to get you to talk about who we want as superintendent. The superintendent search is that intellectually delicious.

Posted in Linkage!, West Hartford, West Hartford Restaurants, westfarms, WHPS | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Ok, Ok. I Get It.

Posted by whforums on December 8, 2008

So, I want to write about banks.

But, if the search hits I’m getting teach me anything, you want to read about food.

So the answer to your overarching question?

Yes.  PF Changs is open.

Now eat there and report back.

Posted in West Hartford, West Hartford Restaurants, westfarms | Tagged: , , | 11 Comments »

What Do You Think of the Look of PF Chang’s?

Posted by whforums on November 24, 2008

You’ll have to forgive my photo quality — I snapped it with an iPhone as my car was rolling by:

PF Chang's, West Hartford

I get that art threatens capitalism, so that when capitalism tries to do art, it can only do kitsch.  Like, Las Vegas exists, and that’s fine.  But this to me seems more like “branding on acid” than anything.   For god’s sake, people, you can make the giant horse as giant or ungiant as you want, and you can remake the exterior of your portion of the mall with height and”rich earth tones,” but none of this is going to change the fact that you’re in a mall. And, to be blunt, if I’ve chosen to spend time at this mall, why would I want to forget that in the first place?

Architecture without politics is vapid, but this is architecture in the service of the faux politics of the consumer, which is insipid …

Set to open December, 2008.  And don’t get me wrong, I’ll be there that month, and I’m sure the food will be good. And I think it’s a welcome boutique chain in West Hartford’s “boutique chain scene.”  But just like The Cheesecake Factory (and in opposition to Crate and Barrel), this place just looks like it’s trying too hard, doesn’t it?

Posted in Sorry I'm So Cynical, West Hartford, West Hartford Restaurants, westfarms | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

Monday Morning Quick Hits

Posted by whforums on November 16, 2008

Four quick hits for your Monday morning.

1. This piece from the Hartford Courant about Superintendent Sklarz’ salary and benefits. Bringing in a new superintendent will bring significant short term salary relief (we’d hope), and maybe some of those more extreme benefits (like $6,000 for driving your own car) could go away, too. The picture associated with the story is priceless (as long as you’re not the superintendent!).

2. The Courant also offers up this informative (though generally optimistic) read of BBS. Condos are still available if you want in (or can afford to get in).

3. A quick, positive review of The Counter over at Adventures through Connecticut. The wife and I have eaten at The Counter (I’m something of an english muffin fiend, and the idea of putting my burger on an english muffin was a vague form of heaven) and thought it was great. Surprisingly hard place to get into — but once PF Chang’s opens (have you seen the front of PF Changs and how it’s reshaped the mall? That’s for another post …), I’m sure that will relieve some pressure …

4. Most importantly, check out this post about Regionalism and Greater Hartford over at The Greater Hartford Real Estate Blog. It’s an informative and essential read for anyone interested in the topic of regionalism or the general future well being of the communities we share.

Posted in Blue Back Square, Quick Hits, Regionalism, West Hartford, West Hartford Restaurants, WHPS | Tagged: , | 10 Comments »

I Love You, Goldroc Diner

Posted by whforums on November 11, 2008

So, my wife and I have both been working a lot of hours lately. Like, a lot.

We both got home after 8:30 last night and neither of us had the energy to cook anything. But we wanted comfort food, and we wanted it cheap. So we went to Goldroc.

Growing up in West Hartford, Goldroc was always something of a mystery to me — it seemed like everyone had eaten there (and some folks ate there a lot), but I never had. Nor did I particularly care to — I mean, what did I care about diners when I had a mother who was essentially running one in her own home. When I moved back here (11 years after leaving) with my wife we thought it was going to be impossible to find a decent breakfast beyond bagels (I love, love, love Lox Stock, too, but there are only so many bagels a man can eat. I also hadn’t discovered Mo’s Midtown at this point), and that’s how we discovered Goldroc. Ever since, it’s been one of our favorite breakfast spots and our default comfort food location.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that the food is great (it’s good, but it’s not like, OMG cuisine — it’s more, O.M.G … FOOOD — it fulfills a deep need to devour fat and salt, to devour what our environment may not make readily available), it’s that in its grease, in its diner coffee (by which I mean wildly inconsistent, but even good when it’s “bad coffee”) and in the way it has always led me to interesting space between devouring and conversation (conversations while devouring are totally different from conversations while not devouring), it has this really surprising sense of home.

Such that:

I think if I died at Goldroc with just a cup of coffee and a plate of fries in front of me, I’d probably die happy (assuming I had a chance to drink some of the coffee and eat some of the fries first — and assuming I’m not so old that I can longer taste either of them).


Such That:

Goldroc feels so much like home, it’s the only restaurant in where I can imagine playing a game of Strat-O-Matic baseball.

Anyway, I have to go back to work, so here’s your topic for the day:

Goldroc rocks.


Posted in Things to Do, West Hartford, West Hartford Restaurants | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Thursday Morning Linkage and FEAR

Posted by whforums on October 2, 2008

Hits on the blog are through the roof over the past 7 days as the referendum approaches (would still like to hear from more new voices — share with your community!). Since there are so many new uniques floating through, I thought I’d take a minute to link out to a few other sites, share some good news, and scare you to death.

So. You wan the linkage first, or the FEAR?


Ben continues his ongoing investigation into West Hartford sidewalks that end in abruptly baffling ways over at Observations of the Trailing Spouse (poke around on his site long enough and you’ll find the feature!). I’d particularly like to point you to his post about West Hartford librarians (this has nothing to do with sidewalks, but is still worth your time!), which delivers the encomium they deserve.

Dead Horses Beaten Daily has a new look and a good post about the Business Week article claiming that West Hartford ranks in the top 20 communities most likely to suffer from the craptasticness of our economy. Reader Newvoice1 linked to Business Week in a previous post on this site, but Greg’s site seems like the ideal place to have an organized conversation about the topic.

Good News!

Despite all the doom and gloom about BBS (I’m so sick of people seeing or “hearing about” a store closing and using that as evidence of BBS’ “certain failure”), The Counter (a burger joint) is now open. Note that I do not extrapolate from the opening of a business the potential success or failure of the entire neighborhood around it.


Yes. “Melamine tainted candy” has found its way to West Hartford. I think after 8 years of “mushroom cloud” and “economic” “crises,” my capacity to be scared by industrial chemicals has taken on a White Noise sort of quality in that I expect to be asked by my leaders (and my news anchors) to confront my mortality in an almost daily way. God, I so want to go Prufrock (or Heidegger?) on everyone …

Anyway, The Courant has an article here.

And, While I Have You Here …

… I feel compelled to link back to an (eerily prescient) article from The Onion on W’s inauguration in ’01:

Bush: ‘Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over’

Right. Back to the referendum, then …

Posted in Abstract Babble, Linkage!, Media, National News, West Hartford, West Hartford Restaurants | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Simmer Out of The Center

Posted by whforums on August 24, 2008

Was wandering the Center this weekend and noticed not only that Simmer was dark, but that there was a “Closed” sign hanging on the front door. Did some poking around in the tubes and found that the West Hartford location has disappeared from the Simmer homepage, too.

I’m kind of sad to see Simmer go — their location wasn’t great, but the few times my wife and I ate there we enjoyed our meals enough to say “We should come here more often” (we also in part said that because we feared this eventuality — Simmer, despite its terrific food and service, was often startlingly empty).

If you need your Simmer fix, you can still trek out to Canton. Now we can start wondering about whether another restaurant will have the courage to enter the crowded West Hartford market in Simmer’s previous location …

Posted in West Hartford, West Hartford Center, West Hartford Restaurants | Tagged: , | 14 Comments »