Connecticut Day Tripper
Connecticut, New York’s northern neighbor, has plenty of vegan eats to feast upon. It’s an ideal destination for a day trip. I can get to Connecticut without heading far into the New York City area and her more messy crossings. The Throgs Neck Bridge is an easy breeze. A couple of hours later on the I-95 and you feel like you’re very far away, with billboards of diners advertising vegan options. How wonderful. But today, it was Middletown’s ION (It’s Only Natural) for their Southern Plate.
The dish hits all the marks with Southern fried tofu, sauteed garlicky greens, black beans, and a warm piece of cornbread with an aioli. The texture of the tofu was divine. The breading didn’t all fall off the tofu after a bite–they had the perfect texture. But I wished the tofu hadn’t been marinated. The taste of the marinated tofu inside the breading, along with a ton of garlic in the greens, had me seeking refuge in the black beans! It needed something to balance the assertive flavors.
But boy, was it a gorgeous dish!
Next, I got baked. I mean, I went to Get Baked in Windsor, housed in a great, tucked away space that hosts an antiques auction and seasonal pop-ups.
They have a ton of rotating vegan options. And a very sweet counter woman.
I got a red velvet cupcake, a chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream, and a chocolate shortbread cookie. To go! I ate the red velvet when I got home and thought it spectacular. Sturdy texture but not dry or dense. It was exceptional, texture-wise and taste-wise! Boy, vegan cupcakes have come so far.
The last stop: The Sweet Beet in Granby, a carry-out spot with clean eats and sweet treats.
I picked an assortment of their one-bite cupcakes: chocolate chip, Mexican hot chocolate, toasted coconut, lemon, snicker doodle, and chocolate. Of course the intention was to get them home and share them, but the ride home had me popping open the box several times. I loved that the chocolate had beet in it… and the vanilla tasted like it also had natural goodness inside, not overly sweet in a compensatory fashion. Texture was a bit dry though, as if they weren’t made recently.
They have a selection of pre-made eats. I choose a version of their Mac No Cheese with a cashew cheese sauce.
Thanks for the eats, Connecticut! I’ll be back soon.