Good stopping point between NYC & Boston

Apr 19th, 2006, 08:43 PM
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Good stopping point between NYC & Boston

I'm here in NYC and we will be driving to Boston on Friday. Plan to leave around 9 am and take the Merritt route (detailed here for me a while back, thanks!)

We were luckily able to get really cheap one way car rental rates. Lucky since we won't have to park in Boston, and if we are too tired to drive the return trip, we'll come back to NYC by train next week.

My question: Can any of you recommend a nice place for lunch about 2 to 3 hours out of NYC?


lcuy is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 02:15 AM
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They say that pizza was invented at Sallys or Pepe's in New Haven and was transported to Italy. Ok, so it's a bad quote from an old Zagat book.

But the pizza in either of these 2 places are so much worth taking the slight detour into the Italian section of New Haven or for us to plan and make hedonistic treks to New Haven from NYC. If you go, get the white clam pizza.

Warning: The lines to get a table are usually about 30-minute long.
bill_boy is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 02:39 AM
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If you are taking the Merritt up into Hartford and then picking up Route 84 to Sturbridge (which I assume you are...), you should stop at Rein's Deli in Vernon, CT. It's a classic NY style deli in the middle of suburban Connecticut. Gets crowded but is quite large so I don't think you'll have trouble this Friday getting in.

Vernon is about 20 to 30 minutes north of Hartford on Route 84. Wish I knew the exact exit....I know there's a billboard announcing on the way south but don't think there is one on the way north.

Other possibility is to go to Sturbridge and eat in the Tavern of the Publik House. Depends on when you are leaving NYC.
ccrosner is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 06:48 AM
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Strongly agree with the recommendation of Rein's, though if you are coming from NYC, a deli may not be as much of a treat as it was for me when I lived in Boston and drove to CT on business. I scheduled many departures so as to have lunch or dinner there. I always had the same thing: corned beef or tongue sandwich, potato salad, and the real treat -- their fabulous pickles. But not kosher, if it matters.
Ackislander is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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I concur with Reins. It is the Vernon Center exit (65 I think). There are billboard signs. Just after the Buckhead Shopping center. Less than 10 mins North of Hartford.
We always stop there, regardless of time of day. The half-sour pickles are to die for. We usually get a "bucket" in their takeout section.
John_T_Cuttino is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 06:59 AM
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An other fan of Rein's Deli. Been stopping there since when they were across the street.Its easier to access on a south bound trip then the north bound. Still worth a stop.
xxx30 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 07:02 AM
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You could also stop in Mystic -- I believe it's around exit 90 on I-95 in Connecticut. Cute little waterside town. I don't have any specific restaurant suggestions there (except maybe Mystic Pizza!) but it's a nice place to walk around and stretch your legs for an hour or two.
karameli is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 07:16 AM
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Mystic is lovely, although I wouldn't recommend it if you're intention is to get to Boston relatively quickly - the 84 route is faster and has at least 3 lanes pretty much the whole way - 95 can get backed up and is only 2 lanes for much of the trip. The pizza and deli recommendations are all right on, though (never been to the deli, but have heard great things about it and really do need to stop there)! If you're leaving at 9, you'll probably get to New Haven too early for lunch, but if you want to walk around and check out the Yale campus, that could kill some time before lunch.
cantstayhome is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 08:31 AM
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First of all, you're better off taking 684 to 84 between NY and Hartford, rather than the Merritt. It'll save you a half hour.
Rein's is good suggestion for both the aforementioned food and also timewise. You should be hitting that area around 11:30-12. If you don't want deli, then the Publik House in Sturbridge is also a good choice and is about a half hour past Rein's.
Whatever you do, if still going the short route in the Merritt, you certainly do NOT want to continue on I-95 to Mystic! That'll add a good hour or more to your trip to Boston.
HowardR is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 01:32 PM
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To get to Rein's Deli from the west/south from I84,take exit 64/65 (Vernon Circle). Take the far right lane of the exit to go east (north?) on Route 30.

Rein's Deli will be at the 3d light (I think, don't hold me to that), on the left, in a plaza, just past the Chowdertown restaurant. It is not visible from the road. There is a traffic light at the entrance to the plaza.

If you're going south/west on I84 take exit 65, turn right at the end of the exit, and then left at the traffic light just beyond the Chowderhouse.

I go to Rein's often (live nearby) and it's my favorite restaurant.
alfisol is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 01:40 PM
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Thank you everyone! Looks like Rein's wins the vote!!

Please wish us good weather and light traffic tomorrow. And no fighting or biting betwwen the three of us in a car, driving 4 hours in strange territory!
lcuy is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 02:58 PM
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Since it's a rental car, why don't you make sure you have enough insurance, stop off at the Stadium and get a Buck Foston bumper sticker
Bunkhedena is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 03:00 PM
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a place called Food and Books almost right on the Connecticut/Massachusetts border. you will see the sign for it on interstate 84. they do what the name implies and you get a free used book with each meal. they also have a great selection of used books in the basement. a quirky place and well worth the stop...right off the motorway so it's very convenient.
walkinaround is online now  
Apr 20th, 2006, 03:16 PM
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Even if you did happen to go to Mystic Ct I would skip Mystic Pizza. The food is average at best.Thank heavens they made a movie called Mystic Pizza because I think this place sells more t-shirts than pizza. Just my opinion but I could be wrong.
hvac1 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 03:21 PM
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ariela111 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 03:25 PM
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do Reins one way and Publick House the other - HowardR is right, Publick House is a great stopping point - the Whistling Swan also used to be good, but I haven't been to the latter in over 5 can't say if it's still lovely or not - if anyone else comes on this post that knows, let me know !
escargot is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 03:55 PM
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walkinaround, how's the food at Food and Books? I've always thought it looked interesting, but never stopped.... If my husband finds out about the free book thing, we'll definitely be stopping, and probably eating there for weeks - he'll never leave!
cantstayhome is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 05:36 PM
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Reins gets my vote too. But add cheesecake and an egg cream if you have room after the sandwiches and pickles.
GBelle is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:04 AM
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walkinaround, how's the food at Food and Books?

F&Bs is certainly not fancy cuisine. it is a very simple place with food that is best described as diner food...simple and consistently well prepared (and family owned). it's been a very long time since i have been there. i do remember that they had a fair amount of local people (older people) coming in for turkey dinner type things...and i think most of the other people there are regulars who travel that route frequently.

for the books, you can choose from the free section as the book with your meal and if you are looking for something in particular, you can buy it in the good used bookstore downstairs.

forgive me if this is out of's been a long time. it is well worth's quick as it's right off the motorway and it is doubtful that you will have a bad experience with the food or service.
walkinaround is online now  

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