Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The New West, Updated

Ok so I'm kinda finally getting over the fact that Delaney's is gone, and in its place, which I'm forced to see everyday, is a big old figurative and literal empty space.

And right across the street from this miserable lot where Delaney's once proudly stood is a place I've talked a lot of shit about in previous posts. You see, my neighborhood of Westville is a nice, safe, revitalized place complete with two breakfast cafes, a few coffee shops, yoga studios, and art galleries. Yet only two bars, now, at least.

We have now only two watering holes; Stone Hearth, which serves exquisite delicacies yet is more akin to a high end hotel bar, and The New West, pictured above.

Classy, it is not. Not the kinda place I'd take a hot date to.

But it is indeed growing on me.

I suppose any dive bar you happen to live so close by to eventually does.

Recently though I've been stopping in on my way back from downtown, a pit stop if you will, where I can get a few night caps before the 50-yard commute back home. And let me tell you, I've been having a blast.

This past Sunday after hanging out with friends downtown watching my Eagles get smacked silly, I hit the New West. I met some very interesting characters.

Even got my palm read, by someone I'm pretty sure was no palm reader.

And hey, they have Rebel IPA on tap! In fact, their selection is quite impressive actually.

This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Cheers to the New West Cafe.

Monday, November 3, 2014

For years now, since, you know, I started caring about my general health, I've been a straight sucker for these natural, liberal-ass, organic food markets. I mean, if you can afford it, who wouldn't want to eat food free of poisonous chemicals?

Any reader of my previous posts knows how I spent my summer of 2014: quite lavishly. I had a shitload of overtime from work and only one day off per week. I ate like a king, and drank like a fish. But the OT eventually began to dwindle, so I decided to chill out on the mahi mahi wraps, gourmet burgers, and the pounds of fresh oysters (and that was only lunch). Then my favorite bar Delaney's randomly burned down, which obviously coincided with a sharp decline of IPA beer-filled evenings.

So far, this Autumn, I've replaced the Summer of Abundance with, well, a little less beer, natural food products, and at least one vegan meal per day, at quite possibly the only place in CT where eating this healthy can be so amazingly delicious...

Edge of the Woods Market.

For years I drove past it, for it's located in a non descript little plaza in the middle of that somewhat sketchy stretch of Whalley Ave between Downtown and my neighborhood of Westville. I've been here four years, yet I only started going this past March. And let me tell ya boy, I'm making up for lost time.

Edge of the Woods is mostly a normal grocery store, but with all locally grown produce. Every single item from the cabbage to the cleaning sprays are organic. And the prices? Virtually no difference from Stop & Shop (or Acme, or generic equivalent). All this, and they still pay their employees well over CT's "living wage." I don't even know how they do it. But if you want red meat, chicken, or even fresh fish, you need to stop somewhere else. For this place is truly vegan.

And don't get me wrong, I'll never be100%. I love meat, and still indulge in a bacon cheeseburger every now and then. But when I walk into the back room where the hot, soul food-style lunch/dinner buffet is, I don't even miss cows and pigs.

Everyday, each one of the six platters being kept hot over stovetops is something different, and equally delicious. I mean, seriously, how does their meatless meatloaf taste BETTER than meatloaf? How does their tofurkey taste better than turkey? How do their soysage links taste better than real sausage? (Yes, my cousin informed me that I may have lost my man card for even uttering the word "soysage.") There is somehow no difference! Well, the only difference being A LOT less fat, sodium, cholesterol, and calories, yet the same amount of protein, aminos, and vitamins. Truly, the best of ALL worlds.

I'm down 22 lbs since Christmas, 12 of which since early September, right around the time I started religiously lunching at Edge of the Woods. Now I'm sure some of that has to do with drinking less. And some of it due to once again being single. But I'm confident that MOST of it is simply substituting one burger, Subway sub, or chicken wrap, with one vegan meal daily.

Eating right has never been this delicious.

Now go stop in at Edge of the Woods for lunch. You're welcome.