Eats Before the Big Feast

Bites I have been enjoying before I go whole hog on a whole turkey on Thursday:

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Macchiato at Eric Kayser

As you may know, I can take or leave coffee – it isn’t my be all, end all. But the coffee at Eric Kayser is sensational. The macchiato is made with expertly brewed espresso that is nutty and pleasantly bitter, not painfully so. It’s served with creamy frothed milk and comes with a little sticky-sweet buttery cake on the side. A little touch like that makes this a standout and somewhere I would actively seek out, instead of just heading to the nearest Starbucks next time I need my caffeine fix.

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Pepe’s pizza in Fairfield

I have eaten this pizza at Mohegan Sun , but it is…if possible…even more delicious here. The coal oven allows for the thinnest, most properly burnished crust I have ever had.

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See how charred and crispy it is?

The tomato sauce is bright and uncomplicated by miscellaneous herbs and spices, and is topped with stretchy mozzarella cheese. There is no way you can wait long enough for this to cool so you don’t burn the roof of your mouth – just breathe into it. The sausage is garlicky and properly oily, and the house roasted red peppers are another wonderful topping choice. I happen to love Connecticut pizza, and if you think you like thin crust pizza…try this and see how much you have been missing.

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Jamba Juice

I know, I know…this is a chain. A west coast chain. Trust me, I am embarrassed. You can take the girl out of the valley, but you can’t take the valley out of the girl.

But I’ll be damned if the Caribbean Passion with strawberries, peaches, passion fruit-mango juice and orange sherbet doesnt’ set my heart aflutter and start my day off right.