111 Montauk Ave., New London
While take-out has always been a reliable dining source, two-plus years of COVID have probably lifted the take-out concept to unprecedented and permanent heights – particularly since many restauranteurs offer take-out that wouldn’t have thought of doing so before the plague.
In any case, Mi Familia is a tremendous take-out option in New London, particularly if you enjoy authentic and lovingly prepared Puerto Rican and Latin fare. It’s a small place with only a few outdoor tables for seasonal dining, so food to-go has always been their priority (and it’s fun to note they’re scheduled to open a larger spot on Broad Street later this spring – one with a dining room and expansive patio). In the meantime, I heartily recommend you try Mi Familia at your earliest hunger pangs.
It’s worth noting the family-run outfit took pains to ensure my vegetarian wife was apprised of all options and in fact custom crafted a huge and delicious combo plate for her ($ 9). Take note, too, of their authentic and tantalizing Shrimp Mofongo ($ 16), a crustacean-happy dish with the hill of mashed, fried plantains anchoring the recipe.
The pulled pork combo ($ 12) is heaped with tangy, shredded pork shoulder atop your choice of yellow or white rice. The Caribbean seasons used to dust the pork in prep add a fine twist to what we Americans consider a most sanctified barbecue tradition. And try the emanadillas ($ 3 each), which are fried pastries stuffed with spicy ground beef and / or cheese or shredded chicken. Tremendous.
– Rick Koster
Long River Local
96 Halls Road, Old Lyme
What’s better than a burger for breakfast? Getting dinner squared away at the same time.
Head over to Long River Local in Old Lyme for a hot breakfast or lunch, then peruse the fridge cases for what’s sure to be many great options for dinner.
We heartily recommend The Okie for breakfast ($ 10.50), a smashburger and egg sandwich on ciabatta with a fresh from the coffee bar cappuccino, and the Chipotle Chicken Salad for lunch ($ 12.95) – after which you’ll likely have leftovers because this is a hearty salad that’s topped with a very generous portion of sliced and spiced chicken breast.
We made a dinner out of a prepared sesame peanut noodle entrée ($ 10.95) after pre-noshing on the house-baked sesame baguette ($ 5.99) and suggest you have your own celebration of sesame soon. The noodles have a spicy kick with rich, tempering peanut undertones, and once again, the portion size is generous.
The baguette will prove a perfect picnic food as soon as the weather shapes up, and we will be ready, with cheeses (available at LRL along with other local groceries) in hand!
– Marisa Nadolny
142 Water St., Stonington
If you enjoy authentic Mexican food, you won’t be disappointed at Milagro Café.
The tacos are always incredible – whether you opt for chicken, steak or beer-battered fish. It’s a large portion, more than most people can eat, and they’ll pack up whatever you don’t finish for an at-home meal the next day. We like it all, but the Baja Fish Tacos with habanero slaw, $ 17.50, are a favorite.
Almost all Milagro’s entrees are between $ 17 and $ 22 and there are choices like the Enchiladas Verdes with chicken, cheese, tomatillo sauce, and cream, or the Cochinita Pibil, a concoction of pork, annatto seed, guajillo, and tomato.
The appetizers are especially good, with the tuna ceviche high on our list, as well as other favorites like the guacamole and chips, the Mexican sausage with cheese, and the Sopa de Tortilla – tortilla soup with chicken, guajillo, avocado, tomato, cheese , and sour cream. Prices for appetizers vary with the ceviche at $ 14 and salsa and chips $ 5.50.
We always start with the house-made margaritas with fresh-squeezed juice which are very, very good, and there are always specialty drinks and dinner items. They do serve dessert at Milagro, including Mexican coffee and hot chocolate, as well as flan, tres leches cake, and Mexican bread pudding. It’s all very tasty.
– Ann Baldelli