Every Sunday, the culinary commanders at The Mansfield General Store line the shop’s wooden clapboard walls with classic brunch dishes. French toast serves as a crispy pedestal for scrambled eggs and bacon, which patrons can garnish with syrup and butter slung from dainty cut-glass dishes. Strawberry rivulets cut channels through fluffy pancake stacks and cornbread. Additionally, health-conscious diners can concoct a wholesome fruit, yogurt, and granola parfait. For dessert, forks pierce a crackly crust before sinking into the apple crisp’s gooey center.
The 32 taps give Pub 32 its name, with the stocky pint shape of the Guinness tap and the crimson oval of Stella Artois set off against the backlit rows of bottle. The rotating selection of brews has included options from Magic Hat, Magners, Opa Opa, and Dogfish Head. Seven high-definition televisions blast sporting events such as Monday-night football, UConn games, and beard-growing contests. During events, karaoke singers launch the strains of pop anthems up toward the caramel-hued whorls of the wooden ceiling. During open-mic nights, live music fills the bar with the sounds of jangling guitars.
From their outpost near the academic halls of the University of Connecticut, the chefs at Sgt. Pepperoni spin hand-tossed pizzas in the style of New York’s great pizzerias. Friends split a 16-inch cheese pizza, baked on handmade dough and blanketed with mozzarella cheese and house-made sauce. Divvy up eight breadsticks splashed with savory sauce from a cup of marinara sauce, or use them as swords to duel for the last slice of pizza. Sgt. Pepperoni’s sentries stay on watch for rumbling stomachs until at least 2 a.m. every night, quenching appetites brought on by late-night study sessions or hunger strikes in protest of Daylight Savings Time.
The café at Landmark Natural Foods & Cafe is nestled between aisles of fresh, organic produce, spices, and canned goods. Each item at the café is also 100% organic from the breakfast burritos served in multigrain wraps to vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free tomato basil soup.
Featured by Paul Stern on Mansfield-StorrsPatch in 2011—just months after its opening—Coriander Cafe & Country Store has hatched quite the name for itself in Eastwood. According to Stern, brothers Scott and Brett Laffert run the show with Brett, a former chef and self-proclaimed “country person at heart,” transforming local ingredients into gourmet sandwiches, burgers, and straw hats. The shop makes all their breads—from ciabatta to whole wheat—in-house before stacking them with fresh-carved turkey and cranberry sauce or homemade black-bean patties. Yet the cooks don’t stop at handheld fare; the menu changes daily and can include anything from pan-seared haddock over corn-and-chive griddlecakes to braised pork belly with a side of chipotle grits.
Coriander Cafe also welcomes early risers into its country confines for a cup of fair-trade and organic coffee from Red Barn Coffee Roasters, a homemade bagel, or a decadent pastry such as a raspberry scone or cinnamon-sugar donut muffin, which guests can enjoy inside or amid fresh-picked oxygen molecules on the backyard deck. A fully stocked country store outfits fleeting customers with all the necessities, from homemade cookies and Red Barn coffee to gourmet jams and hot sauces.
Part diner, part living room, R House Restaurant combines classic Americana with the comfort of home. Its black-and-white checkered floors run up to the dine-in counter and butt up against the base of the working stone fireplace, whose hearth hoists a sign that reads family.
The nearby tables groan under the weight of homestyle food, including stacked sandwiches, 11 types of hot dogs, and fried platters. R House also serves breakfast all day, topping waffles with sweet fruit compote or wrapping kielbasa sausage and swiss cheese in the fluffy folds of an omelet. When it’s warm out and there’s no threat of killer butterflies, the dishes are whisked outside to a seating area that is pet friendly.