When he cofounded his first sandwich shop in 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca planned to use his profits to pay his way through medical school. But the combination of quality ingredients and friendly service at the shop?then called Pete's Subway?proved so popular that nine years later, he and his partner found themselves in charge of 16 locations across Connecticut, and Fred left behind his doctoring plans for a career in business.
? Today, Subway restaurants number over 34,000 around the world?almost as many shops as there are sightings of Elvis buying cold cuts. At each location, staffers pile sliced ham, marinara-slathered meatballs, and other fillings into halved loaves of bread before customizing handhelds with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and other healthy toppings plucked from chilled containers behind the counter. Salads free crisp veggies from bread's overprotective embrace, and crunchy baked chips or apple slices accompany entrees to tables. Subway's website also facilitates health-conscious eating by listing each item's nutrition information?and fastest mile time online.
Located within the Pendleton Art Center, Mockingbirds serves up classic American food and locally roasted, fair-trade, organic beans brewed into what Think Middletown called "some of the best coffee in the city." In the kitchen, cooks simmer mushroom-brie or Wisconsin-cheese soups, layer sandwiches with cranberry and grape-laced chicken salad, and roast authentic pork carnitas for Taco Tuesdays. Diners can also stop by on weekends for a buffet of comfort food, including pot roast and mashed potatoes. A spacious interior and free WiFi make Mockingbirds an inviting spot to hang out, though a bicyclist can deliver the eatery's fare on two wheels during the warmer months.
Comfort food, friends, and brews. That's what Hot Chick is all about. In its cozy confines, cooks serve a menu of fried green tomatoes, BLTs on texas toast, and fish sandwiches fried in a Redhook Ale batter. Of course, there's the chicken. They've got crispy chicken chunks and wings bolstered by 14 flavorful sauces. Lip-smacking sauces include sweet habanero, tropical rum glaze, and What the Cluck, a superfiery concoction.
During warmer months, the rooftop patio at @the Square overlooks the grassy knoll where crowds gather for live music. Seated at one of the sun-drenched tables, visitors can enjoy a variety of casual American dishes, served up alongside cold beer and drinks. When the weather grows cooler, the interior of @the Square is a welcome refuge—a cozy, low-lit interior surrounds diners and drinkers.