The innovative American-fare artisans at Chef’s Dog House craft a menu of burgers and soups alongside a rotating selection of specialty hot dogs. In addition to classic varieties such as the all-beef dog, the menu offers uncommon toppings such as pulled pork and coleslaw or nacho fixings. Chefs also handcraft a selection of freshly prepared burgers that adorn grilled buns along with extra layers such as the avocado, pepper jack cheese, and shoestring potatoes that top the double-decker Godzilla burger. Guests can also customize dogs, burgers, and sandwiches with the 30 flavorful toppings that await at Chef's Dog House's condiment bar.
Deemed the home of the best hot dogs by the Hartford Advocate, Doogie's offers a menu full of dogs, char-grilled burgers, Philly cheese steaks, and more. Austere, undecorated dogs come in three sizes (reg. $2.83, 16'' $5.83, 24'' $7.83), and from there, toppings take the lead. Try the sautéed kraut dog (reg. $3.19, 16" $6.19, 24" $8.19) for a universally adored representation of German culinary culture, or a jalapeño dog (reg. $3.69, 16" $6.69, 24" $8.69) dressed with spicy nacho cheeze, which lost its 's' during a 1997 customs check in Frankfurt. Doogie's serves similarly serious burgers ($4.69 for a regular cheezeburger; add $2.50 to make it a double), such as the caramelized onion-topped shroom burger or the jalapeño-laden hot attack. Fresh breaded seafood rounds out the menu, with fish and chips (lunch $5.65, regular $8.49) available during lunch hours, or a bucket of fish ($15.99) that's big enough for three aquanauts.
Serving fresh and speedy pies across America for more than 50 years, Little Caesars now sates impatient appetites and sauce-starved tongue buds worldwide. Select from 13 toppings to embed like rubies in a sumptuous, made-to-order 14" original crust ($6 with one topping; $1.99 for each additional topping), or plumb the savory strata of a large cheese or pepperoni deep-dish ($7.99). Little Caesars' large Hot-N-Ready pizzas are available to drop-in patrons posthaste, eliminating stress caused by spur-of-the-moment houseguests who insist on sleeping on doughy disks ($5). Italian cheese bread ($4.29) and Caesar wings with barbecue or buffalo sauce ($10 for 16) are available for stomachs that have developed crust issues ever since they caught pizza sharing a plate with pre-dressed salad.
Cora Cora’s team of chefs handcrafts an authentic menu of traditional Peruvian seafood and meats. Meal-beginning appetizers include fluffy Peruvian-style potato salad ($8.50) and grilled tripe ($7.50). Afterward, cast forks into a dish of ceviche mixto, an oceanic reunion of octopus, mussels, and clams marinated in fresh lime juice ($13.50), or get another diner's attention by playfully pelting them with handfuls of fried calamari accompanied by crunchy ribbons of fried cassava ($13). Of the heartier entrees, a flaky fillet of fried trout capped with salsa and shrimp ($15.95) draws inspiration from Peru’s bountiful coast, and a seared sirloin crowned with dollops of Peruvian-style pesto ($12.95) delights savory palettes.
It’s considered normal for a restaurant to enter a float or banner in a town parade, but in general, these contributions are all made by humans. Corner Pug breaks this tradition each year during West Hartford’s Park Road Parade, gathering local pugs to march down the street with their owners, each pup dressed to the nines in an attempt to win an award for best costume or most flattering hemline.
This annual spectacle is in keeping with the whimsy that surrounds the pub all year long. Framed photos of pugs brought in by devoted owners line the walls to form a canine shrine, and these pups peer enviously at the endless line-up of thick burgers, organic strip steaks, and English pub classics that parade to tables. In between sips of 20-ounce draft beers, visitors should keep their eyes peeled for sightings of Corner Pug’s mascot—Mac, the pug—whose likeness graces everything from the menu to T-shirts, mugs, and bottles of housemade dressing.
Despite the pub’s jocular ambiance, the kitchen staff takes its job seriously—albeit with a wink and a nod, reportedly employing a macaroni technician to make sure each noodle is standing upright. But Corner Pug’s attention to detail (they even serve the fish ’n’ chips on London newspaper print) has paid off, earning the eatery a perennial spot on the Hartford Advocate’s Best-Of list.
Although it may have fallen out of Top 40 rotation in the 70 years since it was sung by a burger-shop owner’s barbershop quartet, the song “When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)” lives on in the legacy of a Seattle-based burger joint. The Red Robin franchise has spread its wings far and wide, now serving locations throughout North America with sustainably grown, environmentally conscious burgers and sides that marry classic American flavors with savory twists such as onion straws or bruschetta. Most of the shop’s fire-grilled burgers, chicken sandwiches, and entrees come with a side of bottomless steak fries, allowing patrons to soak up the juicy Whiskey River barbecue sauce, melted blue cheese, and edible fedoras that top the menu’s varied eats. The staff are happy to help patrons pair their sandwiches with one of the full bar’s microbrews or specialty mixed drinks, keeping glasses filled while athletic superstars battle it out on the eatery's big-screen TVs.