In the February issue of Hartford Magazine, I came across a highly celebratory article on Joey Garlic’s Pizzeria in Farmington, Connecticut. The gorgeous glossy pictures and the rave reviews made me remember that it had been far too long since I’d had myself a Joey fix. In fact, it had been over a year since we took an itty bitty Boo to Joey Garlic’s in Newington, Connecticut (another location of this restaurant). Of course, last spring Boo was still on a strict diet of purées and Puffs (mostly self-imposed by my then pickier than picky infant son). Now that Boo’s got quite the discerning palette, it seemed like a good time to see what he would think about one of mommy’s favorite meals.
By the way, I tried like crazy to find a link to the article so it could make your mouth water the same way it did for me. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to track it down in cyberspace, so my little review and some iPhone photos are going to have to suffice. But I did find this little snippet about the owners winning Restaurateur of the Year last November (something the article mentioned amongst all the other pages of praise).
Before I tell you all about our lunch, I want to tell you why we were in Newington that afternoon in the first place. No, we weren’t shopping at Stew Leonard’s, although that is one of my favorite grocers. No, we weren’t at TimberGyms either. Actually, we were testing out a fabulous new-to-us playground that I plan to write about next week. Here’s a sneak preview:
All that climbing and sliding can work up quite an appetite, so we knew we better get Boo some food before the drive home or he’d fall asleep in the car, wake up hungry when we got home, and then we could just forget about a good afternoon nap. You know how that goes.
Joey Garlic’s Pizzeria is located just off the Berlin Turnpike in Newington. It is in a big shopping plaza. Not to get all mushy-gushy on you here, but believe it or not, this shopping plaza holds a lot of special memories for me and hubby. Seriously! This is not a joke. Take a look:
And come to think of it, Joey Garlic’s is the first restaurant that we took Boo to where he sat in a high chair and not in his car seat carrier. Oh gosh. Now I need a tissue.
Alright, back on track. I believe we were here:
This restaurant has a nice, big parking lot, which is a good thing because there were sure a lot of people heading to Joey Garlic’s this Sunday afternoon.
Also a good thing: all these indoor and outdoor benches for waiting if there’s a crowd.
Fortunately, we did not have to wait for a table today. They walked us right in to one of their spacious booths. I know I have proselytized before about the magical powers of a good booth for easing your dining experience with little ones, and I am always happy to find restaurants that are able to accommodate high chairs at these tables. (In some restaurants, space constraints make putting a high chair at the end of a booth table against fire codes.)
First order of business, check out the kids’ menu. Fast.
Boo loves pizza, so I thought I’d let him indulge today. I quickly ordered him a slice of cheese with a side of fries and a milk. The milk came in a plastic cup with a top and a straw.
And Boo’s meal came out literally two minutes after we ordered it. Can I get a hallelujah? Of course, the speed could have been do to the meal choice since the pizza slices are usually ready to go. But still, it is good to know that you can go from fussy to food in under five minutes at this place. And about that food…does this look like a kid’s portion to you?
Okay, here it is with my fork so you can get a little perspective.
Looks like Boo’s got dinner to go too. Excellent!
Meanwhile, these were some of the best fries hubby and I have ever tasted. I don’t know what makes them so special, but I do know that we felt like bad parents for stealing so many of Boo’s fries. They were irresistible! Apparently, we are not alone in our French fried adoration. Our fellow blogger over at CT Museum Quest agrees. And he also touts the tastiness of Joey Garlic’s burgers. Check out his new series titled “52 West Hartford Burgers in 52 Weeks” to read more reviews.
We had just enough time to get Boo set up with his pizza before our meals arrived. Hubby ordered the Chicken Parmagiano Grinder. It was HUGE. Over a foot long. I’m not even kidding.
As for momma, I just love love love the Goat Cheese Salad. I know what you’re thinking: What kind of nut goes to an Italian joint like this and orders a salad? But it is divine. I promise. I usually get it topped with grilled chicken, and it comes with a big ol’ bread knot that’s slathered in melted butter and dusted with parmesan so I’m still getting my dose of carbo-licious goodness.
The restaurant is big and open, so it’s a great place to take a toddler since you don’t feel like you’re sitting on top of the folks at neighboring tables. It’s also just a naturally noisy place, so you don’t need to worry about the occasional semi-tantrum resulting in dagger stares from other diners. We were all able to enjoy our lunch.
Unfortunately, it was hours after Boo’s normal naptime, and he was fading fast. No dessert for us today (like we could even eat it after all that food). But I’ve heard good things about the ricotta donuts.
While hubby and Boo skeedaddled for the car, I checked out the restroom. Changing table? Check.
Although, the placement is a little odd because if the changing table is pulled down, that stall door will smack right into it when opened. Just something to watch out for.
What a perfect outing. Between the playground and the restaurant, Boo was completely tuckered. Hello four-hour nap! The only problem was, after all that food, we needed a nap too 🙂
Tell us: What is your favorite pizza restaurant in CT?
Joey Garlic’s Pizzeria
150 Kitts Lane (Stop & Shop Plaza)
Get directions here:
Sunday through Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Tips & Things to Bring
- We weren’t given any crayons or a paper menu/activity sheet for Boo, so you might want to bring a few of your own
distractionsactivities for your little one.
- The kids’ menu is a pretty good deal at $4.95, but you can also just order your wee one a slice of cheese pizza off the regular menu for $3.49. That would have been plenty for Boo. Just note that pizza by the slice (on the regular menu) is only available until 4:00 p.m.
- There is some room up front to stash a stroller, but you probably won’t be able to keep an eye on it from your table. Don’t mind me; I’m just paranoid like that 🙂
- Reservations are accepted for parties of eight or more.
- Click here to see the full menu.
- Take out available too; click here for a printable take out menu.
- For more delicious pictures of Joey Garlic’s dishes, click here.
The wait is over! Mandy’s got the scoop on another great library with plenty of playspace for the little ones. Plus, I’ll show you where we worked up that appetite for Joey Garlic’s.