Most large American cities feature an artsy, or ‘trendy’ section or neighborhood. In Hartford, Ct, that neighborhood for many years, has been the west end.Comprised of many single- person households and apartment buildings, one would think that the demand for takeout food would be huge. Well, evidently it is.
Unofficially, the west end begins at the corner of Woodland street and Farmington avenue, just yards from the celebrated Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe houses and the corporate headquarters of Aetna Insurance Company. The area known as the west end stretches from Woodland street, westward up Farmington ave, approximately 1 1/4 miles to Prospect avenue. Prospect avenue also serves as the city line between Hartford and its adjoining suburb, West Hartford.
Located along and nearby that 1 1/4 mile stetch of busy roadway, are no less than fifteen restaurants. Since I live in the neighborhood and I am a cook/ chef by trade, please let me take you on a quick, culinary tour of restaurants and eateries in the West end of Hartford, Ct. Heading west along Farmington ave from Woodland street ( easily accessible by I-84 and I-91), we stop at Sisson avenue, a cross- street 1/4 mile up the road. Located at the corner of Farmington and Sisson is the Half Door Irish Pub (270 Sisson ave, (860) 232-7827 ). A full- service bar, which features live Celtic music several nights a week, the Half Door offers a creative lunch and dinner menu daily, including some fantastic specials. Across the street from the Half Door, is China King restaurant ( 259 Sisson ave, (860) 236-6600 ), which offers fast, tasty , standard Chinese takeout options. No more than a block away, are Kebra Nagast ( 248 Sisson ave, (860)523-1104 ), a vegan and vegetarian Jamaican restaurant and Vegas Blvd ( 233 Sisson ave, (860) 232-3749 ), a mini- replication of a ‘Rat Pack’ era Las Vegas style bar and pizzeria.
Now, back to the corner of Farmington and Sisson avenues, where the aroma of well- seasoned meat usually fills the air. Diagonally across the street from the Half Door, at 488 Farmington ave, sits Churrascaria Braza. Housed in a former movie theater and majestic in appearance, Churrascaria Braza (860) 882- 1839 ) offers fixed- price buffet dining, with a Brazilian theme. If You pine for lots and lots of grilled meats skewered and sliced tableside, then this is the place to go. Many evenings, the bar at Braza is also quite busy. Delicious, classic Chinese food is available at the China House restaurant ( 498 a Farmington ave, (860) 523- 5830 ), just a couple of doors down from Braza. Next door to China House is City Pizza (498 Farmington ave, (860) 236-2616 ), where, for less than $ 2.00, You can get a huge slice of piping hot pizza, or a hot or cold grinder. A full selection of whole pies is available for eat- in or takeout.
As You can see, the variety of food options available from restaurants and eateries in the West end of Hartford, Ct is vast. But wait, we’re only halfway through the tour. If fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and quite possibly, the world’s best cole slaw are what You desire, then Kentucky Fried Chicken ( 501 Farmington ave, (860) 232- 9566 ) is right across the street from City Pizza. Next door to KFC, is Sgt. Pepperoni Pizza ( 495 Farmington ave, (860) 233- 8888 ), where pizzas, slices, grinders and salads are available seven days a week until 2:00a. m.
Continuing westward up Farmington ave, about one block from Sgt Pepperoni, housed in a small, commercial strip, next door to a tiny clothing store, is Monte Alban’. (529 Farmington ave, (860) 523- 7423 ). Monte Alban’ is an exciting addition to the restaurants and eateries in the West end of Hartford, Ct. This small, Mexican restaurant offers authentic entrees with an upscale sensibility and presentation. Their Chefs are very good. Across the street from Monte Alban’, in a free- standing, attractive, shingled building, is Ichiban ( 530 Farmington ave, (860) 236- 5599 ), a Korean/ Japanese restaurant. Very busy at night, Ichiban offers diners a wide selection of items stretching far beyond Sushi and noodles. They are known for serving exquisite short ribs with vegetables, in a Korean BBQ sauce. Highly recommended. Next door to Ichiban is a branch of that All- American favorite, Burger King ( 524 Farmington ave, (860) 523- 0220 ). If you’re in the mood for a quick, inexpensive sandwich, fries, or milkshake, they can’t be beat. Believe it or not, Burger King also features a very good cheesecake dessert. Also located on Farmington ave, next to Monte Alban’, is Tisane tea and cofee bar ( 537 Farmington ave, (860) 523- 5417 ). Besides coffee and tea, Tisane features a full- bar, as well as a funky, eclectic food menu. Items include flatbread sandwiches, salads, Pad- Thai and an excellent version of Beef Stroganoff.
Just 1/2 block from Tisane, at the intersection of Whitney street, are two more very good restaurants. Whitney Pizza ( 266 Whitney street, (860) 232- 7860 ), approximately 100 yards south of the intersection offers superlative pizza and grinders. Their pizzas sport a crust that is in- between thick and thin, with a wonderful pizza sauce and just the right amount of cheese. Their meatball grinder is a thing of beauty . Excellent pasta dinners, various parmigiana dishes, great salads and a delicious, chewy bread that comes with dinner entrees, make Whithey Pizza one of the best restaurants and eateries in the West end of Hartford, Ct.
Just north of the intersection of Farmington and Whitney, next door to a dry cleaners is Mo’s midtown restaurant. ( 25 Whitney street, (860) 236- 7741 ) A neighborhood fixture, tiny Mo’s is a breakfast and lunch restaurant that serves everything from pancakes and eggs to cheeseburgers and club sandwiches. Saturday and Sunday mornings are very busy at Mo’s. Almost invariably, every Saturday and Sunday morning, there is a line of hungry diners, stretching from inside the restaurant, to the sidewalk outside, waiting for seats. Many of the weekend customers are traditionally students from the nearby campus of the University of Hartford. Like the other restaurants and eateries in the West end of Hartford, Ct, Mo’s midtown strives to satisfy the needs of the hungry local populace. To add variety and pizazz to one’s takeout meal, try purchasing one item from several of the excellent restaurants and eateries in the West end of Hartford, Ct. Eaten together, it would be like having your own private smorgasbord.
No matter what your taste or budget, You’ll be sure to find something to delight your palate at one of the restaurants and eateries in the West end of Hartford, Ct.