Oriental Cafe is one of the best places to eat in Wiliimantic, hands down. What used to be just a craving for Chinese food has shifted to a craving for Oriental. With great sushi, drinks, and meals, Oriental will satisfy any cravings for Chinese, Japanese, or even Thai. From the outside, Oriental doesn't seem like it has much intrigue, probably a standard take-out place, right? Wrong. With a dark, almost nightclub-esque interior, you step outside of WIillimantic and into a more mysterious, sultry atmosphere. Dinner at Oriental feels like the most exciting part of your day (or maybe my life is just sad.)
The staff are very friendly and eager to make recommendations, and the food has always been top notch. The presentation of food and drinks is always amazing, as you can tell from the photos on their Facebook page and in my photos below.
I've never stopped in for lunch, but I've heard the specials are great and the lunch deals are even better. Happy Hour is from 3-6, and most rolls are half price. The new patio outside also looks incredibly welcoming and seems like a good spot for a long lunch.
Insomnia Cookies was the main reason I was excited to visit Philadelphia / the University of Pennsylvania this past weekend. In case you’re unfamiliar with the company, here is a blurb about them from their website;
“Insomnia Cookies is a rapidly expanding late-night bakery concept with offices in both New York and Philadelphia. Founded in a college dorm room in 2003 at the University of Pennsylvania, by then student, Seth Berkowitz, Insomnia Cookies has been feeding the insatiable hunger of our fans ever since. We specialize in delivering warm, delicious cookies right to the doors of individuals and companies alike.
Insomnia Cookie stores are open from 4PM-3AM on weekdays, and 1PM-3AM on weekends. They’re a college student’s dream come true; delicious cookies (and milk) delivered right to your door.
I tried the peanut butter chip, and split an M&M cookie cake with a few other people (it was basically a giant cookie… what more could you want?). The cookies themselves were only $1.45 each (prices obviously may vary), and the “cake” was only $16 (split between four people, it was only $4 each!). With a bottle of milk being an additional $3, I ended up paying less than $9 for everything I could ever want at midnight.
Make sure you check out their website to find a store near you, and experience the absolute delight that is Insomnia Cookies.
Catsup & Mustard is at 623 Main St. in Manchester. It's a relatively high end burger bar known for burgers fully loaded with tons of fun toppings. With a large bar and two sections of seating, Catsup & Mustard is a great place to go for drinks, or go for a huge burger. According to their website:
Corey Wry was born and raised in Manchester, CT. After graduating from Manchester High School in 1995, he went on to attend college in Providence, Rhode Island. Corey received a Bachelors degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University.
After being stumped, I finally ordered the Hartford Yard Goat, according to the menu it's a burger topped with goat cheese, sprouts, fried pickle, bacon, horseradish sauce, egg, sweet & smokey onions on a sesame bun. The other burger pictured is the Turkey California, a turkey burger with chardonnay onions, brioche, turkey bacon, avocado, ranch, spinach, balsamic vinegar, tomato, and blue cheese. I also ordered the garlic parmesan fries, and the other fries are plain.
All the burgers sounded really good, and mine was delicious. I did notice that I could barely taste some of the elements, like the horseradish sauce and goat cheese, and maybe that defeated the purpose of piling the burger so high. In concept, hell yes, load it up sky high, but in execution, logistically, you can only taste so much at once...
The fries were delicious, and overall it was a very satisfying meal, but maybe if the rest of the burgers are like mine, the menu could use a little more thought, with focus on the important elements.
I'd definitely return to Catsup & Mustard, and I'd love to try more of the menu, but I certainly won't come without a healthy appetite.
Hot chocolate has always been my drink of choice, regardless of the temperature or the season. While I’m a huge fan of the traditional drinks like the Swiss Miss milk chocolate packets with little marshmallows, I am always on the look-out for new recipes.
Lucky for me, other people seem to love hot chocolate too. Check out some of my favorite recipes that I’ve found below, and leave a comment if you try one!
1. S’mores Hot Chocolate from Our Best Bites
2. Peppermint-Rimmed Hot Cocoa from How Does She?
3. Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Kissed Centers from Picky-Palate
4. Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate from Number 2 Pencil
5. [2-Ingredient] Nutella Hot Chocolate from Gimme Some Oven
6. Lemongrass-Lavender White Hot Chocolate from Serious Eats
7. White Fudge Oreo Hot Cocoa from Sweet C’s Designs
(Image from here)
I hope you find a new recipe for hot chocolate, and make sure you check out the following articles for even more recipes from Buzzfeed and Something Swanky.
***NOTE: All recipes are not our own, and are linked with their corresponding title. All images were taken from their corresponding websites, and are not our own!
Morey’s Family Restaurant, also referred to as the “creepy doll diner” by locals (also by me, but that’s irrelevant) is a very unique business in Oneonta, NY. Not so much in terms of food (although it does have a large assortment of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options), but because of its large collection of dollhouse miniatures.
Inside the restaurant, there are hundreds of different miniature dolls and collections. Most tables have their own display, in addition to more displays lining the walls. Overall the food was pretty good (I ordered chocolate chip pancakes), but I think its hype mainly comes from the large doll collection (and the thousands of tiny eyes that watch you as you eat your food).
According to their website,
“You’ll love the unique atmosphere of Morey’s Family Restaurant and Dollhouse Miniatures, with over 150 dollhouse miniatures on display! Your kids can play in our toy corner while the adults enjoy a delicious meal.”
I’m convinced that the main purpose of this restaurant is to showcase the doll collection, and serving food is only a bonus.
I would suggest looking at their website, as it has their menus pictures of the doll collection. You can also check out Morey’s on Facebook if you’re interested in seeing their business hours and upcoming (potentially doll-related) events.
As we all know at this point, I'm a sucker for juice bars, fresh pressed whatever, essentially if it's green and looks kinda inedible, I'm all over it. I finally tried Not Only Juice, the juice bar at 790 Main St. in Willimantic. I think I'm in love. Everything is beautiful, fresh, handmade, local, ethical, and delicious.
With an comfortably reclaimed sit-in atmosphere, Not Only Juice is welcoming and is a great place to just sit and hang out with amazing fresh cold-pressed juice or one of the many dishes from the kitchen.
Check out their Facebook for more information.
I got the Triple Threat with raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and protein, mixed with coconut milk, and the other is chocolate almond dream, with frozen bananas, almond butter, almond milk, raw cacao, and agave.