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A Dash of Sass: Parents’ Weekend Recommendations

It’s that time of year when parents and families are checking into hotels, milling around campus, and providing a hiatus from Harris. A fellow HerCampus member, Bettina Weiss, and I thought that we would take a restaurant tour of the surrounding area to scope out some ideas for you and your families to enjoy! We compiled a list of places that we have been to or heard great things about, took a camera, thought of some questions to ask, and it made for quite the adventure. Save the dates for October 5th-7th, and share the link to this page with your parents so they can plan some excursions for you!

Bleu Squid Bakery & Cheese Shop
& take-out Grilled Cheese Cafe

Olde Mistick Village, 27 Coogan Blvd, Mystic, Ct 06355

Upon walking into Bleu Squid Bakery from the storybook-like village of Olde Mistick, the smell of homemade bread is delicious, and the case of cupcakes is tempting. On the wall is a menu of grilled cheese sandwiches, complete with 10 additional items for your sandwich, including Cherry wood smoked bacon, grilled chicken, and basil pesto. Upon asking what the most popular grilled cheese is, the server replied,“Definitely the lobster.” Fresh lobster meat is added to the “Grown-up grilled cheese,” which includes a blend of Havarti, Fontina, extra sharp Cheddar, and Muenster cheeses on fresh-baked white bread.


I absolutely plan to eat here for lunch one day during parents’ weekend and would love to finish the meal off with one of the 52 flavors of cupcakes! The Chocolate Pretzel, with chocolate cake and milk chocolate buttercream swirled with crushed pretzels, sounds delicious, as well as the Vanilla Chocolate Malted, a vanilla cupcake with milk chocolate malted buttercream. Take a look at their website for the full list of flavors!

Mystic Diner & Restaurant
253 Greenmanville Ave, Mystic, Ct 06355

Previously known as the Equinox Diner, the Mystic Diner & Restaurant is completely (and very recently) revamped with lower prices, a huge menu, and service from 7am ‘til 11pm, seven days a week! When we spoke to a very informative and personable manager, we were told that the six page menu makes for “a great family dining restaurant where everyone can find something that they like.”

  
The breakfast menu, which is served all day, includes 10 varieties of pancakes, including Reese’s; a Malibu Omelette with avocado, artichoke, tomato, and jack cheese; and the famous Mystic Stuffed French Toast. We were lucky enough to be treated to the french toast and wow… what a treat it was. It is filled with strawberries, bananas, and sweet cream cheese, and topped with an amazing vanilla rum cream sauce. The two of us split an order and we had to remind ourselves to take breaks before devouring the whole thing. I would go back just for the french toast, but there are so many more options for lunch and dinner!

The lunch menu offers great appetizers to share such as popcorn shrimp and garlic and parmesan fries, as well as huge salads, paninis, and soups, including Clam Chowder. The dinner menu has everything from Stonington Sea Scallops to Chicken Parmigiana, and a selection of authentic Greek cuisine, including Spanakopita and Baked Moussaka. We were told that the manager is Greek, and that people come just for the specialties.

This would be a great place to have brunch with the family on Sunday before saying farewell! Keep your eyes open for a grand opening special event!

Olio
33 Kings Highway, Groton, Ct 06340

Olio, a sister restaurant of Azu and Bravo Bravo, is a very popular spot, especially for parents’ weekend. We went on a Tuesday at around 6:15, and the parking lot was full and the restaurant was far too busy to for us to ask some questions and take pictures. One thing that we did get a picture of was a sign that read “NO RESERVATIONS OCT. 5-7” So unless you already have a reservation, definitely keep Olio in mind for another time when your parents visit!

We went last year for parents’ weekend and got an order of lobster corn dogs for the table. That’s right, a combination of fair food and seafood- and they were surprisingly delicious. The crunchy outside and fresh, tender lobster meat on the inside made for an awesome appetizer. For my main course, I had the Clams Bianco linguine, with white wine garlic sauce and whole clams. The fish at the school dining halls doesn’t always seem promising, and I was dying for a fresh seafood fix, being the Cape Codder that I am. The portion size was perfect, the sauce wasn’t too garlic-y, and the clams tasted very fresh. Olio is open for lunch Monday through Saturday and dinner seven nights a week, and I highly recommend it!


Koto Japanese Steak House

527 Long Hill Road, Groton, Ct 06340

Hibachi, the Japanese form of dining in which hot plates are a part of the table, is what Koto’s is known for. Different types of Hibachi are offered, including lobster, steak, shrimp, and a vegetarian option. The very eager hostess informed us, however, that “everyone loves everything!” I believe it with the assortment of over 50 sushi rolls and the variety of entrees. While the menu is a little pricey, eating at Koto’s is perfect for special occasions if you can’t make it there for parents’ weekend!

Frogeez
985E Poquonnock Road, Groton, Ct 06340

For a dessert stop where everyone will get and create what they want, make sure to visit Frogeez self-serve frozen yogurt in Groton! They offer eight flavors at a time, and the most recent flavors are:

California Tart- with the tartness of Greek yogurt, it definitely calls for an acquired taste, but it is the perfect base for tons of toppings
Cinnamon Bun
Wild Strawberry
Triple Chocolate
Valencia Orange Sorbet: dairy-free!
Sweet Coconut: One of the flavors that I look forward to- tastes delicious mixed with Triple Chocolate
Tahitian Vanilla- always a good stand-by
Pumpkin Pie- I have been on a pumpkin kick, with Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee, homemade pumpkin muffins, etc., but this flavor is amazing. Tastes like the real thing !

Frogeez offers seven different sauces, whipped cream, and 41 toppings, including, but not limited to, Captain Crunch cereal, fresh kiwi, boba (the little, colored bubbles found in Bubble Tea,) brownie, gummi bears, and chocolate covered pretzels. Ask for a frequent visitors card and if you mix up nine frozen yogurts, you’ll get the tenth free!

All photos by Bettina Weiss

 

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