Saturday, June 27, 2015

American Steamed Cheeseburgers: Connecticut Tradition Here in Wallingford

On a bright sunny summer afternoon, I walked into  a place that carries on a great Connecticut tradition. Steamed cheeseburgers. They were invented in Connecticut- in Meriden, as a matter of fact.  In Wallingford, we have American Steamed Cheeseburgers!

Click on any photo to see them larger!

Right on Quinnipiac Street, next to TaTa's Restaurant and across from Wallingford Sew and Vac, we have the most tender and delicious cheeseburgers created in a special way! With steam!

When I walked in, I was greeted as if they know me with a friendly and warm, "Hi, how are you today?".  It was not robotic like at many chain places.  The owner who greeted me seemed happy to be at work in his own place serving something he loves to create and share!

I ordered the cheeseburger with a slice of tomato (the way I like it- but they have lots of free fixin's and some with an extra charge- to make it the way you like it!).  You can get a choice of poppy seed or plain roll. 

 When I turned to look at the drinks they offered, I was surprised to see a choice of New England favorites like Moxie and Connecticut favorites, Foxon Park Beverages.  They also had something called Verona, from Michigan- a ginger ale (which I ordered).  Of course they had  the regular drinks, too, for those who prefer them.

As I looked around waiting for my meal, I took in the environment. The setting is comfortable and casual.  There are pictures on the wall depicting Wallingford History and a collection of antique soda bottles and cans. In the front display window, there is an antique television and an antique radio going back to days before I was born.  In the opposite window is a display of soda bottles from years gone by as well.

Soda Bottle Collection
 After not too long a wait, even with other customers coming in and ordering at the counter, my burger arrived at my table. It was big with melted cheddar and a huge burger and slice of tomato. It looked a little intimidating at first, but was so juicy, delicious and easy to bite through. The cheese was melted so nicely like it should be and tasted so awesome.  The ginger ale was really delicious too.

My pictures don't do it justice!

Cheese melted just right!

And they cut the sandwich in half! Love it!

The price was good, especially for something homemade and was competitive with the cookie cutter burger joints for the same size (of the larger generous ones) sandwich!  American Steamed Cheeseburgers is also know for their delicious homemade potato salad.   I decided to sample some.

Again, my photos don't do it justice~

I was not disappointed! The potato salad was really just like my mother used to make-really (and hers was great)! It was homemade.  I can't wait to come back with my husband, who can be a potato salad snob! He will die for this!

Tom Schappert is the owner of American Steamed Cheeseburgers.  He demonstrated the
The Burg'R Tend'R - a steam cabinet used to make steamed cheeseburgers.  (You can find out more about Steamed Cheeseburger history and how The Bur'R Ten'R works at this link- click here .).

"We are celebrating the second anniversary of American Steamed Cheeseburgers here!", Tom told me.  "We tried a location on Route 5 with a different name in 2013, but I really wanted to be located downtown. It seemed just right".

The location downtown seems to fit in perfect with the New England small town feel of downtown Wallingford. People are friendly and it's just very New England to have such a tradition right here in town- fitting right in with the character of the area.  You can even get your order to take out and sit on a bench near the gazebo across the street to eat!

To find out more about American Steamed Cheeseburgers, you can check out their website at: American Steamed Cheeseburgers .

You can find and "like" them on Facebook at: Facebook

Check out this recent article from the Meriden Record Journal too!   Meriden Record Journal Article

The hours are posted, but you can always call 203-294-8888 to see if they are still there. Sometimes they stay open longer!  Small town feel!

They are located at 92 Quinnipiac Street, Wallingford, CT 06492.

Have you been to American Steamed Cheeseburgers? Share your experience in the comments section down below!!!

And you can find Up with Downtown Wallingford at:

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Friday, June 26, 2015

A Summer Afternoon Stroll through Downtown Wallingford

Welcome and thanks for joining me for a walk through some of Downtown Wallingford, CT on a summer afternoon! The weather today was perfect for taking a stroll.

Personally, I love to support local businesses, which Wallingford has a lot of!   Wallingford also has the feel of a small town, but is local to two highways, the Oakdale Theater and two wineries in town also.
There are all types of places to go- ranging from classic barber shops, flower shops...

to great places to eat and places that offer great services.
There are wonderful brick laid sidewalks to stroll upon and meander down.

There are modern places to have computer work down or to have computer game parties for you kids (or yourself!).
You will also find places to help you start your own business or to hold meetings at such as at HUBCAP of Wallingford.
There are wonderful specialty shops such as Wallingford Lamp and Shade, which can take you on a wonderful trip to the past and through the present with incredible original light fixtures that will dazzle the eye and a great owner to chat with about the fixtures and what the town has to offer! I learned several things from the owner about historical places in town when I visited the shop after first moving into town.

 There are places in town to feel pampered such as great salons and spas, and great places to eat that range from classic American fare to unique specialty fare with a variety of tastes and experiences.

For example, Knuckleheads offers great generous portions of burgers and specialty sandwiches  and a great tap room with lots of local and specialty beers.

 If you like sports cards and memorabilia, you can find a large variety at First Base.

 You will find pizza places that have been in business for years serving up some of the best pizza that Connecticut and New York are known for.

 Many businesses in downtown Wallingford have been family owned for generations and keep traditions going of friendly hometown service not found in big box stores or huge corporate owned stores.
 I love the feel of going into a place, where the people that own the place are the ones serving you. They are invested in giving you wonderful service and attention, as well as unique purchases- be it a meal or a gift or something you need or want.

 One thing about Wallingford's downtown shops is having that great feeling of being able to pop into a shop and be treated as if they know me or if I'm new. The feeling is always that of welcome.
 I don't need to always be making a purchase to pop my head into a business and just to say "hi". The neighborhood is friendly and comfortable. I always feel as if they are happy to see me. It's also a great place to run into friends and family whether they are just shopping or taking a stroll.  Right near the railroad station is the gazebo at Fishbein Park.

 A place to go to sit and relax, or appreciate the beautiful flowers of the Garden Club!

 The railroad station is a historic building just like many others in Wallingford.
 A popular place for the fiber artist is Country Yarns, where you can find wonderful yarns and fibers, as well as take spinning, knitting and crochet lessons.