By SUSAN DUNNE, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hartford Courant
4:49 PM EST, December 6, 2012
ROSIE'S ROCKIN' TAKEOUT
34 West Stafford Road
Stafford Springs, CT 06076
While driving on Route 190 in Stafford, I saw an indescribably goofy costumed character dancing by the side of the road, waving a sign that said "Rosie's Rockin' Takeout." I decided right then to eat at Rosie's, to try out a new place and to ask what exactly that silly character was supposed to be. It turns out it's a little girl, Rosie, I guess.
THE VIBE: The place is exclusively take-out, with a bare-bones kitchen and counter area, a few chairs and a picnic table outside. Inside, three friendly young women cook and serve. The inside of the storefront is hotter than blazes; between orders, one employee went outside (on a 35-degree night) to get away from the heat. Even though customers will be in there only a minute or two to pick up, they might want to take a break outside, too. The woman ringing me out told me town regulations don't let them prop the door open.
THE FOOD: The taco salad, with pork, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, grated Cheddar, sour cream and salsa in a flour tortilla bowl, was the best thing we ordered. The ingredients were fresh tasting, well proportioned and flavorful, and the bowl was crispy and never got soggy at the bottom as tortilla bowls sometimes do. The hot wings, although small, were nicely spicy and the meat was tender. However, as presented, they were a gooey mess and my blue-cheese dressing was forgotten. The onion rings and onion petals — smaller chunks of onion rings — were well-done, just crispy enough. The fries weren't: They were soggy. The cheese hot dog would have benefited from less cheese, which was kind of Velveeta-ish. The cheese was a problem on the nachos, too: That dish was a school-cafeteria-quality pile of chips, too much cheese and some beans (which cost extra). The burgers were good, not great. One had the wrong cheese; still, we got over it. The tuna grinder, saved until lunch the next day, kept its freshness and was delicious, and it didn't suffer from the No. 1 tuna salad problem: too much mayo. This salad was just right.
THE BILL: Items range from $1.49 (one taco, one bean burrito) to $11.99 (16-inch grinders in a variety of flavors). In the middle are double burgers ($8.99), 10-piece wings ($8.49), 8-inch grinders, blue-cheese burgers and barbecued pulled pork on a roll ($7.99), chicken filet on a roll ($7.49), plain old burger ($6.99), Italian sausage sandwich ($6.49), onion petals, mozzarella sticks and nachos ($5.99) and sides and kids' menu items. Burgers and sandwiches (not grinders) come with fries and a small soda.
THE PARTICULARS: Open Monday to Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
THE VERDICT: I'll go back for taco salad, grinders and onion petals, and considering their taco salad is so yummy, I want to give their Tuesday taco night a try. However, in the future, I'll take a pass on the burgers, fries and anything with gooey cheese on it.
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