Friday, March 27, 2009

Rant of Devastation/Frustration

Sorry for ranting, but I need to get it off my chest...

Here at Waterbury Foodies, we like to paint a picture of a socially and culturally diverse Waterbury. But every once in a while, things happen that make us curse the very city of our birth, and last night was no exception. Scott was dying for Los Arcos tacos, so we stopped by to see our good friend Paula. We hadn't been in a while, both because we are on diets and because I was in Ecuador. The outside looked a little different, and when we went inside, we realized that Los Arcos was no more, the family was forced to sell the business. No more tacos, no more chats with Paula and the kids, no more mole. The new owners were selling only some groceries, no fresh food. I was so upset that I almost cried. Although I no longer had an appetite, Scott suggested that we go to the Peruvian Corner to cheer me up. Approaching the Peruvian Corner, I noticed unfamiliar colors...A PUERTO RICAN BAKERY?!?! This one was a real shocker. I knew Los Arcos was struggling, but the Peruvian Corner was hands down one of the best restaurants in Waterbury. I WAS DEVASTATED. I know I should be at least thankful that they have been replaced by other cultural food places, but it kills me to see them go. You can argue that the economy is to blame, and it is, in part. But what I will never understand about Waterbury is why places like that fail so miserably, meanwhile there are lines outside of Chili's and The Olive Garden. It actually disgusts me. Do people not appreciate real food and diversity? How could the Olive Garden even EXIST in a city with the largest Italian American population in the state and more Italian restaurants than you can shake a fist at? I cannot for the life of me understand the mentality. Are people afraid to try something new? What is wrong with this city that it falls into the trap of commercialization, chain restaurants, and a billion cell phone stores, all the while letting local businesses suffer? It really makes me ill. And do you know what makes me even more ill? Last night we ended up eating at Brass City Bistro, which is celebrating its one year anniversary. We ordered 1 drink each and two appetizers, and it cost us $50, which is about 6 times what we would have spent at Los Arcos for a much better and more filling dinner. Additionally, Brass City Bistro is not even a bistro, it's horrendously overpriced. The food was decent, but their menu was EXACTLY THE SAME as every other Vasi's/Mario's/Bacco's/Diorio's/Nino's/San Marino's/Gagliardi's/Aldo's of Italy/City Hall Cafe/Ragozzino's/D'Amelio's/Paisano's/La Tavola/Grotto's/Bertucci's/Pizza Castle/Carmen Anthony's. BRANCH OUT, PEOPLE. With minor exceptions and slight variation, these places all have THE SAME MENU. Is no one else's palate sick of it?

Okay, phew, I'm glad I got that out. And BCB, sorry for hating on your restaurant, your food was actually pretty tasty (or what I could afford of it anyway) and your waitstaff was gracious and helpful. You just caught me at the worst possible moment, at the height of my frustration with the Waterbury food scene and commerce culture. Tonight I will dust myself off and try to get excited about Waterbury food again...

3 comments:

Te said...

Hi! I stumbled across your blog while looking for, well, Waterbury foodie sites. I just wanted to thank you for existing. :D Please, keep posting as you're able to do so. Also? I have to warn you against 146
Grand St., which just opened a little while ago. Great menu, awful execution. Okay, that's not fair. Some of it's not so bad, other stuff is incomprehensible, other stuff is just fine. I agree with most of your other choices -- the ones that I've been to, anyway -- and, well... thanks!

Te said...

My fiancee reminds me that your rant really hit home with us, because of a couple of restaurants *we* really miss, like Hataya (Thai/Japanese), Panini Grill (Italian -- yes, another, but they were *great*... and popped up after the demise of yet another great Italian restaurant here downtown, Maria's), Country Club (American/European gourmet variety), and especially Kirin Jade (Japanese/Chinese where Kumo is now). It was run by a truly wonderful family, the Yuans (we used to like to go right as school let out so we could visit with their two children), and it was *homey*.

So many Japanese restaurants are cold and impersonal, with far more style than substance. Since Kirin Jade disappeared, we've actually been satisfying our sushi needs at Tomo 68 down in Naugatuck, which seems to be another family business and is quite wonderful. Once they know you, you get offered special things -- like grilled hamachi jaw, YUM! -- that aren't on the menu. We highly recommend it!

Anyway, I'll stop rambling -- keep on keeping on!

Renee said...

Thanks so much! We haven't updated forever because we've been so busy, but we appreciate the support!