September 18, 2011

Celebrating Garlic and Gooey Goodness

Fresh garlic, grown in Connecticut. Mmmm.
This weekend, I stopped in Mystic, Conn., with friends to explore the 4th Annual Garlic Fest. We wandered around enjoying everything from samples of garlic popcorn (yum!) to garlic sausage, garlic chips, garlic cheese bread, and even garlic fried dough. We pretty much reeked by day's end, so if you're interested in ever checking this event out, you might want to make it a point to invite only very good friends.

Even if you missed this year's garlic event, however, there's plenty of other great stuff to explore in Mystic, like the Seaport and Aquarium. Or, just spend the afternoon doing some window shopping in Olde Mistick Village (where the Garlic Fest was held), which offers lots of cool little boutiques, fun eateries, and a resident population of friendly (though decidedly huge) ducks.

Truth be told, it wasn't really garlic that I was after yesterday. What I was really wanted was to locate what are reportedly the best cupcakes in Connecticut, according to Connecticut Magazine's Best of Connecticut 2011 Guide.

Today's Stefcations Highlights:
  • What You'll Find: Bakery and cheese shop, with phenomenal grilled cheese sandwiches and cupcakes
  • Where You'll Find it: Mystic, Conn.
  • When to Go: Visit Bleu Squid's website for hours.

The Grown-Up Grilled Cheese. Because no one
in their right mind is going to share this with their kid.
Bleu Squid, a bakery and cheese shop in Olde Mistick Village, is apparently the place to go for said cupcakes. And it just so happened they have a grilled cheese menu, too. A win-win situation in my book.

Given the Garlic Fest, this tiny little place was filled with folks lining up to place their order as well as dozens of drooling children frantically hopping around in front of a glass case that housed such delectable cupcake choices as Red Velvet, Coconut, Mexican Chocolate, and Butterfinger. (And who can blame them, really? I'd have been doing the same thing, had there been more room to maneuver.)

Grab a seat on the
Bleu Squid's outdoor patio.
Despite the long line, we got our sandwiches and cupcakes in no time, and found a table out back on their little outdoor patio.

OK, people. Grilled cheese. I don't know whether you're as big a cheese fan as me, but holy cow, these sandwiches are no freaking joke. I opted for the so-called Grown-Up Grilled Cheese on multigrain bread. Wrapped invitingly in a sheet of waxy parchment paper, this beautiful, warm, gooey sandwich featured not only havarti, extra sharp Cheddar, fontina, and Muenster cheeses, but also cherry wood-smoked bacon, and tomato. It literally oozed with yumminess. Seriously unreal. (Side note: They also offer a grilled cheese with chunks of lobster in it.)

The cheery little M&M cupcake awaits.
As for the cupcakes, I shared the M&M flavor with my husband. We're talking vanilla cake studded with a rainbow of M&M's and topped with a very good helping of vanilla buttercream frosting and yet more M&M's.

What's amazing about these cupcakes is their texture. I don't know how they do it, but the cupcake itself had this soft inside and almost a crust to its top that added the perfect crunch to accompany the frosting. I'm no cupcake connoisseur, but I know what I like. And these aren't called the best in Connecticut for nothing.

Had I not already consumed 15,000 calories, I probably would have gone back inside to snoop around for fresh cheese and bread to take home, or some of the cool little gifts and artisan snacky-type things they have on their shelves. But leftovers or no, it was still well worth the trip.


  1. Wow I am eating my lunch as I read this and I want to throw my boring sandwich out the window. I can't decide what I am more tempted by, the grilled cheese or the cupcake. The cupcake.

  2. No worries - Just eat both like I did, heh.