By Charles Desrochers
The franchise restaurant is like a disease plaguing Central Connecticut. They bolster their casual appeal with pictures of rock bands and old tennis rackets but offer low quality at high prices but ultimately it amounts to nothing. Those pictures? Bought. Those Rackets? Never used. It's enough to make a patron want to pull their hair out and scream for something home grown!
The Pit Stop might be one of the last places in New Britain that can honestly call itself 'Mom and Pop,' let alone homestyle cooking. Photos cover the walls from top to bottom with friends, family and smokers the size of Uhaul vans while the aroma wafting from their rotisserie oven fills your head with images of pork swimming in sauces and meat falling off of the bone.
When I stepped up to the counter to order my small pulled pork sandwich I was quickly surprised at the portion just five dollars had gotten me. The bun could barely contain the meat let alone its delectable drippings and sauce that were oozing out of its orefaces. With the first bite a sensation shot up my entire body bringing me back to distant memories of my grandma serving up slow roasted pork of her own. This is comfort food at its finest.
They offer all kinds of sandwiches like Cubans, pulled pork and some of the juiciest steamed burgers. Oh, the burgers. I have never had a steamed burger and was genuinely curious as to what the big deal was. But the burger is simultaneously juicy and lean while the cheese encompasses it like a warm dairy comforter.
The average meal is around seven dollars, tax included. The Pit Stop offers mashed potatoes and coleslaw as sides but if the burger and pork sandwiches are good examples, you will not need them.
The inside, while cozy with its ‘grandma’s basement’ décor, can feel cramped.
There is one drawback but it's also a large part of the charm. I don't suggest eating in the restaurant. Whatever you order, make it to go since there is only one area to sit at the window and the standing area is so small that if you were to cartwheel across you would smash into the parallel wall.
For lunch and take out I can’t imagine another place so close to CCSU that can even compete. If not for the food- which you should really try eating- go for the idea. If you are tired of the tacky franchises, heartless food and long waits then do something about it. Support a local diner or restaurant and support The Pit Stop.