Thursday, July 3, 2014

Roadside Grub Gets An Upgrade at Olde 37

When the summer hits I have to admit I love grabbing some grub from a roadside joint. You know the kind of place you pass by after a day in the sun with just a counter and strictly outdoor seating.  You grab a few of the classics like a burger, fries and a milkshake, pull up a seat and chow down. It's a summer thing to do.


As I recently discovered, Olde 37 Patio and Grill in New Fairfield is not your average roadside burger joint. Opened just a little over a year ago, Olde 37 is giving roadside food an upgrade.


Owner Carl Huben is focused on keeping it local, from the beef and buns to the sodas, chips and ice cream. His goal is to avoid big corporate food and use only local companies. Is that right up my alley or what?

Carl is no stranger to restaurant life, having been in the business for over 20 years. He lost his New York restaurant in the hurricane and at that point he said he went into his "fortress of solitude" for about two years. He emerged with a plan and a back to basics philosophy that supports other small businesses while making a better tasting product for people to enjoy. "It's the real thing. What we should be doing," he said. 

Olde 37 serves sodas from a CT-based bottler that are sweetened with cane sugar not high fructose corn syrup, uses Buck's Ice Cream in the milkshakes and offers Deep River Chips.

The 100% grass-fed Angus beef comes from Josef Meiller Farm and Slaughterhouse in Pine Plains, NY and is known for being some of the finest beef in the region. Meiller doesn't do restaurant delivers - if you want it, you have to come and get it. Carl does just that. He knows exactly where his food is raised and processed.


Carl said he hasn't always been so focused on local food sources, but it's a "growing philosophy" and he's making real efforts to do more. In fact, he just worked out a partnership with New Fairfield's own Rywolt Farm on Pine Hill.

When it comes to cooking up the burgers,  it's all about the flame-grill. Then those burgers, with just the right amount of char, are served on hearty brioche buns. The buns soak up the juices from the burger but don't fall apart.


I have a serious love of French Dip so, of course, I ordered the French Dip Burger . The burger is topped with sauteed onions and melty Swiss cheese and a side of au jus for dipping. The burger was a bit more cooked than I normally order, but it was still flavorful. The buttery brioche bun held together wonderfully even after a serious dunk in the au jus. Highly recommend!


Renato went with the Original Burger, where the beef is blended with egg and sauteed onions then topped with lettuce and tomato. Again, great beef flavor. In this case Renato thought maybe there was a bit too much bun to burger.


For the fries, we ordered both the regular and sweet potato, because why not. Actually, however, the fries aren't fried. The potatoes are hand cut into wedges tossed with olive oil and salt and popped into a convection oven. This way they still get a crispy outside and soft inside without the grease. The sweet potato fries get a light coating of Parmesan cheese before going in the oven to help give them a firmer texture.

There is also a seasoning bar for the fries. Pop them into a wax bag, sprinkle on the seasoning of your choice and shake. Of course, I chose the garlic seasoning. And I have to admit it's hard not to smile when making "Shake, Shake" Fries.


To round things out we decided to go all out and both have a milkshake. The French Vanilla was good but let me tell you the Chocolate Mousse milkshake was chilled, velvety goodness. Made with cream instead of milk it was pure decadence and worth every calorie.

In addition to burgers and fries, Olde 37 offers hot dogs, chili, sandwiches, salads, a few vegetarian items like the Bella Burger, as well as soups and stews in winter. Delivery is available via Vroom Service.


I should add that we loved the roadside charm of the mural painted on the fence as you walk in. The mural was painted by a local high school student. 

Olde 37 Patio and Grill is a good roadside burger joint with a local philosophy that certainly makes it stand out.

Olde 37 Patio and Grill
25 Route 37 . New Fairfield, CT
203-746-3700
Facebook: Olde37pandg

Hours
Mon.-Sat. 11am to 9pm
Sun. 11am to 8pm

Olde 37 Patio & Grill on Urbanspoon

Photos by Renato Ghio
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