The Stand, Branford
It’s been nearly a year since I first stopped off at The Stand for a memorable barbecued brisket sandwich served from the window of a vintage, mint-green travel trailer. And we at the-e-list have been fantasizing about its next incarnation ever since. The good news is Greg Noble and Eamon Roche have finally rolled up their garage doors to the public, serving up so much freshly smoked BBQ to the hungry and curious community at their soft opening that they ran dry by sundown.
The Indian Neck Garage has been meticulously restored by local contractors and artisans, using recycled wood and findings from the area. Memorabilia from the original station is peppered throughout the lofty space. A small stage is primed and ready for live tunes. Seating indoors is in booths and on long wooden benches and tables. Or plotz at a picnic table outside overlooking the lush garden and fully operational farm stand.
Carnivores can now belly up to the line, choose a meat and sides and pay the cashier. We noshed on fall-off-the-bone, peppery St. Louis Cut Ribs along with New England Style smoked and grilled chicken thighs rubbed with fresh herbs and Old Bay. And then there was the coffee BBQ brisket with red pepper harissa, purple slaw and barley salad made with turmeric and roasted lemons. Our platter was topped off with a couple of cooling salads – a juicy watermelon with feta and Panzanella – made with tomatoes so ripe, it was hard to tell which was which. Needless to say, there’s plenty for vegetarians here, too.
The bar is stocked with cans of beer (thirty carefully selected styles), CT brews on tap, small batch wines (mostly organic and biodynamic) and a slew of hearty, bourbon-centric cocktails. My favorite (and I sampled a few) was Beatty’s Busted Knuckle made with Rye, iced tea, peach liqueur and fresh mint, served in a mason jar – one of several bows to the garage’s original owner J. Robert Beatty. The drink prices are generously set to $6 beer, $8 wine and $10 cocktails (using only premium liquor and fresh ingredients).
The mission here is to bring people together for an old familiar roadside stand experience and to celebrate a bit of Americana, deep in the heart of the CT Shoreline. Thanks to the genius and thoughtful duo behind this place and based on the crowd the night we were there (their first ever dinner), it’s happening!
You must go. But go early! This is slow food served fast. And we were not the only ones champing at the bit all year.
Open for dinner at 5pm. Check their FB page for updates. Lunch service should return next week unless announced otherwise.
196 South Montowese Street, Branford
by Laura Williams