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In journalism, the aim is for objectivity. So it's probably the right thing to disclose off the bat that, when it comes to grinders, I am particularly partial to Carlo and Son Quality Meats in East Lyme.
The place was first pointed out to me by The Day's music writer, Rick Koster, when I first started working at The Day. Ever since then I've had trouble keeping myself away from the deli and butcher shop. Any assignment in East Lyme is an automatic excuse to stop in for a pastrami or corned beef grinder (I hope my bosses aren't reading this. If they are, hey I'll pick you guys up something next time.).
On day two of my new grinder-a-day vision quest, which I'm calling "Long Days Journey into Grinder," I stopped by Carlo and Sons.
Carlo and Sons is so good and the grinders so packed with meat that I like to make sure I'm on the hungry side when I go in there. Typically, the drill is to wait until I'm nice and hungry, then wait another hour and drive over.
My favorite is the corned beef with shaved lettuce, tomato, provolone cheese, mayonnaise and cracked black pepper. I went with that today.
Carlo and Sons prides itself on the meats. I made the mistake of friending them on Facebook a few months back. Now, as friends and co-workers check status updates and messages, I spend my social networking time drooling at photos of rib eye and flank steaks.
The meat is top notch. If you don't know already, the prime rib grinder is probably the most talked about sandwich on the menu. But I personally think the bread is what makes this grinder a cut above.
The grinder roll is shipped in from a bakery in the Bronx and it has a chewy exterior, almost comparable to a bagel's texture.
One recommendation I would give someone who has never been to Carlo and Sons: go with the small. Unless you're a competitive eater or a power-lifter, it should be more than enough food. It's even plausible to have half a small for lunch and save the rest for dinner.
Now I have to say that, in retrospect, it seems I may have set myself up for some disappointment going with my favorite grinder shop only on day two of my week-long tour. But I've already got some great reader suggestions for grinder places I've never tried before. If you've got some, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them below.
The grinder-a-day marathon runs through the end of next week with the culmination coming at New London's Grinder Festival on Saturday.