Go ahead and indulge at Indulge Coffee & Sandwich Co.
There's a simple charm to Indulge Coffee & Sandwich Co. on High Street in Stonington Borough.
Indeed, easy and enjoyable are apt words for my experience there.
The spot is directly across the street from the Stonington Free Library and downtown park, and parking — at least this time of year — is simple. You pull up, head into the old storefront-style building, and order with ease.
There are the coffee options, which are fairly predictable: coffees, lattes, teas. Then there's the food menu.
Indulge has no website online that I'm aware of, and the only hints of what's available are photos posted on review websites and an outdated menu on menupix.com, so it's best to step out of line on your first visit and take a long minute to assess the list of impressive options.
Outlined on a board to the left of the register is a menu broken up into the morning options — breakfast sandwiches — and the lunchtime offerings of hot and cold sandwiches available on a range of breads, including Portuguese sweet rolls and crunchy toasted baguettes.
The breakfast options are wide ranging and enticing. They're served from 7 to 11:30 a.m. daily. Most tantalizing, in my estimation, was the "Sweet Sunday," a simple mix of two eggs, sausage and cheese, served on a sweet roll ($6.29).
There's a standard breakfast sandwich available that comes with two eggs, cheese and a choice of meat. You can have it served on a hard roll for $6.99. Upgrading to a croissant will cost you 50 cents more.
Another noteworthy breakfast menu item was the greens, eggs and ham made with spinach, cheddar, three eggs, and ham ($6.79). And a more Mediterranean-inspired option is the "Eggcelent" egg, pesto, red pepper and feta ($6.49). Calorie-counters might like the "Waist watcher" with avocado, tomato and spinach on multigrain bread ($6.29).
The lunch menu featured several excellent items to choose from.
At the top of my list is the Stanford ($8.99). Comprised of roast beef, red onion, and horseradish sauce on a grilled Portuguese roll, this sandwich has a piquancy and flavor that makes it almost impossible to eat at a reasonable speed. Indeed, after polishing one off, I seriously considered going back up for another.
There's a textural element that comes from the crisp of the red onion and the sweet bread's grilling that makes it hard to put down.
I also liked the "Red Hun," a ham, cheddar and spinach sandwich, prepared with a nice garlic aioli and served on a hard roll ($7.49)
Meat lovers will find no shortage of choices, from the "Indulge" with turkey, ham, roast beef and bacon with lettuce, tomato and mayo on a hard roll ($8.499) to the "Baby Huey" consisting of turkey bacon, spinach, cheddar and chipotle aioli on baguette ($8.49).
But the meat focus does come with one downside. Save for the breakfast egg sandwiches, there aren't a whole lot of options for vegetarians, who will find themselves limited at lunchtime to the "On the green" ($7.99).
That said, the "On the green" is nothing to scoff at. It's a generous and fresh sandwich, filled with spinach, sliced cucumber, red pepper, red onion, avocado and pesto. It comes served on a toasted baguette.
Pescetarians will also find the "Sorry Charlie" tuna salad hard roll sandwich with lettuce, tomato, provolone and red onion ($7.99).
Indulge also offers a few daily soup specials. On a recent visit, I tried broccoli cheddar ($4.24) and a beef stew ($5.31).
Both were flavorful and balanced. The stew came with hearty chunks of meat, peas, carrots, onions, and a broth that was thick but not overly so. The broccoli cheddar had large florets of broccoli and a thinner, savory base.
My only complaint is the temperature it was served to me at. It was by no means room temperature, but I prefer a piping hot soup. Over the course of my meal, shuffling back and forth between sandwich and soup, the broccoli cheddar and beef stew became unenjoyably cool.
The atmosphere at Indulge is quite comfortable. There's a nice view of the park, an array of seating options, including a couch and plenty of cafe-style tables and chairs, and books and a copy of the newspaper hanging around for casual reading.
You place your order at the register, and the staff brings your meal out to you when it's done.
Service is quick. Last weekend, I bought some chips to munch on while I waited, and I found my food at my table before I got to the end of the bag.
And that meal did not disappoint.
Indulge Coffee & Sandwich Co.
17 High St., Stonington
Food type: Breakfast and lunch
Service: Friendly and quick
Price: Inexpensive to moderate
Hours: Open daily, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; kitchen closes at 3 p.m.
Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover
Handicapped access: Entrance is three steps up from sidewalk level.
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