As I get on in years, there is a certain enjoyment which goes into once mundane things. I now understand the slowing down to taste food, as opposed to just wolfing down whatever had the most sugar and could keep me on my perpetual energy rush. One of the places which have the best food around that I’m aware of isn’t a fancy restaurant or an exclusive dining club. Stew Leonard’s (“The World’s Largest Dairy Store”) is this place I speak of and I have been enjoying the food at Stew’s for some years now. However on a recent trip though I discovered another not-so-secret fact about this place. A fact I think which makes Stew Leonard’s food so much better than the rest.
Stew Leonard’s model themselves after a “farm stand” or some other far more modest version of what they have become. Stew Leonard’s has three locations that I’ve been to; one in Norwalk Connecticut, one in Yonkers, New York and the one I am most familiar with on the Brookfield/Danbury town line, a short distance from the place I grew up.
What separates Stew Leonard’s from their other mundane competition is three-fold. The first of these distinctions is that Stew Leonard’s has some of the area’s best quality food available. From their prepared food lot and their in-store salad bar, Stew Leonard’s chefs have some hand in this. But if these same chefs were working with sub-par ingredients they wouldn’t be able to create nearly the taste explosion that they do.
Stew Leonard’s also has the right selection of merchandise. They always have some things in stock; seasonal fruits, vegetables, chicken, fish, beef, baked goods, prepared foods, and the like. Then they always have the seasonal food which you’re most craving. It must have been more than 10 years since I’ve last had apple cider. However while recently strolling through Stew Leonard’s in Brookfield at the end of October, I came across their sampling of apple cider from one of their sample bins (Stew Leonard’s also gives away the best samples, but that’s another story). I tried this apple cider and it tasted perfect for the mood I happened to be in at that moment. You can bet that if and when we get settled down I’ll be back for a pitcher or three of this apple cider. Eggnog is just around the corner and is another seasonal staple which Stew Leonard’s proudly displays.
Freshness is another really big thing that Stew Leonard’s constantly strives for. Everything about Stew Leonard’s is fresh; the fruits and vegetables, the meats, their fresh squeezed orange juice, their fresh pistachios, even their fresh flowers are always full and blooming.
I know I probably sound like a commercial for Stew Leonard’s and believe me I almost feel like one. However Stew Leonard’s has earned my loyalty for all the reasons I listed above. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with championing something or someone you like, as long as they keep doing what’s made them great in your eyes.