Stew Leonard’s is the “World’s Largest Dairy Store.” This is a fact they proudly proclaim. One of the great things about Stew Leonard’s is the freshness and variety of their foods. Another of the great things about Stew Leonard’s is the girth and excellence and variety of their salad bar. Still another great thing about Stew Leonard’s is their samples. A wise and lucky individual could go and dine like royalty on the free samples at Stew Leonard’s and skip their meals altogether. This scribe has been known to do as much in a previous time in my life.
The Stew Leonard’s samples run the gamut and are really very good. When you first walk into the main entrance of the Federal Road Stew Leonard’s in Danbury Connecticut, you are at once greeted with the Stew Leonard’s baked goods. Stew Leonard’s is set up like a maze so be prepared to be twisted and turned around as you follow the trail. This first sample station may actually be in back of you (behind the front of the first display after you’ve passed it). This is the place where the individual with a sweet tooth can typically dine on cookies, cakes, breads, and the like. Don’t linger too long in this early chapter of the Stew Leonard’s sample storybook as there is plenty left for you inside.
Moving through you come to the fresh meats and deli portion of Stew Leonard’s. Keep your eyes open as you may just pass up a sample station because it’s so well masked by the heaping products which stretch towards the ceiling.
Around the first turn in the Stew Leonard’s maze there is typically another sample station set up. The samples may be some crackers with topping or something along those lines. Continue through Stew Leonard’s and you’ll wind your way to the vegetables. There aren’t typically any samples there but if you move through you’ll come towards their packaged breads and dairy in the middle. This is where there is usually a corporate sampler like Planters or some other such. These are typically not the favored samples; Stew Leonard’s sticks them near the hanging candy items; if it looks like a jungle, it’s probably a jungle.
Keep moving away from the registers and towards the seafood case. This is where there are usually a couple of sample stations set up. The first is typically directly adjacent the seafood case and this is where you can find seafood salad and other Stew Leonard’s creations. After that is a place where Stew Leonard’s has had their Pomegranate juice lately; this is something my wife quite enjoys. If you keep moving you’ll see another station set up in the maze just ahead of the buffet area. When we were there the other day Stew Leonard’s was sampling out some turkey creation which was delicious. The picture is attached.
Past this is the buffet station and this is where the tough choices come up. Because the buffet is so good very often your base instincts will take over, the smells and sights are overwhelming and the opportunity for loss is very real. If you feel you need to pick up an aluminum dish and begin serving yourself, you will have made it as far as any of us. If you are truly a sampler only and you think you can make it, just past the buffet station, by the sushi bar and the packaged pizzas and calzones has been lately yet another sampling station. This final sampling station has had many of the most enticing dishes of all like garlic cheese breads and chicken pot pie.
Stew Leonard’s is a great place for food and freshness. The world’s largest dairy store is also a great spot for samples for the picky consumer who isn’t sure what they want. Head on over to the Stew Leonard’s samples on several days in a row and you’ll see several different choices for what you might like.
Just be wary the salad bar!