Off the Griddle with Ihopapotamus at…Las Vetas Lounge

(Editor’s Note: just in case anyone is curious, this is your original guest Ihopapotamus posting, T.K.)

Greetings, faithful readers.  This month found me back in Fairfield, CT at the Las Vetas Lounge at 27 Unquowa Rd, about half a block from the Fairfield train station.

Las Vetas is more of a coffee shop than a diner, but they have a respectable, albeit limited, breakfast menu.  On the owner’s advice, I tried their blueberry pancakes.  (He said he makes himself the blueberry pancakes when he “wants to treat himself.”).

It is a good thing I like blueberries, since there were more blueberries than pancake mix in my pancakes.  I was obviously a little surprised by that.  Since taking on the mantle of the Ihoppotamus, I’ve had more than my fair share of blueberry pancakes but I can honestly say I’ve never had such a high concentration of blueberries in my pancakes.  I like blueberries (that would be the whole reason I order blueberry pancakes), but I also want to eat pancakes when I order blueberry pancakes.  I don’t really remember eating pancakes; I only remember the taste of blueberries.  The liberal application of maple syrup failed to bring out the pancake-ish nature of the meal.  It just made for syrupy berries.

(image from Home Place Blogger)

It’s a shame the pancakes were subpar, since Las Vetas is actually a nice coffee shop.  A hodgepodge of furniture gives it a slightly Bohemian feel, more frequently found in Manhattan than in Connecticut.  The music is good, eclectic, and loud enough to be heard without interfering with your conversation.  Las Vetas also houses a fairly large collection of vinyl records the staff will play upon request.  The cappuccino I ordered came in a real mug, which I thought was a nice touch.  Maybe it’s my own eccentric tic, but I prefer not to drink out of a cardboard or Styrofoam cup.  I tolerate the plastic lids on hot beverages when I’m traveling, but only because I don’t have the alternative.  I never understood why Starbucks defaults to that as the norm, but the Starbucks people seem to be getting along just fine without my input.

(image from the Stamford Advocate)

The owner and the rest of the staff are very friendly.  The owner knew several of his customers by name.  He asked one or two of them if they had time to stay and chat or if they were in a rush.  I cannot remember the last time I saw a server ask a customer that (unless they were asking if there order was to stay or go…not quite the same thing).  I mentioned Las Vetas’ proximity to the train station; right next to the cash register is a monitor displaying the latest arrivals and departures from the train.  As someone who has spent a lot of time taking public transportation, I cannot stress how much I would have loved to have had more stores around my stop have that.  I frequently had to face a morning commute with caffeine due to uncertainty as to whether or not my train or bus would be running on time or five minutes late.  Kudos to Las Vetas for taking care of its customers that way.

(photo from the long thread)

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that my cappuccino was excellent.  I’m generally not a coffee drinker, but everyone that I spoke to really seemed to enjoy the Las Vetas coffee.   I feel bad giving its pancakes one Paul Bunyan only, but the Chief holds me to a high journalistic standard on these sorts of things.  If you find yourself in Fairfield by the train station, I’d recommend swinging by Las Vetas for some coffee.  If you’re in the mood for breakfast food, see if the Christophe’s Crepes is parked around the corner.

1 out of 5 Paul Bunyans: 


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