“BEST OF : Best Vegetarian, Shoreline Diner And Vegetarian Enclave, Guilford” – Shoreline Times

Published Friday, November 2, 2012
Written By: Lisa Reisman

Tempeh Reuben?

No, that’s not an oxymoron. Actually, it encapsulates what the Shoreline Diner and Vegetarian Enclave is all about.

While it bills itself as an oasis on the meaty fast food corridor of I-95 between New York City and Boston, the Shoreline Diner has a menu the size of a novella. With Greek, Italian, seafood and vegetarian entrees, there is, quite literally, something for everyone.

A group composed of lacto vegetarians, lacto-ovo vegetarians, pescetarians, vegans, raw vegans, and meat eaters? No problem. A family with a teen whose diet is confined to burgers and fries, his gluten-free sister, parents who are watching their cholesterol intake, and a diabetic grandmother? You got it. Even the nephew with food allergies is covered; Shoreline Diner’s kitchen is trained to be aware of allergies and preventing cross-contamination.

Need more incentive? Breakfast is served all day. Then again, everything on the menu is available at any time of the day. And everything the Shoreline Diner serves, from its daily soups to the breads and bagels, is made in-house. For those unable to realize the in-house Shoreline Diner experience, an eco-friendly scooter boasting a large heated trunk stands in wait to deliver your order hot and fresh.

Let it be said that this is no greasy spoon; the diner posts its health inspection score on its website. And the wait staff? Invariably pleasant and accommodating.

Whether alcohol is appropriate for vegans and vegetarians is an issue for another day. Whatever the case, there’s a cocktail menu that features a variety of house wines as well as a full bar.

So if you find yourself hankering for a slice of gluten-free shepherd’s pie and, heaven forbid, a Bloody Mary at 8 a.m. on a Thursday, this is the place for you.

 

“BEST OF: Best Vegetarian – Shoreline Diner and Vegetarian Enclave, Guilford”

Published: Friday, October 28, 2011

Diners used to bring thoughts of corned beef hash and gravy-covered meatloaf to mind, so “vegetarian” and “diner” may seem unlikely partners. Although attitudes are changing, some restaurants still treat vegetarians like designated veggie eaters, and offer a token virgin pasta entrée. Not this responsive, trend-setting diner. Perhaps that explains the word “enclave,” the owners have created a community that supports and celebrates a range of dietary choices and needs.

Add to the intriguing name an eco-friendly delivery scooter, complete with heated trunk, a wide selection of classic American, Greek, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan offerings and it’s clear that the diner has evolved. Patrons can still order classic burgers, fries and yes, corned beef hash and meatloaf, but items are prepared with an emphasis on healthy, quality ingredients and great taste. There are also oodles of salads, seafood dishes and wraps to round out the menu.

By the way, if you order lunch delivery, don’t be alarmed if someone rides up on a yellow scooter and says “your Big Fat Greek is in the trunk.” It’s just lunch, a tasty wrap filled with marinated chicken, lettuce, tomato, feta cheese, olives and tzatziki sauce. Lunch with a sense of humor.

Earlier this year, Shoreline Diner added onsite bagel, mini-baguette and dinner roll baking to their list of talents. In response to customer requests they now offer catering services as well as hosting meetings onsite.

Shoreline readers agree that this restaurant has a winning formula, and voted it Best Vegetarian for 2011. The diner is located just off the Goose Lane exit, on 345 Boston Post Road in Guilford and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. For more information, visit shorelinediner.com, or call 203-458-7380.

 

“Welcome to our favorite impromptu dining spot” – Nhregister.com

Published Sunday, May 24, 2009
Written By: Jean Cherni

As most of my longtime friends will attest, I have never been known for my culinary skills. I am able to give a talk to a group of 300 without experiencing too many butterflies, but a dinner party for eight would be the occasion for a breakdown.

As a result, we eat out quite often, and in order to be able to do so, have devised ways to stretch our dining-out dollar by frequenting buffets, going to lunch, rather than a higher-priced dinner, and using early bird or coupon dinner specials.

One of our favorite “go-to” places for excellent food, warm atmosphere, extensive menu and very reasonable prices is the Shoreline Diner and Vegetarian Enclave on the Boston Post Road in Guilford.

Webster’s defines “enclave” as “a group of people who are culturally, intellectually or socially distinct from those surrounding them.” If a diner can be called distinct or unique, Shoreline certainly qualifies. Anything on the menu is available any time of day. The vegetarian section of the menu is not only extensive, it is developed with the help of a consultant, Mary Lawrence.

A wheat- and gluten-free menu will also soon be available. Kerim Ayvaci, one of the partners, who is from Turkey, is a graduate of a hotel and tourism school, as well as the Parve French Culinary Institute in New York. He is the diner’s pastry chef and baker, and arrives early in the day to make the fresh bread and bagels daily. Kerim is also responsible for the large selection of mouth-watering desserts. (Val’s favorite is the baklava). Kerim and co-owner Nic Anthis are also unique in background and outlook. Kerim came to America from Kastamonu, Turkey, a town near the Black Sea. He met Nic, who is of Greek heritage, when he worked for Nic’s father at their family restaurant.

Although Nic started out as an electrical engineer, he and his father opened a restaurant in Fairfield. But when the former owner of the Guilford diner passed away, Nic and Kerim teamed up, and along with Nic’s sister, Georgette, who is also a partner, bought the diner and brought in new and innovative ideas.

I am always impressed by the friendly, helpful wait staff, and the small but important touches, like beautiful orchid plants, a fresh flower at each table, a selection of herbal as well as regular teas, and freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juice.

The partners are fanatics when it comes to cleanliness and using healthful food sources. The handy take-home bags are reuseable and biodegradable.  There is a new cocktail menu, which features a variety of house wines, and Nic tells me their lattes are “amazing.”

New this year are some outdoor tables, or if you live within a 5-mile radius, you may have your dinner delivered right to your doorstep.

The Shoreline Diner at 345 Boston Post Road is off Exit 59 from Interstate 95 and is worth a special trip from other areas of Connecticut. It remains our favorite, “Don’t have to plan ahead, let’s eat out place” on the Shoreline.

For more information, go to www.shorelinediner.com or call (203) 458-7380.

Contact Jean Cherni, founder of the retirement advisory service, Senior Living Solutions, at jeancherni@sbcglobal.net or 15 The Ponds at Hotchkiss Grove, Branford 06405.

 

“Vegetarians, rejoice, at Shoreline Diner” – TheDay.com

Published on 10/9/2008
Written By: Rick Koster

Not surprisingly, last summer, I-95 north out of New York was moving as though all 12-million drivers were trying to avoid arriving on time for a tax audit. Cleverly, we cut over to Route 1 – no one ever thought of that before – and moved slowly a while longer until Guilford, when my wife shrieked and pointed at a spangly box of a restaurant with a sign that read: Shoreline Diner and Vegetarian Enclave.

She took that as an indication from a merciful God of Vegetables – my wife’s personal deity of choice, presumably some celestial and mutant cross between Pan and the Jolly Green Giant, wearing a toga made entirely of corn chaff, oak leaves and pumpkin vines. She insisted we pull over to try it out and give the traffic a chance to mellow out.

Damned good plan. The Diner is in fact vegetarian-friendly – with even several options specifically designed for vegans – and at the same time offers plenty of comfort food options for the meat-happy among us.

And while the Shoreline Diner isn’t exactly close enough to our New London address to bop over regularly, it’s nonetheless a good thing to keep in mind when traveling anywhere near New Haven or beyond. We’ve been there twice in recent weeks and continue to be impressed by the whole place: food, environs, service…

The Diner indeed has the architectural layout of a diner – with the booths and the lunch counter and the covered glass displays of pies or pastries. But it’s also exceedingly clean and the décor, all cool mauves and grays with plenty of windows and brushed chrome and etched glass partitions, is modern and hip. Get there, as we recently did, when they unlock the doors for business and take note of an employee placing dog bowls of water out front for thirsty hounds that might happen by.

Breakfast with a vegetarian and a vegan can be a frustrating proposition in most places. But the options were varied and tempting on a recent Saturday when we showed up at the Diner with our vegan pal, Jennie.

Oddly – to me, anyway – there was no vegetarian sausage or wheatgrass bacon or whatever those fake meats are. This didn’t seem to bother them, though.

Both ordered “hand-pressed” grapefruit juice – tart, tangy and pulpy. Jennie asked for a vegetable scramble – a sort of eggless omelette variation invented on the run because, somewhat surprisingly given the “veg-o enclave” construct, there weren’t any particular tempeh or tofu breakfast choices.

What Jennie got was a cheerfully crafted creation that balanced a fresh tasting medley of sauteed tofu, spinach, tomato, onion, broccoli and green pepper. The Wife-ster had a three-egg, Gorgonzola, cheese and spinach omelette ($8), a captivating combination of ingredients so light it seemed tenderly basted in helium. “Cheese and spinach in every bite,” she said at one juncture, chewing, pointing her finger as though imparting great wisdom.

Both these dishes were supplemented with toast and homefries: negotiable chunks of perfectly crisped, lightly seasoned potatoes lightly – more than enough for any one human or any two Ricks. My wife Eileen’s toast was generously buttered; Jennie was happy they remembered not to butter hers.

As for me – a sucker for any of those meat-clustered platters called something like The Lumberjack or the Circus Strongman or the Rodeo Bunkhouse breakfast – I came across something titled the V.I.P. Breakfast and settled in. It includes three meats, two eggs and pancakes, and it made me well pleased and fatter than I had been. The two rashers of bacon, faintly redolent of woodsmoke, sizzled sturdily. A plump link of tasty sweet sausage contained hints of fennel and was void of grease. And a large, thick slice of center-cut ham was utterly lean and the sort endorsed by folks who like to refer to themselves as “country boys.”

My eggs were properly scrambled with flecks of egg white and draped across two giant pancakes. While the cakes were warm, it took a while for the pre-packaged butter to melt.  The lackluster maple syrup came in a fast-food style container. You can order pure maple syrup, but at $4.25 I opted out.

As for lunch and dinner, the options are myriad. Wraps, burgers and sandwiches fight for menu space with salads, vegan and low-carb options, sides, appetizers, chicken, seafood and pasta entrees and roasts.  It’s maddening, really.

Just pick out a old culinary pal – in my case, a chicken pot pie special ($13). Great hunks of delicate breast swam leisurely in a rich golden broth with pearl onion, peas, carrots, and potato. The crust was buttery, a nice counterpoint to the filling.  Brilliant fun.

And, for Eileen, overwhelmed with possibilities such as a tempeh Reuben, grilled polenta or a seven-bean vegan chili: a veggie medley Caesar with tempeh ($9).  It was a massive array of grilled eggplant, zucchini, red and green peppers over the titular greens.  The tempeh – which, by the way, is a soybean product – was ideally toasted and groomed to coexist playfully with the garlicky homemade dressing. She dreams of it.