“On WesStuffed, students can read about anything from the new sandwiches available at Usdan Café to a review of a hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese noodle house on Main Street.”
Stop the presses, there’s a new food blog on WordPress! This one isn’t a cooking blog, like For The Love of Food (Lauren Rothman ’08) or Bread and Butter Press (Leah Campbell ’09). It’s not a recipe blog, like The Intrepid Cook (Maren Ellingboe ’10). It’s not just a bunch of pictures of salads, like Ryan Makes Salads, or consolidated menus, like the apparently defunct WesFood, and it’s certainly not as episodic as the sorely missed Lunchtime with Mark and Scott.
It’s WesStuffed, a learned, entertaining, and gastronomically informed guided to “the culinary jungle that is Middletown, Connecticut.” Roughly comparable to The Wesivore, which has been discontinued, the blog has so far featured rundowns of Middletown eateries, reviews of Pi iced tea and Red & Black cheese selections, and a pretty illuminating take on Usdan’s continued relationship with Ronnybrook dairy products. (The authors even spoke with the farmers and distributors of Ronnybrook products, both Wesleyan alumni.) It has also championed the hell out of Sweet Harmony Cafe and Bakery, a little-known hole-in-the-wall Middletown joint “laden with trinkets and treasures of every variety.”
The blog’s mission statement as it appears online is “to ensure that every one of your dining experiences during your four years at Wesleyan is delicious, budget-friendly, and completely worth your while.” Its creators? Two motivated sophomores: Ari Rudess ’15, who named her dog Chowder and claims to have tried every single ramen house in New York, and Alex Irace ’15, who reportedly has a history of winning pie-eating contests and making ridiculous salads in Usdan. They are soliciting guest entries for their blog, so contact them at arudess@wes or airace@wes. For more on WesStuffed, scroll on for a brief email interview with its founders.
What inspired you to start a food blog?
After spending time in New York City this past summer, and witnessing its vibrant and diverse food culture, we became inspired by the huge impact that food has on society and wanted to bring that philosophy back to Wesleyan and Middletown.
Will you be focusing on on-campus dining or other options in Middletown?
It seems like a good number of students, especially from urban areas, neglect the variety of fantastic dining options that are available on Main Street. This is kind of ironic, since walking around in Usdan and looking at people’s interesting creations proves that Wesleyan students are very interested in food, nutrition, and exploring different culinary styles.
What do you hope to accomplish with the blog?
We’re hoping that through our blog we can create a centralized resource for students who are interested in food culture both on and off campus. On WesStuffed, students can read about anything from the new sandwiches available at Usdan Café to a review of a hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese noodle house on Main Street. Additionally, eating at restaurants downtown allows students to become a greater part of the Middletown community. We also feel that it is important for people to realize that our campus offers top-notch choices that will satisfy even the most elitist eaters’ criteria for quality production and taste.
Fave restaurant in Middletown?
If we had to choose a restaurant that both of us considered truly fantastic, it would have to be Sweet Harmony Café & Bakery on Broad Street. It is a hidden treasure that serves really quality comfort food as well as some of the best desserts we’ve tasted in Middletown.
Here’s the link.