By Jeremy Austin & Eryn Finnegan Staff Reporter & President
After a long trip, these voracious writers, stomachs fiending for a scrap of food, searched for a quick, cheap alternative to the fast food, which they spent too much money on already. They stopped at the ever-familiar truck stop on Rt. 4 Wilton Road, nestled between the credit union and the Farmington Ford/Mercury dealership: The Big Stop, a restaurant attached to a Circle K and an Irving. It’s a wonderful place to pick up a hot batch of mozzarella sticks -bursting with gooey cheese, or a large slice of the rich chocolate cream pie.
Stepping into the Big Stop, one nearly forgets they have also stepped into an Irving gas station. The two entities are separated enough to allow for an immersive dining experience. Soft yellow lights warmed the dining area as the sun set outside, and the smell of grilling meat and fresh, generously salted french fries wafted from the kitchen doors and out to the bar where they waited to be seated. After missing out on breakfast sandwiches with donuts replacing the bread, the duo was ready to devour anything on the menu that looked remotely appetizing and nutritional. Time seemed to slow to a crawl as their eyes scanned the spiral bound menu, but it was quickly evident their sandwich craving had not fully subsided.
Fortunately, a hot reuben and a delicious-looking whiskey BBQ burger came to save their hungry stomachs. The reuben was quite delightful. Its sauerkraut, corned beef and Swiss cheese all working in perfect harmony with every bite. The sandwich was served on marble rye bread and, although still hearty in its own right, was panini-esque in nature. Thousand Island dressing was served on the side in a small plastic cup, which the reuben (or the fries it came with) could be dipped in. Either option is highly suggested.
The Whiskey BBQ Burger was a standout item on the menu, boasting sizzling, steaming grilled patties and homemade whiskey barbecue sauce. this burger paired with a steaming batch of fries is a fist pump of greasy, indulgent, tasty victory. Sauteed onions spilled onto the plate with each bite, the tomatoes were juicy, and the whiskey BBQ sauce gave a small burst of heat just intense enough to keep me wanting more.
In terms of ingredients, the burger and fries were standard, but the fact that they were cooked perfectly elevates this classic pairing. The flavor of the onions, tomato, burger, and sauce all in one bite offered a reminder that these recipes and ingredients are cooked together for a reason: they balance each other out by offering spiciness, sweeness, and saltiness simultaneously.
Bookending these lively entrées were mozzarella sticks and slices of chocolate cream pie. The mozzarella sticks, though small in number, were big in flavor. Each bite left behind thick tendrils of cheese as we pulled the sticks apart: the mark of a true artisan mozzarella stick. The slices of pie were about the width of Eryn’s face, but that didn’t stop these reporters from stuffing their faces until their lips had been replaced with crumbs, smears of chocolate frosting and whipped cream. Jeremy’s fiance, who had decided to accompany them on this culinary adventure, was clearly unimpressed by these animalistic behaviors.
Overall, while their appetites at the time may have influenced their ratings, the writers were pleased with the food and the service that the Big Stop provided. The writers give The Big Stop a rating of six mozzarella sticks out of six—they would most certainly be eating there again.