One of the first things that drew me to Newtown was its charming Main Street.
With its historic homes and canopy of sugar maples, Main Street conjures up images of horses and buggies rolling down the dirt road on their way to visit neighbors and stop at the General Store. Which is exactly what I did, except for the horse part, on a recent warm day.
On a fine spring afternoon, I sat at one of Newtown General Store's two outdoor tables soaking in some much-needed sunshine. Upon my friend's arrival, we glanced at the menu, and I went in to order our sandwiches.
The General Store was built in 1847. With its uneven wooden floors, old-fashioned storefront windows and high ceiling, the building exudes a historic vibe while still sporting all the conveniences customers expect.
One wall is lined with cases of refrigerated drinks, while the opposite wall displays jewelry and gifts from local artisans, as well as a coffee station.
And don't forget the candy. Many New England general stores are famous for penny candy. Although the candy here costs more than a penny, there is a display at the entrance where you can purchase candy by the scoop.
After collecting our sandwiches from the back counter and rounding up some snacks and drinks, I headed back outside to unwrap my meal.
I ordered The New Yorker on rye ($4.75). This is my favorite combination. The thousand island dressing and coleslaw add a tangy crunch to the tender layers of roast beef. Some delis overload the meat, so I tend to order half-meat sandwiches; however, this was the right amount of roast beef, and I had no problem polishing it off.
My friend ordered Newtown's Best Chicken Sandwich ($4.95), a chicken cutlet with slices of baked ham topped with melted mozzarella cheese and creamy parmesan peppercorn dressing. Although it was a tasty mix, there was too much dressing and cheese, which overpowered the chicken and ham. She said she would try something else next time.
The prices here are reasonable, with many selections under $5. Hot daily specials, such as roast turkey and pork loin, are available, as well as salads, burgers and grilled cheese.
Other special combinations include The Sandy Hook ($4.95), a hard roll with hot roast beef, bacon, melted cheddar and bleu cheese dressing, and The Queen Street ($4.95), chicken salad, sweet red roasted peppers and melted cheddar on a grinder roll.
The Newtown General Store is more than just a deli to Newtowners. With its central location, workers can stop in for an egg sandwich ($1.25) and coffee on their morning commute, families can grab a sandwich after a morning soccer game and friends can meet and linger at one of the tables.
The store brings people together, not only to enjoy the consistent deli fare but to appreciate our historic roots.