Deli on the Ridge

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by Amanda Bloom

REDDING RIDGE MARKET, located at 119 Black Rock Turnpike (Route 58) in Redding, Connecticut, carried on an eatery history of almost two-hundred years when it opened in early February.  The property has been a market and deli since 1834, and historical photographs and documents of the area’s past adorn the walls.

There’s more than just a friendly face at The Ridge: the deli is outstanding, featuring creative and delicious sandwiches, salads, steaks, pizzas, breakfast and dinner options, authentic Mexican fare, coffee and espresso from local roaster Redding Roasters and a very popular milkshake counter.

by Amanda Bloom

 


 

REDDING RIDGE MARKET, located at 119 Black Rock Turnpike (Route 58) in Redding, Connecticut, carried on an eatery history of almost two-hundred years when it opened in early February.  The property has been a market and deli since 1834, and historical photographs and documents of the area’s past adorn the walls.

“The Ridge” is a bright and airy market, stocked with “all your basics”, according to owner Jordan Wright, who was referred to by friend and Ridge employee Bill Mackey as the “Unofficial Mayor of Redding”.

Wright graduated from Joel Barlow High School, located right across the street from The Ridge, in 1994, and Mackey graduated in 1993.  Not only do Joel Barlow students make up a large part of the market’s clientele, many of them are on sports teams coached by Wright, Mackey and deli manager Mark Nizzardo (who also graduated from Barlow in ’94) – Wright coaches freshman football, Mackey junior varsity baseball, and Nizzardo varsity soccer.

But there’s more than just a friendly face at The Ridge for local customers.  The deli is outstanding, featuring creative and delicious sandwiches, salads, steaks, pizzas, breakfast and dinner options, authentic Mexican fare, coffee and espresso from local roaster Redding Roasters and a very popular milkshake counter.  Bonus points: They also sell local bluegrass group String Fingers’ fantastic new release, Don’t Forget.

I went for the classic chocolate shake, which was pretty perfect as far as milkshakes go.  The Ridge uses ice cream from Buck’s, located in New Milford, and they offer all sorts of fun concotions.  The shake of the day was “Fruit Salad” – strawberry and peach ice cream with watermelon and blackberry syrup.  Shakes are $4.00 for a classic chocolate, strawberry or vanilla and $5.00 for the specialties.

 

Since I was pretty full from the shake and half a sandwich, my intention was to save half of my sweet potato fries.  This I could not do – they were gone by the time I left the market.

 

Deciding on lunch was not easy.  There’s the Mark Twain sandwich (a Barlow student favorite), with buffalo chicken, pepperjack and bleu cheese and bacon on Italian bread ($7.75), the Valley Forge, a cold sandwich with avocado, sprouts and havarti cheese on multigrain, and the Pine Tree, with grilled portabella mushroom, mozzarella, and garlic mayo on toasted wheat ($6.75), to name a few.  Then there’s the burritos (about $4.00 each), the “South of the Border” menu of tacos and quesadillas, and all sorts of daily specials.  
The Joel Barlow.

I chose the “Joel Barlow”, a hot pulled pork sandwich with Asian cole slaw and melted Vermont cheddar on a Portuguese roll, and a side of sweet potato fries.  This sandwich was divine.  The pork was chunkier than the standard “sloppy joe style” pulled variety, juicy, tender and smothered in a sweet and smoky sauce, and the slaw added a complimentary crunch and fresh, tangy flavor.  The Joel Barlow was just as delicious fresh and hot as it was later on when I had it cold for dinner.

Since I was pretty full from the shake and half a sandwich, my intention was to save half of my sweet potato fries.  This I could not do – they were gone by the time I left the market.

Wright said The Ridge is busiest during the school year, which has been delayed until next week since Joel Barlow is currently being used as a shelter for Redding residents still without power from Tropical Storm Irene.  But once the word gets out, this eatery is bound to be packed year-round – Wright and his crew have succeeded in honoring this historical site’s tradition of  great food.

Redding Ridge Market is located at 119 Black Rock Turnpike in Redding.  Hours are 6am to 8pm Monday through Friday, 7am to 8pm Saturday and 8am to 4pm on Sunday.  Eat in, take out and catering available.

Contact The Ridge at (203)664-1702 and visit them on the web at TheReddingRidgeMarket.com.

 

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