The Dugout is the way things used to be. The owner is behind the counter and he cares deeply about his food, his staff and his customers. Most customers greet Bob by name. Bob's father, Ed is 99 and he still comes in and grounds the sausage and makes mashed potatoes. Bob's son RJ works the grill when Bob does not and he is a wizard.
Bob hires high school and college young women and gives them the opportunity to earn some money and a much more important opportunity to learn some life lessons. Bob makes sure they understand what good service means, the importance of teamwork, and the value of a dollar.
As a result, the service is wonderful. The young women greet customers by name and know what they order before they sit down.
The Dugout is not fancy. There are a half dozen tables and a lunch counter with white linoleum top that seats a dozen more. A small radio plays music from the local high school FM station. Until recently, they did not take credit cards, but that has changed. I hope that is the only thing that changes because the Dugout is one of my favorite restaurants in America, both for what it represents and for the great food.
The Dugout is only open for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is so popular that they can go through 50 dozen eggs in a single day.
There are two specialities of the house. Do not miss the hot sausage sandwich. They make their own sausage, form it into two large patties, grill it with sliced onions and peppers, melt white cheese over it, and serve it on a hard roll.
The second specialty is the hot roast beef sandwich. They slice the roast beef, serve it on a bun, and cover it in gravy. Get it with the mashed potatoes prepared on the grill with butter but do not tell your cardiologist.
What really sets the Dugout apart is that the family who has owned and operated it is passionate about serving great food at a fair price.
I once asked Bob's father, Ed, why the hot sausage sandwich was so large. He told me that back in the days when there were lots of manufacturing plants in southern CT, men used to work two shifts and he made his sandwich large enough so that those men could eat half during the first shift and half during the second shift. That story tells you a lot about how this family feels about their customers.
I take my young son to the Dugout almost every weekend for the good food. More importantly, I take him to learn some important values from Ed, Bob, and RJ and the young women who work for them.
It is nice to see a successful family owned business that has survived the trends that come and go in the restaurant industry by focusing on the customer and delivering great food at a fair price.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.