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Hot Spots For Food, Drinks As Cold Descends On Stamford

Faina Yelensky, owner of Café Oo La La in Stamford holds up a hot soup and a hot sandwich while hot drink rests nearby. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Eric Screnock, owner of That Awesome Deli, at 22 Belltown Road stands in the area where he makes gluten-free and regular sandwiches. He prepares them in different parts of the kitchen to ensure there isn't cross contamination. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Anthony and Peer Telesco standing by bagels at their Liz-Sue bagel shop at 63 High Ridge Road. Their bother Thomas operates Liz-Sue II in Norwalk. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Winter's cold sends people inside looking for something hot to eat and drink, and Stamford dining establishments are delivering what their patrons need.

At That Awesome Deli, owner Eric Screnock knows what people want on days when the the temperature dips.

"They want hot food and especially hot coffee," he said, with a laugh. "They really go for coffee."

The deli is located at 22 Belltown Road and has been open since August 2012. But Screnock has been in the food business for more than 20 years, he said, and over that time he noticed that many more people are asking for gluten-free food.

He also prepares the gluten-free sandwiches in a different area to prevent any cross contamination if that is a dietary concern.

At Café Oo La La, owner Faina Yelensky said it's hot food and hot drinks that people clamor for.

"They want something to warm them up," she said while standing in the midst of her busy cafe at 2325 Summer St. in the Ridgeway Shopping Center. "When it gets cold there is nothing better than a hot meal or a hot soup."

Yelensky, who has been open for four years, said she has a loyal customer base and a thriving catering business.

"We are very busy; I just came back a little while ago," she said about a morning run to fill an order.

In the depths of winter, it's hot bagels that are the big seller, said Anthony Telesco, co-owner of Liz-Sue Bagels  at 63 High Ridge Road.

"They want their bagels hot and the bagels, too," he said while customers came in during a mini-mid-morning rush.

The business has been a Stamford -- and a Norwalk -- mainstay as well for years and the family-run business has a loyal clientele. Often that clientele waits patiently in a long line that goes outside the door -- and into the cold, Telesco said with a laugh.

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