Thursday, December 27, 2012

Surprises abound at Romano's Pizza in Litchfield

Since we have family in the Litchfield area, we have passed by Romano's Pizza many times without even blinking an eye. When we recently found ourselves looking for a place to eat before our nephew’s holiday concert and given that there are not many options in this area we decided to try Romano's Pizza. You are going to like what we found.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I've got an inkling you're going to like breakfast at the Schoolhouse Café in Warner

My wife and I took a drive recently to the tiny town of Warner via the back roads through Hopkinton and Contoocook. Because it was still fairly early in the morning, we decided to stop for breakfast at the Schoolhouse Café.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Belle's Bistro, The Belle of Westford, Massachusetts

Westford, MA has long been the home to one of my favorite ice cream places, Kimball Farms, but for years this town wasn’t exactly a culinary destination. However, in the last year or so, the area has experienced a growth spurt and many new establishments both retail and dining have sprung up lately.

Recently, we were heading back from Boston and decided to try dinner at Belle's Bistro. If you are familiar with the area, the restaurant is in the space where the Ye Olde Beef-n-Ale stood. We found this to be a welcome addition to the local restaurant scene and within easy driving distance of the Nashua, NH area. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Pasta Loft, Milford, New Hampshire, an enjoyable experience

This is our third trip to the Pasta Loft in Milford. For this area it seems to be one of the more popular restaurants and, if you go, we think you will understand the reason why.

The Past Loft is located on the Oval. From the outside, the restaurant doesn't look particularly large but there are actually two floors. As you enter from the street, you will find a lively bar area downstairs with a quieter dining room upstairs.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Not wild for the new Buffalo Wild Wings in Concord, New Hampshire

New restaurants rarely open in Concord so we were excited to check out the Buffalo Wild Wings on Loudon Road. Based on our recent experience, you may want to skip this one.

According to their form 10-Q that was filed on November 1 they had 343 company owned and 511 franchised Buffalo Wild Wings locations throughout the United States. The Concord store is the first in New Hampshire outside of the seacoast area with one in Rochester and the other in Newington. You would think that they must be doing something right with so many restaurants but we are having a difficult time figuring this one out.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Hampshire Restaurant Inspection Reports

New Hampshire as well as other states have processes in place to help ensure that restaurants are clean and held to standards that we all expect from a dining establishment. Health inspectors make unannounced visits to these businesses to ensure that safety regulations are followed and to help educate on proper sanitary techniques.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New management a welcome change at TJ's Bagel and Eatery in Londonderry, New Hampshire

For many years, my wife and I would eat breakfast at TJ’s Bagel and Eatery nearly every month. That tradition ended about two years ago when the ownership changed hands to one of the waitresses.

What was once a pleasant time became an absolute nightmare. Unfortunately, this woman wasn’t pleasant and really didn’t have a clue about running a dining establishment. Her surly attitude and permanent scowl were always present.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Zampa in Epping, New Hampshire has a recipe for success

For those who travel route 101 between Manchester and Portsmouth, you have a good reason to stop in Epping if you are hungry. A recent visit to Zampa left us impressed.

As we arrived on a recent Saturday night for dinner and drove into their parking lot, I couldn't help but think that the restaurant looked small from the outside:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sweets, Bacon and Pumpkin People, Polly's Pancake Parlor, Sugar Hill, New Hampshire

For our next excursion, we are sending you on a joy ride to the small town of Sugar Hill for unbelievable bacon and pancakes at Polly's Pancake Parlor. You see, even if you are like me and only eat pancakes a few times per year this place is a must for the casual pancake eater or for loyal fans.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery, North Woodstock, New Hampshire, try the ale

Once a year we head up to the White Mountains as do thousands of others to partake in the fall ritual -- leaf peeping. While the weather wasn't the best, we figured this would be a good time to sample some food from a place we have yet to check out -- the Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Decent breakfast haunt Maddie's in Salem, New Hampshire should consider expansion

One of the ways we determine if a restaurant is good is to look to see if people are waiting to be seated. If it is mobbed the thought is that it must be good and so it is with Maddie's Bagel & Eatery. Every time we visit Maddie's it is that busy but I have to tell you that the wait is becoming too long even for their decent breakfast.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Restaurant Review, Caffé ll Cipresso, Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, quality Italian food over the border

Just over the border from Nashua, in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, sits an Italian restaurant that you may have never heard of and wish you had -- Caffé ll Cipresso. It has been awhile since we last visited and we are pleased to report that the food is just as good as we remember.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Restaurant Review,The Puritan Backroom Restaurant, Manchester, New Hampshire, a great value with large portions

Seeing that the Puritan Backroom is an institution in the Manchester area, I thought it would be worth a visit. What makes this establishment so popular? Well, the famous chicken tenders of course. Rumor has it that when Adam Sandler comes back to Manchester for a visit he heads for the Backroom for the tenders. Not only are they delicious, they are also a great value. Portion size is large so you can enjoy them for a second meal. Since our first taste of tenders many years ago, we have been to the Puritan Backroom a number of times and it has always been a great experience.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

At Hart's in Meredith, New Hampshire it's Thanksgiving all year long

Maybe you're like me and Thanksgiving is one of your favorite times of year. The family, friends and of course the food remind us all of how wonderful life can be. Little factoid: the holiday has even more meaning to me as my wife was born on Thanksgiving. So when you feel nostalgic for the holiday but see by the calendar that you are still a few months early, head to Harts Turkey Farm Restaurant in Meredith, NH.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Moritomo vs Ichiban, which is the best Japanese restaurant in Concord, New Hampshire?

There are two very good Japanese restaurants in Concord, New Hampshire and you will not be disappointed with either the Moritomo Japanese Restaurant or the Ichiban Japanese Steak House. Moritomo had been one of our favorite local restaurants for many years. After the Cat and the Fiddle closed on Manchester Street several years ago, Ichiban was born and has become a strong competitor. We have gone to these restaurants many times and they each have their own unique qualities and specialties. I will compare each in different categories and then announce the one that I think is best.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Restaurant Review, Tavern in The Square, Burlington, Massachusetts, A disaster

Frequently, my wife and I take a drive down to Burlington, Massachusetts to shop at the Burlington Mall. Those who live in the area are probably familiar with the dining establishments close by and we've found there's not a whole lot to choose from. We aren't a fan of most of the options in the mall so a few months ago we were excited to see the sign for a new tavern that was opening soon.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Restaurant Review: Cafe Espresso, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, exceptional service makes the difference

My wife and I have been to Cafe Espresso in Portsmouth a number of times over the years. After our most recent experience we will probably add it to our list of regular breakfast joints. The food was very good but the service is what impressed me the most.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Fresh Market, Bedford, New Hampshire, So long Shaw's

Recently, The Fresh Market, a new specialty food store opened at the Bedford mall and we decided to check it out. Fresh Market is a chain with locations spread throughout the Eastern United States. As far as I can tell there are only a few in New England including Avon and Westport, Connecticut and Hingham, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Restaurant Review, Gusanoz Mexican Restaurant, Lebanon, New Hampshire, Irvine works his magic

Restaurant Impossible and Robert Irvine are back in an attempt to fix another New Hampshire Restaurant, that is Gusanoz Mexican Restaurant in Lebanon. After their visit to the Chatterbox Cafe in Windham last year, we were excited to find out how the changes would turn out this time so we recently took a trip to find out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Restaurant Review, Roundabout Diner, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, not worthy of high accolades

This is my third trip to the Roundabout Diner at the traffic circle in Portsmouth. I was not impressed either of the other times and was reluctant to try the diner again. However, my wife wanted to give them another chance and so reluctantly, I agreed and we headed over for breakfast.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Restaurant Review, Surf, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Buckley hits another home run

Michael Buckley continues to prove that he is one of the leading restauranteurs in New Hampshire. With Surf, he has done it right again, a seafood restaurant on the harbor in Portsmouth. The hits just keep coming and Surf joins a list of exceptional dining establishments for Buckley including the other Surf Seafood in Nashua, MTS Local also in Nashua and Buckley's (see my review here) in Merrimack. What is impressive is that he has been able to own more than one successful restaurant and is not afraid to make changes or additions that will benefit his customers.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Updated: Best places for homemade ice cream in New Hampshire and New England

We're not trying to pat ourselves on the back or anything but my wife and I know where you should go for homemade ice cream. You see, we are kind of ice cream snobs and if it's not homemade we won't touch it unless it's the dog days of winter. During these dire times when most of the homemade places are closed and we have to find other options.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Restaurant Review, Common Man, Concord, New Hampshire, Food needs an upgrade

Let me start out by saying that I am a fan of the Common Man's owner, Alex Ray, and his story of rising from a dishwasher to running a number of New Hampshire Restaurants. That said, I have dined at the Common Man restaurant in Concord a number of times over the years and have not been impressed. We decided to give it one last try. Unfortunately, this visit was just as unremarkable as the others.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sabatino's North, Derry, New Hampshire, Off to a good start in new digs

We have driven by Sabatino's North at their old Derry location waiting to try the restaurant until they moved into their new digs on East Broadway, a much larger space, in the former spot of Depot Square Steakhouse. The wait is finally over and after hearing that they had opened we ventured in to see the changes they made to the existing space and to check out the food (naturally).

Friday, June 15, 2012

Restaurant Review, The British Beer Company, Manchester, New Hampshire, New pub a welcome addition to the Granite State

The British Beer Company Restaurant and Pub recently opened on South Willow Street in Manchester. They are a chain and have a number of locations in Massachusetts, one in Rhode Island and this is their first in New Hampshire. We have been a number of times to their pubs in Massachusetts and we have always been pleased with the experience. After we found out about this one opening in the Granite State we had to check it out as soon as possible.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ronaldo's, North Hampton, New Hampshire, Not as good as I remember

We discovered Ronaldo's many years ago at the Hampton Seafood festival when we sampled their garlic fries and they were unbelievable. We decided to check out the restaurant and enjoyed many visits over the years. They are located in a strip mall on Lafayette Road in North Hampton and if you turn your head for a second you might drive by without blinking an eye.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Restaurant Review, Lilac Blossom, Nashua, New Hampshire, A pleasant surprise

If you find yourself in the Nashua area and are in the mood for Chinese food, you should make a special point to check out the Lilac Blossom. My wife's family lives in the area and we've had take-out on a number of occasions but recently we had the opportunity to eat lunch at the restaurant and it was a nice experience.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Updated: Best Places for Cupcakes in New England and New Hampshire

I harken back to many years ago when my wife was on a Cupcake Frenzy after all of this excitement started over cupcakes. It seems like a cupcake shop was opening at every corner and I thought, hmmm...this isn't going to last, it's just a fad etc...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Restaurant Review, Burton's Grill, Nashua, New Hampshire, Better than most chain restaurants

A number of years ago my wife and I were heading down Route 3 on the South Shore in Massachusetts when I noticed that the car was in need of fuel. By chance we pulled off Exit 16 in Hingham and that is when we discovered the Derby Street Shoppes, a cute little mall. Anyway, at this mall we noticed a restaurant called Burton's Grill. Back then, it was the only one around but the company has since expanded and there are now 5 New England locations as well as one in Virginia Beach. We have never been fans of chain restaurants but I have to tell you that Burton's Grill is very different. In fact, we have dined in the Hingham, Andover and Fenway (which recently closed) locations. After hearing that they opened in New Hampshire, of course, we had to check it out.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Restaurant Review, The Newell Post, Concord, New Hampshire, New breakfast joint worth a visit

As I was driving to my sister’s house for Easter, I notice what appears to be a new restaurant on Fisherville Road in Concord. After a bit of investigative work, I soon discovered that the former owners of Summer Breeze had decided to open a restaurant at this location. I hope this will be a good breakfast option where there are few in Concord.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Restaurant Review: Shorty's Grill, Bedford, New Hampshire, We won't make the same mistake twice

Editors Note:  04/05/13 {It looks like what was formerly the Shorty's Grill has now been turned back into a Shorty's Mexican Roadhouse.  There is no mention of what was the Shorty's Grill when you visit their website}

I was reluctant to try Shorty's Grill after reading a bunch of reviews on Yelp that were almost all bad. And I have never been a fan of The Shorty's Mexican Restaurants. That said, I am always willing to give a restaurant a chance despite what anyone else may say or think.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Restaurant Review: Ollie's, Manchester, New Hampshire, Nice Family Place

This is not a story about Oliver (Ollie) Hardy from the old Oliver and Hardy comedy team. Instead, it is a family Greek restaurant on the west side of Manchester called Ollie's that a lot of you have probably never heard of.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Restaurant Review, MoeJoe's Family Restaurant, Manchester, New Hampshire, Good Breakfast

Hey Moe, hey Joe, where are Larry and Curly? Although the name of MoeJoe's Family Restaurant may remind you of the three stooges the food is no laughing matter. This Portuguese and American restaurant off the traffic circle near Route 101 has a lot to offer and although we haven't tried lunch or dinner our recent visit at breakfast was very good.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Restaurant Review, Valentino's, Hudson, New Hampshire, Stuffed

As we walked into Valentino's I thought about my first visit many years ago after the restaurant first opened. It was a family event around Christmas time and the only thing I remember is that Silent Night was playing over and over again on their sound system and throughout the entire meal. Looking back I laugh about this now but I think Valentino's has come a long way since then.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Restaurant Review, The Wellington Room, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, A special place

My guess is that most everyone out on the seacoast is aware of the Wellington Room, however, for the rest of us it is a special place that should be experienced. I have been thinking about going for a couple of years and finally had the opportunity.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Restaurant Review: Hanover Street Chop House, Manchester, New Hampshire, Strongly recommended

My wife and I love steak so when I was trying to decide on a restaurant for Valentine’s Day I called early for a reservation at The Hanover Street Chop House. I am a huge fan of the owner, Chuck Rolecek, who did a great job on this steak house and one of my other favorites CR Sparks when it was still around. It makes me wish that he would open a few more as he seems to know what it takes to make a restaurant work and there is no doubt that New Hampshire needs more good restaurants.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Restaurant Review, Hermano’s, Concord, New Hampshire, One of the best for Mexican Food

My wife and I have been to a lot of Mexican restaurants over the years. That said we haven’t found many in the good category and for that Hermano’s fits the bill.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A visit to the River Road Tavern, Bedford, New Hampshire, A fun place

I love new places and had heard of this new tavern on River Road so we decided to give it a try. As you walk in think of a big room with a bunch of tables almost like picnic tables and a bar with a lot of brown wood everywhere and you will understand what I mean. The area is large without much else in it, except for a few large televisions and a fire place.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Top 10 places for breakfast in New Hampshire

I haven't been to every breakfast joint in New Hampshire but I have been to a lot and these are some of the best I have found. Check them out and let me know what you think.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Restaurant Review: The Copper Door, Bedford, New Hampshire, Disappointed

There has been a lot of hoopla and fanfare over this restaurant that finally opened recently in Bedford. I mean, let’s face it, there has not been much to cheer about in this area since CR Sparks closed their doors.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Buckley’s Great Steaks, Merrimack, New Hampshire, A wonderful experience

Have you ever been to a restaurant where everything is as good as you expected? Buckley’s Great Steaks is such a place and it is that and much more. I have to give Michael Buckley credit for turning this location into a successful restaurant after a number of others had failed.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Best places for Ice Cream in New Hampshire during the winter

Winter began on December 21 and for all of the ice cream lovers this is a tough time of year because most of the good stands have closed and it will be many months before they open. But for those like me who love ice cream there are a few options to get a tasty treat. And so it begins, the search in the wasteland to find those places that serve ice cream in the winter.