Monday, December 30, 2013

2013: A year in Review

On Christmas Day my sister in-law prepared a wonderful brunch that included baked eggs and stuffed French toast. After gorging myself on all the delicious food she suggested that I do a year in review post. It was the least I could do considering the wonderful meal she had just prepared. So here is a quick overview of the high and low lights from 2013.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Top 10 pet peeves while dining out

Tis that time of year when there seems to be a top 10 list for everything from the past year. While the list compiled below isn’t necessarily restricted to experiences from 2013, I thought it might be interesting to see if our readers have had the same issues when dining at a restaurant.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Shaky beginning for New Gastropub Red Raven in Acton, Massachusetts

A few months ago my wife heard of a new Gastropub that was opening in Acton, Massachusetts. If you are not familiar with the concept, this is a pub that serves higher end food and creative drinks. The aforementioned was called Red Raven and we often checked their Facebook page and website to find out when they were opening. After noticing that their Facebook page already had over 1,000 likes before they had served a single customer, I thought that this place must be something special.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Black Water Grill in Salem

Since we have only reviewed a few restaurants in Salem, I figured it was about time that we did another one. This time we decided on the Black Water Grill, a restaurant that my in-laws visit frequently so we thought we should give it a try.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Food and travel gifts for the holidays

Can you believe that Christmas is only five weeks away?! Well, if you are like me, you are probably wondering what you are going to get that special someone who loves travel and food. We have a few suggestions below that you might want to consider:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Angelina's: The best restaurant in Concord

Having lived in Concord for many years, my wife and I have been to almost all of the local restaurants. Concord will never be known as a haven for foodies since there’s more chain restaurants than anything else. That said there is one that we think stands above the rest as the best in Concord.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Room for improvement at the North Side Grille in Hudson

There is nothing like a great breakfast to get our day started. Because the work week is so hectic we don’t have time for a real breakfast so we look forward to the weekends to enjoy a great meal. We are always looking for a new place to try and with that in mind we recently drove by the North Side Grille in Hudson so we decided to go in and check them out.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Poutine and cornbread a winning combination at New England's Tap House Grille

Always on the lookout for something new, I couldn’t help but notice a fairly new strip mall in Hooksett. After driving by several times, there was a restaurant in the distance that has been on our list to visit. Finally having some extra time on a Friday night, we decided to try New England's Tap House Grille.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dessert before dinner at Morano Gelato in Hanover

To say that we love desserts is an understatement. Whether it is ice cream, cupcakes or a great bakery we have tried it all and think we know a thing or two about sweet treats. If a restaurant doesn't make their own desserts, we don’t bother to order anything to end the meal. One dessert that we don’t have too much experience with is the Italian ice cream known as gelato. We’ve been hearing so much about a small shop in Hanover, NH that we knew it was a destination for our latest road trip.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Molly's in Hanover not worth the wait

Located in the Upper Valley close to the Vermont border, Hanover is home to Dartmouth College, the smallest of the Ivy League schools. The green is in the heart of the campus which is truly a beautiful setting for the lucky students who call this community home.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Over the moon for Moonstones in Chelmsford, Massachusetts

Every now and then we like to venture over the border into Massachusetts where we have found some really great eats. A short ride from Nashua you will find Moonstones, a restaurant that we had tried before and knew that we had to visit again.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fall Events: Pumpkin People 2013 with Slideshow in Jackson

As some of you know once a year we take a trip up north to see the beautiful fall foliage in the Conway,  New Hampshire area.  Food is always on the agenda and so is visiting Jackson to see the Pumpkin People. A number of local businesses compete for the best Pumpkin Person. This started 26 years ago and has become a yearly tradition for my wife and I. You can see them from October 1st  through the 20th.

If you have never visited Jackson you really should as this is one of the prettiest towns in New England. It is all there, the foliage, beautiful rivers, covered bridges and picturesque views.

So as not to spoil a trip for you we put together a slideshow from last year to give you a taste of the Pumpkin People. Be prepared to be amazed at the creativity.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy Hour at Pizzico Martini Bar in Nashua

The days of getting together with friends or coworkers in the afternoon for a few adult beverages is back. You need to look no further than the popularity of taverns/pubs that cater to this such as the River Road Tavern in Bedford and the British Beer Company in Manchester. And don't forget the Happy Hour that makes it easier for more restaurants and bars to join in on the fun. It is interesting to note that in Maine and New Hampshire the word Happy Hour can be used and in other states like Massachusetts it is afternoon food specials. Either way, we enjoy visiting these establishments that provide a relaxing way to chill. And let's face it, this helps the restaurant because it brings in customers during a slower part of their day.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Decent Italian food at the Chateau in Andover, Massachusetts

Located a short distance from Salem, NH, off exit 45 on I93 in North Andover MA, is the Chateau restaurant. With its large seating capacity (there are multiple rooms) and location, this is a great place to stop on your way up or down 93. We usually go for dinner but on this trip we decided on lunch. While we typically don’t like chains, we have found that the food is decent – not authentic but consistent.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

NH Division of Health Services falls short on public access to restaurant inspections

With the recent Hepatitis A scare in Contoocook at the Covered Bridge Restaurant and American Legion, the focus is again on restaurant food safety.  Earlier this year according to a story by the Concord Monitor, a food service worker possibly exposed hundreds of customers to the virus and the health department was recommending Hepatitis A shots.

For those involved we feel your pain. Back in 2005 my wife and I were set to be married and about a week prior to our wedding my wife became extremely ill. For the entire week prior to our wedding I couldn't figure out what was wrong with my bride. To spare you the most graphic of details, she was violently ill, had a very high fever, and no energy. She and I both thought it was the flu. The afternoon before our wedding I noticed her jaundice eyes and I knew this was serious. We rushed her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with Hepatitis A. Luckily, she mustered up enough energy to get through the wedding the next day but our honeymoon was delayed because of her illness. In fact, it took a good three months before she was fully recovered.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Find Cronuts Here: The Bakeshop on Kelley Street in Manchester

You may remember earlier this year when I wrote about the Cronut craze in NYC and their lack of availability in New Hampshire. Well, I have great news. You can find Cronuts right here in the Granite State at the Bakeshop on Kelley Street in Manchester. The bakery is only three years old and seems to have a lot to offer. When we were driving past on a recent Saturday and saw the sign below we had to stop:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rumor: Five Guys looking to expand in Concord

For fans of Five Guys’ fabulous hamburgers and fries there may be some good news for all those who live and/or work in the capital region. Word on the street is that they are looking at a space in Concord.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Looking forward to our next visit at El Rodeo in Concord

The wait is finally over for those in Concord who have been wondering about El Rodeo. Because this is the first new Mexican restaurant to open in this area for many years, we were excited to give them a try.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Use Oyster to help find your next road trip hotel

Has this ever happened to you? After planning your vacation you finally reach your destination to find a dirty room, miscellaneous fees, or pictures that look nothing like those shown on their website. Since you feel that your trip has been ruined and you wonder what you could have done differently? Whether you are searching hotels for a vacation, honeymoon or business there is a website that may help called Oyster. I realize there are hundreds of sites that offer reviews of hotels including Trip Advisor, Yelp, Frommer’s, Fodors, and to name a few. I’m not saying these should be forgotten but Oyster goes above and beyond to help you reduce the chances of a nightmare.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Dinner's finer at the Tilt'n Diner

On a cool, rainy night we found ourselves in the Tilton area and our thoughts immediately turned to comfort food. We decided to stop in at the Tilt'n Diner, a Common Man company restaurant that we have visited in the past. Since it had been several years since our last trip to the diner, I was excited to put the diner to the test. The location is ideal - just off exit 20 for those traveling north or south on I93 through New Hampshire.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Service might make you cry at How's Your Onion in Derry

After How's Your Onion opened a few years ago, we were regular visitors and appreciated the good food, service and quirky nature of the restaurant. Over the past several months our visits became less frequent because the service had declined considerably. A few weeks ago we decided to give it another try and sadly nothing has changed.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dominick's, Pizza Pasta & Things in Chichester needs improvement

My wife gets bored eating at our usual dinner haunts in the local Concord area so when we were looking for something different she mentioned Dominick's Pizza Pasta & Things in Chichester. We visited once before but it’s been a long time so we decided to give it another try.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Road Trip: Eat Cake, Newburyport, Massachusetts

{Editors Note: Unfortunately Eat Cake has closed but don't let that keep you from visiting the beautiful town of Newburyport.}

One of our favorite destinations is the small seaside town of Newburyport, Massachusetts. The town is charming – from the stately colonial era houses to the adorable downtown boutiques there is something for everyone and people come to visit in droves. It is our dream to live here someday but the real estate is very pricey so we settle for road trips to Newburyport. Although this is a small town there is a nice mix of restaurants and a bakery specializing in delicious cupcakes.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Take a $2 gamble on a Chessters ice cream cookie sandwich

Most people plunk down $2 on a Powerball ticket on a chance at winning millions of dollars as visions of fancy cars, boats, and vacations race through their heads. I certainly wouldn’t say no to my share of the jackpot but I feel like a winner when I spend my $2 on a Chessters ice cream cookie sandwich that are made by Rhino Foods in Burlington, Vermont. The name is a bit misleading since it is actually frozen vanilla custard between two chocolate chip cookies.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Orange Leaf continues rapid growth in New Hampshire

When we visited Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt for the first time in Newburyport, Massachusetts a few years ago we knew they had a winning formula. Since then we have visited many other locations including the one we wrote about in Exeter, New Hampshire:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The food is great on this Lobster Boat in Litchfield

The Lobster Boat Restaurant is one of those places that we have been aware of for a while because my mother and father in law have eaten here but the timing never worked out until recently. When we were in Litchfield for a end of the school year event for our nephew, we stopped in to sample the goods.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Visit The Bagel Cafe in Bedford

It can be difficult to find a good bagel egg sandwich in New Hampshire and especially near where we live in the Concord area. There are many restaurants that make them with preformed eggs and then zap them in the microwave. Blah! We realize that it’s easier for the restaurant owners but the lack of real eggs cooked on a grill makes us unhappy.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

60 Free Cultural Events in Massachusetts on Fridays this Summer

Free Fun Fridays!

Now that school is out and the heat of the summer is upon us, you’re probably looking for ways to entertain the kids. Want to have fun while saving money at the same time? We have the answer for you with Free Fun Fridays.

Each Friday from June 28 – August 31, six cultural venues in Massachusetts will open their doors to the public at no cost. Weekly offerings include selections from museums to zoos to historical sites with locations all throughout the state. Please note that while admission is free there may be a charge for parking at certain venues. Be sure to check before heading out for the day.

For complete information on the participating attractions, please visit

We hope you have a wonderful summer!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fun with Technology at T-Bones in Hudson

T-Bones is a restaurant we have visited many times over the years. The food is decent and my in-law’s really seem to like it so we end up often going to their Hudson location. I have been meaning to do a review for a while and when we stopped in recently I finally got the chance.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Food Trends: The Hunt for Cronuts

Undoubtedly by now you have seen a news clip or read an article about the latest food craze to sweep the nation – ok, maybe just NYC – the cronut. It’s interesting to note that most food fads start on the west coast so I was pleasantly surprised to see one so close to home.

For those of you that haven’t heard about the cronut yet, it is a hybrid of a donut and a croissant. So, it’s basically a sweet, airy, buttery delight! Sadly, I haven’t had the time to stand in line for HOURS to try one (yes, hours with no guarantee of getting your hands on them) but I do hope to partake at some point this summer. Since they are currently only available at the Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC, my partner in crime and I will have no choice but to take a road trip.

Stay tuned for further developments!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

11 Eleven Bistro in Manchester

In the former home of Richard’s Bistro, sits a newer dining establishment in Manchester called 11 Eleven Bistro. As we entered the restaurant, I was struck by how the interior hasn’t changed much since Richard’s Bistro closed a few years ago. It still has the open air kitchen and the cozy feel that we especially needed on this rainy, damp evening which also happened to be our wedding anniversary.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Remy's not the best food option near Fenway Park

Nothing says summer quite like watching the Red Sox play at Fenway Park. As a life-long fan, I try to get to as many home (weekend) games as possible. This season is no exception much to my wife’s chagrin. Before you feel sorry for her, know that she really enjoys the pregame festivities and cheering for her “boyfriend” Jacoby Ellsbury.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Linner at Latitudes in New Castle

All I can think of when I hear the name Latitudes is the Jimmy Buffet song Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes that reminds us of relaxing, boating, the ocean and all that is great about summer including dining on the water. And so it is at the restaurant Latitudes, located right in the marina at the Wentworth by the Sea in New Castle.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Return to Comets Diner in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts

Occasionally we venture a little bit outside of New Hampshire for breakfast but often we are too hungry to even think about driving over 40 minutes before we find sustenance. As we were passing through Nashua on a recent weekend, my wife suggested Comets Diner in Tyngsboro, a restaurant we have been to before but not for a long time.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mangia in Manchester

Often we find out about new dining establishments through word of mouth. This time a friend of my wife’s told us about an Italian place that had wonderful food. Apparently Mangia was previously located on the road behind the Kmart in Hooksett. Within the last year, they relocated to the south end of Elm Street (across from Chalifour’s Flowers). Naturally, we didn’t want to disappoint our friend so off we went.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

El Rodeo Mexican Restaurants expanding into Maine and New Hampshire

It looks like Concord is going to get a New Mexican Restaurant called El Rodeo at the former location of the Outback Steakhouse on Loudon Road. When I drove by and saw the sign below it was clear that something was happening:

In addition to the Concord space they will also be opening restaurants in Exeter and Portland, Maine according to the website for Retail Management & Development

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chen's Garden in Manchester

Chen's Garden is one of those restaurants that we have been thinking of trying for a number of weeks. Always on the lookout for good Chinese food we finally had a chance to visit on a recent Friday night.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chez Vachon a Good Option for Breakfast in Manchester

Several weeks ago, we happened to catch a preview for New Hampshire Chronicle about an upcoming story on a breakfast place called Chez Vachon located in Manchester. Since I had never heard of the restaurant and thinking I was aware of every breakfast haunt within 30 miles of us I asked my wife if she had ever heard of the place. Of course she said although she had never ventured in and kind of forgot about it. Seeing the promo on New Hampshire Chronicle jogged her memory. Needless to say we had to stop by for breakfast as soon as possible.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

No es buneo at El Jimador in Manchester

No es buneo at El Jimador in Manchester

Because Cinco de Mayo was upon us, the husband and I decided to visit a new Mexican restaurant in Manchester – El Jimador. It has been tough trying to find really good Mexican food in New Hampshire so I was super excited to check out this establishment. Next time I won’t have such high expectations.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Search for Boxty Continues, Irish 31, Tampa, Florida

For those of you who read this blog you probably remember that we love boxty and every time we go to a new city we check all the Irish Pubs in search of boxty. When we found ourselves in Tampa, Florida recently, my wife identified Irish 31 and their boxty appetizers. Needless to say we paid a visit on the first night we were in town.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Discover PastAmore in Amherst

When the moon hits your eye like a big Pizza Pie that's PastAmore. Since I love music this seems like a fitting introduction to this Italian Restaurant in Amherst that we decided to check out recently. If our meal was any indication we think you will hit the moon when you taste the food.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ice Cream: Lang's in Pembroke

There is nothing more exciting than opening season at local ice cream stands. When we found out that Lang's in Pembroke had opened we headed out to sample one of our local favorites. A small stand and the type of place that is a nice stop for all you soft serve fans. Located on Pembroke Street their menu offers soft and hard ice cream along with dogs, burgers, sandwiches, subs and plates.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

You will become a regular at the D.W. Diner in Merrimack

The first time we went to what is now the D.W. Diner several years ago it was nothing more than a small rectangular restaurant with a few tables inside. Boy, have times changed. At some point, not sure on the exact date a renovation occured and the space was not only enlarged but prettied up with a fresh decor. As time went on and word got out it just got busier and the waits longer so you guessed it, another expansion. This time, a second room was added, more tables and booths along with ice cream. Okay so the ice cream didn't work out but I have to give the owner credit for trying some new things and especially expanding which has really been a benefit for his customers. Although still very busy the waits aren't nearly as long. So yes, we really like the D.W. Diner, Number 6 on our top breakfast haunts in New Hampshire.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Derry Restaurant & Pizza, a lot better than it sounds

Although the Derry Restaurant & Pizza may not sound like much, there is a lot to like about this restaurant. Images of subs & pizzas might come to mind – at least that was our reaction when we first drove by. I honestly don't remember why we decided to try it a few years ago but we are certainly glad that we did.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Free cone day at Ben & Jerry's on Tuesday, April 9th

In case you haven't heard, this Tuesday, April 9th is free cone day at participating Ben & Jerry's locations. Needless to say we love the idea of free ice cream! Not all stores are participating in this annual event. I did check on the three located in New Hampshire (Manchester, Meredith, and North Conway) and they are all joining in on the fun. However, if you live outside of New Hampshire, I would advise you to check their map before you venture out.

If the weather forecast for Tuesday is correct, it will be a nice warm spring day in the Northeast. Wow! Toasty weather and free ice cream, take that Groundhog.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Gibbet Hill Grill: Groton, Massachusetts

Sometimes I wonder how on earth my wife finds restaurants that I have never heard of ever. Her investigative skills are uncanny. I was skeptical a few years ago when we headed into the dark of night on unfamiliar roads when she took me to the Gibbet Hill Grill to celebrate my birthday. How did you find out about this place? I asked. Needless to say she didn’t reveal her sources but we enjoyed our experience. Recently for my father-in-law’s birthday we decided to revisit and needless to say you will appreciate my wife finding out about the Gibbet Hill Grill. It's a short 25 minute drive from the Nashua, New Hampshire area for anyone that wants to see for yourself.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

High Five for the High Street Farmhouse in Goffstown

My wife recently heard that the former Patrick's restaurant location in Goffstown had been gutted and a new restaurant, High Street Farmhouse Restaurant, had opened in its place. Always looking for something new we headed out to try dinner for ourselves.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wine Ice Cream in New Hampshire: This is not a joke

Just when we thought we couldn’t possibly love ice cream any more than we already do, along comes one of the century’s greatest creations – wine ice cream.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Bedford Village Inn is still a Classic Fine Dining Experience

Because the weather in February had been less than cooperative, my wife decided to go local for my birthday and I didn't mind at all after discovering that it was one of our favorite restaurants, The Bedford Village Inn. They have persevered over time offering some of the best meals we have ever had in New Hampshire. That said, it had been a few years since our last visit making me wonder if it would still be as good as I remembered.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sunday Brunch at the Black Forest Cafe in Amherst

The Black Forest Cafe has been an institution for those that live in the Amherst, New Hampshire area for many years. We have been to their brunch several times and it has always been a wonderful experience. My wife decided that she wanted to try it again and made a reservation.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Clutter in and Rolecek out at Hanover Street Chophouse in Manchester

I heard a rumor that Chuck Rolecek had sold the Hanover Street Chophouse in Manchester and hoped that it was not true. If you read this blog you probably know that I am a big fan of Chuck Rolecek restaurants. I don't remember reading anything about this in the press but my suspicions were confirmed when I found out that Steven Clutter is the new owner. He must now show that he can keep up with what Rolacek started. Would the Chophouse be as good as it has been in the past?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Expansion makes everything better at Cucina Toscana in Nashua

We have visited Cucina Toscana many times and we were pleasantly surprised to learn that the previously tiny restaurant added a new dining space in the back. The food is consistently delicious and now with the new expansion it is even better.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Our favorite new food trend: Popcorn

So I'm surfing the web trying to think of something to talk about and I stumbled upon the Sterling-Rice Groups top 10 food trends of 2013. At number 10 on their list is popcorn, since I love popcorn it should come as no surprise that this is my favorite new trend of the year.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Disappointing visit to the River House Restaurant in Portsmouth

We found ourselves in Portsmouth on a brisk Saturday afternoon. After shopping, we decided to have a few drinks at the River House Restaurant on Bow Street. A bit later my wife and I were getting hungry and debated where we should go for dinner. Because it was so chilly outside sheer laziness got the best of us and we decided to stay put despite reading mixed reviews on Yelp.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Visit Luciano's in Londonderry for a wonderful taste of Italy

I made a New Year’s resolution to lose a few pounds and so far I’m doing very well. However, every now and then I still need to splurge and eat some really great food which is why we paid a visit to Luciano's in Londonderry.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It feels like New England at the Yankee Chef in Milford

When I looked in the distance and saw the sign for the Yankee Chef, I knew that something good was behind those doors. Chef John Sullivan has created a step back in time to all that is good about New England.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Visit funky & cool Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt in Exeter

About a year or so ago, we stumbled on a new frozen yogurt establishment in Newburyport, MA called Orange Leaf. At that time there were only a few locations opened or planned to open in New England. It’s amazing how quickly that changed over the last year. This chain is rapidly growing. Everywhere we go there seems to be a new shop opening up so we had to find out what all the excitement was about.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

900 Degrees in Manchester does pizza right

When my wife and I first visited 900 Degrees Pizzeria shortly after they opened, we were not thrilled with our experience. Each time we attempted to pick up a slice, the toppings fell off the pizza! Truth be told we haven’t found really good pizza in New Hampshire, the reason for so few reviews in this area. Various family members suggested that we give 900 degrees another look so we ventured out for another try since it’s been a few years.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bad service almost ruins visit to La Carreta Mexican Restaurant in Manchester

When my wife and I were first dating the La Carreta Mexican Restaurant was a frequent stop for its fun atmosphere, good service, food, and of course, the margaritas. We decided to stop in recently as it has been a few years since our last visit. Although it is still a fun place with decent food, we were disappointed with the service.