Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More Taste of the Palate, New Hampshire Style

I never expected the response I received regarding the White Mountain region of New Hampshire and all the great, and not so great, places to eat. I clearly have struck a nerve with all of you, so I am completing my gastronomic tour of Lincoln-Woodstock, NH.

Brittany’s Café at the Kancamagus Motor Lodge
How many times have you passed a motel, see their little diner/café and thought to yourselves “gee, I should stop here for a meal, maybe a T-bone, of filet mignon.” Of course you haven’t, because most of these places look like joints where you wouldn’t be caught dead, more because of the location than the décor.

So, as I have said, some places just call out, and when you go, it’s a real surprise…and in this case, a good way. Years back, some Cousin Palates discovered Brittany’s for breakfast, and after we sampled it, we decided that this was a pleasant, decent place to dine, and we’ve been there for dinner too. We all give it a “thumb up” even though it looks like a place at which you’d never think about stopping.

Truant’s in Woodstock, NH.

This place looks like a joint where former “truants” would hang out, replete with video games, tabletop shuffleboard, darts and pool tables. But you know, looks can be deceiving. To get to the dining room at Truant’s, you go down two steps, physically and socially. But, the food is good. It’s a step up from pub food, with some decent selections, and an extensive kids’ menu. It’s funny how places in vacation spots cater more to kids than the places around where we love. Normally, I wouldn’t really think of taking the kids into a glorified biker bar (they prefer opium dens), but with a decent dining room downstairs, and the kids’ menu, they have created a welcoming joint that the whole family can enjoy, and afford. While we’ve dropped “Dad’s” from our “preferred” list, we’ve put “Truant’s” on the “Palatable” list.

Shorty’s Roadhouse Café

Shorty’s is down in the Nashua/Brookline area, and perfectly pleasant Tex-Mex restaurant. We stopped there on our way home, and it was a nice way to end the week of sumptuous repasts. Without getting into gory details (because by the time we were eating there, I was bloated and burnt out), the nice menu feature is that they have a number of quesadillas, and you can order a “half.” If you’re really hungry, you can order “halves” of two different ones, or if you want to go light, just order a “half.” We also had a great waitress, and overall, Shorty’s wasn’t ...er...“Crappy.”

While none of the places we ate were 5-star or Michelin rated, almost all were enjoyable, decent quality, family-friendly places, that diverted from the standard chain paradigm of pre-fab, pre-cooked, pre-tend food. While some of the menu items were the types of things you’d find at a chain (Buffalo chicken sandwich, burger sliders), the food was fresh and real, with none of the pseudo-essence of food you get at the major chains.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of the dining experiences in the White Mountains of NH. You’ve been great. Now, please welcome Buffalo Springfield.


Anonymous said...

Polly's Pancake House up in Sugar Hill (Franconia), NH is special if someone's up that way.

Unknown said...

I am mixed on Polly's. Never been there myself, but my cousins who go up there more frequently than I often say that it is expensive and really just a product of their own publicity, which doesn't really motivate me to find out for myself. But, I suppose, if you like pancakes, and find yourself up near Sugar Hill, NH, it's the place.