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Mar 5, 2001 10:38 AM

Where's the beef? And other observations from the bus

  • p

Riding the bus from Maine to NYC is quite an adventure, and not always a good one! But I'm fairly entertained by looking out of the window. Passing through Saugus, Mass. I was trying to spot the steak restaurant that used to have a giant black and white steer out front, and always a long line of patrons waiting to get in. It was an institution in the area for many, many years. Good beef, as I recall. I'm pretty sure I saw the building but it seems to have changed hands. Does anyone know when this happened? Saw an amusing name for a restaurant on the road through Saugus too, Beau Thai. One more thing: On 95 after entering New Hampshire there is the N.H. State Liquor Store on the right and a place I'd not noticed across the highway on the left; a wine warehouse (presumably with good prices). Does anyone know if it's worth a stop when I'm in my own conveyance? pat

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  1. I have found limited selection and not partic. great prices at the NH liquor stores. Considering they tax far lower than Maine, the prices should be much better. Worth looking at every so often, though. I just passed by there recently and opted not to go in.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DF

      Thanks for your reply, DF. I'll keep it in mind. pat

      1. re: pat hammond

        That's the northbound NH liquor store. I believe it's the one with the best selection in the state. A complete price list can be got at any NH liquor store.

        Better go before the traffic picks up in the spring, if you need to go on a weekend.

    2. I think the restaurant you are thinking of is the Hilltop Steakhouse in Saugus. As to the current ownership, I believe the same family still owns the restaurant, but I am not sure.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Matt

        That's it! The big steer is gone though and the name is different. Thanks very much for the name! pat

      2. the hilltop steakhouse is what you saw it was sold years ago (not sure how many) it kept the same name and the new owners did not have a clue so the original owners bought it back. i dont remember a steer. when was th last time you were thru here? there used to be another steak house called vallees (20 years or more ago) it might have had a steer. as far as i remember the hilltop only has cows

        3 Replies
        1. re: scott

          My daughter and I ate there a few times about 8 years ago. The steer was there then. The restaurant was a bit of Americana, not especially good. One thing that bugged me in particular was that not only did you not get a choice of salad dressing, you got the salad bowl filled with Italian dressing from which you had to fish out the greens. We also had trouble communicating wine with the waitstaff ("I ordered a white, Sauvignon blanc is not a red") but the steaks were still good.

          At that time they were undergoing a major expansion in the Northeast, and immediately afterwards the recession hit. Double whammy!

          Did you notice if the meat store is still in the parking lot right after it? That place was the real bargain.

          1. re: ironmom

            I guess I was last there about ten years ago. No, I didn't have time to look for the meat shop. I'm so glad you remember the steer. I thought I might have hallucinated it! Yes, the beef was the thing. My son had a lobster pie that was truly yucky. pat

          2. re: scott

            Is the name of it still the Hilltop? Because if it is, I saw a different place from the bus, though it sure looked familiar. The steer I referred to was a life size plaster statue in the parking lot. Ironmom remembers it too. pat