Road Trip Scranton to Concord NH
End of the month we're going to Concord/Manchester area for a couple of days and then Portsmouth from NE PA. Rts will probably be 84, 90, and 93. Looking for breakfast, lunch, and ice cream along the way. While there I'm hoping for lots of seafood - want to get my fill of clams and lobster.
From what I'm seeing, Concord is lacking in good restaurants. We'll be staying between Concord and Manchester so anything in the vacinity is good. Will be in Portsmouth overnight so looking for breakfast, lunch and dinner there. Also a day trip to Mt. Washington - good food on the road. Ice cream and custard are a must.
My travelling companion is a fan of those overly large touristy seafood places - I guess childhood memories. I was almost relieved to see one of her favorites - Newicks - was closed in Portsmouth. Last trip to ME it was the Clam Bake in Orchard Beach. To keep peace we almost have to go to one - suggestions???
Any and all recommendations are greatly appreciated.
I've taken chowhound advice in Portland ME and OR, OBX, San Francisco, FL and even for NE PA Keilbasy - haven't been disappointed yet!
1st stop was Denmo's in CT for clams and a lobster roll (butter and lobster) for breakfast - great on both! Dinner was at Johnson's Dairy Bar in NH. Fried clams and haddock - both really good. Thought it would be wise to just get the kiddie cup of ice cream for dessert. Little did I know the kiddie is more than one should eat! Breakfast one day was at a small cafe in Deerfield NH - can't remember the name but it was good - sour cream coffee cake was moist and tasty. Went up to the mountains and had lunch at Peach in Conway (or north Conway) - dog friendly too. Sandwiches, salads, and wraps - breakfast all the time but only open till 2-3pm. Had a dinner at the Weathervane ans was pleasantly surprised - calamari, onion rings, and a lobster roll (very light mayo). Also had a lunch in Portsmouth - Poco's Bow Street - the calamari starter was fantastic - tender fried rings tossed in jalapeno pepper jelly - very good. Their Cuban sandwich was dry and served as a paninni. Ok Nachos. HItting Tinkers in Manchester tomorrow for lobsters to bring home and clams to eat there. Will post about that trip.
So far a prretty chowwy trip
Thanks so far for the replys. Still planning so still need more recs. Will be spending a day around Caterbury and another in Franconia and finally the coast. Home base will be between Concord and Manchester. Still looking for places for breakfast and lunch on the road.
Tinkers in Hooksett has been mentiioned by a couple of people on the boards so that sounds like a linch or dinner. Seafood is high on the list as is ice cream!
Canterbury is a small town. I haven't eaten at Shaker Village in a long time but have heard good recommendations. Depending on the time, there's a new barbecue place in Boscawen NH not far off from exit 17/Rt 93 or from Canterbury you don't have to get on the highway. I think it's Smokehouse BBQ. They have their own smoker outside but right now it's still a take-out only place. They give good size portions. I find the brisket is enough for two meals. It's hard to decide on which two sides to get since I like their baked beans, sweet potato fries and coleslaw. I haven't tried their barbecue sundae which has nothing to do with ice cream. My son said it's a sampler plate of different things and, again, enough for two people. Haven't tried their ice cream yet but it's supposed to be good. Not sure who makes it.
awesome seafood at Tinkers, just off Rt. 93 in Hooksett NH (between Concord and Manchester) - best lobster roll and steamers, they have everything. If you like Mexican, there is an excellent small chain right next door called La Carrata's (it's always packed so be prepared but well worth it). Manchester has lots of greats, I'm running out the door - will chime in later with more on Manch. Do you like ethnic diversity? Thai, Indian, vietnamese, Italian, Sushi, etc.?
I don't have my map but I think you are driving our favorite route from NE PA, up thru Hartford CT then up to Brattleboro VT, over to Keene. Once in Keene, if you head to Concord NH the route goes thru Hillboro NH. You'll need to get off the hwy else it bypasses the downtown area. Take this route if you can be there in time for lunch at the Hi Tide. It's a seasonal seafood place with a huge porch for dining. I like the fried clams etc and the lobster rolls are okay. You will then continue toward Concord on Rt 202 which merges with Rt 89. Then wait until you get to Concord for ice cream. Take your choice of homemade ice cream: Arnies on Loudon Rd (from Rt 89 head north on Rt 93 to exit 14, turn left and go up the hill). My recent choice was Bananarama (banana ice cream with peanut butter chips) and Almond Joy. Ballards, a novelty shop in McKee Square is supposed to have homemade ice cream but I keep forgetting to go there (take exit 1 off Rt 89, turn left off the ramp and follow South St almost to McKee Sq. Take the right opposite the Rite Aid, and then a left. Ballards is almost opposite Rite Aid on the other street). Granite State Candy advertises their own ice cream. It's in downtown Concord, probably best to find a parking spot on State Street and walk down Warren St). A nice country ice cream place with a zillion flavors is Beech Hill Farm in Hopkinton (see website for directions from Rt 89). They also have a make your own sundae bar (even has peanut butter sauce). In Concord, we usually go to Beefside on Manchester St for clams/scallops but some people would choose Veano's. I recently compared fried clam notes with some friends who vote for Cremeland in Manchester (old fashioned drive in kind of place). If you want a great sandwich or soup for lunch in Concord I would go to In A Pinch Cafe. Their new location has much better parking. Soup/salad/sandwich specials change daily. See their website. My second choice for a great sandwich would be Bread and Chocolate on South Main Street. They make great sandwiches on their bread. I always buy some pre-mades so I'm not sure if they make to order.
Between Concord and Manchester, you can also find homemade ice cream at Merrivale's on Rt 3A in Hooksett. If you want some real southern cooking, Premier Palette on Elm St. It's casual.
Newick's on Dover Pt (outside of Portsmouth) is still open. Their locations in S Portland and Merrimack closed. You might want to try Brown's or Markey's in Seabrook for casual lobster and seafood. Can't remember which one we went to; they're across the street from each other. In Portsmouth we usually get a lobster roll and onion rings at the Ice House in Newcastle. They also have some good ice cream. It's a drive in kind of place with a small dining room. We like to eat at a picnic table.
I dislike the drive between Manchester and Portsmouth on Rt 101 preferring Rt 4 which goes by Johnson's Dairy Bar. I like their fried food but dislike their cole slaw. It's been a favorite ice cream stop for over 30 years (except for a short gap when it changed owners).
Not sure where you are traveling from on the day you go to Mt Washington or your route. Check the map to see if you are going near Sandwich NH (It's near Tamworth on the edge of the White Mountains). The Sandwich Creamery is a bit of an adventure to find. You can share a pint. It's a self serve place.
I second the ice cream at Granite State Candy- it's truly luscious, super-premium, with wonderful flavors all made in-house, and it's situated next to a nice park with benches for relaxing.
High Tide in Hillsboro is also a great choice- onion rings are hand-cut, and chicken fingers are real chicken breast, hand-pounded and breaded. Fried mushrooms are also fresh, if you're interested (can you tell Im not big on the seafood?). They have a cruise night every Wednesday, with one of the state's best displays of classic cars (and lots of great '50's tunes to boot).
Not to worry, Concord isn't completely lacking in restaurants.... Hermano's is excellent Mexican food, right downtown, and for fine dining, the new Granite Bar and Rest. has just opened at the Centennial Inn on Pleasant St. The Barley House on Main St. has great pub atmosphere, some nice beer and food selections, and live music most nights. check out the Tues night celtic/Irish music. Also loads of great lunch places- you can't go wrong at most of them in the downtown. Oh, and croissants at Madeleine's across from the statehouse are a must.