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touring Hampshire College- anywhere around it to eat?

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vpholmes Mar 21, 2008 12:38 PM

My family and I are driving to Hampshire College for a tour next week and will finish the tour around lunchtime. Anybody have any recs for a good lunch? Then we are on our way to New Haven to visit nephew at Yale. We are taking him out for his B-day dinner- any thoughts in New Haven? He is allergic to seafood. thanks, Chowhounds!

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  1. hiddenboston RE: vpholmes Mar 21, 2008 12:41 PM

    You'll want to post this in the New England board (although the CH Team might move it for you). The Boston board doesn't stretch much beyond Route 495....

    I can tell you that Pepe's on Wooster Street in New Haven is a must if you like pizza. I have had pizza all over New England and New York, and Pepe's is probably my absolute favorite.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hiddenboston
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      vpholmes RE: hiddenboston Mar 21, 2008 02:02 PM

      Thanks,hiddenboston! I know Pepe's is already a favorite of his! I was hoping for maybe one step up for his birthday. Know anything about Central Steakhouse? Thanks!

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      meb26 RE: vpholmes Mar 21, 2008 12:52 PM

      Hampshire is fairly close to Amherst where there are lots of great options. If you like wings (either the original or boneless variety, I highly recommend Hanger (aka Wings Over Amherst) right up the street from the Umass stadium. It now has outposts in a variety of other locations, but none compare to the original. In "downtown" Amherst, Antonio's has great pizza by the slice with unique toppings and Bueno y Sano is the choice for burritos. If you are looking for a few steps up from take-out or bar food, Judy's has great popovers, salads, etc.

      1. almansa RE: vpholmes Mar 21, 2008 12:53 PM

        I went to Hampshire College, but I'm not sure what's left. Amherst Chinese Food (AmChi) is owner by the Chang family - well-known organic farmers, and it serves thoughtful home cooking. Look for pea green and black mushroom soup. Isle of Mykonos has delicious greek cuisine and excellent whole wheat crust pizza, but it may be gone. The Old Amherst Ale House is a must for great beer and free popcorn. Taipei/Tokyo in Northampton has better than servicable sushi. Cha Cha Cha is nothing fancy but has decent quick quasi-Mexican. La Veracruzana in Northampton has good burritos. And Pinocchios, also in "Hamp" has excellent pizza slices. I know there are newer spots, but that's the best I could do. If you are looking at Hampshire for yourself, I cannot recommend it enough!

        4 Replies
        1. re: almansa
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          vpholmes RE: almansa Mar 21, 2008 02:24 PM

          Great! AmChi sounds great! We are looking for my daughter and that sounds right up her alley.

          1. re: almansa
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            laurmb RE: almansa Mar 21, 2008 04:35 PM

            I'm also a Hampshire grad but from a while ago... I loved Pinnocchios and La Veracruzana back in the day, but I'm sure you'll the vigorous debates her about all the Valley eateries if you do a search on Amherst, Hadley, or Northampton.

            1. re: almansa
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              hollerhither RE: almansa Mar 22, 2008 05:20 PM

              Cha Cha Cha closed quite a while ago. Osaka is a better choice for sushi than Taipei, in my opinion.

              1. re: almansa
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                smoky RE: almansa Mar 24, 2008 09:37 AM

                If I were getting pizza slices in the Valley, I'd take Antonio's in Amherst over Pinocchio's any day.

                I also have fond memories of the Old Amherst Ale House--I loved that place--but it's now the Moan and Dove, a beer bar started by Dan Lanigan before he opened the Dirty Truth in Northampton. Of the two, I prefer the Moan and Dove.

                Another hidden gem in Amherst is Thai Corner. Great little out-of-the-way place with an interesting approach to Thai food. And the owner, Chet, is a great guy.

                I second La Veracruzana in Northampton. Their shredded beef tacos are great.

              2. p
                pronek RE: vpholmes Mar 21, 2008 06:52 PM

                I went to Hampshire back in the day... it's about three miles south of the center of Amherst, with no restaurants very close by. But, across the street just south of campus is Atkins Farms, which used to be a tiny farm stand and now is a pretty big produce/gourmet food shop. Get the cider doughnuts and apple cider. For lunch places head to Amherst or Northampton- lots of choices. In Amherst, as noted Amherst Chinese is quite good, and the Black Sheep across the street has good sandwiches and cookies. Antonio's is the classic college town pizza-by-the-slice place. Further up in Amherst is Bub's BBQ which we, uh, enjoyed as students. Northampton has dozens of places- I was partial to Paul & Elizabeth's, La Veracruzana, and Cafe Amanouz. And don't miss Herrell's ice cream.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pronek
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                  newhavener07 RE: pronek Mar 24, 2008 09:09 AM

                  I second Atkins Farms, they've got sandwiches and a salad bar and it's got a nice dining area with booths. Fun place for relaxing meal. Great alternative if you don't want to hassle with parking in Amherst or Nhampton.

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                  JackNH RE: vpholmes Mar 22, 2008 07:45 AM

                  Amherst College grad here, hometown is New Haven. For the echt Pioneer Valley experience, go to the Lord Jeffrey Inn on the Amherst town green. In New Haven, I'd skip the Central Steakhouse (the owners would love to unload it.) I'm big on Pacifico at the corner of Crown and College, a block from campus.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: JackNH
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                    vpholmes RE: JackNH Mar 22, 2008 10:27 AM

                    Okay- is Central Steakhouse middle of the road? What is Pacifico?

                    1. re: JackNH
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                      smoky RE: JackNH Mar 24, 2008 09:42 AM

                      Two newish places in New Haven that people seem really high on are 161 Crown, which is at . . . well, 161 Crown, and serves high-end cocktails and small plates, and Caseus, on Whitney Avenue, which is a cheese shop and restaurant that offers good bistro cuisine. Haven't been to either, but I trust the people who've given me excellent reports about both.

                    2. d
                      donl149 RE: vpholmes Mar 22, 2008 01:31 PM

                      For lunch in Amherst, try Crazy Noodles or Fresh Side (be prepared to wait). In my opinion, Am Chi has great ingredients, but doesn't season. Like a roommate with a new wok. Best Chinese in the area is in Northampton, on your way to 91 and New Haven. Zen for Asian fusion and Great Wall in nearby Florence--order off the specialty menu. Check whether they are open for lunch. I like the pizza at Primo Pizzaria in Hadley best.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: donl149
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                        hollerhither RE: donl149 Mar 22, 2008 05:21 PM

                        I second Great Wall but it might be a little bit of a haul from Hampshire College.

                        1. re: hollerhither
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                          smoky RE: hollerhither Mar 24, 2008 09:39 AM

                          Yep. Great Wall is really good.

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                        gwendolynmarie RE: vpholmes Mar 29, 2008 03:24 PM

                        I am a student at Hampshire. In Amherst, I have to contest the prior recommendations. Amherst Chinese has fantastic ingredients Only in the summer, and the food is simply not good.
                        Luckily, New England has a fantastic organization called CISA, Community Involved in
                        Sustaining Agriculture, whose website lists restaurants who participate in their 'Local Hero' program by buying mainly all local and organic produce: http://www.farmfresh.org/food/restaur...

                        From that list, Black Sheep has fantastic sandwiches, and is somewhat of an institution in the area. Chez Albert is probably far more formal than you are looking for, but the food is fantastic. Paul & Elizabeth's in Northampton is quite good as well. But don't go to any of those places-
                        If you are looking for your daughter, take her to Haymarket Cafe in Northampton. They also buy mostly local/organic, have incredible food in large portions, and it's a place she's likely to want to spend time. It's fairly representative of Pioneer Valley culture.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: gwendolynmarie
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                          hollerhither RE: gwendolynmarie Mar 29, 2008 08:11 PM

                          I would contest that Haymarket has "incredible" food, but I do agree that it's fairly representative of the Northampton college scene (I question that it represents *all*, or even most, Pioneer Valley culture -- the Pioneer Valley is a big place). The coffee, tea, and fresh juices are good so perhaps even stop in for a drink if it's a nice day in Northampton.

                          1. re: hollerhither
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                            gwendolynmarie RE: hollerhither Mar 30, 2008 12:49 PM

                            You're absolutely right- the food is incredible(ly surprising for the location, cost, and establishment's appearance and nature), but not objectively so. The Pioneer Valley is incredibly varied, indeed, and that is reflected in the range of customers which frequent Haymarket. Their regulars run the gamut from valley college student, to business men and women, to hobos, and so on and so forth. So for someone unfamiliar with the valley, it's probably about as representative as one cramped restaurant could be.

                            Should the ventilation prove a problem (definitely a possibility), Osaka in Northampton has the best Japanese in the area (I actually dream of their miso-eggplant), Amanouz Cafe offers reasonably priced Mediterranean and Moroccan food in abundance (their falafel is some of the best I've had outside of Israel), and Woodstar Cafe, another possibly study-spot, has some basic sandwiches on particularly nice bread (apparently, their starter was brought from France, and is around 30 years old). Essalon Cafe, on Rt. 9 between Northampton and Amherst, is also worth looking into.

                            1. re: gwendolynmarie
                              fame da lupo RE: gwendolynmarie Apr 6, 2008 10:26 PM

                              Gwendolyn's recs are right on. This area has a few places which even for the picky I'd-rather-cook-at-home person (me) are worth going out for. I enjoy Amanouz, Great Wall, Green Street Cafe, Esselon, Joe's, Mi Tierra, El Guanaco.

                              There is one place in Amherst I like and that's Baku's, an "African" restaurant (cant we be more specific?) that does good curry. People talk up Fresh Side, Chez Albert, Bueno, Veracruzana, Antonio's etc in Amherst but these are all not up to foodie standards. Chez Albert has disappointed on two occasions.

                              Re: Haymarket, yes you do leave there smelling vaguely of curry. But they have tasty food at reasonable prices and the people watching is great. Good tea, not so great coffee.

                              1. re: fame da lupo
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                                hollerhither RE: fame da lupo Apr 7, 2008 09:42 AM

                                Enh. The coffee at Haymarket is better than the food.

                                Agreed re your other recs, although I don't enjoy Amanouz or Esselon when they are crowded. Also agree with most of your non-recs, except, as you know, for Veracruzana.

                          2. re: gwendolynmarie
                            jeni1002 RE: gwendolynmarie Mar 30, 2008 05:02 AM

                            This is more of a personal preference than anything else, but the ventilation at Haymarket leaves much to be desired. This often means that your clothes 'borrow' the smell of the kitchen. I can always tell when my DH does his work at the Haymarket.....As a result, I have never been tempted to try their food :)

                            Otherwise, Gwendolynmarie's recs are definitely worth trying. For a casual meal, I would take the Fresh Side over Crazy Noodles any time, would not bother with Bueno y Sano, and definitely give the Black Sheep a try.

                            1. re: gwendolynmarie
                              Passadumkeg RE: gwendolynmarie Apr 7, 2008 05:47 AM

                              Our son is a Hampster too. Great school. What is the name of the little Cafe (Chester's?) on the main drag (rt9?) that plays polka music? It's one of the best breakfasts we've had in a long time. We'll be there next month to pick him up. Look forward to hitting the Korean place on rt 9. Very authentic.

                            2. Richard 16 RE: vpholmes May 15, 2008 07:21 PM

                              If you don't mind going to Northampton and you can do without meat (land animals, anyway) Paul & Elizabeth's in Thorne market is wonderful. If by seafood you specifically mean shellfish they have other fish and are extremely receptive to dietary restrictions.

                              http://www.paulandelizabeths.com/

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