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Jul 8, 2008 07:01 AM

Visiting Mass., NH, Maine, and Vermont...Help!

Hi:) I will be traveling to Massachusetts, NH, and Maine in the coming week, and I am in need of help. I have been to Boston before, but I will be nearer to a place called Lowell, and I am looking of restaurant recs near there. (Though any restaurant recs for Boston are welcome) In New Hampshire, we will be in the Nashua and Manchester areas. In Maine, we will be along the coast, so between Portland and Bar Harbor. Any ideas?

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    1. I know the Lowell area very well, what kinds of food or places are you looking for. I also know Manchester fairly well, some of Nashua. What do you love and I'll recommend. Here's a start:

      Lowell: excellent italian at Ricardo's Trattoria Cafe, awesome asian @ either Southeast Asian or Pho88 or Pho DoLat. Awesome comfort food, great value @ The Glenview, Awesome sushi in Chelmsford at Sakura. Those are some of my favorites.

      Nashua: Love Surf and Michael Timothy's but there are many others that I haven't gotten to yet. I hear great things about Saffron Bistro and Peddler's Daughter. Great Indian at Indian Palace out on 101A. I love the sushi at Red Leaf, Manhatten on Pearl is a great bar and tapas food.

      Manchester: Cotton is awesome, I love Z, Great comfort food at Belmont Hall or Arrow Diner, I'm in love with the great BBQ at City Flames Smoke House (chestnut st), great sushi on s. willow st - Yuki. Totally awesome ice cream at Cremeland (Valley St) - they also have a great burger and fried scallops and clams. Excellent Lobster roll and seafood in general (steamers are awesome) at Tinkers. Been wanting to get to CR Sparks, Richard's Bistro and Hanover Chop House (all upscale dining).

      Others can chime in with their favorites, there's a nice discussion about Manchester vs Nashua that would help too. Just search each city for updated opinions.

      2 Replies
      1. re: lexpatti

        Wow! Um, favorites...haha, I don't really believe there are any. I will eat anywhere, try anything, and the people who I am traveling with are not picky at all. Fish, Indian, Mexican, Thai, BBQ, anything European, American...basically everything.

        1. re: milkyway4679

          Oh I forgot about my favorite Mexican: Cafe Azteca in Lawrence in awesome (close enough to Lowell). Manchester has El Mexicano Jr on Wilson St (can be a seeedy area at night) and Consuealo Taqauria (spelling is horendous). I also like La Carrata's for a chain. One of my favorites (just north of Manch, in Concord) is Hermano's (killer margaritas).

      2. I'm just wondering where the Vermont in your title comes in. :)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Morganna

          Haha, completely forgot that I was visiting Vermont!! Oops:) Well, in Vermont, we will be traveling throughout the Southern-most border area. :)

          1. re: milkyway4679

            Aaaahhh, ok, i'm not familiar with the good places down that way. :) Hope you have a great trip!

        2. "a place called Lowell"... sounds like a good name for a restaurant. Lowell is an old, gritty mill town with a very diverse population. In addition to the Southeast Asian food, try the wonderful South Indian food at Udupi Bhavan. In nearby Billerica is an exceptional Szechuan restaurant called Sichuan Gourmet--try the chicken in spicy chili sauce.

          8 Replies
          1. re: whs

            it does!!! Where have you been going lately whs? Any new places?

            1. re: lexpatti

              We've been to Paris and Bermuda, besides Lowell...:) See my posts on those boards. I actually think Lowell is pretty terrific. Love the loc lac at Red Rose. Another "make-a-detour" place for breakfast is Julien's in Manchester NH--corner of Bridge and Union streets. Perfect blueberry pancakes, and others raved about the omelets.

              1. re: whs

                ahhhhh, nice!! Been wanting to get to Bermuda, only went once and loved it. Wonderful people. Everytime I pass Red Rose I want to stop because many do rave about it. One of these days. Also on my list just outside Concord NH is that new Smoke Shake in Boscowen.

            2. re: whs

              "Lowell is an old, gritty mill town"

              That's an understatement. Since milkyway doesn't appear to know much about Lowell, I'll suggest she invest in a Kevlar vest in advance of her visit there.

              1. re: signothetimes53

                Actually, you are the one who appears to NOT know much about Lowell. Too bad - so much to offer.

                1. re: lexpatti

                  If you say so. However, having had my car stolen while staying with friends in a Lowell neighborhood a couple years ago, I'd say I'm less than enthralled with the pleasures of Lowell.

                  1. re: signothetimes53

                    Lowell has a developing restaurant scene. I'm happy to live there. In addition to what others have mentioned:

                    Mr. Jalapeno (excellent - run by a Mexican family)
                    Mambo Grill (also good)

                    Beer Works (new, run by Boston Beer Works)

                    Egg Roll Cafe

                    1. re: harry_sparrow

                      Personally, I'd stick with the southeast asian suggestions in Lowell. It's really what the city is known for.

                      Lowell has gentrified dramatically over the last 25 years. The bullet-proof vest is a better description for sister city Lawrence which didn't have the gentrification. You can have your car stolen anywhere and you're at much higher risk in Boston. I don't see people telling you to avoid Boston and wear a flak jacket.

            3. Among my favorites between Portland and Bar Harbor:

              Wells, ME (before Portland, actually): Fisherman's Catch for the best lobster/fried seafood!

              Wiscasset, ME: Sea Basket. Great lobster rolls, homemade sweet potato fries and amazing seafood. They use a convection frying system that is virtually greaseless!

              Belfast, ME: Chase's Daily. Amazing vegetarian fare, bakery and organic produce farmer's market. Everything made with fresh local vegetables. Great ambience in old building.

              Sea Basket
              303 Old Bath Rd, Wiscasset, ME 04578

              Chase's Daily
              96 Main St, Belfast, ME 04915

              Fisherman's Catch Restaurant
              134 Harbor Rd, Wells, ME

              7 Replies
              1. re: Science Chick

                In the Southernmost Border area of Vermont Brattleboro is the large town with lots of downtown eateries. I have been to Fireworks and Alici's Bistro lately and both are great for dinner--though Alici's wins for atmosphere. They have a bar menu and a large deck downtairs. It overlooks the river and the NH hills. Alici's is right downtown but a little out of the way (back behind a parking lot) so you should ask someone or check out their website. Fireworks has interesting pizzas and fresh pasta is right onthe main drag across from the Latchis theater. If you are in Bratt for lunch I would add that the Food Coop has a cafe with great sandwiches and other prepared foods.
                Bratt has a lot of choices -- it's a good place to walk around if you're in the area.

                If you like bbq and funky atmosphere check out Curtis' just off exit 4 in Putney VT. Exit and head towards town and you'll see the smoke. He is open all day until dusk. This is always a friendly laid-back place to go. You sit outside on picnic tables and watch the cooking. After BBQ you can get a good cup of coffee at the Putney coop or drive into town and find the trail to Putney mountain. It's a quick easy ascent and you will feel better after eating all that meat.

                1. re: Science Chick

                  Robinhood Meetinghouse in Georgetown Maine, LeGarage in Wiscasset and Back St Bistro in Brunswick Me. I would also recommend Mae's Cafe in Bath Maine and the Kennebec Tavern, also in Bath.

                  1. re: jspear

                    we'll be visiting Georgetown for a week at the end of this month. Any more suggestions for Bath?

                    1. re: gazpacho

                      Beales St BBQ. MaryEllen Z's, both in Bath. I also like the Great Impasta in Brunswick. I always suggest to people that they drive down 209 to Sebasco, a nice old resort that has upgraded a bit lately. They have a great pub with a patio to die for at sunset. There is also a more upscale resto up above it with good food, not top shelf but good...

                    2. re: jspear

                      Was at the Kennbec Tavern on 7/6 and the service was very bad compared to a year ago. Simple things such as not clearing dishes from the table prior to bringing the next course and it was very slow to get waited on initially and to receive the food after ordering. Maybe it was just an off night.

                      Also near Georgetown - 5 Islands. One of my favorite pounds in Maine. An easy stop and less formal than Robinhood if you are coming back from the beach at Reid State Park.

                      1. re: steve999

                        yes, my husband loves lobster and truly believes that Five Islands is the best so that's why we're staying in Georgetown! Although he could eat lobster for a week, I'd like to try some other spots.

                        1. re: steve999

                          How sad to hear, it is usually on our list for some of their regular menu items...hope it was a one time thing, not a trend.