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Manch: Thurs or Fri evening, with infant

Hi, Lexpattie and all you other afficionadoes of the Manchester scene. My son, d-in-l, and grandson (6 mos) have just moved to Manchester, and I'll be visiting for the first of many times next week. Want to learn a little more about chow in the area (I have read some of your postings over time), so question #1 is: what's with Manchvegas? Etymology? Derivation? Next question: suggestions for a not-totally-high end but still above average eatery for next Thursday or Friday evening, that will be comfortable for the 4 of us. Above average pub is fine; also fond of most ethnics: they particularly like Indian (have just moved from New Haven), and I'm a Portlander, accustomed to our very vibrant offerings. Help me learn, Manchvegasites! Thanks in advance.

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  1. Strange that my response didn't take:
    Not sure on the Manch Vegas but we have t-shirts and went to a concert recently and a band member was introduced as Manch Vegas Native, after that everyone kept commenting on hubby's tshirt since he wore it.

    Welcome to Manch, it's really growing in the culinary area - I'm still learnign as well from many other Chowhounders.

    We discovered napal cuisine on Hanover St. - Cafe Momo - love it but might not be good with the baby.

    Cotton is excellent and would definately work with the little one if you go early - good crowd after work.

    Great bbq (and byob) at City Flames Smokehouse on Chestnut St. Awesome people. There is also a great indian on Valley Street (Maple St Plaza) but for some reason, can't mention by name.

    I still haven't done several that many talk about: CR Sparks on Bedford/Manch line, Richards gets good reviews, as a few more, others will chime in.

    On Elm, I love Z but might not be good with the little one, unless you go early. Very creative menu.

    Good comfort food at Belmont Hall - on Belmont St. and I just discovered awesome stuffed grape leaves and taboulie at Brother's Restaurant and Bar.

    Have fun, lots to explore. Creamland is a must for ice cream (and scallops, clams, even a burger) - it's a Manchester icon on Valley St.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lexpatti

      900 Degrees has great neopolitan style pizza in a really cool old mill building....

      p.s. Cotton has a great outside seating area on nice days.....

      1. re: purchaser1

        That's on my list - 900 Degrees. Nver enough time.

    2. Here's a link to a Manchester discussion: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/506140

      "Manchvegas" is an iron hipster reference to a city that at first glance appears totally devoid of glamour, but which on closer inspection, is actually kinda cool. Manchester has a great ethnic mix, some excellent cultural institutions, and a wild and wooly political scene. Plus some outstanding restaurants and ethnic markets.

      1. Manch-vegas is like saying The Big Apple for NYC.....kinda annoying. I have friends in Manchester and they hate it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JaneRI

          The wiki says that Manchvegas was coined in the Union Leader or some such due to a number of illegal poker machines in various businesses that would pay out real money. There was a big crack down on it a while ago, like in the 90's. It makes sense I suppose, though to be fair, the only pay out poker machine I knew of and had gone to was in Auburn. Though I know a couple convenience stores that used to do sports betting, and up in Concord they had a crazy basement poker room thing in a chinese restaurant. But as whs noted, the term has since been adopted as a point of pride due to the growth of Manchester's entertainment and food attractions.

          My dad and uncle were in town a couple months ago. They used to live around here during the 80's and early 90's and neither could stop talking about how much the bars and restaurants have changed and how much more choice there is now than back when they lived on the West side.

          To put some food content in the reply, I'd second or third whatever 900 degrees if you enjoy traditional neopolitan style pizza as purchaser mentioned. Their red pesto base with a chicken topping is particularly my favorite.

          Can also second the City Flame BBQ joint and Cremeland. Cremeland's pistachio ice cream was the best I've ever had, many mouthfuls where there were more whole nuts than actual ice cream.

          Also, not really a place to go eat, but something everyone in Manchester should be aware of is Angela's pasta and cheese shop. Italian specialty market thing.


          1. re: Whydon

            Wowsa! Thanks whydon, love the looks of this place. I know it's been mentioned before but looking through their site really is going to push me to get there. It looks fabulous.
            And ditto on the pistachio at Cremeland - Unbelievable how many huge pistachios are in it. I love their scallops and burgers.

            I just discovered Saigon Market on Maple St. - love love love it, great produce adn fish. It's one area of cooking that I really would like to learn. I dabble in it (if that).

            1. re: lexpatti

              I fell in love with Saigon market a couple of years ago when I wondered in and found a gallon of sambal oelek for like 10 bucks. I have no idea what the majority of products in the store are, but it is fun to explore.

        2. Thanks for all the suggestion. Took the troops (including 8 mos. old) to Momo, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Owner/host was most solicitous, including providing some steamed veggies at no charge for the ravenous infant. D-in-l had delicious goat curry; son had "brown guy" (seafood); I really enjoyed the chili with lamb: meat was very good, my only criticism that the chilis were jalapeno instead of what I expected, an Asian chili like a bird chili. But I'd definitely go again: very reasonably priced, and lovingly prepared.

          3 Replies
          1. re: mainemal

            Very kewl, glad you enjoyed. You'll have to tell your family that the Hippo Press has a nice section about food/dining sometimes. I think this weekend is a soup bowl event, pay $20 for a beautifully pottered bowl and test out many restaurant's version of a great soup. It's a fund raiser for New Horizon, I believe.

            Also, a fellow chowhounder turned me on to: www.goodeatsnh.com for great coupons at some nice places. Great in this economy if you like to dine but still want to watch your wallet.

            1. re: lexpatti

              I plan on being at the Empty Bowl event this Sunday as well... see you there!

              1. re: gryphonskeeper

                It was on my calendar but a grandson's soccer game in the opposite direction won over. I missed last year too. UGH!!! Can't do everything. Have fun!!