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Puritan Back Room, Manchester NH

  • t

Okay, who has been here and did you enjoy the food? If so, what did you order and what would you recommend? Is it open for lunch? Thanks so much!

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  1. As far as I'm concerned, the menu really only needs two items: chicken tenders and mudslides.

    The chicken tenders are the best. They're known in Manchester for them. When you walk in you'll see that almost every table will have at least one order of them. They obviously marinade the tenders in something, I want to say that whatever it is must have pineapple in it. Ask for extra homemade duck sauce. I could drink it through a straw. It's real thin, and not like the duck sauce you'd come to expect from a chinese restaurant. The meal includes a salad. I always get the greek, and sop up the remaining homemade dressing with pita bread.

    The mudslides are made with their own homemade vanilla ice cream. They're pricey, upwards of $9-10 but they are large and stiff. I'd recommend getting chocolate around the inside of the glass.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bigduddyd

      Thanks so much - I want to go now!! And, I love mudslides... Mr. Taxi will be driving!!

    2. We loved the nachos, perfectly done - loaded with stuff on each nacho. I can' t remember what hubby got but he loved it too. I think I may have gotten haddock which was great. It's great casual, great value, great food. I do hear wonderful things about their chix tenders.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lexpatti

        Lex, you would not like the mudslides here, you know I am a bartender and as one I know that ice cream in a mudslide is blasphemy,


      2. This is my in-laws favorite restaurant. IMHO it is pretty main stream. My Mother in law always orders the broiled scallop bake (which is topped with ritz cracker crumbs). The rest of the family usually gets the broiled chicken tenders teriyaki. Good food but just not really memorable. Consistent at least. I think my husband likes the fried clams.

        1. I think the Puritan is more interesting for the atmosphere than the food--it's a real slice of Manchester's social life. That said, the lamb skewers are usually good, and the Greek salad is satisfying. It is insanely popular, be prepared to wait at peak times. It's open for lunch, and in a town that rolls up the sidewalks pretty early, it stays open until midnight.

          1. I have to say that when I told my husband that I had replied to this thread a bit on the negative side, his reply was "are you kidding me? That place is an institution!"
            Then he said to recommend the lobster pot pie. So enjoy!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sired

              Thanks for your help and your husband's!! We hope to go this weekend. Love reading all the helpful suggestions and appreciate how people take the time to respond.

            2. I've been here several times and YES, It's GREAT here. Definitely don't leave the Puritan Back Room restaurant without getting their chicken tenders, go for lunch OR dinner it doesn't matter. I don't know whether it's because it's a greek owned restaurant or what it is with their sauce or gravy they use? It's absolutely awesome. Let me tell you, they are without a doubt the BEST chicken tenders I've ever ever had in my entire life, they're wonderfully cooked to perfection. GO there and order them and you'll know what I'm talking about. NO doubt about it either! I always heard about them from my nephews that went to school in Manchester and then we tried them. OMG, they're to die for good! No matter what you get on the menu is good. We just get these chicken tenders all the time because they're so fabulous. We get them with a greek salad...no room for dessert...they sell ice cream here too in the nice weather....

              1 Reply
              1. re: Gets2PointA

                Been going here for years. Pretty reliable quality and quantity. In spite of all the remarks on chicken tenders, I've never been impressed: but I do love the chargrilled swordfish ( probably my favorite dish here) and the lamb is excellent.

              2. We eat often and go everywhere. Having said that, we've eaten at the Backroom once. It was a summer holiday when everyone else was closed. I ordered the chicken tenders and mudslide because I'd heard SO MUCH about it. The cocktail was way too rich and the tenders- ehh, good but expensive.

                7 Replies
                1. re: edinaeats

                  I am with you too on this edina, I used to go there often as it is MIL's favorite place to go (she gets the scallops usually) the kids get the chicken tenders because they are kids,, Me personally, I have lost a lot of interest in the place lately.

                  1. re: gryphonskeeper

                    Edina and Gryphonskeeper, I respect your opinion, but in the humble world of boneless, skinless chicken tenders, i firmly believe that these are the best. If you believe otherwise, could you recommend where I could go to get chicken tenders that are better? This is an honest inquiry, because I'm interested.

                    1. re: bigduddyd

                      I am not really a connoisseur of chicken tenders, but I know the best part about their tenders according to my son seems to be the honey and applesauce dip they give with them. To me they are merely fried pieces of flour covered chicken.. I do enjoy the clams though... because they always cook them golden brown when I ask for them that way. It is a great value for the money, you do get a salad/soup and a potato/veggie. Most places do not give those with every meal.

                      1. re: gryphonskeeper

                        Have to agree with you gryphonskeeper--chicken tenders are off my radar when I go out to a restaurant. If I want to indulge in batter covered fried items, they will be oysters--the indigestion is worth it!

                        1. re: whs

                          ditto, and great onion rings with those oysters.

                          1. re: lexpatti

                            Lex, I found the best onion rings in Manchester.... at Strange Brew on Market Street. I have to admit, they are soooooooooo sinful I could eat a whole basket and lie and say hubby ate it, and order another one :)

                            1. re: gryphonskeeper

                              The fried pickles are excellent as well.

                2. Thanks everyone for your input. My daughter and I stopped by last night (Sun) at 5:30 for our first visit. The parking lot was packed and there was a 20-30 minute wait in the Backroom.(I can't imagine a Fri or Sat night crowd.) As our schedule was tight, we walked around front instead and placed a take-out order for a chicken tender dinner to share. The tenders were ready in about 5 minutes and lived up to our expectations . They were hot, slighty sweet and perfectly cooked. The dipping sauce was tasty. The fries were terrific as well. The coleslaw was standard but good. We can't wait to try other entrees and the scrumptious looking ice cream sandwiches made with cookies and brownies that we spied in the freezer case!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lonborgfan

                    Hey, everyone!
                    Mr. T and I ate at Puritan's today and enjoyed it very much. Thanks for all your input.
                    He had the lamb (he asked for medium and it was more rare than med)with green peppers and onions with the homemade mashed potatoes. Instead of the salad, he chose the chicken veggie soup which was very good. Coffee or tea comes with each entree which is unbelievable in this day and age.
                    I had the broiled chicken breast with the special sauce and the crumbs (one dollar extra). The chicken was so moist that I hardly needed a knife to cut it. Very good and the sauce was so so tasty. (However, I was sooooo thirsty on the drive home). The sauce is made with soy sauce so that is loaded with sodium.
                    I chose the Greek salad which had a very tasty Greek dressing.
                    For dessert, we just had to have some homemade ice cream so we shared a pepperstick with chocolate sauce and shared.
                    And, of course, we left with a doggy bag. I noticed that many people leave with one as the portions are plentiful. We would definitely return. The hostess and waitress were both very accommodating and helpful as I had questions about shops to visit in the area. Great place and very spacious. No lines at 2 which was nice.

                  2. The Puritan Back Room's food is on par with school cafeteria and hospital food!

                    1. it may not be up to foodie standards, but it's a great place take older parents/grandparents. Not an imaginative menu, but solid and dependable--diners know what they will be getting. I loved going there with my parents when they were still alive. The waitresses are extremely professional and friendly--many have been there for years and rave about the ownership--who are often out there cleaning tables. There are tons of comfortable booths. As for the food, my parents (and husband) loved the BROILED chicken tenders. I like the Greek salad, the hummus and pita, and had a wonderful tender charbroiled swordfish steak there not long ago. No reservations except for large parties so you may have to wait (there are seats) on weekends.

                      Puritan Backroom Restaurant
                      245 Hooksett Rd, Manchester, NH 03104

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: 3catsnh

                        I've been trying to hold back on this one, since we know Chris Pappas, whose family owns this place. Chris walks the floor, and I've actually seen him clean tables. It's a very democratic place, food is acceptable and they have figured out what appeals to a broad spectrum. It's the perfect synthesis of what Manchester thinks it is.

                        1. re: whs

                          What Manchester "thinks" it is or what Manchester truly "is"?

                          I mean, after reading this whole thread it comes down to this place is an "institution" that serves mainly average food with a couple of one-hit wonders like frozen mudslides & chicken tenders. What am I missing here, is this mainly a nostalgia thing?

                          I know in Dover they have Newick's (also in Manchester) which is also considered to be an institution with average food. I honestly think if places like this opened today, they may not be so popular. Another place in Saugus, MA is the Hilltop Steakhouse (I know, wrong board, but I'm using it as an example) that is always packed but fails to "deliver the goods." I complain that this is surely a New England "thing," but my wife is always quick to correct me and says, this is indicative of most of America, to be herded like cattle to feed endlessly at the troughs of culinary mediocrity.

                          And you know, the funny thing is that most of you that grew up in the Manchester area will probably feel "agitated" by my remarks, even though you know what I'm saying is basically true, just because you feel a certain loyalty to your "local" institution. Say something negative about "Beach Pizza" or "Moe's Subs" in the Seacoast region and they want to run you out of town, call you a Communist, unpatriotic and a Yankees fan to boot!

                          1. re: bewley

                            bewley, great post. Manchester is also Republic, a locally sourced gastropub that holds its own against any place in New York or San Francisco, ethnic places like Golden Bowl and Cafe Momo, and Hooked, the new seafood place on Hanover St. Manchester has gotten a lot more diverse, and we like the choices. Once in a while though, convenience wins out over adventure, and we make the 5 minute drive to the Back Room and have a burger, patiently waiting alongside those who think the mudslides and chicken tenders are pretty special. One thing you notice about the Back Room: everybody knows each other, people stop by booths and hold endless conversations with friends, the waitresses know the clientele. It's Manchester's living room. It reflects the town's blue-collar roots, and knows what kind of food its customers expect. (Bland and plenty of it.)

                            Golden Bowl
                            124 Queen City Ave, Manchester, NH 03103

                            Cafe Momo
                            1065 Hanover St, Manchester, NH 03104

                            1. re: whs

                              Yes, I never felt "agitated". I actually think The Back Room serves pretty solid food--and I could probably not have take my parents to the wonderful Republlc. They would not have felt comfortable. There is a place for restaurants like The Back Room. And I live on the Seacoast and think Newick's is terrible--rubbery clams--ick.