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How are The Common Man restaurants in NH

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Just looking at an ad and they are all off 93 in New Hampshire? How are they? Thanks!

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  1. I grew up going to the Comman Man in Ashland. I say don't miss it. It is a great comfortable atmosphere and great comfort food. I never miss a chance to go when I am visiting NH. My mom still goes about once a week and she says she has never been disappointed!

    1. For an opposing point of view, I have to say I find the food serviceable but not memorable.

      1 Reply
      1. re: whs

        I agree. This comes from dining at the Windham location once on my own and once as part of a business lunch as the guest of others. Given the "myeh" quality of the food, it's pricey.

      2. They are just that... "common" I know everyone loves chains... but there are so many mom and pop places that offer 2x the experience, and much better food for the same cost, or less.

        1. Slightly better than average. (Which goes a long way in a town like Ashland.) This is to say it's the best restaurant in Ashland, but still not stellar.

          1. Search this board for numerous mentions. My own was: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/498909

            1. Any relation to The Common Man in Waitsville/Warren Vermont area in the mid-70s? Because it was a hugh friend of the Common Girl at that time. Affordable and good-I would love to know.

              1. My opinion is that the Common Mans are not all created equally (which is a bummer when you do enjoy one and assume the next might be enjoyable as well). I love Largo, Meredith - they have this mussel dish that's fantastic. I truely hate the Docks, Meredith - it has to be there forgotten child (service and food is really lacking/lousy). I enjoy a great lunch at Church Landing, Meredith - too pricey for what you get for dinner, but great food, value and view for lunch. I also enjoyed Ashland back when it was only one Common Man - something happens when restaurants continue to grow. I do enjoy the diversity of their menu and the food is good to great, never fantastic (except those mussels, but not the same mussels at Church Landing).

                4 Replies
                1. re: lexpatti

                  You know what lex, I agree with you while heartedly. The Docks are terrible and a true tourist trap,

                  1. re: lexpatti

                    I forgot that CM runs the restos at the Inns at Mill Falls--yes, lunch at Church Landing is good value for the ambience and view. My lobster roll was a steal at $20.

                    1. re: whs

                      They own most of Meredith it seems. All across from each other: Largo, Docks, Church landing, the Camp and something in the Mills Falls Inn?

                      1. re: lexpatti

                        Apparently the owner Alex Ray is quite a political activist and philanthropist. He and Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farms have been hosting a series of pig roasts around the state in support of a certain presidential candidate: http://www.citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/...

                  2. There was a time when The Common Man was a real fine place...certainly for the original in Ashland. However, as they have (substantially) grown, as is typically what happens, it has become much different from the original. I have not been to the first one in some time, so it may still be good...but I had an overpriced, abominable hamburger at the one in Merrimack, and the Diner in Manchester is not good quality. A companion says that is also true at the one in Tilton. Can't speak for others, but just beware that it is now a "company", whereas it used to be an "entity".

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: observor

                      The Common Man's diner in Tilton serves pretty good diner food in a fun "1950s" atmosphere. The prices are not bad. I would not go out of my way to stop here, but if you want to eat in Tilton, this is a good option.

                    2. OK, had the Airport diner today with my son, we both loved it. For the price, and for the expectation of "diner-style" food, it was much better than I thought it would be.

                      PS, the server was very sweet, and when there was a slight glitch, it was immediately addressed, that is what made it above and beyond what most diners are like. If I had to put this place up against the Red Arrow (Which boasts it is one of the top 10 in the nation) I would say Airport Diner rates sky high over the Arrow. (Pun intended)

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: gryphonskeeper

                        I had a terrible grilled cheese there and companion had not-notable omelette, to which they forgot to add the requisite cheese. However, manager did not charge for the omelette, due to the forgotten cheese, which was extremely generous. I find the atmosphere contrived and highly doubt money is getting donated to a South American school per cup of coffee, as menu says. Perhaps I need to give it another shot with different menu item...

                        1. re: observor

                          Restaurant monopolies are the worst because there is little incentive fro improvement. I find the Common man Group to be mediocre, over priced and consistently disappointing. I would always rather travel to a better place but the Lakes Region is at the mercy of tourists, who rarely are aware of options.

                          1. re: greenstate

                            Your right, there are so many really great options in the Lakes Region. My favs are LemonGrass, Corner House Inn, The Woodshed

                            1. re: lexpatti

                              LemonGrass continues to be awesome. I have not been to the woodshed under the new ownership. The Corner House is good but not the great place it used to be. Canoe is still a good place to eat, even better now that the crowds have ebbed.

                              1. re: greenstate

                                I love lemongrass - they have some very nice light but awesome flavors (i'm trying to eat lighter and this is a great place to meet for lunch when I'm up there). I hate hate hate the service at the canoe, there is this one jackass of a waiter - really don't know how he survives in that industry. I'm not sure who there is good at customer service - it really drives me nuts because I do love their menu.