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Manchester, NH

c
corinnerose Nov 23, 2009 12:33 PM

There are various mentions of Mancherster in other posts, but I don't see a thread devoted to it.

Great places to eat in Manchester? I'm particularly interested in a Korean place that was mentioned and a place that serves Momos.

  1. b
    bewley Nov 23, 2009 01:49 PM

    Not Korean, "momo" is a Tibetan or Nepalese dumpling. The place is Cafe Momo:

    http://www.cafemomonh.com/

    6 Replies
    1. re: bewley
      c
      corinnerose Nov 24, 2009 07:29 AM

      Yes, re-read and you'll see there were two different places I was interested: one was the Korean place (apparently defunct) and the other was Cafe Momo. Not a Korean place that serves momos.

      Anyone have dish recommendations at Cafe Momo? Besides the momos, obviously?

      1. re: corinnerose
        b
        bewley Nov 24, 2009 07:56 AM

        Oh, sorry about that. I got confused after reading a similar post. (Cafe Momo has great reviews on another site.)

        1. re: corinnerose
          whs Nov 24, 2009 02:57 PM

          The brown guy special is very good. I'm addicted to the heat in the chili dishes--I get the #10 heat level.

          1. re: whs
            b
            bewley Nov 24, 2009 03:29 PM

            Almost went today to try it, but we're definitely going next week, The menu looks terrific. At #10 heat level, that must be very spicy!

            1. re: bewley
              c
              corinnerose Nov 30, 2009 07:52 AM

              Yes, went to Cafe Momo on Tuesday night. The momos were great and the person dining with me said they were pretty authentic. We also had something called Choila (spicy chicken salad served with puffed rice. mmm!) and the lamb and mushroom curry. We ordered them "spicy" which was good--hot but not too hot. The lamb and mushroom curry was excellent.

              1. re: corinnerose
                b
                bewley Dec 1, 2009 12:21 PM

                We finally went for lunch and tried the vegetable and lamb momos, the chicken choila app (liked this!) and the chicken chili at a #9 spice level. The food was very good (not quite as spicy as I would have hoped, but close to it) and service was very good. I was surprised to discover that they already been there for 5 years.

      2. whs Nov 23, 2009 02:59 PM

        I swore I wouldn't do a comprehensive list again, but I looked at my old posts, and couldn't find the last one...since you asked:
        Korean Place has closed. Mama retired, son has opened Sunny's Place in Concord. There's a place in the old Walmart plaza in Hooksett that has Korean on the menu--anybody tried it?
        Cafe Momo--boy, are we lucky to have a Nepali chef in Manchvegas! Bring on the chili!
        Our go-to places for a special night out: Richard's Bistro, Z Food & Drink, Mint Bistro, The Way We Cook
        Asian: Pho Golden Bowl, Chen Yang Li (in Bedford)
        Tex Mex: La Carreta, Consuelo's Taqueria
        Hungarian: Lala's
        Pizza: 900 Degrees (tho the last time we were there the pizza crust tasted like naan)
        Glorified Greek diner and the best scene in town: Puritan Back Room
        Old style Greek: Athens
        Old style breakfast: poutine and pork pie at Chez Vachon
        New style brunch: Z food & drink

        Have not found a sushi place we like--Thousand Crane reeks of stale cooking oil
        Any recs for a good/authentic Thai place?

        5 Replies
        1. re: whs
          l
          lexpatti Dec 2, 2009 03:25 AM

          Great job! I would also add:
          Julien’s Corner Kitchen on bridge st for a great breakfast
          Jewell and the Beanstalk for breakfast or llunch
          El Mexicano on Wilson for authentic Mexican
          Taco truck for really cheap and really great tacos - corner of Union and Lake

          Excellent indian at Gills on Valley st (but haven't been in a while, still open?)

          1. re: lexpatti
            g
            gryphonskeeper Dec 2, 2009 02:47 PM

            yes Lex, and you MUST go back... the last time I went the food was sublime. Why this place is not packed every day is beyond me. I will be going back this week again.

            1. re: gryphonskeeper
              q
              qianning Feb 22, 2010 06:46 AM

              hmmmm, we used to like gill's a lot, but the last two times we went (over six months now), it was pretty awful....in both cases it was for the lunch buffet, and the choices/quality had suffered substantially from previous visits....have things picked up?

          2. re: whs
            j
            JDHeinzmann Feb 20, 2010 07:15 PM

            You list Consuelo's as Tex Mex. I certainly don't think of it in that category. More straight Mexican in my book and just great. Their tortilla soup is superb.

            1. re: whs
              ecwashere7 Mar 3, 2010 07:24 AM

              I spoke to Sunny over the weekend, and he said that his mother still does a take-out operation. Not sure where in Manchester, but I'd be happy to order some tasty Korean from her any day.

              Sunny's Table, by the way, is fantastic.

            2. g
              giantmouth Nov 23, 2009 03:41 PM

              Is the Korean Place the former Hung Jea? If so I will miss it even though I haven't gone there in a long time.
              Cafe Momo is fun, and not to be missed. The idea of Nepalese seafood alone is very in itself enough to put me in a good mood. Funny thing is, I have been to Nepal a couple times and can't remember for the life of me what the food was like, so I have no idea how authentic Momo is. But it's good!
              Tell me more about Lala's - the idea of Hungarian food seems very attractive to me right now, although I have only a vague (GOULASH) idea what it is.

              3 Replies
              1. re: giantmouth
                whs Nov 23, 2009 03:55 PM

                Lala's does a nice goulash and a good pork schnitzel--the veggies are classic Mittel Europa, overcooked. The pastries are the Viennese/Hungarian classics.

                1. re: giantmouth
                  i
                  iamup22 May 24, 2010 11:27 AM

                  It is the former Hyung Jea. They closed for about 6 months when Mama retired and Sunny opened up Sunny's Table with his wife Kim in Concord. In December Mama came out of retirement and re-opened the Korean Place with her other son Chae as a take out for dinner on Wed-Sat, It has a more limited menu of some of their best selling menu items. Never gets old, love the flavors.

                  http://www.koreanplacerestaurant.com/...

                  -----
                  Korean Place Restaurant
                  110 Hanover St, Manchester, NH 03101

                  1. re: iamup22
                    whs May 24, 2010 04:47 PM

                    Thanks for the heads up! We will definitely try it.

                2. ChardonnayQueen Nov 23, 2009 04:00 PM

                  Why don't we have a thread devoted to it?

                  For Thai, I have found Siam Orchid on the West Side consistent. Lakorn, also on the West Side, is fine, but not as good.

                  Cafe Momo is fantastic.

                  I love whs's "go to" places. I would add the Bedford Village Inn as one of my favorite special occaison places. Although, the Tap Room is quite casual and offers casual and upscale dinners.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ChardonnayQueen
                    whs Nov 23, 2009 04:15 PM

                    Bedford Village Inn is a great special occasion place. We have not been back in a while,will have to try the new wine bar, Corks. (technically, Bedford is outside Manchester, but we're willing to stretch the limits..)

                    1. re: ChardonnayQueen
                      g
                      gryphonskeeper Dec 4, 2009 04:11 PM

                      See, I had the opposite experience. I Loved Lakorn Thai, but was very disappointed in Siam Orchid. I ordered the Golden Shrimp treasure bag from Siam, and it was tasteless and very very greasy, the Pad Thai was a minuscule portion of bland rice noodles with a few crumbs crushed peanuts, no lime, no chili... and the server was VERY curt and seemed annoyed that I asked for some lime wedges and pepper sauce.. At Lakorn I had the Tom Yum Soup and another noodle dish... I forget the name but it had shrimp and scallops. Both were fantastic, and the server was extremely polite, even when I showed up at 2:58 and they closed from 3-5. Maybe it was an off night, but there is no excuse for greasy, tasteless or microscopic food for the same price as delicious and satisfying portions around the corner for about the same price.

                    2. whs Dec 1, 2009 03:08 AM

                      The December issue of New Hampshire magazine has a feature about "Multicultural Manchester", which lists various ethnic eateries.
                      http://www.nhmagazine.com/home/459933...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: whs
                        l
                        lexpatti Dec 2, 2009 03:30 AM

                        has anyone enjoyed the falafel at Caesario’s Pizza, 1057 Elm St?

                        Great article (thanks) - went searching for a great falafel after a trip to Paris - best so far was in Providence, RI then a place in Watertown but didn't realize Manchester had mediterranean options. We loved the falafel at Beirut Shawarma, 245 Maple St but then went to Watertown and reallly loved it.

                      2. jlbrown Dec 2, 2009 05:23 PM

                        We love Cotton, on Arms Street down by the river. Eclectic American in an old mill building, with a fancy-cocktail list and a simple but creative wine list. The last time I was there, I had beef short ribs over pasta. It was amazing, and I don't usually even like meat; my husband had a perfecty prepared stuffed chicken breast. with an apple glaze. The place is not cheap but it'sconsistently great.

                        -----
                        Cotton Restaurant
                        75 Arms Street, Manchester, NH 03101

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: jlbrown
                          l
                          lexpatti Dec 3, 2009 03:26 PM

                          Oooooh, I forgot to mention Cotton - I too love it. Best best best lamb chop in my life but you almost can't go wrong there, I've enjoyed everything.

                          1. re: lexpatti
                            j
                            JDHeinzmann Feb 20, 2010 07:22 PM

                            I too really like the food at Cotton, especially the fish and chips for lunch. Consistently good eats. My big complaint about Cotton is the smell of the air freshener they use in their restrooms. You can smell it half way down the restaurant. I never quite understood why people feel the way to solve the problem of smelly restrooms is to use air freshener, when keeping them clean is all it takes. Not that I think their restrooms are dirty. They just need to lose the air freshener. Until they fix this problem (they haven't for years) if you don't like that smell, make sure you sit at the far end of the restaurant or on the patio.

                            1. re: JDHeinzmann
                              whs Feb 21, 2010 07:48 AM

                              I have the same issue with Cotton. Bad first impression.

                              1. re: JDHeinzmann
                                g
                                gryphonskeeper Feb 21, 2010 06:35 PM

                                I thought I was the only one who hated that super floral scent. It was like walking into a spray can of lysol. Sorry but the chemical smell leaves a bad impression.

                                1. re: JDHeinzmann
                                  kaszeta Feb 22, 2010 05:50 AM

                                  Heh, add me to the list of people that really hate air fresheners like that.

                                  And I'll also paraphrase Tony Bourdain, who said something similar to "The bathroom is easier to clean than most everything in the kitchen. If they bathroom's nasty, you probably don't want to see the kitchen."

                                  (I really like Cotton, however)

                                  1. re: kaszeta
                                    g
                                    gryphonskeeper Apr 8, 2010 05:53 PM

                                    I had an incredible fish and chips lunch there the other day. It literally cemented Cotton as a MUST DO AGAIN lunch spot in Manchester.

                              2. re: jlbrown
                                ecwashere7 Feb 22, 2010 08:59 AM

                                I definitely enjoy Cotton's food, but I found the cocktails to be ho-hum. I think that any place that touts itself as having great cocktails shouldn't just have a variety of flavored "martinis." It should have bartenders that are versed with the classics, too.

                                This should be the topic of its own thread, but I think that there is a great dearth of places in New Hampshire that can make a good cocktail.

                                1. re: ecwashere7
                                  g
                                  gryphonskeeper Feb 22, 2010 07:07 PM

                                  amen!!!!! I am a bartender who really hates making those designer martinis.

                                  1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                    ecwashere7 Feb 22, 2010 07:30 PM

                                    Where do you work? I'd be so happy to find a place that I can get a decent cocktail.

                                    1. re: ecwashere7
                                      g
                                      gryphonskeeper Feb 22, 2010 07:57 PM

                                      I left my job last year to care for my terminally ill father, who sadly passed away in Dec. I have not been able to find a job back in the biz since, but I am holding onto hope that I will. Not much call for a bartender in this economy. But I can tell you that if you go to some of the private clubs in Manchester, the bartenders there seem to know the traditional drinks, as most of the clientele are the older generation, ones who know that Martinis actually are made with GIN and not strawberry Vodka!

                                      1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                        l
                                        lexpatti Mar 3, 2010 07:55 PM

                                        so sorry about your dad. he is at peace now.

                                        1. re: lexpatti
                                          g
                                          gryphonskeeper Mar 3, 2010 08:40 PM

                                          Thank you lexie, that means a lot to me coming from you.

                              3. kaszeta Dec 3, 2009 05:21 AM

                                I rather liked my trip to Momo, although it was pricey. The food was definitely more spicy than your typical New England ethnic place, and the owner was really nice.

                                http://offbeateats.blogspot.com/2009/...

                                And the Brown Guy special was really good.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: kaszeta
                                  g
                                  gryphonskeeper Dec 4, 2009 04:13 PM

                                  Kaszeta, try Gil's on Valley.... They will spice it to any degree you want, and its unbelievably cheap for the quality.

                                2. 4
                                  44hogleg Dec 4, 2009 07:37 AM

                                  If you're looking for something on the nicer side, its not korean, but the Hanover Street Chophouse is fantastic. Also, Gauchos Churrascaria (Brazialian steak house) on Lowell street is also very good.

                                  14 Replies
                                  1. re: 44hogleg
                                    kaszeta Dec 4, 2009 09:17 AM

                                    HAve you been to Gauchos recently? I went when they moved to Lowell St and it was good. I went last year and it was terrible. I'm wondering if they've got their A game back.

                                    1. re: kaszeta
                                      g
                                      gryphonskeeper Dec 4, 2009 04:26 PM

                                      Gauchos is disgusting.... the last couple times I went (by request of another who is a huge carnivore) it was terrible! The salad bar is a joke, FAKE bacon bits? Fake crab? The meats they serve on constant rotation are the cheap cuts, and they are often very overcooked. They serve you about an ounce per visit of each cut of meat, but will give you an entire sausage, or chicken leg, which are about .99 a pound! The last time we went, I saw chicken legs, sausage, and pork loin (1.29 a pound at Sam's Club) over 4 times, I had to ASK for Lamb, and when it finally arrived they sawed me off a couple bites worth, and even then it was charred, unseasoned and tasted like a tire. We never saw the filet mignon until the end of the meal, and when we got it, (about the size of a golf ball wrapped in bacon) it was well done, and rubbery. Sorry but for $30 a person without drinks, I expect better than that. I went to a Rodizio in Florida that was amazing, for about $5 more they had actual crab legs, huge jumbo shrimp, and oysters on the salad bar! They had 20 cuts of meat, and they had over 10 servers constantly asking you if you would like a slice of (place cut of meat here). THAT is what I expect from a Gaucho's style restaurant.

                                      1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                        b
                                        bewley Dec 4, 2009 05:33 PM

                                        I've heard the same about Gaucho's. (They owns the one in Portland as well.) BTW where in Florida was that Rodizio?

                                        1. re: bewley
                                          g
                                          gryphonskeeper Dec 4, 2009 05:46 PM

                                          I have been to a few, Chima, GOL and Porcao. All are in the Lauderdale.Miami area. Not all have the same variety, but they are outshone Gauchos by miles.

                                          1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                            b
                                            bewley Dec 16, 2009 02:32 PM

                                            Thanks!

                                        2. re: gryphonskeeper
                                          l
                                          lexpatti Dec 5, 2009 07:55 AM

                                          We loved it when it was elm st. If you are ever down in Lowell, they have a new one that we finally tried and loved it - ambiance is kind of cold but the food outweighed that big time. I loved their salad bar and hot bar. In summer, you can sit out on the river patio:
                                          http://www.tabocassteakhouse.com/

                                          1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                            s
                                            snl1129 Dec 9, 2009 05:02 AM

                                            I have to agree with gryphonskeeper. We frequented Gauchos when they first opend and had some great meals there. We hadn't been in a year, and decided to give them another shot, even after hearing that they had significantly lost alot their initial appeal. The salad bar was sufficient at best. Nothing to write home about, although I did love those little cheese puff rolls. The rest of the salad bar mimicked the deli case at Hanaford's supermarket. We finished our salads, turned our meal discs to green, and were flocked with 6-8 gauchos at once, bombarding our table of 6 people. It was overwhelming. Our waitress hadn't even brought our drinks yet. We finished two rounds of the gauchos bringing us low grade turkey, sausages, charred overdone flank steak,etc..before our waitress brought us our drinks. We decided to turn our discs to red at least until she brought out the side dishes of plantains, rice and sauces. (A little after the fact). This was 30 minutes after sitting down! After a short break, we decided to go green again, and low and behold, NO gauchos were coming to our table. We even called for one to come over, asked the waitress to send a couple...nothing! The only filet we saw all night was these little charred, rubbery nuggets wrapped in bacon. I finally asked one of the gauchos if there was any lamb or medium rare filet floating around...he didn't speak english, smiled and went on his way to another table. We had enough...and turned our disc to red. It was my birthday celebration, so our waitress brought out a cake that my spouse had ordered. Twenty minutes later came our coffees, after we were finished with the cake. The kicker...as we started to pay the bill...low and behold, out came a gaucho right to our table with a beautiful skewer full of medium rare filet wrapped in bacon! I had to have a few pieces...as our other guests were putting on their jackets!
                                            Overall...the location is excellent, the building and decor is fantastic and just the way dining in downtown Manchester should be. But...the quality of the food and service doesn't match up with the price you pay. At $30.. plate, I expected to have a better experience.

                                            1. re: snl1129
                                              b
                                              bawc Dec 16, 2009 11:34 AM

                                              Was there a Lebanese restaurant on Hanover Street that was good? I don't know the name, or if it is still there.

                                              1. re: bawc
                                                whs Dec 16, 2009 02:06 PM

                                                closed. I think it's now Ignite.

                                                1. re: whs
                                                  ChardonnayQueen Mar 30, 2010 03:23 PM

                                                  We had a great time at Ignite. There was a show going on at the Palace Theatre, but we were seated in a reasonable amount of time (1/2 glass wine). Meanwhile we sat/stood at the bar. After being seated, we didn't have to clear our bar tab as the bartender became our server.

                                                  We started with the mussels special which was fabulous! A bit spicy and we fought over the bits of garlic and tomatoes to mop up with the garlic toasts.

                                                  I had an ostrich burger. The server recommended I go rare instead of my usual medium rare since ostrich cooks quickly. It was too red for me. I would do medium rare next time. They gave me a side salad instead of a starch.

                                                  My dining companion had the filet mignon. It was good. I'm used to that cut being seasoned. His needed a shake of salt. His garlic mashed potatoes were real and lovely. We ate it all.

                                                  Food: Quite good
                                                  Service: Excellent
                                                  Decor: Gorgeous
                                                  Prices: Fair value

                                                2. re: bawc
                                                  g
                                                  gryphonskeeper Feb 21, 2010 06:41 PM

                                                  I went the the old lebanese restaurant and got a foot long black hair in my sandwich. Needless to say I did not return.

                                                  1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                                    l
                                                    lexpatti Mar 3, 2010 08:00 PM

                                                    I never went back after that either! I heard that Caesarios makes a mean falafel!!!

                                                    http://www.caesariospizza.com/menu.ht...

                                                    1. re: lexpatti
                                                      g
                                                      gryphonskeeper Mar 3, 2010 08:41 PM

                                                      yes you were with me that day... ick!

                                          2. re: 44hogleg
                                            j
                                            JDHeinzmann Feb 20, 2010 07:26 PM

                                            I also like the Chophouse, but it is probably Manchester's most expensive restaurant, and I'm not sure it's worth it. The food is good though and it is very expensively decorated (dark woods, marble, etc). I prefer their sister restaurant, CR Sparks, in Bedford.

                                          3. whs Dec 16, 2009 02:08 PM

                                            Has anybody been to XO? Tried to get in last night but it was fully booked with gigantic party tables.

                                            1. whs Feb 21, 2010 07:50 AM

                                              I posted separately about it, but Republic is a great new addition to the Manchester food scene. Locally sourced ingredients, lots of fish on the menu.

                                              1. r
                                                rizzo0904 Mar 4, 2010 09:36 AM

                                                If you're willing to drive to Nashua, Shira Kiku has great Korean food.

                                                1. woodenmask Mar 23, 2010 12:58 AM

                                                  Places in Manchester than I love:

                                                  Cotton
                                                  El Mexicano
                                                  Spice Center on Valley St. (Good falafel w/homemade pickled turnips)
                                                  Golden Bowl
                                                  Candia Rd. Convenience Store (sandwiches)

                                                  Has anyone tried the new taquería on Valley Street, up by the hospital?

                                                  Slightly off-topic, but Manchester has a very good selection of ethnic grocery stores (certainly by NH standards!): Saigon Market, Spice Center, Bartlett St. Superette, and the new place that used to be Cheapo Depot on Mammoth Rd. spring to mind.

                                                  -----
                                                  Golden Bowl
                                                  124 Queen City Ave, Manchester, NH 03103

                                                  El Mexicano Restaurant
                                                  197 Wilson St, Manchester, NH 03103

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: woodenmask
                                                    g
                                                    gryphonskeeper Mar 23, 2010 03:06 PM

                                                    Cheapo Depot is now an ethnic market? Cool.

                                                    1. re: woodenmask
                                                      whs Apr 2, 2010 03:47 PM

                                                      We finally visited Saigon Market--we were making bibimbap and they had everything we needed. Plus real Japanese senbei and some nasty looking offal. I loved the Dragon Lady owner at the cash register--looked like a Vietnamese Faye Dunaway doing Mommie Dearest!

                                                      -----
                                                      Dunaway Restaurant
                                                      66 Marcy Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

                                                      1. re: woodenmask
                                                        o
                                                        observor Jun 1, 2011 08:39 AM

                                                        I tried the cheesesteak at Candia Rd. Convenience Store and it was awful...the bread was literally raw and the meat wasn't that awesome...$8.99...rip off.

                                                      2. whs Mar 26, 2010 04:34 PM

                                                        We had a very good dinner at Firefly last night. The server Patrick was professional and not intrusive. Meal was well paced. Outstanding smoked salmon entree--not lox, but a wood-smoked piece of fish that was delicious. Tuna steak was perfectly seared, sushi quality. The layout of the restaurant is a little weird, and they could work on the lighting, but overall, certainly the equal of Cotton in food quality.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: whs
                                                          g
                                                          gryphonskeeper Mar 26, 2010 06:06 PM

                                                          I am glad you had a good experience there I hated my last visit to FireFly the food was cold and borderline disgusting and the service was lousy.

                                                          1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                                            whs Apr 2, 2010 03:42 PM

                                                            Grilled calamari at Republic last night. Delicious.

                                                            1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                                              g
                                                              gryphonskeeper Apr 8, 2010 05:59 PM

                                                              I have to retract, I went to FireFly last week and they were lovely to me and the food was wonderful. I guess it all depends on the day you go. Will go back again.

                                                              1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                                                r
                                                                rmsoul Apr 9, 2010 04:47 AM

                                                                Heard thru the rumor mill that they are not doing well and may close. Maybe they are realizing they better get their @#%$ together. With so many great choices downtown, no need to put up with mediocre food and service.

                                                                1. re: rmsoul
                                                                  3catsnh Jun 3, 2010 01:34 PM

                                                                  What other choices downtown? Can you elaborate?

                                                          2. whs Oct 18, 2010 04:24 PM

                                                            New fave thing at Golden Bowl--the vegetarian salad, basically lots of finely shredded cabbage and carrots, bean sprouts, cilantro with fried tofu, tossed with fish sauce and chilis. Topped with roasted peanuts. Mmmm... btw, lots of gluten-free and vegan items here.

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