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8/24/10; Friendly Toast, Portsmouth,N.H.: Excellent Lunch in a Popular Funky Place - moved from Greater Boston board

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Before going up there today, I did read up on all the past threads about this place; it seemed that the N.H. location got better reviews than the Cambridge spot. I can't tell you whether our good experience was a matter of luck, but we both really enjoyed our food. Having lunched here once before, we were prepared for the somewhat seedy feeling room, chock 'a block with 50's decor, and the waiters who operate 'on island time', so to speak. At 3pm on a Tuesday, there were alot of people there, from local college students to older locals to tourists.

The Friendly Toast menu is rather ginormous, so we spent some of our time driving up there- figuring out what we wanted to order. Both our entrees were excellent:

- Le Petit Monstre- The Chicken Burrito filled with marinated grilled chicken pieces, corn salsa, tabasco cream cheese,green olives, lettuce and tomato (to which I had them add bacon, chipotle sauce and lime avocado dressing.) Except for the over abundance of green olives, I thought it was perfect- robustly flavored and spicy, nice complementary textures, quality produce and poultry,good size portion. The sweet potato fries on the side were surprisingly good;thin and crispy and perfectly seasoned. It's easy to see that the owners were sharp in their grokking of student tastes. portions are large and dishes abound with starches. Rarely do you see a table of teens without one of the enormous plates of sweet potato fries.

-The Crazy Quesadilla was the thickest I have ever been served- filled with brie,mashed chipotle sweet potatoes, spiced pecans,sliced apple, ham, swiss. The brie flavor really came through and every component complemented the whole. Again, neat textures and fresh quality ingredients.

The prices still strike me as high( $14.50 and $11.50 respectively) but the portions are very generous and we were very pleased. I'd go back tomorrow. And some day we'll try some of those unique and tempting breakfast dishes. Portsmouth is such a beautiful and historic seaside town and it's only an hour away; one of our fav. New Eng. spots, and great for day trips. With Friendly Toast for breakfast and lunch, The Black Trumpet and The Green Monkey for dinner, plus many other choices, the long-ago food wasteland that was Portsmouth- can now easily support extended visits.

http://www.thefriendlytoast.net/

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The Friendly Toast
121 Congress St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Green Monkey
86 Pleasant St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

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  1. funny enough, i went to FT Kendall Sq. last night and ordered the same dish.Just as delicious as portsmouth but waitress was horrific. no one there and we waited 10 min. before flagging down another drone who fetched her. Baaad attitude; much worse even than island time.

    1. The last time I was in Portsmouth, the city's health department had shut down The Toast because of a fridge that was way warmer than it was supposed to be. They've had a lot of other scrapes with the health dept. over the years, so I don't go anymore.

      I agree many of the dishes are tasty and the atmosphere is fun, but I don't trust it. Plus the waitstaff is very unreliable - some a great and others look like extras from The Night of the Living Dead.

      1 Reply
      1. re: terrystu1

        I totally agree. All I could think about was dust, dust, dust. I agree with the review of the waitstaff. I was told that they were closed for a few weeks, 2 years ago, for septic problem issues. We now sit outside at Popovers and still are able to view the long lines on weekends at Friendly Toast. Colby's has great food, but tiny tables, worth the wait.

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        The Friendly Toast
        121 Congress St, Portsmouth, NH 03801