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From UK, need recs please

p
panda444 Sep 23, 2013 08:53 AM

Hi all,

my husband and I will be travelling for 2 weeks in a kind of loop from NY through Boston, NH, Maine, Vermont and then probably into Canada from Kingston, stopping at Toronto and Niagara Falls, through Buffalo and back to NY. We have been though some of those places before but not Vermont Maine or NH. We are looking at a relaxed road trip. We like to eat interesting things, we are not looking for fancy restaurants, we are looking for one off type places that make you go "wow, aren't we lucky we know about this place". My husband has a thing about breakfast, is looking for scattered hashbrowns and sausage patties, is a huge fan of buffalo wings in hot sauce and adores BBQ. I will go 50 miles out of my way for an amazing chocolate brownie or in fact an amazing anything at all. We like Indian food and Vietnamese but can find those easily in London. We also like independent bars that have that trivia game 'Buzztime' if you know of a good one that we might pass by on our trip. Also interesting food markets or shops. We will appreciate all responses very much. If you think something is fun or tasty or interesting please do let us know. Thanks so much.

  1. p
    panda444 Sep 24, 2013 12:37 PM

    Thanks so much for all the replies. We have enjoyed reading all of them so much.

    2 Replies
    1. re: panda444
      opinionatedchef Sep 25, 2013 12:56 AM

      panda444, i have lived and travelled alot in new eng for 40 yrs and would love to help you plan your trip. here are a few things to start but i might be most useful in helping you plan your route, depending upon your priority interests(food, history, nature, art., museums, general sightseeing..?) Feel free to contact me via my member page address.

      Also, re:Chowhound, you will need to go to different Boards by area you are touring. Your trip sounds like you will want to ask for help on the NY, Southern New Eng, Boston, and Northern New Eng boards. My ability to help is all those areas except NYState.

      Guide to Boston by Areas and Restaurants:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/781155

      (I will add Breakfast,BBQ and bakery info in my next post.What area will you be staying in in Boston, and for how long?
      )
      ---------------------------------------------------------------

      Dinner Spots that I would highly recommend in Boston:

      Oleana- really unusual Turkish/Mediterranean menu; (owner's farm)-to-table;charming patio. Aside from the food being delicious, this is a real 'foodie's delight' because the menu will be full of things you will not see elsewhere in the U.S. Cambridge

      Erbaluce- unusual inventive No.Italian Piedmontese. South End

      Craigie on Main- famous for offal but also seafood. Cambridge

      OYa- v.v.expensive Japanese American inventive. South Station

      Neptune Oyster- crowded tiny, always a line, top quality raw bar; inventive seafood along w/ trad.Leave your name and stroll the fascinating North End. (no resvtns-NR)

      Island Creek Oyster Bar- the BEST service, large room yet intimate, more trad but some inventive.

      Toro- possibly the loudest room in Boston, full-out Tapas (the inventive often more successful than the trad) yet their Paella is unbeatably unctuous .South End .NR

      Aquitaine- THE spot when you're exhausted and you want to be taken care of. Classic French Bistro food beautifully done in a beautiful room, w/ gracious top notch service. South End.
      ---------------------------
      Strip T's (in a 'suburb', 10 min cab from Harvard Square) Casual small treasure for serious foodies; Momofuku chef; great inventive Asian- inspired, but also exc.fried chicken and unusual terrific burger. Watertown.

      Sycamore- 30 min car or train ride West to affluent Newton Centre and this welcoming veteran run spot with many unique twists (see the Daily Duck, Lamb or Pork board- with four mini entree ,starch and veg.medleys.)

      -----------------------------------------------

      For brunch, you cannot have more fun than at East Coast Grill in Cambridge. 25 yrs as a real locals' fav for all ages; latin, mexican,bbq and and seafood; Bloody Mary bar; great vibe.

      Another neighborhood hotspot is Highland Kitchen in Somerville,packed w/ 20's and young families.'Comfort food' plus; great bar and music. NR

      For more refined brunch, Aquitaine and Mistral ($French elegant) are popular. South End.
      -----------------------------------------------------------

      The Boston CH board is very active and helpful. They will give you their favs and latest finds as well.
      xo mindy


      Recent long thread from a recent visitor's TWO visits to Boston:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/779033
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Also, I urge you to take advantage of the convenience of 24/7 reservations with a system like opentable.com. Reservations are a must here, and even if your plans may change, it's good to get reservations ASAP and then change them if needed, as your plans solidify. opentable has an easy system for changing or cancelling your reservation. Also, if a restnt shows no availability for a time you wanted to dine, best to call that restnt because they always have more seats than shown on opentable.

      1. re: opinionatedchef
        p
        panda444 Sep 25, 2013 01:42 PM

        Many thanks, we are enjoying working through all that info. Look fwd to breakfast and BBQ info too. Not sure which area of Boston, we may stay outside and use public transport into the city so we can get pretty much anywhere

    2. Morganna Sep 24, 2013 06:09 AM

      in addition to all the typical suggestions one will find here on the board for stuff in Burlington and Waterbury, I'd like to add a couple for Montpelier, and yes, Barre.

      There's a small but really lovely place called Salt in Montpelier. Really tiny, but they produce really good things. In Barre there's a newer place called Cornerstone Pub and Restaurant that is also doing some really wonderful dishes.

      Both of those are places I consider worth the trip.

      Additionally, in Waterbury, Hen of the Wood, and as someone else suggested, Prohibition Pig, but also Blue Stone has good pizza and sandwiches.

      The Guild Fine Meats is a new deli with house made charcuterie that's recently opened in Burlington. Winooski has some really amazing restaurants around and near the round about there.

      As for farmer's markets, the Capital City Farmer's Market (Montpelier) is great. It's pretty large with a very diverse selection of vendors. It runs every weekend through the end of October, rain or shine. Pretty decent parking availability, as well.

      There are many vineyards, cider mills, sugar shacks (for maple sugaring), cheese producers, and farm stands in Vermont that you can visit. I'm particularly fond of Cold Hollow cider mill, and they have a very good sandwich shop attached (from what I hear, I haven't been yet, but I trust my source).

      I second the recommendation for visiting King Arthur Flour's store in Norwich. I still need to make my way back down there after their recent renovation. :)

      I hope you have a lovely time!

      1. d
        dfrostnh Sep 24, 2013 04:26 AM

        Get a list of the farmers markets and check the websites of a market where you are visiting. A lot of summer outdoor markets are still going on thru the first week of October. Brattleboro VT and Montpelier VT have large, festive markets on Saturday mornings. Both have ethnic food vendors. In Brattleboro, I also like the Humble Food Truck that is around most days but check their new location. Great bahn mi sandwiches and an interesting cold drink they make.

        It's important to check the list of vendors. Some markets are very small and sell mostly vegetables. Some have great bakers and cheesemakers. Not many have prepared food vendors.

        I'll nominate Bread and Chocolate on South Main Street in Concord NH as most like place to find a great brownie. They are a European style bakery. Arnie's on Loudon Rd offers their own barbecue and their own homemade ice cream. Across the street from Bread and Chocolate is the Concord food coop which is a nice small market with some prepared food (Celery Stick Café) and organic products. The food coop in Lebanon NH is really nice with a lot of local cheese. There's a Trader Joe's in Portsmouth NH now. A chain but quite different from other chain supermarkets.

        If you bake, you should stop at the King Arthur flour in Norwich VT.

        You are coming at a great time for local apples. Gould Hill Farm near Concord NH grows a huge variety of apples. See their website. Also have a nice view. Portland ME should be on your itinerary. You can take a food tour of the Old Port Area but you can also do it on your own. Figure at least a half day to explore shops and have lunch. Two Fat Cats bakery for dessert (whoopie pies).

        I have been on two food tours of Boston - the North End and Boston's Chinatown (which ends in a dim sum lunch) and recommend them. Big splurge but informative for history and food samples.

        1. b
          bobbert Sep 23, 2013 07:29 PM

          Couple questions: when are you coming? There are a lot of seasonal (summer) places along the New England coast and, 2: can you narrow down your route a bit. Maine alone is bigger than Scotland so we're talking a pretty big area.

          1. b
            bm_vt Sep 23, 2013 10:03 AM

            There are so many great places in Vermont where farm to table cuisine is what you'll find the most. Vermont also has great micro-breweries and wineries.
            Here are some VT suggestions.
            BBQ: Prohibition Pig in Waterbury and Bluebird BBQ in Burlington.
            Food markets/shops: Harvest Market in Stowe. Cheesetraders in South Burlington.
            Not sure about bars w/trivia...but some good places are the Bobcat Cafe in Bristol. Hinesburgh Public House in Hinesburg.
            I'm not big on baked goods or breakfasts so hopefully someone else can chime in for you.
            When are you coming? Enjoy your trip!

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