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Dave B's Profile

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Midcoast Maine, Patriots' Day weekend 2014

Really nice trip report.

Apr 22, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - April 2014

Thanks for warning on the pizza.

What is "OH," by chance? "Old Husband?"

;-) Didn't recognize the OH designation.

Apr 21, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Best Breakfasts in New Hampshire

I haven't been in a couple of months, but I usually encounter some service issues or dirty tableware or something..... it's always something.

I will see if find improvements since the addition of a host. I keep going back because the food is good. The service issues and other annoying things (my list is pretty long) haven't been quite egregious enough to keep me away.

Apr 21, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - March 2014 [OLD]

Grey -- your casserole sounds unique, and probably delicious.

Don't be scared ---why not just purchase a bottle of 'The Rooster' and give it a run. Worse-case, if not to your liking, you can toss it or gift it.

I love HF as it has a unique garlicky profile to it while not being crazy-hot. It has a lot of flavor (not just heat).

Live on the edge ;-)

Apr 18, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Easter Sunday Brunch..So. NH

That list is a helpful reference point for the OP.

The Hippo may need to update their list however, as Richard's Bistro (Manchester) has been closed for a couple of years.

Otherwise, a good starting point for Easter brunch Southern/Central NH options.

The OP didn't specify what lever of service was desired, but if The Yard and Gouchos have filled the bill in the past, then nearly any place would probably do.

Apr 17, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Local food blogs

Mister Meatball, absolutely. http://mistermeatball.blogspot.com/

I think he's based in Portland, and IIRC he posts here on CH occasionally.

Yes, I have tried making meatballs per his method and they were wonderful. I was touched by his blog entry a couple of months back entitled Otis' Cheese.

Apr 16, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Is Kashmir in Salem, N.H., any good?

Unfortunately Mena's Kitchen has closed.

http://www.meenaskitchen.com/

On their web page there is a link which offers an explanation. <<For our future plans, please check here. >> I had a couple of fantastic dinners there and will miss having it as an option in Nashua.

Apr 05, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Central Provisions, Portland: first impressions

Wow - sounds great. Central Provisions goes on my list for new places to try in Portland.

Apr 03, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - March 2014 [OLD]

<<How does TJ's compare to HF in terms of heat level?>>

MUCH less spicy, and very sweet compared to HF. I don't like the TJ's version at all, but I'm sure some folks would as a mild condiment of sorts. It just doesn't seem very Sriracha-like to me.

Mar 29, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - March 2014 [OLD]

Keep looking for the Giant white beans in tomato sauce. Although they may sound weird to the uninitiated, they have become a standard for me. I think they're wonderfully delicious.

Mar 27, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Concord NH food news

Crust and Crumb made a fantastic angel food cake for me not long ago. It was a special request for someone's birthday cake, and they were thrilled with how good the cake was.

Mar 07, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay - February 2014! [OLD]

I like the African Smoke spice grinder too. Different, but very pleasing and interesting flavors. I add it to various dishes (when I remember to) and am always happy with it. Different but good!

Feb 26, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Janet's Donuts Concord NH

Sorry to hear about your grandfather.

Janet's Donuts still comes up in discussion from many fond fans on the Facebook page entitled "I grew up in Concord, NH and I remember when..." (or some similar name).

I know a few people who grew up/lived near there and THEY STILL talk about Janet's.

Feb 26, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Nashua area news?

Interesting!

Feb 26, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - January 2014!! [OLD]

I like that Triple Berry Multigrain Hot Cereal quite a bit. So quick and easy to fix, and fairly filling for such a small packet. I sometimes add crushed red pepper and cinnamon. Good stuff.

I don't even bother measuring out the water..... just dump it in a bowl, add enough water to make the mixture a little soupy, then nuke for 1 minute.

Feb 01, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Is Bray's Brew Pub in Naples closed? [Maine]

Not knowing in which state this particular "Naples" might exist, I Googled it. http://www.braysbrewpub.com/

*It's in Maine, BTW.

If no one with local knowledge replies, I guess you could call them?

Jan 29, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Le Creuset Geo Leverpull Wine Opener - any experience with this?

No, I haven't touched one, but I love the way it looks -- substantial. The only turn-off for me is that it's made in China (which makes me think it's probably "worth" more like $50 rather than $200). Perhaps I would change my mind about the relative value if I tried it and was really impressed.

I appreciate "fine gadgets." I have a Forge de Laguiole waiter's wine opener I bought perhaps a dozen or 15 years ago and I continue to be thrilled by it every time I use it. There is a certain satisfaction in it's classic simplicity.

Example: http://www.knivesandtools.co.uk/en/pt...

There are whole bunch of "Laguiole" versions/copies out there (many are inexpensive), but I have found the Forge de Laguiole to be perhaps the classic example, exquisitely hand-made of high-quality materials.

Jan 28, 2014
Dave B in Wine

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - January 2014!! [OLD]

Black glarlic -- My thoughts exactly. I read that many people liked it, but once I located it (produce section) I thought it was too pricey to justify the purchase.

Jan 28, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - January 2014!! [OLD]

Love the turkey kielbasa. A satisfying, meaty snack, without as much fat as the "real thing." I pick up a package on every visit and enjoy each bite.

Jan 23, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Looking for Local Gems in Nova Scotia

There are some good eats in NS. When we visit, my uncle from Stewiacke comes down and makes his famous stone soup. We gather rocks and seaweed and simmer it for a few hours. It's salty and gritty, but satisfying. I really don't like it very much, but the rest of the family raves about it.

Jan 23, 2014
Dave B in Atlantic Canada

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - January 2014!! [OLD]

Of course everyone has different tastes, but I really like it. Unfortunately I find myself eating the whole bag as one serving. I just nuke it right in the bag.

Jan 23, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - January 2014!! [OLD]

The Spicy Seaweed Ramen soup has been a personal Yay for me. I have shlurped my way through several packages so far and have been enjoying it. And it's $1.69 (or so).

No, it's not all that spicy, which IMO is perfect for those who aren't looking for that. I have hot sauces.... I can add them as needed.

Jan 20, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - January 2014!! [OLD]

Who knows...... maybe the box I got had been allowed to defrost slightly at some point before being refrozen, nearly hopelessly fusing everything together. It was hammer and chisel time and not a lot of fun trying to separate them. That makes it it Nay for me.... if it's that damn difficult to get to the f*ing things apart. Blunt butter knife was in no way, shape or form doing the trick.

Comforting to hear that may not be the "norm" for these, as they seemed like a fairly tasty protein. Even if my severe patty-stuck-together experience was atypical, I still think they could improve the packaging. Something as simple as two sheets of slightly heavier-waxier paper between each patty would make a huge difference.

Jan 16, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Lunch off I-93: Concord or Manchester

A couple of (fairly quick service) options that definitely won't leave you hungry, right off the highway:

Concord - Beefside, on Manchester St. Order the Super Giant roast beef sandwich. Just tell the waitress you need to keep it quick, have your credit card ready when she brings the sandwich, and you'll be on your way.

Hooksett - (exit 9S on 93) La Carreta, Mexican. Go into the bar area at the back and eat there. I recommend the order of 3 beef soft tacos.

Either option will be inexpensive (less than $10).

Jan 13, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England
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Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - January 2014!! [OLD]

NAY on the Chile/Lime Chicken Burgers (frozen)

OK on the taste, I guess, but HUGE NAY on the packaging, so won't buy them again. Four patties to a box, and (I discovered) they are all frozen together with just a thin piece of paper between each one. It's as if they were fresh-made (probably), all shmooshed together with the little piece of paper, and all frozen together in one big lump. Pretty much the same as if you bought several burger (cow meat) patties from your butcher separated just by the little squares of paper, then froze them solid and all wrapped together. Nearly impossible to separate them.

I suppose that would be OK if you wanted to defrost the whole package of four patties together, but to buy these and use for individual servings, forget it. Trying to separate an individual patty from the lump - not practical, and potentially dangerous (careful with the knife work!). Too bad. When I'm trying to eat healthier/lower fat I think I'd rather buy the Dr. Praeger's veggie burgers, which are individually wrapped.

Jan 13, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Honeymoon inNorthern New England

bobbert - since you mention the Small Axe food truck, have you viewed Joe Ricchio's latest production? (Hint - "Off The Wagon.") It's about an event at Oxbow Brewing, but Small Axe is featured prominently.

Agree Novare Res is a must stop for beer lovers visiting Portland. The pub food there isn't bad, but when in Portland there are soooo many awesome places to eat that I don't think of eating there so much.

Personally I’d rather spend a good amount of time at Novare Res or Ebenezer’s than schlepping my way through brewery tours with their tiny sipping sample cups.

Since Portland, ME AND Lincoln, NH are on the itinerary of the OP, I thought it only apropos to propose Ebenezer's as the perfect waypoint, especially considering the very good food at Eb's.

If I were the OP...... I'd drive straight to Portland and skip all the other stops..... spend 3-5 days in Portland eating and a couple of brewery tours in that region, then a night’s stop-over at/near Eb's, then off to Lincoln, NH for the beautiful scenery.

There's not much to drink/eat near Lincoln, NH anyway, so might as well get some awesome food and beer on the way to Lincoln at Eb’s.

BTW - I think the food AND beer at Moat Mountain (N. Conway) is mediocre at best. Not a beer or food destination by any stretch. That's just my experience. I think of it as an "Applebee's" of food and BBQ, but they sure pull in a big crowd as food/beer in that area is geared toward the captive tourist and not quality. I wish the situation was different in Lincoln/Conway for food and beer, but “watered-down” is how I describe it.

Jan 13, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Honeymoon inNorthern New England

If you REALLY love the best of beer, and are up for just a bit of driving from Lincoln, do some Googling to learn about Ebenezer's in Lovell, ME. You will be about 1.5 hours from there (Lincoln) and no brew bub in the area (Woodstock, Conway, etc.) offers anything close in a beer experience. Their food is pretty darn good too, for "pub food."

Lake Kezar in Lovell/Fryeburg (right near Ebenezer's) has places to stay too, such as the Pleasant Point Inn. Considering this is a honeymoon trip, I'll highly recommend you include a night there or at another cozy lakeside cabin in your itinerary. That fits in VERY NICELY for a beautiful, scenic drive between Portland, ME and Lincoln, NH. As a bonus, you will be off the highways and see some of the best parts of Northern New England.

Jan 12, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - January 2014!! [OLD]

The subject of stuck-together orecchiette was brought up in the current issue of Cook's Illustrated as a featured recipe used that pasta shape as one of the possibilities. Their recommendation to help reduce/prevent the suctioning-together of orecchiette is to stir them frequently while they are cooking.

This tip may help with orecchiette in general, but I suppose it could be possible that the TJ's product is for some reason more prone to sticking than other pasta brands. Shape? Flour formulation? Could be a fun/interesting test for someone who's really bored ;-0

Jan 10, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - January 2014!! [OLD]

Surprised - very. I'm not much of a "sweets" person (or pumpkin - blah) so with the exception of just a couple of items, that list is completely lost on me. Of the many things from TJ's I adore, that list just doesn't resonate. But as long as the "other stuff" I like is available..... I give that list a big "Whatever!"

From the list: I tried the Pesto Gouda. It was OK, so therefore a Meh. So many exciting TJ's cheeses, but that's not one. I have the Chili Lime Chicken Burgers in the freezer but just haven't gotten around to them yet.

Jan 06, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - January 2014!! [OLD]

HeyImBack, you've touched on something I've been tempted to rant about for some time. It seems that SEVERAL brands of feta are enclosed in containers which I nearly hurt myself trying to open. Is it a (bad) Greek packaging phenomenon? It's definitely not just a Trader Joe's issue. Feta seems to either want to harm you, or at least make you angry.

I mean I've employed pliers, Vise-Grips, chisels, M-80's and other items from the tool-box and not the kitchen to open certain fetas. Sometime I feel like I'm risking a trip to the emergency room just to open some feta-in-brine products. I'm strong and dexterous yet sometimes have such trouble with Greek feta containers, but I don't hear others complaining about it until you mentioned it. Now at least I know I'm not alone.

Jan 06, 2014
Dave B in Chains
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