Morganna's Profile

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Grocery store on our way?

Oh sugar! I keep thinking Kennebunkport is on the other side of Portland for some reason. I'm a dork.

There's a Trader Joe's in Portsmouth NH according to their website:
http://www.traderjoes.com/stores/inde...

also, did a google for natural foods stores and came up with this in Kennebunk:
http://www.newmorningnaturalfoods.com/

about 14 hours ago
Morganna in Northern New England

Grocery store on our way?

There's a Trader Joe's in Portland. http://www.traderjoes.com/stores/inde...

about 21 hours ago
Morganna in Northern New England

Best Lobster Rolls in Portsmouth NH

Rye Lobster Pound. :)

Jul 22, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Two dinners in Portsmouth - please help

I recommend Rye Harbor Lobster pound. Petey's is OK, but not great. I really am wishing we'd gone to Rye Lobster Pound (it's not that far a drive from Portsmouth) this summer instead. :)

Jul 21, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Vermont Cheesemakers Festival

Misery Loves Company is great! I heartily recommend that for dinner! It's just next door in Winooski.

Jul 18, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England
1

Favorite burger in Burlington or Stowe?

Yeah, ProPig is awesome! :)

Jul 18, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Inverness and on up to the Orkney Islands

I'm certainly hoping for some Indian food! We had some while visiting York four years ago, and it was lovely. Though the naan that was brought to our table was VAST, like table top sized!!!! Fortunately the friend who with us at the time has a hearty appetite. :) I've looked over some of the pubs in Kirkwall and I'm looking forward to that. We'll be just missing the science festival in Kirkwall this year, and there's not a lot of eventy type stuff happening, but there's a FOOD thing going on. :) There's a place that you can order pies from and I keep being tempted to buy some pies to be delivered to one of the B&Bs we're staying at, but my husband keeps saying I'm silly and we'll surely be able to find perfectly good pies in a pub or cafe or something. :)

We are fully prepared for driving to take a looong time. I've built a lot of padding into our schedule, and we only have a couple of things where timing will matter much (catching the ferry being one). I've heard about good places up from Inverness towards the ferry but I don't know if timing will work out for us to have a meal in one of 'em.

Getting more and more excited, by the time we're flying in, I'll burst. :)

Jul 17, 2014
Morganna in U.K./Ireland

Kneading Conference

I've never heard of it! What is it?

Jul 17, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Dinner in Burlington for group of 15 on a Saturday night?

I like them, too. TonyO thinks they're overrated though. :) C'mon, Tony! Weigh in! :)

Jul 17, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Dinner in Burlington for group of 15 on a Saturday night?

Did you check with Bluebird BBQ? http://bluebirdbbq.com/

Though I guess it's not really downtown...

Jul 16, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Inverness and on up to the Orkney Islands

Thanks for the reassurances! :) I'm so excited about this trip. I've been wanting to visit Scotland for so very long. We just wanted to be sure we'd tried things that Scotland does well that we're not likely to get at our home, and I think we'll be well-placed for that. :) I keep looking at street view in Google maps. Whenever work gets overwhelming, I'm off to street view. SO EXCITED. :D

Jul 15, 2014
Morganna in U.K./Ireland

VInland - Portland

For my husband's part, every dish there that he might like has something in it he wouldn't. It would be a challenge to get him something to eat there. There are several things that I think I'd like rather a lot. :)

Just double checked, there are three things he'd be fine with unchanged: the cornbread, cheese plate, summer salad (MAYbe, really depends on how many bitter greens are in it). Every other item on the menu has something he'd dislike (at best).

Jul 11, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Barre VT rec's - group of 20

the OP was looking for good food as a focus.

Of this list, MAYBE Sarducci's and Chef's Table, but the rest, no. The Steakhouse -sucks-. I will never even think about going there again. J. Morgan's is mediocre at best. Large portions of mediocre, not very creative food.

Bag Ladies is a good sandwich shop, but it's not anything I'd pick for a good food focused nice dinner for a special occasion. Ditto Basil's. We eat at Basil's regularly and quite like it, and their pizza is superior to Mr. Z's which went downhill years ago (plus, there's like no parking at Mr Z's and it's incredibly hard to get into and out of).

None of these places are really fine dining options. They are all, at best, family restaurant style with rather dull menus. I'd add the Quarry to that list, too. They have competent but uninspired food for a reasonable price. I just don't think they qualify for special event food.

Jul 11, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

NYC to Portland, ME

Inorite? I grew up in the midwest, not the south, yet even *I* know that hushpuppies are supposed to be SAVORY. Stop waving that onion over the top and mince it up into the batter! I like adding some chipoltle powder (I know, not authentic), still I make awesome hushpuppies. :)

Jul 09, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England
1

Best Food Cities in Northern NE?

Yeah, Vermont factory tours tend towards the more quaint, small scale. I love them for it, but they're not everyone's cuppa tea. :) I hear that some of the brew tours are fun. There's a friend of mine that's started doing his own spirits, and I think they do regular tastings, maybe tours, of their facility. Just looked up his website: http://www.appalachiangap.com/ Looks like they're not quite ready for tours yet. Still, some of the beer and spirits producers in Vermont do. :

)

Also, about Fun Spot, it really is FUN. :) They've got a zip line, there's mini golf in the area (and even a tiny indoor course at Fun Spot), swimming at the beach (along with all the fun of your tween meeting other tweens for summer fun and talking about how boring the parents are ;) ).

I suspect that Jay Peak's water park would also be a blast, but I don't have kids so I can't say for sure.

Jul 09, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Best Food Cities in Northern NE?

In Burlington there's lots of great food, but there's really great food all around Vermont these days, so that's nice. You have Church Street in Burlington, that perhaps a tween might enjoy just from the difference of perspective. There's a lot of small funky shops in downtown Burlington, and it's a nice place to while away a day wandering. There's also the water front. There are some places with ziplines through the canopy not very far from there. There's a good-sized water park at Jay Peak that I'm pretty sure would appeal to a tween, as well as all the summer activities you find at various ski resorts in the areas. The hikes are magnificent and the views worth the effort. Loads of entertaining options and food options all around Vermont, actually. I even organize a knit camp in August that's knitting and/or other yarn crafts and camping with a group at a state park (with a lovely swimming pond and trails). We have a family from NYC who comes every year. :)

In New Hampshire, there's also Weirs Beach on Lake Winnipesaukee. Last we were there, there was a nice BBQ place right near the beach and the train station. They are the home of Fun Spot, the biggest arcade ever, seriously, that's like their claim to fame. The snack bar food there is snack bar food, but the entertainment value (you get a LOT of tokens for your money and there's coupons online for extra tokens) is great. They also have ziplines right there. There's a tex mex place near the BBQ place that was OK, and they have a "build your own sundae" bar that's pretty awesome, but we've not spent a lot of time looking for great food in the area, so there may not be much that's great for foodies.

Crowds in the summer in Burlington are smaller because the colleges/universities have disgorged most of their students back home but it's still pretty vibrant with a nice arts scene. :)

We went to Portsmouth recently and had some wonderful Mexican food at Vida Cantina (if you head out that way).

Let us know where you end up and what the food is like!

Jul 08, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

NYC to Portland, ME

I was a bit disappointed by my lobster roll at Petey's in Rye, and so next time I'm in that area I'll be trying Rye Lobster Pound. The idea of butter poached lobster appeals. :)

Jul 07, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

what's open in montpelier on july 4

Crap, didn't see this in time, though I didn't know what was open anyway. I'd have expected most restaurants to be open, though then we had that nasty thunderstorm. Oooh well.... That's what I get when my standard homepage with all my daily links on it goes down. :)

Jul 05, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Portland, Maine daytrip with kids

Am I the only one who isn't impressed with Holy Donut? I found their donuts heavy and a big greasy. I didn't dislike them, they weren't BAD, but just... eh, ok. Maybe I just look for different things in a donut.

Jul 05, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England
1

Why no deep fried mussels?

If I had to guess, I'd say it's because shucking mussels is a huge pain in the butt unless you have machine that can do it, and who's going to buy that? :) Far easier to chuck them into a pot with some wine and sauce and let them open up then let the customer pick 'em. :)

Jun 30, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Norwich VT trip report

What a great review! Thanks for sharing your adventure. I know so little about this part of Vermont. :)

Jun 27, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Barre VT rec's - group of 20

OOOH YEAH! I forgot about their space! I really like their food. It's not as good as Asiana House in Montpelier, but it's way better than your typical Ameri-Chinese, and I love the uhmm negimaki rolls SO MUCH. :) Also, their off beat other sorts of sushi rolls are fun! :) Good one, Rizzo!

Jun 26, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Trip report - Overnight in Portsmouth, NH

We didn't order the beans or rice, but there were beans under the sopecitos holding them up on the plate, and they were delicious. :) The staff there are very friendly and completely willing to explain what's in each of the dishes. Give 'em a go! :)

Jun 26, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Barre VT rec's - group of 20

Was just talking with another friend, and he'd suggested Sarducci's. That might fit the bill. The food there is good and they do have a long dining room.

Jun 24, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Trip report - Overnight in Portsmouth, NH

We had lunch, dinner, and breakfast the next day, in the Portsmouth area. Stayed in Rye (managed to book what I think was the last motel room that wasn't $400/night in the area on Thursday for Saturday). Then spent time on the beach to recharge my husband.

We ate lunch at Petey's. I had the lobster roll. The bun was grilled and tasty, but the lobster was on the bland side. It had more mayo than I'd have thought, as well. Next time I want to try the place where they have just butter poached lobster on a grilled bun and see what I think. My husband had a salad with buffalo chicken and it looked fresh and crispy. He said it was fine. The fries that came with my lobster roll were cooked pretty well. I prefer crisp fries, and these were more thickly cut than i usually like, but they were nicely not soggy, with a bit of crisp. Tasted fine. Service was pleasant, though he seemed to be trying a little bit TOO hard to make a connection, he was still nice enough. I was surprised by how many male waitstaff they had, I'm used to most waitstaff on the coast being female. It was nice. :)

Dinner was at Vida Cantina because we love Mexican food. This was brilliantly outstanding. We share their Sopecitos, which is fried cups of tamale dough filled with various meats, toppings, and sauces. They were fabulous. Then we each ordered three tacos (no beans or rice, we don't have the stomach real estate for that). He got pork belly, carnitas, and carne asada. I got fried shrimp, carnitas, and carne asada. They were all delicious. He liked his pork belly ones best. I liked the carnitas one best of mine but the shrimp was really good, too. Actually, they were all great. :) Lovely crust on the shrimp (blue cornmeal) and not overcooked at all. All the sauces things were served with were perfect. Some were a bit on the hotter side than I typically like, but even I didn't have any problem with them. They offered hot sauce, but we both declined. Service here was impeccable, warm, and rapid.

Breakfast the next day was at The Golden Egg (which their websites makes a point of saying IS OPEN despite construction). As we headed there, lots of signs saying "ROAD ENDS X FEET" and my husband was getting tense, then we got close to the road end signs and saw "GOLDEN EGG IS OPEN" all OVER the place. :) I had sausage gravy and eggs, he got the huevos rancheros breakfast burrito. The seating, ambiance, and staff were all very New England diner, which is comfortable, friendly, and exactly what I was looking for. My sausage (and beef) gravy was so-so. The biscuit it was on had been split and toasted, which was nice. The eggs were done exactly how I'd asked for them (over easy). I had some decaf coffee and it tasted just fine.

I will most assuredly return to both Vida Cantina (we're going to be heading to Rye for the foreseeable future when it's "ocean recharge" time) and The Golden Egg, but will give other seafood places, most notably that small family place with the butter poached lobster, a chance to win us to NH lobster over Maine. ;)

Jun 24, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England
1

Barre VT rec's - group of 20

The Knotty Shamrock is around 20-25 minutes drive from Barre. The Hill Top's food is mediocre at best. I've never eaten at the Canadian Club, and have no idea how they handle food.

If a drive is OK, then there might be some places in Montpelier (which is about 15 minutes away) you could go. *ponder* Like Main Street Grill/Chef's Table might be able to accommodate that size a group. No way Salt could handle a group that big, maybe Kismet? I can't remember what the space is like there.

I've just realized there appears to be rather a large gap in great dining options for large parties in this area. :)

Would catering be an option if you can find a space?

Jun 24, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Tek-Nique (Bedford, NH)

I assumed they had, since the meals were comped.

Jun 23, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Barre VT rec's - group of 20

Does it have to be in Barre? There's not a lot of good places to eat that can accommodate that large a group.

Jun 23, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Splurge Anniversary Weekend

When is your anniversary?

Jun 20, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England

Splurge Anniversary Weekend

Stowe Mountain Resort is fabulous. Very beautiful and romantic, incredibly good food at Solstice. Though it's a bit more than the 2 hours (closer to 3, depending on where you start).

Jun 19, 2014
Morganna in Northern New England