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Vegan eats in downtown Portsmouth, NH?

Not necessarily haute cuisine, but just down the street from the Music Hall is the Flatbread Company. I had a fairly tasty vegan flatbread pizza there last week.

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Flatbread Company
138 Congress St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Jun 22, 2011
jbh11 in Northern New England

Mmm... Mexican Sandwich

I was a bit puzzled at the "Mexican" part. I must say, though, that ethnic accuracy aside, these are pretty tasty grab and go fast food breakfast sandwiches. The Portuguese with linguica is a morning commute guilty pleasure for me.

Apr 19, 2011
jbh11 in Chains

H-Mart Burlington!!!

Unfortunately, no banh mi on the menu, at least a few weeks ago. Disappointed to see the Indian place gone, as we usually grabbed at least one dish there while grazing in the food court. As for the Vietnamese place, I can't recall what my wife had, but she enjoyed it. It had some punny name like Pho Sure.

Apr 15, 2011
jbh11 in Greater Boston Area

Chick-Fil-A and MSG

I stand corrected. I apparently did pull up the wrong sandwich.
Good to know. Hadn't even thought about whether fast food had MSG. I've been to many Chinese places that tout no MSG where I've wanted to ask for a quick sprinkle.

Luckily, my family and I do not have any MSG sensitivities. (I actually keep some in a shaker at home to liven up particularly lame cooking that sometimes emerges under my watch.) And I only get around to Chick Fil A every three or four months.

Feb 14, 2011
jbh11 in Chains

Chick-Fil-A and MSG

I'm not sure what happened on your end, but was curious to actually check the ingredients --

Here's what they report at http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Food/Menu-...

Chick-fil-A® Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich Add to Meal Calculator
Chicken (100% natural whole breast filet, water, seasoning [sugar, salt, dextrose, garlic powder, onion powder, maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract, spice, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, flavor, paprika {color}], seasoning [salt, sugar, spices, and paprika], butter oil [soybean oil, palm kernel oil, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, TBHQ and citric acid added as preservatives, and artificial color], rice starch and potassium phosphate), wheat bun (enriched flour [wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], water, sugar, wheat bran, cracked wheat, yeast, sugar cane syrup, contains less than 2% of the following: wheat gluten, rolled whole wheat, soybean oil, salt, rye meal, dough conditioners [contains one or more of the following: sodium stearoyl lactylate, calcium stearoyl lactylate, monoglycerides and/or diglycerides, calcium peroxide, calcium iodate, DATEM, ethoxylated mono-and diglycerides, azodicarbonamide, enzymes], calcium sulfate, honey, molasses, monocalcium phosphate, ammonium sulfate, calcium propionate [to retard spoilage]), tomatoes, green leaf lettuce, pickle (cucumbers, water, vinegar, salt, lactic acid, calcium chloride, alum, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate [preservatives], natural flavors, polysorbate 80, yellow 5, blue 1).

I'm no food scientist, but I'm not seeing hydrogenated oil in the bun nor is MSG the second ingredient in the seasoning list.

Feb 14, 2011
jbh11 in Chains

Party Subs Nashua/Manchester area

Haley's Pizzeria, in Litchfield, (splitting the difference between Nashua & Manchester) has been promoting their new 6 foot subs on their Facebook page. Their regular size subs are outstanding.

Jan 24, 2011
jbh11 in Northern New England

looking for Montréal Poutine in Lower Merrimac Valley!

I like the concept of "greater Plaistow!" The best I've found in the region is up in Manchester at Bellagio Pizza. Others on this board have previous gone through all of the details -- I've found them outstanding.

Jan 22, 2011
jbh11 in Northern New England

Tim Horton's Doughnuts

Are those still open? I know the CT ones were closed back in December. Unfortunately, they were along usual routes we took to the NYC area or Philly. Not sure if the MA & RI ones were caught up in the same closure wave.

Jan 10, 2011
jbh11 in Chains

Good Lobster near Tilton NH.

Not a restaurant, per se, but the hot lobster rolls at the Dipsy Doodle Dairy Bar just over the town line in Northfield has lots of fans on this board, myself included.

Aug 21, 2010
jbh11 in Northern New England

Chicory coffee?

If you don't mind mail order -- Community Coffee has some of the best authentic and reasonably priced New Orleans style coffee straight from Louisiana. If you subscribe to their mailing list or their Facebook/Twitter feeds, they regularly run specials that make it pretty cost effective. Definitely cheaper than any Cafe du Monde in the supermarket or TJ's new blend.

Jun 06, 2010
jbh11 in Greater Boston Area

Anthony Bourdain on Yo Gabba Gabba

Not sure why he was cast as a doctor, but the snarky looks he kept shooting the camera were hysterical. My 3 year old wasn't quite sure what Daddy found so funny. Tried to explain the connection by pulling up an old No Reservations stored on the Tivo, to which she asked "Why is the doctor eating chicken?"

Mar 12, 2010
jbh11 in Food Media & News

Elements Food & Spirit in St. Johnsbury, Vermont

We usually try to make it there when we're in the area. Nice and manageable wine list that doesn't have all of the usual suspects. Lots of fresh locally sourced ingredients. We've had great luck with their deserts, especially their creme brulees.

Mar 09, 2010
jbh11 in Northern New England

New Trader Joe's yea/nay thread - 1st quarter 2010 [OLD]

I picked up a box a few weeks ago. They're OK. I was hoping for a bit more intense gorgonzola flavor. One by one, they're not too strong. I only seem to capture the cheese taste after eating several in a row.

Jan 07, 2010
jbh11 in Chains

Finalizing Vegas --- Need Duck!

Having been to both Boulud & Le Cirque multiple times, I would choose Le Cirque in a heartbeat. Quality of food is definitely higher at Le Cirque. Last two visits to Boulud had particularly spotty service. If you haven't read uhockey's review of Le Cirque at http://uhockey.blogspot.com/2008/09/l..., it may help tip your thinking.

Dec 21, 2009
jbh11 in Las Vegas

Finalizing Vegas --- Need Duck!

I, too, seem to have a need for duck when I'm in Vegas. One of the best duck meals I've had there has been at Le Cirque -- their on-line menu is still showing they offer "Magret de Canard - Honey Duck Magret, Hazelnuts, Figs, Muscatel Scented Apricot & Blackcurrant Sauce".
It looks like your dining choices are at the Wynn -- when you're there, you may want to take a quick check of Tableau's breakfast offerings. They used to have a wonderful duck hash on the breakfast menu. Haven't seen it recently, but not sure if that's due to the changes in chefs there or bad timing on my part -- duck hash isn't so much a light summer breakfast.
Also Bouchon has a very nice duck confit appetizer that I usually get - we seem to end up there for at least one meal every trip.

Dec 21, 2009
jbh11 in Las Vegas

Elements, St. Johnsbury?

Elements is one of our favorite NEK restaurants. Interesting locally sourced produce and meats. Menu is a little more casual than it has been in the past and changes on a monthly basis. Ate there this past weekend and had enjoyable fried calamari with red pepper sauce and their signature trout cakes with green apple accompanied by a wasabi mayo sauce. Deserts are usually quite good as well - had the goat cheese cheesecake this past time. They also have an interesting wine list -- many bottles in the $20-$30 range and none of the "usual suspects". It's the kind of place that makes exploring a new bottle of wine with dinner enjoyable.

Aug 04, 2009
jbh11 in All New England Archive

Tim Horton's Doughnuts

There is also a handy iphone app called TimmyMe that can be used to find your closest Tim Hortons. Unfortunately, there are none in my area -- it's a long run from NH to CT for a maple dip and a coffee.

Jul 15, 2009
jbh11 in Chains

Cab lovers trip to Napa/Sonoma

When you're in the Glen Ellen area, I'd recommend stopping just up the road in Kenwood at VJB. We've enjoyed their cabs, especially the Dante. (Their wines have gotten my wife's chiropractor to reduce his Opus One habit for something with greater value). Almost next door is Ty Caton - we particularly enjoy their TyTanium red blend.

May 28, 2009
jbh11 in San Francisco Bay Area

NH VT staycation favorite restaurant ideas?

The Dipsy Doodle is open. We celebrated spring there this past weekend. Hot lobster roll was fabulous as always! I was a little disappointed that lobster roll skill did not translate to the crabcake which seemed to be a standard frozen patty.

Apr 10, 2009
jbh11 in All New England Archive

Heat and Eat Reviews/Frozen Meals

Another interesting resource to check out are the podcasts from www.freezerburns.com. I'm not a big fan of the frozen meals, but sometimes necessity calls and I appreciate the pointers to findsome hidden gems.

Feb 20, 2009
jbh11 in Food Media & News

Wynn Tableau Menu Change

Thanks for the update. Breakfast is a favorite for us every visit. Glad to hear to hear dinner is still strong too. We've always thought that this is a hidden gem.

Jan 22, 2009
jbh11 in Southwest

Wynn Tableau Menu Change

Does anyone know if menu has changed significantly at Tableau since chef is now over at Botero? We're headed out this weekend and I have my usual craving for short ribs and eggs. My wife was talking with Wynn Marketing people last night and they reported that at least some of the breakfast/brunch menu has changed...the ricotta pancakes seem to have departed to my wife's dismay.

Jan 21, 2009
jbh11 in Southwest

Steve's Diner (Exeter, NH) in the old Pizza Hut?

My wife ate there a few months ago and was underwhelmed. Found the food a little expensive for the quality & portion size. She had a greek sampler -- items were OK, but nothing to write home about. Since there was a greek angle, I had requested a takeout galatoboureko, but only greek desert seemed to be the standard baklava.

Oct 23, 2008
jbh11 in All New England Archive

first time in vegas - restaurant recs

I'd recommend Le Cirque for the anniversary meal. Outstanding food, very good service and menu just under $100 pp.

Oct 18, 2008
jbh11 in Southwest

Heading to Vegas Next Week as a Solo Diner

I've had very good experiences as a single diner at Boulud, Okada and Tableau. I did sit at the sushi bar at Okada, but table service at other 2. In each case, service was very good if not more attentive. At my last solo dinner at Boulud, the maitre d' was concerned that I have something to read (I brought my iphone for company and said that I was OK). Nevertheless, he chased around to find a newspaper for me. I have been disappointed eating alone at Bouchon -- service was all just a bit off and I felt odd being solo.

Oct 09, 2008
jbh11 in Southwest

Long weekend in Vegas review

Just got back from Las Vegas with my wife, 18 month old daughter and our parents. The entourage dictated some of the restaurant choices, but still allowed some flexibility.

RED ROCK STATION: Went for Saturday brunch with an even larger family contingent. Pretty standard buffet food. Obviously, this isn't the Wynn. On the other hand, at $7 per person, quite a good value for some decent buffet food. Covered all of the basics with eggs, breakfast meats, cold fishes, etc.

FIREFLY: A return visit for us. As we were headed to a show, this seemed to be a good choice for a faster paced meal. Ordered around a dozen tapas plates most of which were quite good. Salads with feta & dried cherries were quite tasty and a fairly good value. Blood orange mojitos were also extremely good and if we didn't have other plans for the evening, we probably would have enjoyed several more. Only disappointments were Firefly fish sticks which were somewhat tough and very fishy and the crispy duck rolls which had a rather dry filling. The boquerones and croquetas were both very enjoyable.

PANANG: A little off the beaten path beyond "Chinatown". This was also a return visit. Quite an extensive menu This helps to satisfy our hankering for a return visit to Singapore. The satay is very well seasoned with a properly spiced peanut sauce. Some of the better satay we've had, rivaling the better options in Singapore. Entrees were OK, our noodle dish was a little underspiced despite being labelled as spicy. After supplementing it with the remnants of the chili sauce from someone's Hainanese chicken, it was more to our liking. One set of parents had a very good bbq pork and noodle dish. Mrs. jbh11 prohibited me from ordering the beef rendang (which had been very enjoyable in the past), saying it was unfair to go to a Malaysian restaurant and only ordering satay and rendang.

LE CIRQUE: For the anniversary dinner, we left the little one in the hands of her grandparents (who managed to take her to her first casino). We had been casting around for where we wanted to go. Over the last half a dozen visits to the Wynn, we have had intentions of going to Alex or Bartoletta, but somehow never managed to get truly excited, although we know we should based on everything we've heard and read. Uhockey's review of Le Cirque sealed the deal for us, though. Overall, an exquisite meal and a decent value for prix fixe under $100. Amuse was a slice of sausage over a polenta cake with a side of tapenade spiked with plum. The fruitiness in the tapenade added an interesting dimension and one that I want to play with at home now. My wife had sweetbreads slightly altered with a corn dressing in lieu of mushrooms which she dislikes. They were prepared perfectly and had a nice blend of sweet from licorice and prune and savory. My foie gras saute with peach and blackberries was outstanding. Nicely prepared foie, one of the better foie dishes I've ever had. Entrees were phenomenal. My wife opted for the beef tenderloin with foie and sweet onion. She proclaimed it the best steak she has ever had. Based on the tastes she shared with me, I would agree. My duck, with hazelnuts, figs, apricot and blackcurrant sauce was equalling outstanding. It was accompanied by a small ramekin of duck confit with a sweet potato topping. The confit was excellent, rivaling the confit at Bouchon. Main duck was cooked perfectly with a nice crispy skin slice on top of each piece. One of the most delightful dishes of duck I've ever had. Deserts were also quite good, my wife had a chocolate hazelnut bombe, with the chocolate shell melted by a tableside pouring of hot chocolate over it. My strawberry soup with coconut ice cream was good, but not a knockout. Our final delivery of the little red box with truffles is waiting for us to consume. Petit fours were good, but not overly memorable. Service was efficient, if a tad casual. Sommelier was pleasant, knowledgeable and engaging in helping us hone in on the nuances between several options. As a little test, I had noted on the on-line reservation form that we were celebrating our anniversary. No mention of this in any fashion during our dinner.

TABLEAU: Our absolute favorite breakfast in Las Vegas, which we find vastly superior to Bouchon. Setting is gorgeous, whether in the dining room or on the deck overlooking pools. The coffee is the best restaurant coffee I've ever had and has been consistently good over the at least 8 - 10 breakfasts we've had there. Their outstanding service means the cup is never empty and I usually leave having consumed way more coffee than I normally would! My usual choice is the scrambled eggs, braised kobe short ribs and potatoes. It's incredibly flavorful, somewhat decadent and one of the things I start salivating over shortly after I buy my plane tickets to go out there. While my wife usually opts for their sublime pancakes, she went with the french toast filled with spiced apples and currants. Another excellent choice. Toast was had an interesting slightly toasted exterior. I can't say enough good things about breakfast here.

DANIEL BOULUD: Again, a repeat visit for us. We took the "chowier" set of parents here before a show. When we made reservations (completely unnecessary for an early dinner), we did the anniversary test again when asked if we were celebrating anything special. Based on the excellent service we've had in the past, my wife and I were speculating about how it would be recognized. We both lost, as nothing was said again. We advised our server that we needed to leave on 90 minutes since we had show reservations. Certainly shouldn't be a problem. All others opted for prix fixe menu (one of the best values in the city) and had Caesar Salads and pate. The pate is one of my favorites and I begged a few pieces, as I opted for the vitello tonnato with ahi tuni and fried sweetbreads. The appetizer was OK, sweetbreads were overcooked and tough and not a whole lot of flavor with the sauce. Regretted not getting the pate. Entree's were skate, steak frites and duck confit. (Couldn't go a whole day without duck!). The steaks were given to the wrong diners, as my father in law and wife discovered when her ordered medium rare seemed a little overcooked and his medium seemed a little undercooked. Along the way, the original server had been redeployed and this waiter apparently didn't have the notes. The duck confit, on bone, was perfectly tender and was accompanied by a little ball of spiced confit in a light wrapper. The spiced confit was very good. Desert orders were taken. We were getting perilously close to our needed departure time. Service had been slow with unusually long gaps between items, in a dining room that was maybe half full by 7 pm on a Monday. We advised our waiter that we were short on time. Finally, at 3 minutes to seven, we decided to leave without desert. The rest of the family left and I went to speak with a manager. She disappeared for an inordinately long period of time, especially given my complaint that we were all running short on time and my dining party had already left. An acceptable adjustment was made to our bill, but the lapse in service overall ruined what should have been an enjoyable dinner. My wife and I are quietly picky about service -- in that we truly appreciate good service in places like French Laundry and Gordon Ramsay, but don't outwardly make a fuss when there is a lapse, even when it is egregious (just file away for future reference). Overall, though, this certainly wasn't Michelin one star caliber service.

Oct 08, 2008
jbh11 in Southwest

Nothing in Bethlehem? How about Littleton?

A few places up the road in or near Littleton come to mind:
Miller's Cafe -- excellent sandwiches and baked goods (I've waxed poetic in the past about them, you should find with a search)
Baliwicks -- downtown Littleton. Great food, well prepared, surprisingly chowish and upscale for the region. We had a fabulous dinner there earlier this year, creative cuisine, extremely well prepared. Interesting and unique wine list as well.
Element -- across the river in St. Johnsbury. One of my absolute favorites in the region. Locally sourced foods creatively prepared (again, a search will reveal some more information).
Rabbit Hill Inn -- a classic tucked along the Ct. River just across the bridge from Littleton in Vermont. Finer cuisine.

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Elements Food & Spirit
98 Mill St, Saint Johnsbury, VT 05819

Miller's Cafe & Bakery
16 Mill St, Littleton, NH 03561

Rabbit Hill Inn
48 Lower Waterford Rd, Lower Waterford, VT

Sep 29, 2008
jbh11 in All New England Archive

Nice week of dining: Cotton, Manch NH - Dippsy Doodle, Northfield NH - Feng Shui, Chelmsford Ma - Tamarack, Weirs Beach NH

Thanks for the DD recommendation. Stopped yesterday afternoon on the way back from weekend on the lake. Excellent lobster roll -- perfectly buttery toasted roll and full of lobster. One of the best lobster rolls I've ever had.

Sep 01, 2008
jbh11 in All New England Archive

ladies getaway in Las Vegas...

I'd suggest venturing out of the megaplex for breakfast at Tableau (tucked back by the Wynn Tower Suites). Excellent service, great food (esp. short ribs with eggs and the pancakes), coffee is also their own blend and some of the best restaurant coffee I've ever had. Bouchon used to our must-do breakfast hit, but after 2 average to disappointing breakfasts, Tableau has replaced it as our go-to. Notably, over 6 to 8 times, service and food have been consistently excellent.

Jul 26, 2008
jbh11 in Southwest

Lunch recs near St. Johnsbury?

Forgot the links.

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Elements Food & Spirit
98 Mill St, Saint Johnsbury, VT 05819

Miller's Cafe & Bakery
16 Mill St, Littleton, NH 03561

Jul 23, 2008
jbh11 in All New England Archive