New England Road Trip

2012/07/29 20:59:47
First day - Ottawa, Canada to Burlington, VT.
Thanks to all who've made recommendations in the "Where Do I eat?" thread.

New Post: To Burlington VT. Day one of Road Trip 5 is in the books! A beautiful day for driving and an excellent meal and craft beers to finish it off. And, oooh! The Sunset! 
Re:New England Road Trip 2012/07/30 23:05:44
Thanks WhereGreggEats and WallHD! We went to J's Oyster tonight and really enjoyed it. Here's a rundown on this leg of the journey:
New Post - The road to Portland, ME. Lobster, clams, lobster and, uh, lobster.
Filet Mignon
Re:New England Road Trip 2012/07/31 02:33:32
Nice post! Great looking food!
Re:New England Road Trip 2012/07/31 21:34:34
Thanks very much! Here's today's post, covering the Porthole inPortland, ME and specatacular seafood at Woodman's in Essex, MA:
New post: from Maine to Massachusetts. A unique breakfast dockside and the best of New England seafood.
Filet Mignon
Re:New England Road Trip 2012/08/01 06:15:54
Nice site.  Nice report.
Junior Burger
Re:New England Road Trip 2012/08/02 18:05:25
      I just finished a New England road trip about eight days ago.  I think the only city we both hit is Portland, and my visit was only a Greyhound Bus stop, (the station is kind of a pit.)
     Going there I was determined to do three things:
Drink a Moxie
Eat at one of the last three Howard Johnson's
Eat lobster of some kind
     I did all those within 24 hours of landing in Bangor.  I had a Lobster Roll at The Friars Bakery.  Your trip sounds really great.
     Next year I want to hit Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Cape Cod.  After that Vermont.
Maybe someday, Montana.
Re:New England Road Trip 2012/08/02 22:24:21
Syrupmi, save the Howard Johnson's we did the others as well as soon as we got to Maine.
Re:New England Road Trip 2012/08/02 22:29:25
Dinner in the North End for Italian tonight. 
Here's an excerpt and photos from our posting:
"Dinner tonight is in the North End, famous for Italian food. We have 7:00 reservations at Al Dente. The North End is quaint with narrow streets and small tratorrias and gelaterias.

Al Dente is a small place seating about 60. It is busy, very loud and cramped. It feels like you are eating at a big Italian family event. Classic white Italian loaf and butter packets arrive with menus. Service is understandable harried but friendly. Our Barolo is delivered to the table and poured into cheap red wine glasses. I kind of expected tumblers but this is typical.
We want to try a few things so we order the lobster ravioli starter and  the caprese salad. Both are large portions for starters. Four large lobster and ricotta stuffed ravioli swim in a decadent cream rose sauce with more chunks of lobster and fresh garlic and tomatoes...and Parmesan cheese. Take that Scott Conant, of the school of "it's wrong to serve cheese with seafood". The caprese is almost classic but has the addition of red onion which does not add to the delicateness of this already perfect combo. The tomatoes tonight are average, the fresh mozzarella is thick cut and rounded out by a balsamic syrup reduction and a chiffonade of fresh basil.

For mains I order the shrimp and calamari fra diavolo and Rob orders the gnocchi with sausage. My linguine is perfectly cooked and there is a very nice heat from chili peppers. The calamari is plentiful, the shrimp are not. The portion is huge. I can only eat about 1/3.

Rob's gnocchi is served in a plum tomato sauce with sundried tomatoes, capers, basil, pecorino romano and Parmesan cheese, mushrooms and white wine with addition of plentiful 1 1/2-ince slices of sweet sausage. The richness of the cooked-down tomatoes is multiplied by the sun-dried tomato and cheese. The whole dish is meaty, hearty and substantial. So substantial, that he could manage only half."

Al Dente was great... A real family vibe... Noisy, raucous, in fact, and the food was great, home-cooked Italian-American.
Here's a link to the complete post:
New Post: Boston's history, it's ghosts and the North End.
Tony Bad
Fire Safety Admin
Re:New England Road Trip 2012/08/03 09:03:06
I have had many great meals in the North End! Thanks for the continuing reports. I am really enjoying your travels.
Re:New England Road TripBoston to Providence 2012/08/03 20:35:32
This morning is our last morning in Boston. We are moving on to Providence, RI.  Before we go we are going to have breakfast at Mike's City Diner, a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives featured joint. We once again luck into parking out front but have to hunt down American change for the meter. Boston still resides in the dark ages regarding meter technology.

Mike's is clean and homey. A classic no frills or kitsch diner. Black and white and checks. Comfy, padded, armless chairs and tables. No banquettes. Banquette seating takes away some of the versatility a place has to seat parties of different sizes. The busy kitchen is visible from the seating area. The restaurant's various and many accolades are posted everywhere. President Clinton has been by.

Rob goes out to feed the meter and I peruse the menu. A very good breakfast menu. Good variety. Our server delivers excellent coffee and a humongous glass of grapefruit juice. Rob gets back to the table and we place our orders. I'm getting the Mike's Special - ham carved off the bone, two eggs over medium, grits, toast - coffee included. Rob wants Mike's Famous Pilgrim Sandwhich - turkey, stuffing and cranberries only to be told they don't serve it until eleven. "I know - we suck!" says our He settles for a Southender omelette stuffed with corned beef hash and cheese with home fries and rye toast.
Breakfast arrives quickly and piping hot. My eggs are perfect but the grits while creamy, are unseasoned. I add butter and salt but they really need to be cooked with LOTS of salt. So I would pass on them. My ham is plentiful and very tasty, sliced thin and grilled on the flat top for a little carmelization. It's not over-salty. Perfect. The toast is decent, white and buttered. I ask for jam and she delivers really good homemade strawberry. "It's all we have, except for packets of grape jelly" she says. It is wonderful.

Rob's omelette is huge. The eggs are perfect and buttery good and hash inside is amazing, with large chunks of meat mixed with potato, while the cheddar flavour ties it all together. A very well made omelette. Mike's home fries are very good as well. Some of the best we've had. They seem to be simply spiced with seasoned salt. Delicious.

As well, in this post...
New Post: From Boston to Providence, RI. Spectacular diner classics and KILLER lobster mac and cheese
Re:New England Road TripBoston to Providence 2012/08/04 21:41:46
Is it possible to get the best fired chicken ever in upstate New York? Maybe, just maybe. Especially with a pedigree like Hattie's.
Here's an excerpt from our latest post, as we pull up to Race weekend in Saratoga Springs, NY:
We drive into town to Union street to go backtrack at the Saratoga Racetrack to take some pics. Traffic is mental. Saratoga is an extremely well done town. We past a beautiful park with a carousel and fountains. Would love to stop and photograph many points but parking although mostly free, is hard to get today.

After tooling around a bit backtrack, we head over to Hattie's for dinner. Hattie's dates back to 1938 and is down home New Orleans cooking. On this particular unrelenting evening Hattie's was more like Hades, cooled by a few ceiling fans, and perfectly recreating the steam bath that is New Orleans in August.

You enter through an ancient screen door and make your way to the front to ask for a table. The small dining room is packed so this takes some effort. We are informed there is a 15 to 20 minute wait and are sent to the bar in the rear, which is really a mardi gras tent over a patio. Coloured lights and chandeliers, masques and beads and dolls all contribute to the cheerful party vibe. We order Purple Haze beer from Abita which we first had at Coop's in New Orleans.

As soon as we drain our beers we are seated in the homey dining room, with cobbled together cupboards, red checkered picnic table cloths and handmade curtains. Hot sauce, vinegar with sport peppers and tiny lamps decorate the table. Fresh cornbread, biscuits and butter are brought over.

We order the fried chicken which we have seen being carried by because it looks amazing. It comes with two sides. I get the mashed potatoes and cucumber salad, Rob gets the cranberry coleslaw and butter and sugar corn. It takes some time to get our order. Everything is homemade. Shortly though our heaping helpings arrive. We will be taking half back to our room for breakfast.

The chicken, a wing, a leg, thigh and a breast, is crisp, crunchy, deliciously moist and succulent inside, and not the least bit greasy. Thin slices of cucumber, vinegar and a little sugar make a very tasty salad. The mashed potatoes are classic, creamy mashed spuds. Rob's corn is sweet and not over cooked and the cranberry slaw is tasty and unusual, a nice balance of sweet and sour,  with dried cranberries and a nice vinegar bite.

I finished the evening with a perfectly made sazerac and then we literally melted away into the evening."

You can read the rest of the post here:
New Post: Saratoga Springs - Great mexican food and perhaps the best fried chicken we've ever had.
Re:New England Road TripBoston to Providence 2012/08/11 20:00:03