Here are some eating notes from another family vacation (with an 18 month old and an 8 year old) in the North Conway area:
Best Return Visit(s): The Stairway Café (2 visits) – the blueberry pancakes were amazing, as were the huevos verde (sunny-side up eggs on corn tortillas, with a green chile sauce, an herb salad, chicken-jalapeno sausage, and avocado). There are also game sausages available, for something different. Very kid friendly and homey (pricey also, but worth it). Flatbread Pizza is always a winner – enjoy the vibe, love the pizza (no leftovers, even with the kids). I tried a “Dark and Stormy” here, made with Meyer’s Black Rum and a local Maine ginger beer – interesting (sorta like drinking black licorice).
Best New Place: Wine Thyme (located in the old Coyote Rose) – great tapas and wine, and also great service. We had the red wine cheese (and nut) plate with a Tuscan red and a Spanish red. Tapas included a forest mushroom risotto and tuna sashimi in a martini glass, with a cucumber dressing. Surprisingly kid friendly (at lunch) – very welcoming, with an offer to whip up grilled cheese or macaroni & cheese if desired. We also tried Priscilla’s Café, a new breakfast/lunch place that just opened recently (across from Peaches, in the back of a parking lot). O.K. breakfast, and very homey and welcoming – but still some kinks to work out. The blueberry pancakes were not very moist, and the home fries need more tender potatoes.
Best New Visit to Old Place: The Red Parka Pub: Decent steaks, a salad bar available, and fun for the kids. Plus, we had the best blueberry pie of the trip for dessert. The steak chef is very talented – my wife’s filet minion came out a little raw on one side (instead of rare). It was whisked back to the chef, who expertly seared it so that it came back out perfectly cooked to order.
Random Notes: The best amusement park food was at Santa’s Village – a “decorate your own” gingerbread man, which came out very yummy. We also tried Mama Kelly’s Irish Restaurant – good fish and chips, but the rest of the food was so-so (dried out corned beef in the corned beef and cabbage). I had a good lobster roll at Matty B’s (on the special board) – light on the mayo, with a more lemony dressing. Everyone was offering lobster because of the low prices. On the way up, we stopped at the Tilton Diner (exit 20 off of Rte 93), where I had some surprisingly good whole fried clams (with some so-so fried haddock) – the kids loved this place. On the way back, we had dinner at Hart’s Turkey Farm Restaurant in Meredith, which had the most extensive kid’s menu we have ever seen. We had turkey dinners (of course), with tasty (uncanned) gravy and stuffing. Pet peeve – in maple syrup country, why does everyone charge extra for maple syrup with your pancakes? Just raise the price of the dish and include it – with so many suppliers, it can’t be that expensive that you need the extra mark-up.