Some quick impressions of a recent trip to this area with 2 kids. We had a full kitchen, and did a lot of meals at home, but here are our experiences:
Lunch at Storyland. Just. Don't. Do. It. They have a little house near the entrance for storing coolers, with picnic tables out front, and this is the way to go. Food is overpriced and bad ($2.99 for an Uncrustable PBJ sandwich?!) Snack wise, the Hawaiian Shaved Ice by the log flume ride was good, and the apple crisp with ice cream from the Farm Stand was good.
Dinner at Moat Mountain Smokehouse. This place was recommended to us by friends as well as recommended here on Chowhound. We arrived at 5:30, early enough to beat the dinner rush. When we left, there were a number of people waiting outside, including a bunch of kids running around on a big lawn. Atmosphere was nice, the restaurant is sectioned up into a bunch of smaller rooms, which kept the noise down. The beer was good, and the 6-beer sampler was reasonably priced at $6. The rest of the meal was mostly disappointing. We both had the Carolina pulled pork. I wasn't expecting it to be so heavily sauced... I think of Carolina style as meaning a light vinegar sauce. There wasn't anything wrong with the BBQ sauce it came with, but it wasn't what I was expecting. Most of the pork itself was fine, but mine had a number of hard burnt crusty bits mixed in. I like a bit of crust but these were so hard as to be inedible. The garlic mashed potatoes were the best part of the dish. The coleslaw was odd, with slivers of red and green peppers. I can't eat peppers so couldn't eat any of it. I usually think to ask if dishes have peppers, but didn't think to ask since that's not usually how coleslaw is prepared.
My daughter has been obsessed with catfish ever since she tried it recently at a place near us that has catfish, eggs and grits for breakfast, where the catfish is coated with cornmeal and fried. Moat Mountain's menu offered a few options of catfish. We nixed the Cajun Blackened style, knowing it would be too spicy for her, and ordered the "Cornmeal Crusted" catfish, which came with fries and coleslaw. We asked them to leave off the chipotle aioli, which was listed on the menu. When it came, the cornmeal coating was very light, and it was sauteed, not fried. But, unfortunately, they had dumped a ton of cajun seasoning on the fries, which ended up on the catfish as well. When I pointed it out to the waitress, she said it was just on the fries, and not really on the catfish. Unfortunately, there was enough of the spicy coating on most of the catfish that she wouldn't eat it, and she wouldn't touch the fries. The waitress didn't offer a replacement dish, but did offer to bring some plain fries.
I wasn't impressed at all with the food here and wouldn't go back.
Dinner (takeout) from Elvio's Pizza. Surprisingly good pizza! We enjoyed a white pizza and a plain cheese pizza. The crust was fairly thin and it was seasoned well. I'd definitely order from here again.
Ice cream at Molly B's. Very very very pink ice cream shop, next to Elvio's. Also very nice owners, and good ice cream. We'd definitely go back here when next in the area.
Lunch at Peach's. We enjoyed the funky covered outdoor area. Chocolate chip pancakes were a hit with the kid, although felt slightly gummy to me as I was cutting and tasting them. Italian Wedding Soup was OK, not as much chicken flavor as I like, but brimming with greens and a fair amount of meatballs. Broccoli & Tomato Quiche was very good. The greens that came with it were a bit on the older side, and I had to pick out a few black wilty greens, and the cucumbers looked over the hill. Crepes with chicken, avocado and peach salsa were a hit with my better half. A nice place and a relaly interesting menu. We'd definitlely go back here.
We had thought to try a meal at Red Fox which was just up the road from us but when the weather turned bad, we were happy to cocoon at home with the takeout pizza. I saw a fair number of good reviews online, and I'd try it next time.
On the shopping front, we got most of our provisions at Hannaford, which is large and had a great selection of pretty much everything we wanted, including beer and wine. We did make one trip to Grant's Shop and Save which is fine for a "shoot, I forgot..." run, but the produce section in particular was to be avoided. I was sad I hadn't grabbed some local corn from a farm stand on the way up because what we picked up from Grant's was sad stuff.
2506 White Mountain Hwy North, Conway, NH
Moat Mountain Smokehouse
3378 White Mountain Hwy North, Conway, NH
Elvio's Pizzeria & Restaurant
2888 White Mountain Hwy, North Conway, NH 03860
Molly B's Ice Cream
2888 White Mountain Hwy, North Conway, NH 03860