My plea, in short: I'm a fellow chowhound, raised in the Merrimack Valley, who relocated to Philadlphia, only then discovering my love of all things food. Now I'm thinking about making the move back to New England. My only hesitation: Northeastern Massachusetts (Lowell, ANdover, Methuen, Tyngsboro, Haverhill) and Southern New Hampshire (Nashua, Hudson, Salem, Pelham, Plaistow) are nothing but a row of chain restaurants to me. The food in Philly is too good! My favorite restaurants don't have to be exotic; they aren't expensive or hard to find; they're just friendly, with kitchens that pay more attention to food than marketing. So, tell me, is there hope for a city-fed chowhound in the (relative) country of the Merrimack Valley?