Ahoy, NE Chowhounds!
The short form: My husband and I very recently moved from Seattle to the "wild woods of Windham" (tee hee), NH and we're, well, at a loss as to where to go for a bite to eat around here. We were told that the Common Man here in Windham is quite good, though we've yet to go. Aside from that, I've scanned over the last several pages on this board (both in the NE and North of Boston categories) and found nothing relating to the part of southern NH that we're in.... please, PLEASE say it isn't so! Are all the decent establishments relegated to coastal or college towns at least a 45-minute drive from us (or, obviously, Boston)? Is there no casual-yet-decent culinary life in the Windham/Salem/Londonderry area beyond Applebees and the 99? Help!
More details than you may need: We're not what I would necessarily call "foodies" in the gourmet sense; we're not opposed to fancy-schmancy joints on occasion, though for regular dining we much prefer a generally casual/cozy vibe to white tablecloths, valet parking, and architecturally arranged entrees the size of a credit card. We also don't generally do steak or seafood (for the most part). So as far as what we're hoping to find..... local-flavor brewpubs tend to do us right, as they're the sorts of places with a little bit of everything on the menu (a variety of sandwiches, salads, pastas, etc.) in addition to the drinks. (We took a drive to Portsmouth last weekend and found one there that was lovely.) We love wine bars and tapas places as much as we do down-home Mexican joints and favorite Sunday-brunch creperies. We're also dying for some good Italian and Indian (re: the latter, we've happily discovered Kashmir in Salem, which is wonderful). Being of the 'alt' sort ourselves, funky decor and young hipster waitstaff are a bonus as long as they're of the unpretentious variety and the tattoos & piercings don't come at the expense of good service and food. The problem is, we quite literally haven't FOUND much of anything around here! I'm suddenly feeling like we were extremely spoiled in Seattle, where there was an endless plethora of places we loved to choose from at any given time: the McMenamins family of brewpubs, various Capitol Hill hangouts like the Broadway Grille and Bleu Bistro, the always-cheerful Icon Grill and Pink Door downtown, and a never-ending array of good authentic Indian and Thai.
Please help these expatriates adrift in a sea of chain-"American-casual" family restaurants! Your suggestions are most welcome. :)