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Friday, July 15, 2011

The Common Man - Concord, NH

The Common Man is a New Hampshire family of restaurant's. We ate at the Concord location by the process of elimination when on a Sunday night we discovered that every restaurant we wanted to eat at in the downtown area was closed.

The restaurant looks as though it used to be in old Bed and Breakfast. It is large and nostalgic on the outside and has two floors and lots of side rooms for plenty of seating area once you get inside. The restaurant was busy when we arrived but we found a seat on the second level bar and grill area.  The menu looked great and it was hard to decide on any particular item as they all sounded so good. While we mulled it over Simone visited the cheese and cracker display.  This is a great idea, local cheese's and spreads with simple buttery crackers that you can just help yourself to as a free pre-meal appetizer.

Speaking of appetizers... after much debate we started with the Meatball Sliders. Pork and Beef Meatballs served open faced on nice thick garlic basted slices of toasted French Bread crostini, topped with Fresh Marinara and shaved Parmesan. The bread was perfectly crunchy without being dry, and the meatballs were flavorful and tender. This was a nice satisfying twist on the classic sliders.

For the entree we decided that we would try the special of the night. Potato Chip Pizza, that I could witness being made in the open kitchen area beside our table. The chef started by frying fresh thin sliced potatoes. While those were going he layed out a wafer thin flat bread pizza crust and topped it with a white cream sauce base. When the potatoes were done frying he piled them high on the crust and then smashed the living crap out of them with a paper towel (this was getting exciting). After demolishing the chips he topped the pizza with shredded cheese, loads of fresh bacon bits and even more crumbled Blue cheese.

It all then got placed into the oven and after ten minutes it came out perfectly browned and crispy. The pie absolutely tasted as good as it looked. A cross between Potato Skins and Pizza, it was delicious and filling. Under all the cheese and bacon , the chips somehow remained crisp, adding a great crunch to the melted cheesy goodness.

The Common Man provided us a uncommonly good meal. Thank God everywhere else was closed because we would have missed this experience. Next time you are in New Hampshire, take the time to find one of their many locations, it will be well worth it. 4.5 stars for the Common Man.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Rockin Diner- Rochester, New Hampshire


Another day another Diner. I just love these kind of places. Retro decor, classic comfort foods. Diners are just good old fashioned fun. With this in mind Simone and I on a recent getaway decided to try out the Rockin Diner on 77 Farmington Road in Rochester, New Hampshire. The joint was easy to find- it was across the parking lot of our Hotel and it was blindingly decked out in shiny chrome silver and pink.

We arrived for dinner and were basically the only people there. This troubled me a bit. Diners are supposed to be packed with friends and neighbors and old men sitting at bar stools drinking coffee and talking about the old days. The only conversation going on here was by the three waitress that seemed to be looking for something to do. We were escorted to our seats by one of them and then another one came over to take our drink orders.

The waitress we had was absolutely full of no personality. While we inconvenienced her with our drinks we looked over the menu. I thought the Meatloaf sounded good and Simone must have agreed because she decided to get the same thing. After ordering the meatloaf I had to use the boys room. It was then that I noticed some very good sounding specials written on a chalkboard.
Hmm... I guess the waitress decided I didn't need to know those.

After a few minutes our Meatloaf arrived. Simone had hers with mashed potatoes and mine came with French Fries. Both of us had green beans on the side.  I have to say that the Meatloaf was very good, It was moist and had a beefy onion flavor and was topped with a nice creamy gravy. My fries were thin and crispy and I enjoyed sopping up my gravy with them. Simone's potatoes were also good, and our green beans were soft and buttery. This was a classic meal.

Not that the waitress cared to ask but we decided to order dessert anyway. Simone and I each had cheesecake. Simone decided to have the Pecan Bourbon Cheesecake and I went with the Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake. Simone Cheesecake looked impressive but lacked a little flavor and was kinda disappointing. My cheesecake tasted as good as it looked and was a nice way to end to my meal.

So, overall I wish that the Rockin Diner had been a little more rockin. The decor was fun and the food was good but the service was just average.  Three stars for The Rockin Diner.