A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08

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wanderingjew
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A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Sun, 04/27/08 12:40 PM
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The local weathermen here in RI forecasted a typical late April Day here in Rhode Island for yesterday, apparently Southern New Hampshire was going to experience the same.

I decided to take a day trip to Manchester, New Hamsphire's largest city to see a New Hamsphire Fisher Cats game since it's only an hour and 45 minutes away. The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are the AA minor league team for the Toronto Blue Jays. They hosted the Bowie Baysox (AA for The Orioles).

The Ballpark is only 3 years old and this is my 2nd visit. My first visit was the year it opened in 2005 and the ballpark seemed "unfinished" when I first visited. Now it's complete and established with a Sam Adams bar and grill out in Center Field and a brand new Hilton Hotel next to that. I managed to dodge the $10 parking lots and found off street parking about 1/4 mile from the ballpark.






I decided to have lunch at the ballpark to save my appetite for dinner. There are some new concession stands at the ballpark one of which is "the Chowdah House" i ordered a so so lobster roll and an ok cup of chowdah. which ran me about $16 I also got a Smuttynose Pale Ale which was actually quite hoppy and I believe would have more appropriatey been labeled an "India Pale" or a "Bitter". Around the 5th inning, I tried Maine's Shipyard Export Ale which had some underlying hoppiness but not quite as sharp as the first beer.

After some rather weak pitching by the Fisher Cat's starter, the Mid relief came to the rescue and they beat the Baysox 6-2.





After the ballgame, I had plans to meet Cecif at the Legendary Red Arrow Diner in downtown Manchester. I had about an hour and a half to kill before hand so I strolled around the downtown area perusing a couple of shops that were actually open including a really cool sports memorabilia store.

I arrived at The Red Arrow and noticed that many famous celebrities have eaten there including Adam Sandler among others.





I arrived a few minutes early, and when Cecif called my cell and said she was a few minutes away, a booth was just being cleared away in the small and somewhat crowded 24 hour diner as it was preparing for the dinner rush.

For those who don't know, Manchester has a significantly large French Canadian population, so of course being a regionalist I ordered the Pork Pie with a side of Baked Beans, as well as Sweet Potato Fries which Cecif picked at.



The Pork Pie had a very moist flaky crust, and the brown gravy did not overwhelm the "oinky" ground pork interior. Cecif and I are in agreement that the beans contrary to prior discussion on the forum are definetely homemade, and are subtly sweet. The fresh cut sweet potato fries were also good and extremely addicting.

Cecif ordered the Chicken Fried Steak served with biscuits and a side of beans. Even though it was not "regionally appropriate" I didn't "melt" at the site of them contrary to what Bill Vosspreviously inferred about me and besides Cecif really enjoyed them.



Our conversation consisted of Cecif's trip down South and how she wanted to check out Spoons BBQ in Charlotte for dinner but it was only open for lunch, this prompted a call the To The Travelin Man who has the trade mark for Cecif's shared experience of being "Travelin Manned" in Charlotte. So while some folks were enjoying the roadfood tour in Ausin, we actually had a mini roadfood event at the Red Arrow Diner which we shared with the Travelin Man via cell phone.

Apparently being a first time visitor to the Red Arrow- the staff ring a bell in honor of that- they actually rang a bell twice since it was my first time there and although it was Cecif's 2nd visit- they failed to ring it upon her first visit.

Although we were too full to enjoy the Red Arrow's selection of Pies and Puddings, we did leave with a couple of homemade twinkies which I devoured when I got home later that evening.



We left the diner at around 7:30pm, and after a 15 minute walk to my car, I was home by 9:30pm.

I always enjoy sharing a meal with fellow roadfooders and I consider Cecif a friend among many others. I look forward to seeing everyone who is heading on the Connecticut Roadfood Tour next Saturday!
<message edited by wanderingjew on Fri, 10/4/13 8:40 PM>

ann peeples
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Sun, 04/27/08 2:51 PM
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What a fun day,and good food with a good friend.Thanks for letting us in on the enjoyment.

ayersian
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Sun, 04/27/08 7:44 PM
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WJ, thanks for the plug for the CT tour this coming weekend -- I just bumped up that thread for anyone else who is interested. We look forward to seeing you! Chris

billyboy
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Sun, 04/27/08 10:03 PM
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WJ,

What? In Manchester for the day and no BBQ? What gives?

Seriously though, it looks like you had a great time. I always enjoy your ball park photos. I told my buddy in Nashua that he needed to check out the Red Arrow and he said he had thought it was a dive place, until he actually went and loved it! Great shot of your platter! That looks right up my alley. I've been dying to try that pork pie and the "twinkies" ever since I saw the Red Arrow on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Thanks so much for the great report! Look forward to meeting you this weekend.
<message edited by billyboy on Fri, 10/4/13 2:39 AM>

leethebard
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Sun, 04/27/08 10:09 PM
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wow. "Homemade" twinkies,now ain't that sumthin'!!!!

Pigiron
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Sun, 04/27/08 10:46 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by billyboy

WJ,

What? In Manchester for the day and no BBQ? What gives?



Hold on there....I'm going to be in Manchester in a few months. What's the BBQ situation? Is there a must-eat place?

billyboy
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Mon, 04/28/08 4:17 AM
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Pigiron, I was just having some fun with WJ. However, I've been checking out a site Ellen had posted on here a while back. It's www.pigtrip.net. There are a number of reviews for BBQ places in Manchester. I just heard from him recently and many of them have closed. He said the ones remaining are okay, but not necessarily woth going out of the way for. Check out the site. Really thorough reviews.

Also in Manchester is Chez Vachon (has a French-Canadian twist to it)for breakfast and The Puritan Backroom at www.puritanbackroom.com (which has the best chicken tenders I've ever eaten in my life!). Go for the ones just called Chicken Tenders and get the duck sauce!

wanderingjew
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Mon, 04/28/08 7:17 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by billyboy


Also in Manchester is Chez Vachon (has a French-Canadian twist to it)for breakfast


I 2nd Chez Vachon- I was actually telling Cecif about the place.
Go for lunch (they close before 2pm) and get the french canadian specialty- "Poutine" it's fresh cut fries with gravy and cheese curds-you can also add your choice of meat as well- my favorite is Steak Tips- this is truly a "cardiac special" but its worth it if your cholesterol is in check.

kland01s
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Mon, 04/28/08 9:01 AM
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The cut on the sweet potato fries is interesting, Were they crispy on the outside?

The Travelin Man
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Mon, 04/28/08 9:44 AM
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Any place that serves homemade Twinkies has got to be on my short list of places to go before I die.

On the other hand, I have to admit to a lot when I think of someone with the screen name wanderingjew eating pork pie and Twinkies during Passover!


Pigiron
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Mon, 04/28/08 10:03 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew

I 2nd Chez Vachon- I was actually telling Cecif about the place.
Go for lunch (they close before 2pm) and get the french canadian specialty- "Poutine"


You had me at poutine.

Billyboy, thanks, I will check out pigtrip.

firecommander3565
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Mon, 04/28/08 10:03 AM
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2 thumbs up on the Sweet Potato fries....

billyboy
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Mon, 04/28/08 10:09 AM
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They make a decent poutine here in the city at Pommes Frites on 2nd Avenue, but I've heard some good things about Chez Vachon's as well. I'll have to make it there on my next trip.

Regarding those sweet potato fries, I've had ones similar to those in Syracuse, NY and they came with warm, real maple syrup for dipping. Fan-tastic!

buffetbuster
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Mon, 04/28/08 10:12 AM
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Make that four thumbs up.....I love sweet potato fries!

Nice report WJ! What a great way to spend a Spring day. Baseball, good food and sharing a meal with another Roadfooder like cecif. Glad you had such a good day.

Does that Hilton look really, really close to the field? Is it possible for a home run to be hit that far or is the distance in the photo deceiving?


wanderingjew
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Mon, 04/28/08 10:43 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by kland01s

The cut on the sweet potato fries is interesting, Were they crispy on the outside?


Yes, they were quite crispy.

quote:
buffetbuster Posted - 04/28/2008
Does that Hilton look really, really close to the field? Is it possible for a home run to be hit that far or is the distance in the photo deceiving?


The distance is not deceiving. Guests at the hilton can actually sit outside and watch the game.

cecif
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RE: A day in the Mill City (Manchester NH) April 08 - Mon, 04/28/08 10:21 PM
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I second all the comments by WJ, though I will add that while I picked at his sweet potato fries, it was pre-arranged. They are so yummy (had them my first time) but I knew I couldn't eat that much so didn't order them.

I had my twinkie for breakfast the next day with coffee - DELICIOUS! (I can also recommend the homemade whoopie pies which I tried last time. And my bacon-cheeseburger on my first visit was excellent as well.)

Thanks for posting WJ!