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This review is going to be a little different as I will be focusing on the gluten free menu. As I have mentioned Robby has had some gut issues and going gluten free has helped.  Not only I am learning about gluten free diets, I’m also checking out restaurants that have gluten free options. I first heard about Green Leaves from my niece Becky, so I knew it would be good. The difficult thing was that it was in York, Maine about 20-25 minutes away. Not super easy to do a take out order, but I found myself in York last week meeting a friend and thought it would be the perfect time to check it out.
When I was with my friend, Amanda, I asked her if she had been to Green Leaves.  “Yes, it’s a York favorite” she said.  She and her family all love it! After hearing that, I knew I had to stop in and grab some take out for Robby and I.
Green Leaves Chinese Restaurant and Lounge is located in the Meadowbrook Village Plaza on Route 1 in York, Maine. It was about 1:30 in the afternoon on a Wednesday  and I thought I would be in and out in no time. Boy, was I wrong this place was packed! The dining and lounge were almost completely filled with people and the To Go orders lined up on the counter! Wow! That was a crazy first impression. I got to the counter and asked for the gluten free menu and I was handed the menu from Andy, the owner. Andy was a super nice guy and said people come from all over for that menu. I explained I was one of those people too! He told me that when he remodeled his kitchen he put in two kitchens to be able to offer “certified” gluten free food. How amazing! I’m still learning about gluten free, but I know there are three things to look for.  Gluten Removed, Gluten Free and Certified Gluten Free. The safest is the Certified Gluten Free, so I felt really good about Green Leaves.
I ordered two items from the gluten free Chef’s Special part of the menu. I ordered Crispy Beef with Broccoli and Sweet and Sour Chicken. These dishes do not come with a side of rice so if you want a side dish you need to order that as well. I ordered the vegetable fried rice for Robby and I to share.

Let’s start with the Crispy Beef and Broccoli ($11.95) this was my favorite dish. The beef…even after driving home for 20 minutes was still crisp but it was so juicy and tender. One of the best crispy beef dishes I have ever had, gluten free or not! Excellent dish!

 

 

Next up was the Sweet and Sour Chicken ($10.95) I was a bit nervous with this hoping that they did not put the sauce on the chicken. For a take out order, you can see they do not! See those crispy bites of chicken? Yup still crispy but, Green Leaves has been voted the best Chinese restaurant in York County for 20 years in a row and counting!

Last but not least was the vegetable fried rice ($7.95) . First I should mention the portion was big, more than enough for Robby and I. We had some leftovers for the next day! The rice had plenty of vegetables, broccoli and mushrooms galore! Over all everything we had was terrific and worth the drive. This is a place we would go to anytime we are in the area with or without our gluten free guy Robby!

 

This is only a small glimpse of what the gluten free menu has.  They have a sushi menu, lunch specials, a chef’s special menu that includes what we ordered along with coconut chicken or shrimp, General Tso’s chicken or shrimp, shrimp with walnut and salt and pepper chicken to just name a few things!
They have a number of fried rice options, chop suey choices, soups like chicken and rice, egg drop and hot and sour! The stir fry section of the menu is huge! All with chicken, shrimp and seafood choices. This gluten free menu goes all the way to dessert, things like green tea ice cream, fried banana’s, and mango mousse cake!

I have only given you a small glimpse of what Green Leaves has to offer from the gluten free menu.  The non-gluten free menu is even bigger! Green Leaves opens daily at 11 am and you can also checkout their website.  http://www.greenleavesrestaurant.com/

NOTE – Robby and I did not come close to finishing either dish so I have learned that the best way to re-heat Chinese food (or pizza and seafood) is to place the leftover’s on a foil covered baking sheet.  Place the baking sheet in a COLD oven. Turn the oven to 330 degrees and when the oven bell rings to say the oven is heated, that’s when you take the sheet pan out and enjoy your leftovers! I kept the sauce from the sweet and sour chicken separate and just heated that in the microwave!

Take some time out this summer and stop in and see Andy at Green Leaves!

Enjoy!

 

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A couple weeks ago I told you about taking the train into Boston with our niece Becky and her man Adam and eating our way through Boston. Not only did we go to Haley.Henry wine bar but we also went to Al Dente located at 109 Salem street in the north end of Boston. With Al Dente being our first stop of the day and none of us having much for breakfast, as we knew we were in for some amazing food, we were all hungry and ready to eat!

We decided on three dishes and all share them. It did not take us long to agree on a couple dishes but I will say the menu is fantastic! While we were deciding, we had bread with dipping oil in front of us and of course our drinks! Our first choice was the Bruschetta ($8.95) toasted garlic bread with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. We dove into the dish pretty fast and all enjoyed All,of the fresh flavors. Great start for sure!

Our next dish was one of their specialties, the lobster ravioli ($11.95) This is a lobster and cheese filled ravioli in a light marinara sauce with shrimp, a touch of cream and Romano cheese. I love a good lobster ravioli And this one was excellent.  There was no question why this dish is one of their specialties, light, fresh and filled with lobster and shrimp in the sauce.

 

The last dish we ordered was Pasta Alfredo with freshly made spiral pasta. this dish was hands down a favorite of all of us! If there were not other people in the restaurant, there would have been a fight as to who was going to lick the plate clean. We did contain ourselves but I can say the plate was in fact very clean when we were done…not a drop of that amazing sauce was left. This dish is $14.95 and worth every penny.  You can choose the type of pasta you want with it, but oh that sauce, that amazing sauce is made with heavy cream, butter, egg and fresh Parmesan cheese.  What a great way to start our day in Boston! Good thing we had some walking to do before we were at our next stop!

I can say ANYTHING you get from Al Dente will be good.  This restaurant is not just cozy and casual, it really is like being at your grandmother’s house for Sunday supper.  The food choices will please anyone’s taste buds, they even have a kid’s menu. They have many pasta sauces to choose from, along with seafood, veal, chicken and of course some house specialties. Al Dente is open daily starting at 11:30 am. They do take reservations and you can find more information including their full menu  online at http://www.aldenteboston.com/

These are some fun pictures I took as we walked through the city. Jim left his cell phone at home so he felt connected to the pay phone on the street!
Thanks so much to Adam and Becky for such a fun day in Boston!

Enjoy!

 

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Jack & Kelly

Tucker’s Restaurant just came to Dover, NH and I am excited to tell you about this new breakfast and lunch restaurant! Tucker’s has three other locations that my adorable niece Kelly and her guy Jack have been to. They love it and before the Dover location opened they were telling me about their favorite dishes. Kelly’s favorite dish is one of Tucker’s specialties, the banana bread French toast, house baked banana nut bread grilled in French toast batter and topped with fresh bananas, honey maple glazed walnuts and whipped cream!  How amazing does that sound?This is definitely on my need to order list!

Jack’s favorite breakfast is also one of their specialties, the Southwest Sunrise Skillet with two fresh eggs scrambled with onions, piquante peppers, pepper jack cheese, herbs and spices served over crispy hash browns topped with fresh sliced avocado and a drizzle of chipotle sauce. This is served with gluten free bread or the bread of your choice! After hearing all of this I could not wait for the Dover location to open! Thankfully it was only a week till the opening, and I was able to go for their grand opening event that they had prior to the official opening day to the public.

I went to the pre-opening event with my good friend Leanne. We arrived at about 10 am to a crowded parking lot so we knew everyone had already heard about this gem! Tucker’s was certainly buzzing with activity when we walked in. We were each promptly seated with a menu.  Every pre-opening is a little different but this opening allowed you to order anything off the menu all free of charge! I have to say it did take us some time to decide as everything looked and sounded amazing.  I am a sucker for a good Benedict because I don’t make them at home. To my surprise they had my all time favorite Benedict, a Sausage Benedict.  Once I saw that my choice was made! It’s a pretty straight forward dish…English muffin, all natural sausage patty, poached eggs and of course that creamy delicious Hollandaise sauce! It was absolutely cooked perfectly and the sausage had some really great flavor. I most definitely will be back for that again! Let’s not forget those crispy hash browns on the side, those were just as tasty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leanne had a cup of coffee and the “Mitch” breakfast sandwich. This sandwich is made with north country smokehouse Canadian bacon, hash browns, fried egg, melted Vermont cheese on grilled sourdough.  Delicious, right? I think our conversation slowed way down at this point as we were loving our breakfast. Leanne and I both liked the fiesta dish ware they have as well.

Tucker’s has some other great breakfast choices, some of the usual menu items and some a little different.  They have a Brisket Benedict with chimichurri sauce or how about a Mediterranean Omelet with mushrooms, piquante peppers, tomatoes, grilled spinach, feta, cheddar and calamata olives. I told you about a couple of the specialties that Kelly and Jack love but another option are their homemade biscuits and gravy.  That’s another dish I don’t make at home but one that Jim enjoys now and then! They also have many gluten free options as well as gluten free toast.

Although we went for breakfast, they are open for lunch as well and after checking out that menu I know we will be going back for lunch as well. Lots of great sandwiches, wraps, soup and salads to choose from, not to mention mac and cheese and couple different types of grilled cheese. If you are looking for something a little healthier they have a couple of quinoa bowls to chose from as well.

Find them online or on Facebook where you can see all the menu options, locations throughout NH and times of operation. If you have a location near you, get there you will not be disappointed! Thank you to my breakfast date Leanne and of course to Kelly and Jack for all of their input and sharing their favorite dishes with me!

https://tuckersnh.com/

Enjoy!

 

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Recently Jim and I took the train into Boston with our niece Becky and her significant other Adam. We planned to spend the day eating and drinking our way through Boston.  Both Becky and Adam love food and great places as much as we do. Becky and Adam have been to Haley.Henry a number of times as Haley grew up with Adam! They love it so they could not wait to take us there, and boy are we glad they did!

I think this is going to be one of the strangest restaurant reviews I have ever written so stay with me. Are you wondering why a restaurant review would be strange?  Well, let me tell you, this was an amazing place, but it took me way out of my normal comfort zone! Haley.Henry has some things we all enjoy at a wine bar and some other not so traditional foods that will keep your taste buds guessing! I’ll start with the easy part!  The laid back comfortable vibe is a great welcome into the restaurant;  the music and rustic decor make this easy to settle in and get the afternoon going.
When we arrived Haley was there to greet all of us and once the introductions were done, we were seated.  Becky ordered the cheese and charcuterie board (you can order the boards separately and you get a choice of 3 or 5 options for each board).  This board was just amazing. The choice of cheeses and paper thin sliced meats were so tasty.  There were some sweet and salty nuts and a hazelnut butter that was insanely good…lick the plate good! All of this was served with a side of various kinds of warm bread.

I’m so excited to tell you about Haley.Henry.  I’m getting ahead of myself already!  We ordered wine, that was recommended for each of us.  Becky and Adam shared a bottle of red wine. I had that beautiful pink wine you see and Jim was the “party pooper” of the bunch and order a beer at a wine bar! We still love him!

Jim and Adam also shared a few oysters before the cheese and charcuterie board came out! Becky and I held out for all the delicious meats and cheeses to come!  Sounds pretty good right? Nothing too strange or out of the box? The next couple plates that came out I will have to say I have never tried before, so this is where it went out of my comfort zone, in a good way! Don’t be scared!
Next up was the smoked eel in olive oil with tender sweet rolls, salt, aioli, lemon and ruffled chips.  Yes, ruffled chips put it all together and oh my, sweet, salty, crunchy and bring me back for another one! So good, I was not sure what to expect but it was absolutely delicious. I would order that again any day, but like I said it was far out of my usual food zone! We also had the smoked oysters. I did not try those as I found myself going back for the eel and the amazing cheese board!

We had such a fun time meeting Haley and her staff and enjoying the impeccable food and service, we smiled and laughed all afternoon while enjoying so many flavors and tastes! As we were starting to slow down and think about walking back to the train station, Haley came out with some lamb tartare for us to taste as she was making it to post on Instagram. How could we possibly refuse more amazing food? Not this group… even though we were all stuffed, we could not help but try it. Sadly I missed the picture but lamb tartare with capers, garlic, harissa and mint? Come on…of course it was soooo good!

Before we left Haley, brought us each a small bottle of bitters, again something I have not had except in a mixed drink, never straight. It’s unique and packs a little punch! Jim really enjoyed it. I’m on the fence with that one! What an experience we had at Haley.Henry Wine Bar. Check them out at 45 Province Street in Boston, on line at http://www.haleyhenry.com/#home, Facebook and of course Instagram.
Haley.Henry is closed on Sundays so be sure to check out the hours and times so you can enjoy some amazing flavors. I can’t leave without mentioning Haley.Henry has been rated one of the top new restaurants in Boston in 2016, a couple weeks after we were there. Haley was going to be doing an event for the James Beard Foundation.
Don’t be intimidated by tinned fish, embrace something new and get to Haley.Henry!

Enjoy!

 

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Wing-itz the seacoast wing butchery has been open in Portsmouth NH since 2007, but recently opened up a new location in Dover NH. I could not have been happier as Wing-itz has been named the best wings in the state for a eight years running but I have never been to the Portsmouth location so I was ready to try some amazing wings!
A couple things I learned about wing-itz is that they hand cut their all natural wings each day. They have over 30 sauces from sweet to really spicy! They use as many local ingredients as possible and it takes them 24 hours to make their hand cut fries!

So a couple of weeks ago when Jim and I were getting a few things done we decided to stop in at Wing-itz for a quick lunch. When you walk in you can go to the right (the bar area) and grab a table there for full service.  You can go to the hostess stand area, place your order and sit at one of the long community tables they have. We did not realize that the bar area was full service so we placed our order and sat at one of the high tables in the bar area, they don’t have many tables for just two people and honestly I’m not a fan of the community tables.


Jim ordered the Chicken Bahn Mi Sub (6 inch for $5.00 or 12 inch for $10.00). This sub has lettuce, cilantro, carrots, chicken and a spicy Thai peanut dressing. Jim loved this sub.  The greens were fresh, chicken was juicy and the Thai peanut sauce was spicy but not overpowering. I can attest this is a great sub!

I ordered the lunch combo seen above (first image) for $11.00.  How could I not order wings at a wing place? My lunch combo included 5 wings. I chose the honey BBQ sauce, fries and a drink. (I had a water bottle, you can choose soda as well). The wings were crispy, tender, and full of that sweet honey BBQ sauce! These are messy wings but thankfully you have plenty of paper towels and wet naps right at the table. The fries; let’s talk about those fries that take 24 hours to make! I always hate to say “something is the best that I have ever had”, BUT these fries are so crispy on the outside and so tender, well seasoned and yes, these fries are the best I have ever had!

That concludes our lunch but not this post. It was funny as not too long after we left I posted some pictures on Facebook and a dear friend commented that he was just there getting take out for himself and his partner Norm. Except Greg was getting the “wicked hot” wings with extra sauce! Gregg and Norm loved the wicked hot wings and gave them a five star review.  But funny enough Greg admitted his wicked hot days are over he will be having the hot wings next time! Another neighbor of mine (shout out to Mary Ann) also mentioned how they love the Portsmouth location. They love the wings, fried pickles and truffle fries!
So, there you have it folks! Wing-itz has some very happy customers!  I was telling Robby
(number one son) about this place and he was very interested in trying it, so a few days later when Jim was out of town, I stopped in and picked up some take out for Robby and I! This time I wanted to try one of the salads, so I ordered the boneless buffalo chicken salad for $11.00, as well as the garlic Parmesan wings and you know I had to have those fries too!

The salad can be ordered with any level of heat you want, I’m wimpy, so I got the mild buffalo sauce. This salad comes with romaine, tomatoes, croutons and blue cheese dressing. It was more than enough for Robby and I to share. Excellent salad!

I ordered just five of the Garlic Parmesan Wings and as you can see they don’t skimp on this sauce either! These wings were not quite as crispy as the other wings but that could have been due to the extra time it took me to get them home. Robby and I both agreed the wings had great flavor and it is one I would order again.  The wings can be ordered in implements of five and you can order as many as 50! Over 30 sauces, although not all of the sauces are available at the Dover location. They have wings, wraps, lots of sauces and salads but they also have sandwiches and a number of sides to choose from. The fries can be plain or with a curry mayo, truffle salt and herb to just name a couple. But if potato chips and fried pickles are up your alley guess what? They have those too. They also have something called Jalepeno Wheels that are currently only served in the Portsmouth location. These are fried pickled jalapeño slices served with a buttermilk ranch dressing. I am really hoping this item finds its way to the Dover location!
Check out their website for more information including times, locations, the amazing sauces and their full menu.
http://www.wing-itz.com/menu/

Enjoy!

 

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