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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Last week I brought you to Puerto Rico.  This week we are back in Dover, NH at the new Ember Wood Fired Grill on 1 Orchard street. (Formerly the Chop Shop).  Jim was really in the mood for a burger and I have been wanted to try this new restaurant, so off we went for Dinner. We got there shortly after they opened so we had plenty of choices as to where to sit. They have a bottle of water on the table already for you.  As we were looking at the menu…well, as I was looking at the menu out came a basket of bread and butter. The bread was really, really good. A slight crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Jim and I both agreed the only thing that can make that better is if the bread was warm.

You already know Jim ordered a burger, but let me tell you about my dish. I ordered the Lobster Mac and Cheese ($21.00). This dish was so creamy and decadent, the pasta is a house made tarragon Cavatelli.  The cheese sauce was made with three different cheeses, then perfectly cooked lobster added in, along with three slices of thinly sliced bread to put that creamy goodness on! This dish is excellent, the lobster was cooked nicely and chopped so that almost every bite had all that rich goodness.

On to Jim’s burger.  Jim had the Ember’s Burger ($14.00).  When it comes to burgers this one has some great flavors starting with the meat itself.  It is a mixture of both ground tenderloin and ground sirloin with sharp cheddar cheese, and some amazing cherry wood smoked bacon, pickled cucumber, greens, yellow tomato confit aioli and house steak sauce. If that does make your mouth water I don’t know what will. This came with a side of fries. You already know Jim finished that burger and a few bites of my lobster mac and cheese. The rest of my dish came home and Robby finished every last bite!

We did not order dessert but did spend a little time enjoying the atmosphere, warm lit fireplace, old photos of the building when it was once a fire station…back in the horse drawn fire equipment days! A very cozy place on a cool New England evening.

We are looking forward to going back and trying more of what they have to offer. The menu is broken up into small, medium and large plates as well as a Sunday Brunch menu. The menu changes often, but I did see a number of things that would bring us back.  Oysters, grilled romaine salad, spring vegetable pap-Adele to just name a few things. They also have a full bar with a large selection of whiskey choices. I should also mention if you like the Brickhouse Restaurant across the street, there is a good chance you will love Ember as the owner is the same!

I definitely recommend checking them out on Facebook for updated information. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and with the menu changing frequently you will find the most updated information there. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

https://www.facebook.com/EmberWFG/

Enjoy!

 

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A few weeks ago Jim had to go to San Juan, Puerto Rico on business for two weeks. The second week he was there, I decided to take a trip down to meet him there for the duration of his trip for a little warm, sandy beach time. Because he was there on business we were slightly limited with various activities that we could do but, let’s face it, we all need to eat so we had some amazing food choices. I am going to give you our top three places but there were great little places in old San Juan as well.

I arrived in San Juan on a Sunday afternoon and by the time we made it back to the hotel I was ready for some island food! I went from cold NH to hot humid PR, so as soon as I settled in we made it to the Pina Colada Club that was right at our hotel (Caribe Hilton). The Pina Colada Club had exactly what I was looking for…an all Caribbean vibe, music, the restaurant colors and the laid back vibe on a warm vacation. We were seated and had the menu in hand very quickly, not to mention a beer for Jim and a Pina Colada for me…come on now…how could I not get a Pina Colada at the Pina Colada Club? Jim already knew what he wanted as he had already been there once and raved about the fish tacos so that’s what he got. I ordered the appetizer portion of the coconut shrimp skewers. We  shared both plates and it was perfect as the coconut shrimp were super sweet and the fish tacos had some nice spice with the club hot sauce it was served with.

The coconut shrimp were just that, coconut coated shrimp fried to perfection and served with a pineapple marmalade ($15.95). These were very sweet and full of that crispy coconut coating. The pineapple marmalade gave a nice additional flavor. I would order these again but would also order something to contrast the sweet flavor, for us it was a perfect compliment with the fish tacos!

 

These fish tacos were crazy good and crazy messy, but well worth the drip! These were Mahi Mahi fried fish with avocado, pico de gallo, lettuce, cheese, cilantro, sour cream and the Pina Colada Club hot sauce on the side served on either a hard corn tortilla or a soft flour tortilla. We had the soft tortilla. These fish tacos were fabulous but when you added their hot sauce it hits crazy good. The signature hot sauce is sweet but then hot,  an amazing compliment to everything on the tacos!  We ate every bite of both dishes!  The Pina Colada Club is part of a group of restaurants in the area. To give this restaurant a quick overview, it’s a Caribbean restaurant with all the food you would expect at your local pub. Wings, nachos, salad, sandwiches, burgers, kids menu and full bar. All of this with that laid back “your on vacation vibe”. It was a great way to start my time in San Juan.

 

The second restaurant I’m going to share with you is Morton’s, the Steakhouse. This is a chain and has restaurant’s all over. This restaurant also happened to be connected to our hotel and we heard rave reviews about this steak house and knowing how much Jim likes steak, it was a must visit!

 

We knew before going here this was not a low cost place, but we  had some serious high expectations going in that night. We arrived just a bit early and were able to take a quick peek around the restaurant and noticed some fun stuff! They have a picture wall filled with many, many famous people all with framed pictures throughout the lobby.  (Jim asked where his picture was, no one could understand why it was not there!) But there was also a wall of small closet doors with named plates. Are you wondering what they are? Well, they are small wine cabinets for all of their VIP guests, and let me tell you, they have many!

We were promptly seated in a much more formal atmosphere than we are used to but don’t worry, we had a fabulous time with the servers and waitstaff! We were seated at a beautiful window seat overlooking the beach/ocean area. It was the one and only night that it rained on my trip. The beach was clear and the water had some nice waves and just as beautiful as it was earlier in the day regardless of the rain.

Before we knew it we had a warm loaf of bread and plate of butter in front of us. I am not a huge bread person, but this bread was fabulous…and who gets a plate of butter? I never knew that was a thing? It was darn good so if it’s a new thing, I’m okay with it! Bring on the bread and butter!

We did not order an appetizer after all that bread, but we did place our order. Jim ordered the mixed grill; a combination of steak and shrimp and scallops and I ordered the dinner portion of the shrimp Alexander. While we waited for our dinner we enjoyed speaking with various staff members and we learned that anytime Adam Sandler is in the area this is a restaurant he visits. We also learned some Spanish, as well as a great wine recommendation for dinner. How could we ask for anything more while waiting on dinner? Fabulous!

Jim’s dinner was nothing less than spectacular and perfectly cooked. The picture does not do it any justice. The steak was grilled nicely to a perfect medium, scallops cooked with crispy bacon around them, grilled shrimp and asparagus along side a roasted lemon to drizzle. If Jim could have licked the plate, it just might have happened.

 

 

My dish was the Shrimp Alexander.  I’m not a steak girl so I went to the seafood and this is one of the dishes they are known for.  It’s an herb breaded fried shrimp in a butter sauce…yummm, so rich, tender and succulent. Delicious, another lick the plate dish!

 

We have heard about their desserts, so we knew we were not leaving without the “Legendary Sundae “. While we waited for the sundae, we noticed a large group of golfers come in.  It hit us that there was a professional tournament in the area that week and these were some of the players. How cool is that?! They were at the next table over and could not help but overhear some of the golf stories they told, but then our dessert came and no matter what they had to say we were distracted with our amazing dessert. This dessert had a warm chocolate cake, caramel, chocolate, whipped cream and of course a cherry on top. This was so decadent and not something we would normally order, but wow am I glad we did!

To sum this up in just a few words is tough, it was not cheap, menu is well thought out, food cooked to what you wanted and don’t leave without a dessert!  Morton’s is known for their award winning wine collection, prime aged beef, succulent seafood and signature sides. I don’t think I need to say more about the desserts! The wait staff and management exceeded our expectations. If there is a Morton’s in your area check them out on line for times, locations and menus. I hope they are as good as the Morton’s we experianced in San Juan.

Last but not least is the Ropa Vieja Grill. So, being a foodie and checking out what you should eat in San Juan or anywhere in Puerto Rico. The one dish came up every time was Mofungo! I know , what the heck is Mofungo? Well, long story short it’s a fried mashed plantain dish.  Most places in San Juan have their own version of Mofungo. We were coming to the end of our time in San Juan and have already had some fantastic dishes but still no Mofungo.   BUT, we had been asking around about the best place to go… hotel staff, other guests and locals……Ropa Vieja Grill was the place to go.

We arrived to a small, very cute place and a very attentive staff. We were seated with water, menus and not much longer a bread basket with warm bread and butter. So far so good. I knew what I wanted but I just did not know what version of Mofungo I wanted.  So I asked our server and he did not even blink an eye and said I wanted the flank steak Mofungo.

 

 

Ok, that’s what I ordered and found it funny that he could have told me to order the most expensive plate on the menu and I probably would have ordered it, but this was the dish he told me I had to try. Jim ordered the Empanda De Res, with rice and beans. This would be our version of chicken fried steak!


My Mofungo was fried plantains on the bottom with shredded steak on top. It arrived, smelled really good and tasted incredible. I can’t even begin to tell you how flavorful that steak was. The plantains are dull on their own and more of a vehicle for whatever it is being served with. Put that steak on and the Gods have sung! So freakin’ good. Plantains on their own…ugh…flavored flank steak from Ropa Vieja grill, bring it any day!

Jim’s a beans and rice guy every day of the week. This day was no different the only question was,  what was the protein gonna be? He chose the American version of a chicken fried steak and of course those rice and beans. His dish came with caramelized plantains… oh my Lord…those plantains were beyond good! I think if I reached over to Jim’s plate one more time he may have smacked my hand.

We completely understand why this restaurant was recommended literally by everyone we spoke with, local and tourist alike. They also have a website with location, hours and menu.

To sum up our foodie time in San Juan, it was terrific! Lots of great local places, old San Juan places and amazing local Mofungo and seafood dishes to be had. If you are traveling to the area don’t be afraid to check out not only these places, but the smaller local places as well. We did not eat at a bad place during our time there.

Enjoy!

 

 

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