Thursday, February 26, 2009

Petey's Summertime Seafood, Rye, New Hampshire

Petey’s, Rye Beach, NH
April 3, 2008

Friends told us they enjoyed eating at Petey’s when they were in Rye. Yesterday we were feeling rather cooped up from the record snowfall this winter, and decided to take a ride to the beach. We decided supper at Petey’s would be in order.

We first did a drive-by, since we love to ride up Route 1A for sightseeing and since we had arrived a little too early for supper. The parking lot was packed. We decided to continue up the coast and take a walk around Odiorne Point State Park in Rye , which is about 3 miles from Portsmouth. There were only 4 other people there – it was great. The temperature was 54 degrees and the shining sun felt wonderful. Only a zip-up sweatshirt was necessary. It was not exactly sun bathing weather, but nice enough for a short walk near the beach.

Back to Petey’s…From the outside, you can tell it’s a “paper plate” type of place. My baked stuff shrimp even arrived in what appeared to be a paper casserole. I did not allow the presentation to disappoint me before tasting and yes, it was delicious! I’ve always rated a restaurant by its baked stuffed shrimp. There was actually a restaurant in Manchester I tried once. They did not have baked stuffed shrimp on their menu and I never went back. The way I see it is, if a restaurant serves good baked stuffed shrimp, they probably excel at everything else on their menu . That theory has worked for me so far.

The rolls were hot and yummy, and I enjoyed a baked potato and coleslaw with my baked stuffed shrimp. I think it is extremely rare to find good coleslaw, when dining out. I would usually rather just make it myself. It was not the case at Petey’s – it was the best I’ve had in a long, long time (well aside from KFC’s of course).

My husband’s meal was fried clams, scallops, French fries and coleslaw. I keep telling my husband the correct New Hampshire way to pronounce "scallops" is that the “scall” portion of the word is pronounced like the word “wall” not like the word “pal”.) The clams and scallops were also delicious! I did not try the French fries until they were reheated this morning so I won’t comment since they were not fresh.

Petey’s also has a full bar. I ordered a rum and coke and I think there may have been more rum than coke. I ordered a second one and after a few sips I realized I needed to add more coke or I would not be walking out when we were finished eating.

My only complaint - “no substitutions” on the menu. Your meal comes with coleslaw and your choice of French fries, baked potato or rice. Those were the only choices. I asked, just in case, if onion rings could be substituted and the waitress said, “onion rings are only available as a side order”. I knew that ordering a side of them would be way too much food. We both took home portions of our meals. They were very large portions -- it is highly unusual for my husband to EVER have leftovers.

54 degrees and the sun was shining...that was yesterday. This morning it is 36 degrees and snowing.

I rate this place an "A-". It would have received an A+ if they allowed onion ring substitutions for the French fries (I'm not a big fan of French fries).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Paul Blart Mall Cop

I am a big fan of Kevin James; loved his show, "King of Queens". I probably enjoyed this movie more than other movies I've seen at the theatre because my friend and I had the only seats. Yes really the only ones! We were able to talk during the movie, which I've never done before. I have to say it felt a little weird to be able to just say something out loud and not worry about disturbing anyone else. Anyway...I really liked it. We laughed a lot and didn't have to worry about how loud we laughed. It was a little on the dumb side, but very, very funny. It wasn't Night at the Roxbury dumb/funny...this is hard to explain. I would definitely recommend it and would watch it again.
I'd give this an A-

Monday, February 16, 2009

Shogun, Hooksett, New Hampshire

SHOGUN Hooksett, NH

February 16, 2008 was the 47th birthday of a friend of mine. We decided to be different and try the Shogun in Hooksett, NH. They had never been there…my husband and I had both been there a very, very long time ago.

It starts out with the birthday girl….since we hadn’t been there in so long, my friend’s husband decided to make reservations. We really couldn't remember if reservations were required. He made reservations for 5:15 PM. We agreed they would pick us up. When they had not arrived at our house by 5:15 PM, we called their cell phone. They were still about 10 minutes from our house. They had called and changed the reservations to a later time. Even that time still wouldn’t work -- they would still be making us late, but we didn't mind.

We arrived at Shogun a little before 6:00 PM. After telling the hostess we had reservations, she checked their list and promptly seated us (there was no waiting line). Ok, so if you’ve ever been there before, you already know you don’t need reservations, they probably don’t even take reservations and reservations wouldn't even make any difference. They just seat you at the next available table. It was quite obvious once we were seated and the whole time we were there, there were available seats.

Ok…so we arrive just in time (bear in mind our friend is having a birthday) to hear the staff helping with a birthday celebration. The head birthday singer, sounded like, well, ok…a cat that had it’s tail stepped on…..no, maybe a chicken …no…I’m not sure…it was a sound I’ve never heard before. Hmmmm…how would we describe it? …. a be-headed chicken??? A screech owl? I’ve never heard a be-headed chicken, so I’m not quite sure., but that would be the closest, I think. It would have been fun to embarrass my friend, but I didn’t even want to put MYSELF through that noise again. So we kept the birthday thing quiet. I looked over and there was a child who looked to be about 4 years old . He actually had his hands over his ears! I wanted to do the same, but at my age, it would have been VERY inappropriate!

Our salads were served; bagged iceberg. You know the one, yes that one, with shredded carrots. It was very interesting….it was served with some sort of teriyaki salad dressing. I have to say I liked the dressing but would not want to eat it every day.

It was very confusing to know what to order. There seemed to be a communication problem between the languages when we asked questions. We felt very lost and didn’t know what to ask or what to order. I ordered the Sukiyaki steak and my birthday friend ordered the Terriyaki steak so we split a $19.95 dinner for two (yes to make it more confusing, we had a coupon). Service was very poor. I had a Love Potion – brandy, amaretto, and passion fruits -- it was GREAT!! Our waitress didn’t come back to the table to ask if we wanted another drink, but we finally waved her down for another one.

Of course our cook was very talented. The shrimp tails went in his shirt pocket, the lobster tails in his hat. It was a lot of fun to watch everything cooked in front of us. But! BEWARE!
If you are allergic to seafood, be careful. The steak was cooked in the same area on the grill as the seafood. I’m so glad my daughter was not with us. We just found out that she is allergic to scallops.

The Japanese sauces they used were great…but again, if you have any allergies, beware. We didn’t really know what sauces were being added. Also, if you are a little germophobic, you might just have a couple of issues.

Dessert – I remembered having a “fried ice cream” many, many years ago. Since I saw it on the menu, I thought, “maybe it was here”. I remember loving it. I quickly searched my memory bank. It was this big scoop of ice cream with a slight coating around it. How did they do that, I remember asking myself? How do you fry ice cream without it melting? It always looked like it had not melted at all. Ok, when they brought our desert, I knew something was wrong. This dessert had a very thick cooey coating, and the ice-cream measured about a tablespoon. Disappointed, this was NOT the “fried ice cream” that I remembered.

My friend pretty much begged us not to mention it was her birthday. I think if she knew she would get a whole year of free dinners, she STILL would NOT have wanted us to mention it was her birthday….was it the dying chicken voice?

We went back to our house and discussed the reservations. Ok, we all admitted they were a joke. They did seat us in the next available spot (they did not hold any table for us), but that was ok. We had a really good laugh over it. It was pretty funny that he made reservations, then actually called to change them when we were going to be late. They probably were laughing at us, too.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Silo's Steakhouse, Merrimack, New Hampshire

SILO’S STEAKHOUSE, Merrimack, New Hampshire
January 26, 2008

I had driven past Silo’s Steakhouse a million times (well it seemed like a million anyway) but never stopped for lunch or dinner. A friend asked if we wanted to go there for dinner with her and her husband. They had really enjoyed dinner there about a month before. It sounded good to me. I was really looking forward to going out to dinner, since we had not been out for dinner in quite some time.

We called ahead at 5:15 PM to be put on the waiting list and were quite surprised to hear that it would be at least an hour to be seated on this Saturday night. We thought for sure we would be the only people looking to go out to dinner so early.

When we arrived, we decided to wait at the bar and enjoy a cocktail. Ever notice how a cocktail seems to make time fly by so much faster? My husband spotted oysters on the half shell. I, of course, was thinking, “YUCK!”. I try to stay away from anything uncooked unless it’s in the vegetable or fruit department. Of course, my husband enjoyed the oysters. My friend and I decided to split a cocktail shrimp, since we were both starving. That too, was delicious.

I decided to have the special - a strip steak smothered with scallops, shrimp (and I think it was) a mornay sauce. It was unbelievable! I ordered the Silo’s own stuffing to go with it -- the stuffing was good. Although the salad was fresh, I’m not a big fan of vinegar-type dressings. Next time I’ll have to remember to ask if I can get it without the dressing. The steak was very good other than my second bite included gristle, which was stuck in my back molars until I made it to the ladies room to discreetly remove it. Speaking of gristle….

About halfway into our enjoyable dinner, my friend stood up and moved toward her husband. I could tell, looking at her, that something was seriously wrong. I realized she was choking. The two husbands were engrossed in conversation. I said to her husband, “She’s choking!” He reached up and gave her the Heimlich and she began to breath. I quickly looked around at our neighboring diners and it looked like absolutely no one noticed what had just transpired. I was very relieved, as I know my friend would have been very embarrassed to think people had watched. Choking in a restaurant, I’m sure, would be a little embarrassing for anyone. It made me think about how lucky I was. I could have lost one of my best friends in an instant. We spoke on the phone the day after and agreed on a few of things:

1. No one should ever worry about spitting food out in a restaurant or anywhere in front of other people.

2. Restaurants should always have paper napkins on the table to go with their cloth napkins (personally I prefer paper anytime to cloth). It seems it would be more polite to spit food into a paper napkin if necessary, rather than a cloth napkin.

3. Every restaurant should have a Heimlich dummy in the lobby. All customers should have to pass the test of dislodging the food stuck in its throat before they are allowed to order any food. Okay, maybe this one is a little far-fetched, but you get the picture.

I think the intensity of the moment caused us all to want to cry, but we continued our evening as if nothing had happened. Even though we had this terrible event, I would highly recommend this restaurant.

This was a real first for me …well I must say my first in a restaurant/public place. I have had two episodes at home with my husband. Maybe I’ll save that for a later blog. But I will just say, never let your husband fall asleep with a throat lozenge in his mouth and never let him watch Two and a Half Men while eating hard candy or anything else.

Speaking of Two and a Half Men….it has to be, by far, the best sitcom on TV right now. For me, it replaced Everybody Loves Raymond, when it went off the air.

This place get an "A-". I would have given it a higher grade if not for the vinegar dressing on the salad.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

House of Blues and Better Than Ezra, New Orleans, Louisiana

HOUSE OF BLUES, December 20 and 21, 2007

We ate dinner here 2 nights of our trip and had no complaints. Of course the main reason for our New Orleans trip was two Better Than Ezra concerts at the House of Blues.

House of Blues, New Orleans, December 20 and 21, 2007

I have attended numerous Better Than Ezra concerts (at least 15 maybe even 20 – I’ve lost count). I have not yet attended a bad one. These 2 concerts were not any different -- they were both great. It was my first time hearing Merry Christmas Eve (which btw is one of my all-time favorite songs) live. I have to say, though, I was a little disappointed that I only heard it the first night, not the second. I especially felt badly for those who had not been there the night before and missed it.

I’ve met Kevin, Tom, Travis and Jim several times. They are a great group of men who seem to truly appreciate their fans. When they’ve been promoting their CDs, they have held several “Meet and Greets” for their fans and have always seemed happy to sign any memorabilia presented to them.

I’ve heard the BTE Christmas shows are always sold out so if you want to attend, make sure you get your tickets early. Check them out at BETTER THAN EZRA.
By the way, who is this “English Dave” who Kevin always says “hi” to?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Johny Po-Boys, New Orleans, Louisiana

Johnny Po-Boys, 511 St. Louis Street, New Orleans, LA 12-20-2007

This one I don’t really want to tell anyone about, because there was never a line. If too many people find out about it, there very well might be lines on my next trip back. I probably would not eat breakfast anywhere except here on a return trip.

They have tables, but no waiters. You need to order at the counter then go up and get your food. We didn’t have any problem with getting up to get our food – it kind of helped wake us up. I admit it would have been annoying for dinner after a lot of walking, but for breakfast, it was just fine.

The prices were great and the food was great. So please….keep this one a secret just between you and me!

This place rates an A+!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Port O Call, New Orleans, Louisiana

Port O Call, New Orleans, LA December 20, 2007

I admit when my daughter told me her two friends wanted to go to Port O Call when they arrived from the airport, (I think it was at about 9:00 pm) I was not all that thrilled, especially since I knew we would be walking there. I think since we had arrived, the only thing we did was WALK!!!

I think I don’t want to say too much about this place. I’ve actually heard they are famous for their hamburgers. They are supposed to be the best in New Orleans. I have a motto, if I can’t say anything nice, I try not to say anything at all. Well, let’s just say, if I return to New Orleans, I won’t ever be eating at Port O Call.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans, Louisiana

Café Du Monde, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 18, 2007

My daughter has been to New Orleans several times. Of course she would not let me be there more than 12 hours without bringing me for a beignet at Café Du Monde and a Hurricane at Lafitte’s. Both were quite yummy as well as the coffee. As you might be able to tell by looking at the picture, the Hurricanes came first, then the beignets.

What can one say about Café Du Monde except don’t miss it when you are there.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Historic French Market Inn, New Orleans Louisiana

Historic French Market Inn, December 18, 2007
December 18, 2007

We arrived in New Orleans on Tuesday. I hadn’t flown in approximately 14 years! I still can’t believe anyone even coaxed me onto a plane. I did, of course have anxiety medication with me.

When we arrived at our hotel, I was a little disappointed at the size of the room at the Historic French Market Inn. There were 3 of us sharing one room – myself, my daughter and my daughter’s friend. The cleanliness (you might think this ironic as you read on) of the room, however, made up for the small size. The staff who met us at our arrival also made up for the small size of the room. After a day of traveling, it is always nice to be greeted by friendly staff.
The next morning, as we proceeded to the elevator, there was this tiny little mouse in the hallway. Since he (I think it was a “he”, but I didn’t check) was dead, it didn’t bother me all that much. I am sorry to say that I was happy he was dead.

Two of my daughter’s friends would be arriving to join us on Thursday night. Both rooms had been booked in my daughter’s name through www.hotels.com, so we needed to be available to check them in when they arrived. We got the call that they were on their way from the airport around 8:30 PM. We proceeded to check them in and get their room keys. We knew we had about a half hour to wait for them, so my daughter said, “let’s go check out their room”.

We decided that was a good idea. Remember I said, “I was a little disappointed at the size of the room”? After opening the door, we all just looked at each other with a “wow” look and a “let’s switch rooms” look. There were 3 of us and only 2 of them. We quickly went back to our room, gathered all of our belongings, and cleaned the bathroom (the beds had already been made). These were REALLY close friends who had stayed at our house, so we didn’t worry too much about the room being spotless.

We thought we were pretty funny, switching rooms like that. Well, you will see pretty quickly how the joke was on us. I started to unpack my toiletries at the sink when a “bug” came out of nowhere…I looked at it and screamed….it looked at me and screamed (well, okay, maybe it didn’t really scream). I jumped backwards and it ran off. It was the first time I had seen a bug of that type. I guess it best not to put any name on it since I’m not an entomologist; let’s just say it was a “bug”.

I and my fellow travelers, being from the Northeast, were not used to seeing bugs, especially in December. I was quite disturbed and went down to the desk to complain. They quickly reassured me that bugs are quite common in the south and after such a downpour of rain the day before, they were not surprised. None-the-less, I slept with tissues in my ears for the rest of the trip.

This place gets a “B”, even in spite of the “bug” and the smaller room we started out in. I would recommend this hotel and I would stay here again.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Saunders at Rye Harbor, Rye, New Hampshire

SAUNDERS at Rye Harbor, New Hampshire
October 22, 2007

Cynthia and I decided to take a little jaunt to the beach for a much needed break from work. Yes, that’s the beach, New Hampshire, and October all in the same sentence. This must be a first for me!

When Cynthia came to pick me up, we gabbed and gabbed and had so much to catch up on, we didn’t even get in the car until 11:00 AM. Unfortunately, we really don’t get to see each other all that often (we only live about 10 minutes from each other - go figure).

It had to be one of the most beautiful October days in New Hampshire that either of us recall. The beach chairs, towels and sunglasses were packed. The sun was shining and we were headed to the beach! The glow of the autumn leaves was such a happy sight, it seemed to shorten the drive. Columbus Day had come and gone, it was a school day and we expected Hampton Beach to be boarded up and deserted. Our Monday morning arrival surprised us with many cars lined up and people already there enjoying the sun and beach.

When we arrived at the beach, I was starving! Usually Cynthia is the hungry one. We decided to go to Saunders at Rye Harbor.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a very pleasant young man who informed us that the outdoor seating had already been taken. He told us we could take a seat right outside the bar, order anything we wanted from the bartender, but we would have to wait on ourselves. Since we are the do-it-yourself types, we didn’t have any problem with that. We perused the small luncheon menu and decided we liked the idea of the brushetta and lobster roll, although neither of us wanted to overdue the wheat intake today.

We asked the bartender if we could have the lobster salad on lettuce rather than a roll. She gave us a most amiable reply that yes, we could. Much to our pleasant surprise, the host brought us our dishes and flatware for our appetizer, and our bartender delivered our meals. A glass of Francis Coppola Chardonnay went quite well….wait a minute….a bottle would go even better, wouldn’t it? We asked out friendly bartender if our “glasses” could be changed into a “bottle”. Again there was no problem with that.

Both the lobster salad and bruschetta were fabulous! The only complaint we had for the entire visit, was that the quantity could have been a little larger. We wondered how many meals we would have had to order, if our husbands had been with us. The prices were reasonable and the accommodating staff really helped make our lunch a very pleasant one.

Saunders receives an "A+" even though the quantity was a little small. Visit their website at Saunders at Rye Harbor

Marconi Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, September 2007

Marconi Beach (Cape Cod National Seashore) Cape Cod, Massachusetts
September 2007

Leaving Clem and Ursie's we headed back to our motel, we decided we would still make our 2nd annual Marconi Beach stop. The rain had started to pickup, but since Marconi Beach is Cynthia’s favorite beach (she hasn’t been to Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda yet), I didn’t mind a rainy walk on the beach. (Deja Vu, I remember it raining last year for our Marconi Beach walk. Now that I think about it, I haven't seen Marconi Beach in the sun.) Thankfully, the rain had changed back to a drizzle by the time we arrived at the beach. It was deserted on this rainy September afternoon.

Enjoying a nice walk along the beach we were able to spot a couple of seals. I thought they were sea lions, but Cynthia said she thought they were seals. According to http://www.capecodstranding.net/, “Here in the North Atlantic, we only have what are called “true seals,” not sea lions or fur seals.” I knew we only had one or the other, but I had mistakenly thought they were sea lions. Since I had grown up in New England and Cynthia in the Midwest, you would have thought I would have been the one to get it right!

We were not there for long, when we heard thunder off in the distance. It was kind of nice hearing the rumbling off shore. The thunder and lightening grew increasingly stronger and was coming much closer. Finally I said, “let’s go” and we made a run for the car. Okay, so ya, maybe I screamed “LET”S GO!!” and tore up the stairs as fast as I could. I kept looking back, but Cynthia wasn’t moving too quickly. I do have a huge respect for Mother Nature.
Just as we closed the car doors, the skies opened up, and a crack of lightening streaked down right next to us. This was a dramatic ending to the wonderful day we still managed to have in spite of these very disappointing events.

We of course will always love the Cape and will continue to visit, but hopefully our next trip will provide much better weather and a much nicer meal in P-town.

We arrived back at the hotel rather late and ordered pizza (more on that at a later time).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Clem and Ursies - Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Clem and Ursies, Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cynthia and I were both looking forward to our 2nd annual Cape Cod trip for much needed rest and relaxation. A couple days before we left, Cynthia was thumbing through a Travel and Leisure Magazine in a doctor’s waiting room. Just as she found a restaurant offering a “lobster for two for only $25,” in Provincetown, Cape Cod, her name was called. Don’t we all know that is guaranteed to happen; just as you find something interesting in a magazine, here is the nurse calling your name!

After her appointment, Cynthia called and gave me as many details as she could remember. I immediately Googled the information to see what I could find. We were in luck…there it was! At the magazine's website, I found it was Clem and Ursies in Provincetown, Cape Cod, offering “lunch for two-  $25 for fresh lobster with drawn butter.” Along with this special was a good review of the restaurant. Sounded too good to be true.

The day we decided to head out to Provincetown was not only a rainy, dreary one, but it was also quite windy. We decided it would be worth searching out this $25 lobster lunch. When we arrived at the restaurant, we were the only ones there -- we had our choice of seats. A diner-type restaurant, we inquired at the counter about the lobster special. The clerk had no clue what we were talking about, so I dug deep into my purse and pulled out the information I had printed from the magazine’s website. He went to get the manager and she, too, knew nothing about the special. She would not honor the special from the Internet, which was quite disturbing. So much for that. We decided we were really looking forward to that lobster lunch; we were there, we didn’t really know where else to go, so we ordered it anyway. We paid approximately $80 for our meals with one glass of wine each and then went to find a table.

The table we chose overlooked a beautiful parking lot in the back of the restaurant (yes, being facetious here). We pretended it was ocean and the neatly painted white lines on the asphalt were waves. Planter boxes flanked each side of the doorway leading to “the ocean”.

After quite a long time of waiting (probably close to an hour), and desperately needing another glass of wine, the nice waiter came and told us that one of our lobsters had fallen on the floor. We looked at each other and knew we were both thinking the same things. Hmmm…they came from the floor of the ocean and we were certainly not going to eat the shell as we were only interested in what was inside. Cynthia said, “they are crustaceans, how about just rinse it off and deliver it.”

The waiter said in his cute island accent, “I know what my side of the floor looks like, but I don’t know what the cook’s side of the floor looks like.” That did make us chuckle, even though we were becoming annoyed.

We were tired of waiting.  Thoughts went through our minds:  Was the floor really that dirty? Had they accidentally cooked only one lobster? Did they think we had ordered only one? Did they have to run to a store to purchase another lobster? or Did they need to go check their lobster traps? Whatever the reason, we both felt as if we had been waiting an eternity!

Before arriving at Clem and Ursies, we had come from a little shop where we met a local artist who invited us to her gallery. We planned on paying her a visit after lunch, but the way this meal was going, it was looking like we would not have time. We also wanted to make it to Marconi beach!

Our lobsters eventually arrived. What a terrible disappointment; both lobsters were sadly overcooked! Though they looked great sitting there in their bright, red shells, they were rubbery and tough. It was well over 2 hours before we were back on the road. Any future Cape Cod trips will NOT include Clem and Ursie's.

This restaurant was the start of our wanting to review restaurants (and anything else) hoping our reviews might help other travelers. We don't understand how any magazine could give this restaurant such a high-caliber review.

I give this restaurant a "D."  If it were not for the waiter's pleasant personality, it would have received a lower grade.


About Me

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Lydia Blogg is a decorator/designer who specializes in designing and fabricating custom window treatments. When Lydia realized she loved her weekend remodeling jobs more than her office job, she made a career change. Through years of hands-on experience, she has become expert in decorating, custom window treatments, interior/exterior painting, tiling, sewing, refinishing furniture, flower arrangements, home and office efficiency solutions, home repairs. She has years of experience in accounting and the list goes on.... Lydia loves to write and is currently working on a weight-loss book. If you have a blog you think Lydia might like to follow, please email her at lydiablogg@gmail.com. Lydia's motto: "It's just as easy to be nice as it is to be mean and rotten!" PLEASE NOTE: The artist has a copyright on all art work on this blog - Thank you for not copying them.