Manchester? New Hampshire?
Yes, exactly. When planning Maine trip I took a lot of criticism about my decision to fly into Manchester, NH rather than Portland or Bangor. ME. But the naysayers did not have all the facts and like most people armed with opinion only, they were unceremoniously ignored.
- Flight to Manchester $249, Flight to Portland/Bangor $540
- Car rental Manchester $240, Car rental Portland/Bangor $525
I didn’t have much time in Manchester since I arrived late evening and was leaving early morning but I like the little of downtown I saw walking to dinner; narrow streets, typical New England architecture, everyone walks, the nightlife is dominated by students from several small colleges. I asked a gaggle of college kids where would be the best place to have dinner at 11pm. Answer, emphatically and unanimously was Red Arrow Diner.
Diner extraordinaire. Built in 1922, it really hasn’t changed much except a little makeover when it changed hands in the 80’s. Booths, Formica. Red vinyl swivel stools anchored at the long bar which takes up most of the space. Odd music from the 50’s through the 90’s blurts out over the rather animated crowd. There was an interesting situation two stools down when I arrived; it seems a patron refused to sign his credit card bill and would only initial it because some government people were tracking him through his signature. He was serious, loud and probably schizophrenic; he was finally asked to leave after a 10 minute rant that made absolutely no sense.
The place has character.
With 8 pages of menu, I punted and went with one of their “specialties”; Crabcake Bene. Its exactly that, Eggs Benedict with two rather generously sized crab cakes, which were mostly crab. Definitely fresh and definitely one of the best Benedicts I’ve had in a long time. Crispy English giving way to loads of fresh crab with a good dose of well-prepared, homemade Hollandaise. I like breakfast for dinner and since it was almost the next morning, it was serving a dual purpose as breakfast.
I was impressed with the young man at the counter who was seating, taking orders, ringing out and trying to get the schizophrenic out before he went ballistic, all the while joking with me and giving me the history of the diner. My order was in and up in 20. Excellent.
Crabcake Bene, side hash $9.50. I left a $5 tip for reasons already covered.
Dinner: 5 Oct 2013
Red Arrow Diner | 61 Lowell | Manchester NH 03101