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Cheap, Local Dining Ideas for GOP Presidential Candidates During NH Primary

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Picture of burger and fries at Walpole Tavern, Walpole, N.H.
Mouthwatering burger and fries from the Walpole Tavern, Walpole, N.H. (photo by Eric)

GOP presidential primary candidates, take note: now don’t go eating at any of those high falutin’, expensive restaurants here for the 2012 New Hampshire primaries. That would be a political blunder, given most of middle class America seemingly can’t afford to go out to eat at all during this terrible economy. Instead, put on your flannel shirts, dine out at cheap local restaurants, grab some burgers there, and don’t forget to spread the mayonnaise instead of the wealth.

While the Red Arrow Diner, at 61 Lowell St., in Manchester is a great little spot that has served as a dining staple in the past New Hampshire primaries, we suggest also discovering other townie restaurants in the “Granite State.” There are some

real gems out there and also great places to connect with the people!

We recommend the Tilt’n Diner in Tilton, Walpole Tavern in Walpole, Hollis Country Kitchen in Hollis, Putnam’s Water View Restaurant in Goffstown and…uhhh, well, I can’t remember. Give me about 53 seconds to come up with the other place and Dr. Paul, please feel free to help me out!

All good-natured kidding aside, here is more info on the aforementioned townie restaurants — and with some demographic information to give you a feeling of what these towns are like:

Tilt’n Diner This is a classic diner, located  in a totally unpretentious middle-class town.  The Tilt’n Diner has nice touches of chrome, neon, a counter, booths, 50s music playing in the background, salt-of-the-earth waitresses and over sized sandwiches, dinner plates and desserts. I always like to get the roast turkey dinner and homemade pie. A favorite amongst locals, shoppers, and travelers for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Tilt’n Diner, at 61 Laconia Rd. (it’s right off Route 93 near the outlet stores), is part of New Hampshire’s The Common Man Restaurant chain. Hmmm, think of the possibilities here, candidates, going to a “Common Man” restaurant. Nice media sound bite, indeed!

Walpole Tavern The Walpole Tavern, at 10 Westminster St., nicely reflects the humble, peaceful feeling of this classic New England small town with a welcoming, often crowded townie presence and some truly delicious tavern food. Grab a beer and a burger with fries (absolutely mouthwatering!) and get to know the locals. It’s the perfect place for conversation. Really nice staff, too!

Hollis Country Kitchen The Hollis Country Kitchen, at 3 Proctor Hill Rd., is a place I have loved since a kid because it has always felt like coming home to family. The Country Kitchen is just so friendly and has a sunny feeling. Excellent for breakfast, lunch or dinner, be sure to bring your appetite for some delicious pancakes, waffles, skillet breakfasts, fried chicken and seafood baskets with delicious fries and cole slaw, chicken pot pie, rotisserie chicken, burgers, grilled cheese, bread pudding and homemade fruit pies. The town of Hollis, by the way, is a fairly affluent, quintessential small New England town with a beautiful town common, scenic Silver Lake, and some big, old Colonial homes. They also have, arguably, the best public school system in the state.

Putnam’s Water View I love Goffstown — such a no frills, Mayberry RFD-type town with mom and pop shops and restaurants and a feeling that you’re stuck in a time warp. When in Goffstown, I recommend Putnam’s Water View at 40 Main St..  You get a nice view of the Piscataquog River running through town, as well as the mammoth Ace Hardware Store!  The dining room has a Leave it to Beaver-era, family-style atmosphere and the lunches and dinners are solid, substantial and reasonably priced. Try the New England clam chowder and a lobster roll. Service is really down-to-earth and attentive.

OK, I now remember the other restaurant and it’s a place that really brings you right into the heart of New Hampshire…

Intervale Pancake House, Henniker Stacks of delicious pancakes and its own maple syrup make this rustic, bustling, old-looking dining spot a favorite amongst locals. We found out about the Intervale last summer as we asked a local in downtown Henniker for a dining recommendation. Without delay, he said “Intervale Pancake House.” He sold us on the place with his description. As we thanked him and then drove away, he waved us down. We backed up and he proceeded to tell us more about the Intervale Pancake House. I think I would do the same if I lived in Henniker and someone asked me where to eat. On the morning we ate there, I noticed several vet plates on cars in the parking lot. We also dined alongside many families, as well as college kids that maybe were associated with New England College right down the road. It’s really a great breakfast spot, one that I can’t recommend enough. Additionally, Henniker is a very nice New England town with a spirit of independence, respectfully but firmly keeping chains outside the old-fashioned downtown, and taking fierce pride in being the “Only Henniker on Earth,” according to another local I has met last year.

Republican presidential candidates, if you decide to go to any of these restaurants hope you have a “grand, old party” there! Readers, if you have any more cheap New Hampshire dining suggestions for the Republican presidential hopefuls while they are visiting here, please feel free to comment in the “Leave a Reply” box below.

My name is Eric, and I approve this article!

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