Category Archives: New Hampshire

River House, Portsmouth, NH

Located on Bow Street in Portsmouth, just walking to the restaurant will bring your imagination to what Portsmouth was like years and years ago but the food inside will think that you’ve been gifted by the food gods. There – I said it. This place is AMAZING!
If you find yourself in Portsmouth just craving some seafood and local culture, as I was, look no further than River House. I’m so glad that I had to pleasure of eating here and fully intend to return. Now the torture in having to write about my delicious meal with absolutely no way to savoring the food, while I write this.
The River House is located in downtown Portsmouth, right on the harbor. The building provides rustic charm, architecture that shines thru and original pieces of the building that haven’t been changed since first constructed. They have an area where you can sit outside and view the tugboats in the harbor. I imagine this is quite the popular locale in the summer where it is a little warmer outside.
Now – let’s get to the good stuff. My friend Cody ordered the Coca-Cola BBQ Pulled Pork Roll (below). It came with coleslaw. (We traded for my pickles.) He thought it was delicious plus there really are few things better than fresh cut fries.
Lobster Roll – that was all that was on my mind on the Saturday. That I got!
I’m going to go out on a limb and claim that the River House is known for the Lobster Roll and definitely their Seafood Chowder. Holy Moly was it ever delicious. The lobster is loaded into a grilled Brioche bun and when i say loaded, they definitely cannot fill anymore lobster into that bun! It wasn’t overly loaded with dressing and certainly did not lack lobster. The lobster and the Brioche bun were the perfect combination. The Lobster Rolls come in two different sizes (see below).
How is the chowder? I’ll be honest and I’m not a huge fan of soups or chowder when it comes down to it but no one is joking around when the menu stated the Seafood Chowder is “Voted New England’s Best!”. There are huge chunks of lobster, scallops, shrimp, clams and haddock and it will leave you wanting more even though are are stuffed by the end of your meal. Believe me, you will want more – it was a sad tale when the bowl was empty. It was seriously beyond delicious.

(Small Ships Plate – 4 inch sweet Maine Lobster Roll)

(Large Ships Plate – 6 inch sweet Maine Lobster Roll)

Now if neither of these seem to attract your attention, their menu is a little more extensive than the two items above. Starters, salads, sandwiches and entrees include Asian inspired dishes, fresh seafood items, meatloaf, burgers and even Guinness braised boneless ribs. River House also has a gluten free menu options. I’d be surprised if you couldn’t find something you liked on this list.

If only I lived closer, I would make it a point to be a regular and I’m sure I wouldn’t get sick of just ordering the Small Ship plate. I have no shame! At this particular moment, I’m having a hard time with these cravings!
If you find yourself in the area and are looking for a great local meal and local flavor – swing on over! I know you won’t be disappointed and as always – let me know what you think!

Portsmouth Brewery

I’m a firm believer in micro-brews. If you have read some of my previous blogs, you have probably caught onto this by now. Pubs and breweries are pretty prominent in New England and it’s one of the reasons why I love the place. Each brewery and even each beer is diverse in its own right and provides a great opportunity to try something different. So, I did what I think every New Englander would want to do when heading back up to the great Northeast after being away for a bit – they’re wanting to go to a pub!
I happened to check out the Portsmouth Brewery.
Located in the heart of Portsmouth, it is surrounded by historical buildings and small shops. It’s a really interesting area to check out. Walking into the pub, your attention is grabbed and you soon find yourself pondering what to try first.
I seriously cannot remember which beer I tried so I’m going to be honest – it could be the Winter Ale. I’m 90% sure. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t overly impressed – it was a little bitter for my taste. One thing I do wish is that I had tried the sampler so I could get a bigger variety. Mental note for future visits.
Char-grilled half pound cheese burger with a side of fries, obviously.
I opted to try the crab cake sandwich with bacon and avocado with a side of macaroni salad. The tomato didn’t last long and lets be honest here – neither did the lettuce. The sandwich (minus the tomato and lettuce) and the salad was tasty and filling!
What’s a brew pub without a window to the world of how beer is made!
If you happen to be in the area, there are many pubs to check out – this being one of them and I believe one of the only ones directly in the historical downtown. I would definitely suggest getting (or sharing) a sampler and while enjoying the pub fare. As always, if you happen to check it out – let me know what you thought!

Portsmouth, NH

Considering the fact that I lived in New England for 23 years, I don’t remember venturing to Portsmouth. The “beach” I knew was in Maine however last weekend I found myself in a little city that had completely captured my attention and my imagination. I think it really hit me when I saw a sign that said “Portsmouth Settled 1623”. Now – that’s old!
First, I really need to tell you that if you love history that you need to venture to Portsmouth. It is amazing and it just makes me want to explore the history of the area. Portsmouth sits right on the Atlantic coast and holds a huge harbor that has been used for hundreds of years (literally hundreds of years) as a major point of imports and exports and holds an extensive volume of history.
There are many historical homes in the area. This is one of them – The Warner House. It is one of the earliest, brick urban mansions in the area – built in 1716 for a Captain who married the Governor’s daughter.
I was told by my “tour guide” that this is the town library (above). Kinda makes you want to just read about the library.
Old homes and narrow roads.
Some of the earliest settlers in the area were those who were exiled Puritans from Massachusetts. In 1774, Paul Revere was said to have ridden thru the town to warn that “the British are coming!”. This area holds history including the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, do I really need to go on here?! Following the Civil War, beer and ale became quite the popular industry in the area. Even today, this area holds some of the largest ale makers. Walking thru the area you cannot help but allow your mind to wander back to hundreds of years ago and wonder what this area was like, or did it really even look that different? (Obviously, in the 1700’s there were none of these ugly telephone poles!)
I absolutely love this street. Looks unreal.
So I had made my way into Portsmouth and was completely flabbergasted by my surroundings. These buildings were ancient yet they were beautiful and so well kept. This was a real life museum where people lived, worked and wondered daily and today I was lucky enough to be one of them. After living in Texas for almost four years, I’ve missed how much history New England holds. This was like the cherry on top.
After having lunch with a couple friends from high school, we walked around a bit and checked out our surroundings. Here are a few other things that caught my, or our, eyes.
I’m going to say one of the coolest doors in New England. Yea – I said it.
We walked down by the water. Here are the tugboats and the big ole pile of salt that has been shipped in to help with the icy, snowy roads. This is January and there is not a drop of ice or sand. It felt like spring.
Now if anyone is in need of a new bridge… my tour guide informed me this is for sale for $3 million. You can bring it to your town or even your back yard if you want. It’s currently being worked on, obviously.
Ah! And here we are! Long awaited visit with some awesome people. Cody and my tour guide, Chris.
Now, for your interesting fact of the day. What Chris is pointing to here is the Portsmouth Naval Prison. Legend has it, according to my tour guide Chris and a port tour that he took is that years ago, Walt Disney was at the prison (with a little research, he was said to be a guard here) and while in a boat, he came around the bend and saw the prison and thus the inspiration to Cinderella’s castle was born.
If you ever find yourself wanting to do a little historic tour of a New England coastal town – I’m going to say Portsmouth is the place! I think the next time I visit, I’m definitely going to have to try to get into the nitty gritty of some of the historical buildings and area a bit more.
If you’ve been or even end up going, I would love to hear what you though!
For more info on the area, check out Portsmouth’s Website.