Market Table (Hanover, NH)

A week after getting back from Iceland, we found ourselves in a mood for Brunch. There aren’t really a lot of brunch options in the Upper Valley (although some of the inns, in particular, have decent ones). But looking over options, we realized that we had yet to try out Market Table in Hanover. Market Table is the relatively recent (if I recall correctly, they opened in May 2011) offshoot of the successful Allechante bakery in Norwich. Nestled in the building on the corner of Main and Lebanon (which I’ve already heard referred to as “The Starbucks building”, that didn’t take long), it’s in the basement space that used to be India Queen. It’s been heavily renovated, including the addition of a nice outdoor terrace, and a nice indoor seating area (as well as a takeout counter nearly identical to its cousin over in Norwich).

And they have a decent Sunday brunch menu (they’ve also got lunchtime and dinner menus, so I’ll have to go back at some point), with a good variety of pancakes, omelets, hashes, Benedicts, and the like. Looking over the menu, we saw a lot of things that looked good, so we decided to give it a try.

Myself, I opted for the corned beef hash served up with potatos, salad, poached eggs, and hollandaise. I’ll say one thing up front, this was definitely a place that made its own hash that wasn’t out of a can, since it was a rich and flavorful hash with a lot of meatiness and some nice spice and vegetable notes. It was definitely one of those homemade hashes that was more on the “pot roast” end of the spectrum than the “corned beef” end, but I actually don’t mind that if it’s well done (the Windsor Diner, in particular, has a really nice “pot roasty” CBH that I like on occasion). Add in some decently done poached eggs and a good hollandaise, and this was a great dish overall. The salad complemented it nicely as well. I was rather happy with this, and wouldn’t mind having it again.

Carol did almost as well with her omelet, with gouda, ham, and spinach. The omelet had a nice texture, and the combination of flavors worked well (for some reason, I recently discovered that spinach and garlic both combine well with eggs). About the only place I’d fault Carol’s dish is the potatoes: these were a classic case of home fries that were “just there”. Not really cooked enough to be soft, not really crisped, these were just, well, marginal home fries.

I’ll also mention a humorous item about Market Table: when we ordered coffee, they brought the creamer out to us in these little porcelain cubes…. which were about the worst container I’ve ever seen for cream; instead of pouring nicely, the cubes just dribbled everywhere.

The waiter actually apologized for them, saying that they used to have better creamer containers, but they all broke, and these were what they could find to replace them in a pinch (I think these usually hold sugar packets). Hopefully they’ve replaced these, since it was, to use the somewhat over-used phrase, a “Creamer FAIL”.

That said, we enjoyed our brunch at Market Table. A nice environment, a good menu, and a nice staff. Sure, a few little things to be tweaked, but they’ve got a nice thing going, and hopefully they’ll hang around a while. We’ll certainly give them another try.

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