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Health Check: The Post (Concord, NH)

Welcome to another of Offbeat Eats’ Health Check reviews, where we re-visit old favorites and check out how they are doing. In this case, a recent trip to visit the Wentworth Greenhouse Farmers Market, which actually had us passing through north Concord’s “Fisherville” neighborhood. This gave us a great opportunity to check up on an old favorite, The Post.

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Oakes & Evelyn Re-Opening (Montpelier, VT)

Oakes & Evelyn in Montpelier has been my favorite Vermont restaurant for the last few years. They were our first “real” post-pandemic fine dining experience back in May of 2021 shortly after they opened, and we had several visits there in 2022 and 2023. It had basically become our go-to for special occasions, well-worth the hour and change drive from our house in Grantham, and we really got to enjoy Chef Justin Dain’s crudos, tartares, and roasted meats.

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Health Check: Le Bistrot d’Henri (Paris, France)

One of the advantages of having fairly regular trips to certain destinations like London and Paris is that you can occasionally not worry about finding new places, and just revisit some old favorites. In this case, after several days in Grenoble, France, I had a spare day in Paris before the next portion of my trip (the Paris Air Show), so I spent a day visiting the Musée des Arts et Métiers, walking around seeing the various sights in Paris, and eventually wandering over to the 6ème Arrondissement to check up on some favorites, including stopping for a sampling of rum at La Rhumerie, and then wandering over to revisit one of my favorite informal Paris bistros for an Offbeat Eats Health Check: Bistrot d’Henri.

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Regency Cafe Post-Pandemic Check-In (London, UK)

There are few London traditions of mine as sacred as going out for a good old-fashioned fry-up: a “Full English” breakfast, with at least bacon, sausage, eggs, beans, and toast, and I usually like to add even more to that (at a minimum, tomatoes, and usually black pudding as well). In the area around Pimlico, there’s exactly one place that anyone should even consider for that, and it’s the classic greasy spoon, The Regency Cafe. Virtually every trip of mine to London, even short ones, involve a trip to The Regency, except for holiday trips where they are closed. Indeed, one of my earliest reviews here in 2007 was for The Regency.

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Health Check: Hartland Diner (Hartland, VT)

As our regular readers know, here at Offbeat Eats, every once in a while we do a “health check”, revisiting one of our favorite spots and see how things are doing. We first visited the Hartland Diner back in 2015 when they were a relatively new breakfast spot, having taking over from the previous incarnation in that location, Stella’s. In our 2015 visit, we both had a rather good experience, myself with a hash Benedict (probably one of my standard orders these days), and Carol with a similar order of a hash omelet. We both enjoyed our visit; the staff was pleasant, the food good, and the prices reasonable for the quality. With that in mind, we stopped off at the Hartland Diner on a trip down to MA to check them out again.

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Oakes & Evelyn Health Check (Montpelier, VT)

As our regular readers know, here at Offbeat Eats, every once in a while we do a “health check”, revisiting one of our favorite spots and see how things are doing. We first visited Oakes & Evelyn in Montpelier back in May 2021 when they were a brand-new restaurant and the dining scene was still re-emerging from it’s long Covid-19 slumber. As you can read in that review, we were really impressed by that visit, and vowed to return for future trips. So in 2022 when we were looking for a place to celebrate our anniversary, we ended up choosing a revisit to Oakes & Evelyn, and even returned in December to celebrate my birthday (both of these visits had pretty similar Fall menus, so this review will cover both visits).

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Health Check: 13 Coins (Seatac, WA)

Here at Offbeat Eats, every once in a while we do a “health check”, revisiting one of our old favorites and see how things are doing. In this case, our planned backpacking trip to Mount Rainier with Fitpacking had us all rendezvousing at a hotel by Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. After going to the airport at 0-dark-30, by the time we arrived at Seatac we were quite hungry, it was lunch time, and, conveniently, our walking route to the hotel took us right by one of our favorites for airport dining: 13 Coins (our previous review from 2014 is here).

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Health Check: Longfellow Grill (Minneapolis, MN)

Here at Offbeat Eats, we occasionally like to do a “Health Check” review on favorite restaurants, to make sure everything is still going well. In this case, our visit to Minneapolis en route to Duluth gave me an opportunity to revisit an old favorite: the Longfellow Grill. I’ve had several visits to the Twin Cities since my 2009 Review, and while I’ve visited a few of the sister restaurants (particularly Groveland Tap), I’d not made it to Longfellow Grill. So we gathered up some local friends and my old bosses the University of Minneapolis (my PhD adviser, and my sysadmin boss during those same years) for a breakfast as we headed out of town.

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Health Check: Reservoir (Montreal, QC)

Back in 2013, I did a brief review of one of my favorite Montreal beer bars: Reservoir. Since then, I’ve had half a dozen revisits there, ranging from just stopping in for a pint, having dinner, and, well, everything in-between. On our recent trip to Quebec, we needed a light “fill in” meal to tide us over to a feast the next day at Au Pied de Cochon’s Cabane a Sucre, and this turned out to be the perfect opportunity to stop in and do a follow-up review of reservoir, including some of their mid-day menu.

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Health Check: Haji Baba Middle Eastern Market (Tempe, AZ)

Despite doing most of my growing up in Arizona, once I graduated from high school I pretty much immediately moved across the country for school, and haven’t lived there in almost 30 years. However, I still have a small stable of favorite restaurants from my years living there that I like to revisit on occasion. Many of those places I used to love are now gone (like Apache Junction’s The Mining Camp, which closed after a fire back in 2015), or some of even sadly morphed into poorer versions of themselves, but there’s a good number of places like The Chuck Box that manage to soldier on, even as the neighborhood around them changes (the Box, for example, is now dwarfed by high rise buildings built by ASU). Every once in a while it’s nice for me to do a followup on old favorites, revisiting them and make sure that they are staying in form. With that in mind, when I was passing through town on a recent business trip, meeting up with my friend Karla for another trip to Haji Baba was in order.

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