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Father’s Restaurant (Westminster, VT)

As I mentioned in last Fall’s review of The Dinner Table in Swanzey, NH, we’re often traveling down I-91 to southern VT, western MA, or CT for some of our hiking. While a scenic drive, much of I-91 in Vermont isn’t that rich in dining options, especially around breakfast, but we’ve been trying to branch out a bit and try a few more places. A recent trip to hike Mount Holyoke in Hadley, MA led us to stopping off in Westminster, VT (a small town just south of the better-known Bellows Falls) to check out Father’s Restaurant.

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The Country View Restaurant (Greenland, NH)

I recently had a short business trip that involved both dropping equipment off in Haverhill, MA and then driving up for a tour of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) Space Science Center at University of New Hampshire (which was excellent). This ended up having me driving through parts of New Hampshire’s Seacoast region at breakfast time, which is quite unusual for my travels. Looking at the various dining options, I decided I’d take a back route to Durham via the small town of Greenland, NH, and stop in and check out one of the area’s breakfast spots: Country View Restaurant.

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Health Check: Uncle Bill’s Pancake House (Manhattan Beach, CA)

As I mentioned in my review of Jame, having aerospace clients generally means a lot of trips to El Segundo, CA, and nearby Manhattan Beach. While these trips come in waves (I’ll find myself going 4x a year some years, and not at all others), it’s still given me a chance to come up with a few favorites, like Uncle Bill’s Pancake House, which I originally reviewed way back in 2008. This trip I had a nice, free morning, so after a nice 6 miles hike down the coastline, I met up with my friend Tanya to revisit my favorite breakfast spot in the area.

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Ercole’s (Manhattan Beach, CA)

My second night staying in El Segundo, I took the short drive down to Manhattan Beach for dinner. The next town south from El Segundo, it’s got a decent downtown, a nice beach and wharf, and a good cross-section of restaurants from fine dining all the way down to dive bar. In fact, that’s what brought me to Manhattan Beach, I wanted to revisit an old favorite from previous visits: Ercole’s.

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Jame (El Segundo, CA)

Back when I started Offbeat Eats, I had a lot of business travel to both Edwards AFB and the LA area. During these visits, I got into a nice groove where, instead of fighting LA traffic on arrival, I’d instead take the short drive to nearby El Segundo or Manhattan Beach, have a nice relaxing meal, and then proceeding to my destination as the evening traffic started to abate. These visits have gotten a lot less frequent, but I still try to follow that basic procedure when I’ve got the time. This time, I chose El Segundo, with a visit to Jame in the downtown area.

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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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Haymaker Bun Co. (Middlebury, VT)

Several times a year, we end up traveling just north of Middlebury, VT to pick up wine from Lincoln Peak Vineyard. As I mentioned a while back in our review of The Cluckin’ Cafe, that gives us a nice excuse to check out a few of the sights and restaurants in Western VT. In this case, we had seen a lot of good online reviews for a bakery in downtown Middlebury next to the river: The Haymaker Bun Co.

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El Merendero (Tucson, AZ)

After concluding my business trip to Tucson, before heading north back to the Phoenix area to catch my flight home, I used this as an opportunity to indulge in another favorite, hitting up a good old-school Mexican cafe. Tucson is a particularly good town to accomplish this; while it has a handful of well-known places (including El Charro, who nominally claims to be the originator of the Mexican-American style deep-fried Chimichanga), if you’re really craving Mexican, head to 12th Avenue in South Tucson. In an approximate 3 mile stretch of 12th Avenue has an outstanding array of Mexican bakeries, taquerias, hot dog stands, and restaurants. And one of the longest existing places on that stretch is El Merendero, which has been in business since 1965.

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Baja Cafe (Tucson, AZ)

One of the shortcomings of rural New Hampshire living is that we don’t have a lot of a great breakfast options. There are some breakfast gems both locally (like Lou’s in Hanover) or regionally (like Polly’s in Sugar Hill), but when I’m really craving a good, solid breakfast, I’m generally craving something Southwestern, and we don’t have a lot of good options that way. But I travel a lot, and I recently found myself in Tucson, Arizona, craving some sort of Southwestern breakfast, and also wanting to have breakfast at 6:30 in the morning. And there was one place in Tucson I know would meet these requirements: Baja Cafe.

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Blue Adobe Grille (Mesa, AZ)

Back in mid-December, I had a brief work trip to Tucson, AZ. While I can nominally fly into Tucson, it always involves enough connecting flights that it’s pretty much just as easy to fly into Phoenix and drive. This also gives me a good opportunity to have a visit with my parents, and usually that involves a trip out for dinner. In this case, we opted to go for a long-time favorite of both myself and my parents, Blue Adobe Grille.

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