Boston Restaurant Blog -- May, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Last year, a couple of us went on a food-based road trip to northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, finishing up at the outstanding (and very well known) Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, NH. Everything we had heard about their food was true, as it instantly became one of our favorite diners in all of New England. Well, there happens to be another Red Arrow Diner out there, and while it doesn't quite have the classic feel of the original Red Arrow, the Milford, NH, version of the diner features food that is every bit as good, based on a recent visit to the place.
Unlike the Manchester location, much of the Milford Red Arrow Diner's charm can be seen from the outside, as it has a welcoming neon sign perched on its shiny red roof, and the squat but attractive structure in which the diner resides is perched above the scenic Souhegan River on the northern edge of the center of town. The interior of the diner includes a basic counter area to the left, a small dining section in the middle, and a separate dining room a few steps below to the right. As mentioned before, the inside doesn't really have the charm of the Manchester location, but it is clean, brightly lit, and relatively comfortable. As is the case with the one in Manchester, the Milford Red Arrow is open 24 hours.
We tried several items at the Red Arrow Diner in Milford, with the macaroni and cheese perhaps being the highlight. The creamy, gooey dish was even better than what I remember having at the Manchester location, as it seemed more firm in texture and was equally buttery and rich in flavor. As I mentioned in the earlier blog entry about Manchester's Red Arrow Diner, I am generally not a huge fan of boiled macaroni and cheese with cheese sauce on top, as it can get a bit watery, but this was a simply tremendous dish. The open-faced roast beef sandwich was nearly equal to the mac and cheese, with lean, warm slices of meat on top of thick bread slices, all covered with a savory dark gravy. The mashed potatoes that came with the dish were rather bland (even with the gravy on top of them), but the "chippers" (crunchy, round waffle fries) were delicious. Finally, the "sloppy moe" was certainly a heart attack on a plate, with a char-grilled burger smothered in lots of chili and cheese sauce, and it was indeed so messy and greasy that it had to be eaten with a knife and fork. But the high-quality beef used and the hearty chili helped make this a great meal that I would not hesitate to try again. Desserts were a mixed bag, with the Boston cream pie being overloaded with a runny and unpleasant-tasting custard, while the chocolate eclair was much better, with a perfect mix of sugary cream and rich chocolate. Prices were cheap (as expected) and our server was sassy and funny from start to finish.
It is nice to have two Red Arrow Diners within an hour of the Boston area. I definitely prefer the atmosphere of the Manchester location, but the Milford one is a bit more roomy and it seems like there is less of a problem with parking and crowds. I'm not sure which of the two Red Arrow Diners I'll hit next, but I'm certainly looking forward to it already.
If you would like the address for the Milford location of the Red Arrow Diner, here it is: Red Arrow Diner, 63 Union Square, Milford, NH. Phone: (603) 249-9222.
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