Sunday, November 29, 2009

Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery - North Conway, NH

Once the Thanksgiving dishes were done and turkey sandwiches consumed (are they the best or what??) we headed up north to New Hampshire. No visit to North Conway would be complete without a trip to Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery. After a particularly blustery and snowy day at Santa’s Village (have you ever been on a ferris wheel or roller coaster in your ski clothes?), we stopped for dinner.

Located in a historic building, Moat Mountain caters to everyone. Families are welcome, the bar is usually full of folks catching a game and the charming sunroom is a more intimate area for couples. It has a rustic, yet kitschy atmosphere.

Beer at Moat Mountain is brewed on-site and worth trying. As with any brewery, a sampler is the way to go. If beer is not your thing, there is a small wine list of recognizable favorites and a cocktail list as well.

Being chilled to the bone is no fun, so to take the edge off I immediately ordered the brisket and andouille chili. (pictured) I could eat a vat of the stuff! A hearty chili, loaded with cubes of smoked brisket, andouille sausage and beans. (You can order without beans, if you wish) It’s spicy and very flavorful. The cup I ordered came with a tasty sweet potato and jalapeno cornbread. We also tried a cup of curried corn and crab bisque. It was nice and thick with a delicate curry flavor. I did enjoy it, but thought the chili was better.

Yes, we did leave room for dinner! The Mr. ordered the smoked salmon, Jr. had the Mac-n-cheese, and I had the smoked pork sandwich on a Kaiser roll (you can also have it on raisin bread). The salmon dish was a generous portion of rum and sugar brined fish on a bed of beans and rice, topped with a mango pineapple salsa. I thought the salmon was too sweet for my taste, but the Mr. enjoyed the flavors that reminded him of a tropical island, forgetting the howling winds outside.

My pork sandwich was delicious; a pile of tender, shredded pork topped with cole slaw, red onion and a house made barbeque sauce on a fresh roll. It also came with a side of hand cut fries. I usually order sweet potato, but I think I prefer the regular ones. Perfectly salted with a pronounced flavor of…Potato! Having eaten at Moat Mountain many times over the years, I have to say the pork sandwich continues to be a consistent favorite. Others include the Carolina Pulled Pork and the burgers.

Service at Moat Mountain is very friendly; the waitstaff has the patience of saints, considering the number of families with small children at any given time. It seems to be a popular pit stop on the way back from Story Land. (you can spot those families immediately, dad has a glassy look in his eye and wants nothing more than a cold beer) Check it out next time you find yourself in New Hampshire!