If you’re like me, one of the bennies of accompanying your wife on her quilt retreats, shopping adventures and visits to various quilt shows is the opportunity to explore – new towns, local history, and different food choices. You may think that being a qusband (quilter’s husband) is all about food and drink, and you would be largely correct. With time on one’s hands, it’s easy to focus on the stomach.
So, if you are planning to attend A Quilter’s Gathering at the Radisson Hotel Manchester Downtown in Manchester, New Hampshire, November 4-5, here’s a few restaurants you might want to check out.
First, a general comment, the Radisson Hotel Manchester Downtown is aptly named, as it is located smack in the middle of Manchester’s active restaurant and bar scene. Elm Street, where the hotel is located, appears to double as “Main Street” in Manchester (it’s also designated State Route 3) and is full of restaurants to choose from within walking distance of the Radisson. This hotel is also the home of the annual Mancuso Show Management’s annual World Quilt Show – New England in August, and the annual MQX Quilt Festival – New England in April, making it a frequent stop for quilters.
For breakfast, you might want to try out Lala’s Hungarian Pastry and Restaurant, located about two blocks from the hotel. Decorated lovingly with traditional Hungarian textiles, Lala’s offers a full range of breakfast dishes and an amazing selection of pastries. One of the Cold War’s unintended consequences and contributions to American society, Eastern Bloc traditional cuisine is to be enjoyed now before the owners retire, and Lala’s is definitely on the list for return trips to Manchester – and a terrific source of baked treats to bring back to the quilt show for your favorite quilter.
For lunch we made it only one block before deciding on some specialty pizza at the Portland Pie Company. This place hops at night, as well, as it doubles as a bar and a good place to watch a game on TV.
At the end of a long (but enjoyable) day looking at quilts and attending workshops (well, Allison, not me – I hit the more-than-adequate hotel gym and took a nap), we ventured out for a terrific dinner and super live music at N’awlins Grille & All that Jazz, also only one block from the Radisson. We shared a delicious Blackened Pan Seared Ahi Tuna salad and a bowl of Shrimp and Grits before topping it off with a slice of blueberry cheesecake and the live jazz helped us unwind.
These are only three of the food options within walking distance of the Radisson. Luckily, as a good qusband, I will likely have many more opportunities to explore the many food options of Manchester in the next few years!