New Hampshire’s White Mountains

My first few days in New England focused on the ocean towns (makai), but Jodie wanted me to get a taste of the mountains (mauka), too. She and James own a vacation home in the White Mountains, and they had one opening among the renters, so we headed out there to spend the night.

On the way over, we stopped at a huge furniture store so she could get some decorating ideas — and she could show me how people around here style their homes. The moose and bear themes are strong out here!

Fortunately, James is a graphic designer, so he designed their mountain home with interior elements that are strong, but contemporary. Believe it or not, I found myself wandering through their home (below) and forgot to take photos. If you want to see it — or better yet, rent it! — click here.

This is definitely in a neighborhood, but also definitely in a forest, so I had to worry about potentially facing a bear for the first time in my life. Thankfully, there were no bear sightings while we were there, but I bolted from the van to the house, nonetheless. It’s very peaceful out here, though, and I can see why people head to the mountains to relax.

Side note, we also went to look at some real estate while we were out there! I used to do the real estate blog for Honolulu Magazine, so it was definitely interesting to me. This historic mansion was listed for just $1.3 million; here in Hawaii, you know it would be listed for $11 million to $25 million, depending on the location! Click here for more photos. I wonder if Jodie bought it?

While in North Conway, definitely stop at the Moat Mountain Smoke House & Brewing Co., one of Jodie’s favorite places to eat. It has an extensive menu and pretty much everything is good. Of course, if you’re a beer drinker, they’ve got lots of that, too … they’re famous for their private label.

This is an old ski lift carriage, and since they don’t use these anymore, area homes and businesses have decorated them in their own style. This one is outside the Moat Mountain Smoke House — I wish I brought a FrolicHawaii sticker with me!

Curried crab and corn bisque, $9.25. This was nicely rich, with the spiciness of the curry complementing the sweet crab and corn. It was kind of like a rich mulligatawny soup.

Longhorn nachos, $11.99. Barbecued Texas style smoked brisket, red onions, cheese, Austin BBQ sauce and fresh tomato salsa. I tend to like things with a slightly sweet flavor profile, so this was perfect. As you can see, it’s pretty huge, so I recommend sharing this with at least three or four people.

Sweet and spicy brussels sprouts, $7.99. If you like brussels sprouts, this one is a winner! They’re tossed with butter, sambal, local maple syrup, lime juice, Sweetie Drop peppers, green onions and — get this — crushed wasabi peas. Someone make this in Hawaii!

We had the special quesadilla with roasted chicken, $9.99, but next time I think I want to try the New England quesadilla, filled with butternut squash.

Moat Mountain Smokehouse & Brewing Co.
3378 White Mountain Highway Route 16
North Conway, NH 03860

No visit to North Conway is complete without a visit to Zeb’s, the town’s big general store. You have to go here to get all your omiyage to take home to family and friends! You can also get the famous Moxie here, and all the related logo items.

Jodie made me drink Moxie, which is a soda that New England is known for. People either love it or hate it, and by the descriptions of the herby-ness and the alleged health benefits, I guessed correctly that it would taste like Fernet — which is a spirit that people also love or hate. I’ve had Fernet and am okay with it, so Jodie was a little surprised I was okay with Moxie. Yay!

Before heading back to the mountain house, there was a bit of rain, but check out these New England clouds, especially the second photo. That “smoke monster” moved fairly quickly — I regret not taking a video so you could freak out, too. Now I know what inspired the guys from LOST.

Our last meal in North Conway was at Peach’s, which serves breakfast all day. They’re a popular little spot, so expect to wait at peak hours.

People love to doodle on their napkins, so if you’re an artist or a writer, be sure to do something extra special so they put it on display!

Stuffed French toast, $7.95. This is probably the “thing” to get here, and it’s very good. The toast has a light, sweet cream cheese filling with sliced bananas, and your choice of blueberries, raspberries, peaches or strawberries.

I had crepes (I believe these were chicken, $8.95) and they were nicely done. I think I’ll probably do something more unusual next time, like the Monte Cristo crepe.

Peach’s Restaurant
2506 White Mountain Hwy.
North Conway, NH 03860


And that was it for that area for me … until the next time I visit Jodie and James. I have a couple more posts on Boston, and then I’m back to reality. To see more photos from the Search Hawaii TV part of the trip, click here. To see more from this part of the trip, click here.