Heritage Farm Pancake House – Sanbornton, NH

Food Adventures, New Hampshire

Perhaps what we were looking forward to most about our trip to New Hampshire (second to the wedding, of course) was maple syrup season! Throughout the month of March, farmers all over NH and Vermont set up buckets to tap the sap from acres of maple trees for weeks at a time. The sap is then collected and boiled down to a concentrated syrup to be bottled in adorable leaf-shaped glass bottles and mini plastic jugs.

If you look closely, the sign on the barn door looks reminiscent of something from Winnie the Pooh

If you look closely, the sign on the barn door looks reminiscent of something from Winnie the Pooh!

We were lucky to discover that one such farm was situated just down the hill from the Steele Hill Resort — Heritage Farm Pancake House. Open only for breakfast (Wednesdays through Saturdays 8am to noon during maple season), this quaint shop features a maple sugaring facility, pancake-flipping restaurant, and a petting zoo out back.

Boiling down the sap into syrup

Boiling down the sap into syrup

Not being early-risers ourselves, we stumbled in around 11:45am (just before closing) and asked the friendly woman behind the counter whether it was too late for a tour. She invited us to walk right into the maple sugaring area while we were waiting for our breakfast order. Awesome!

Matt the jack-of-all-trades

Matt the jack-of-all-trades

There we were greeted by Matt, an amicable gentleman who was eager to answer our questions about the process. He even let us venture up to the loft area to see the tank of sap and to get a birds-eye view of the equipment. Check out that huge flume of steam on the right — in boiling the sap down into syrup, they end up with a ratio of nearly 50:1. That’s a lot of evaporating!

Family-style Breakfast

Family-style Breakfast

Naturally, when you think about maple syrup, pancakes are one of the first things to come to mind. At Heritage Farm, the popular choice is the family-style breakfast. Farm-fresh eggs, locally grown potatoes, homemade pancakes, locally sourced smoked bacon… count us in!

Bacon and home fries

Bacon and home fries

Martin’s silky and fluffy scrambled eggs are on the left, snuggled next to the pile of home fries (extra crispy, per our request) and a little mountain of bacon. The thick-cut bacon from The Fox Country Smoke House was toothsome and tender. The potatoes seemed extra earthy and had a wonderful crunch on the edges.

Sunny side up!

Sunny side up!

I prefer my eggs sunny side up and runny. I forgot the “runny” part when I placed this order, but no matter – the yolk oozed lusciously and blew every grocery store egg out of the water.

Pumpkin pancakes!

Pumpkin pancakes!

It’s kinda hard to find pumpkin pancakes in LA outside of the fall season because that’s when it is trendy and relevant. Needless to say, I was excited to find homemade pumpkin pancakes on their extensive list of flavors. Moist and gooey with pumpkin puree and perfectly golden on the outside, these pancakes were not too sweet, making them perfect when drizzled with their own maple syrup. I was in pancake heaven!

Blueberry pancakes!

Blueberry pancakes!

Martin has a soft spot for blueberry pancakes, so they were an obvious choice. Filled with the plump purple globes, he seemed to really enjoy his breakfast, not even pausing to share a bite with me!

By the time we polished off the last morsel, we were stuffed and oh so satisfied. But wait! I still had not seen any trees with those iconic metal buckets hanging from them. I would miss what could be my only opportunity to see it live and in-person! I panicked, I worried, but then, just as we pulled onto the dirt road, I spotted it. Martin barely slowed to a stop when I hopped out of the car to snap a photo. I could vaguely hear him chuckling at my enthusiasm.

Mission accomplished!

Mission accomplished!

If you find yourself in or near Sanbornton, NH, we definitely recommend starting your day off right with a farm-fresh breakfast at Heritage Farm Pancake House. The food is delicious and comforting, the staff are all welcoming and friendly, and there’s nothing like warming your hands by the furnace that powers the sap-boiling equipment and savoring in the sweet-smelling steam as sap turns to syrup before your very eyes. Plus, if you go early enough (unlike us – we turned out to be their last table of the morning), you just might have the opportunity to check out the pasture out back and pet some farm critters!

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Check out Heritage Farm Pancake House: heritagefarmpancakehouse.com

16 Parker Hill Rd
Sanbornton, NH 03269

See their Yelp reviews here!

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Pizza and Ice Cream – Tilton, NH

Food Adventures, New Hampshire

Ahh pizza and ice cream – a classic combination. The stuff of childhood pool parties, sleepovers, classroom celebrations, even birthdays. We drove down the hill from the resort to the neighboring city of Tilton, NH. A quick search on my phone’s Yelp app led us to the Tilton House of Pizza (THOP). Yes, I initially thought of pancakes. We then trekked on to Laconia, NH to visit Kellerhaus, a quaint shop (dare I say, shoppe?) renowned for their candy and ice cream… but first, our pizza lunch.

THOP with Pepperoni

THOP with Pepperoni

Downtown Tilton is a really adorable little strip of Main Street, lined with old brick buildings and mom & pop shops. One of those buildings housed the Tilton House of Pizza. Friendly guys behind the counter fixed our pizza to order and offered free refills of our soda. I was initially skeptical when I read reviews touting THOP as the best pizza they’d ever had, but honestly – I was really impressed by the crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside “pan-style” crust, topped generously with herby tomato sauce, hot and stringy mozzarella cheese, and spicy pepperoni. It tasted like what every Pizza Hut pizza strives to achieve but falls short. SO GOOD.

Kellerhaus

Kellerhaus

After we polished off our lunch, we hopped back into the car and zoom-zoomed to Laconia to visit Kellerhaus. This charming ice cream shop and candy store resembles one of the buildings in Solvang; it was only missing a windmill out back, but that’s okay – the little pinwheels spinning swiftly in the chilly breeze made up for it.

The Gifts

The Gifts

Kellerhaus manages to display countless knick-knacks, souvenirs, home decor goodies, and edible treats throughout the maze-like storefront with multiple rooms. All the colors! So many cute little products tempting me to bring them home to California.

The Menu

The Menu

But Martin directed my attention to the ice cream bar in the center of the store, and the colorful menu touting the day’s flavors. We knew we wanted to partake… but what size to order? I know Martin’s eyes locked on the Colossal, a 10-scoop sundae worthy of the name, but we decided to share a 3-scooper. The process is pretty well-streamlined: pay for your bowl (or cone or waffle bowl!) at the cash register, bring your bowl over to the ice cream case to pick out your scoops, and then proceed to the DIY sundae bar to pile on the toppings.

Ice Cream Sundae~!

Ice Cream Sundae~!

Martin picked coffee (of course), I went with mint chocolate chip, and we selected Cookie Monster to share. He prefers his ice cream unadulterated, but I could not resist drizzling on a bit of hot fudge on my side of the boat-shaped dish. Not gonna lie – the color of Cookie Monster caught me off-guard a bit, but it’s essentially a cookies & cream flavor with lots of Oreo bits. The ice cream was creamy and fluffy — a wonderful treat despite the cool weather. Yum!

Truffles

Trufflemania!

After chowing down and narrowly avoiding brain freeze, we browsed the store’s many, many wares. Adorable French patisserie painted plates, Easter items on clearance, New Hampshire / Weirs Beach souvenirs, cute themed salt & pepper shakers, Keep Calm and Carry On paraphernalia… and of course – the sweets room. The center of the room showcased a glass display case of chocolate dipped deliciousness while a whole wall of shelves was dedicated to maple syrup and other maple goods. We selected an assortment of truffles to enjoy later.

The bright colors, cute products, variety of candy, and sundae bar are all excellent reasons to pay Kellerhaus a visit, but allow me to offer one last reason — the service! The staff here were so friendly to us, especially since we hail from LA where one woman’s (the owner’s?) son also lives. If you’re ever in the Laconia / Weirs Beach region of New Hampshire, definitely swing by Kellerhaus. It’s situated just off Route 3 and if you blink, you just might miss it, but it’s well worth the journey!

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Check out Tilton House of Pizza (THOP):

298 Main St
Tilton, NH 03276

See their Yelp reviews here!

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Check out Kellerhaus: kellerhaus.com

259 Endicott St N
Laconia, NH 03246

See their Yelp reviews here!

Steele Hill Resort & A Wedding – Sanbornton, NH

Food Adventures, New Hampshire

Martin and I have this weird penchant for vacationing in cold destinations during inevitably inclement times of year. Winter break in the Pacific Northwest is a prime example, and this past week, we took some time off to journey to New Hampshire and Boston. Luckily, a (relatively) early spring had come to the East Coast just in time for Martin’s cousin’s wedding and for our subsequent adventure eating our way through Boston’s North End (more on that later). And so we were off!

Big white fluffy clouds... like whipping egg whites for souffle

Big white fluffy clouds… like whipping egg whites for souffle

First thing we did in NH - visit Dunkin' Donuts

First thing we did in NH – visit Dunkin’ Donuts, right in the airport terminal

Sleepy and exhausted, our eyes immediately lit up when we were greeted with our very first Dunkin’ Donuts sighting right in the middle of Manchester airport. Sure, there’s TONS of them on the East Coast – practically one on every block. But for us, the only location is locked away in Camp Pendleton… for now.

Two doughnuts, to go

Two doughnuts, to go

So we were pretty stoked to see our first DD. I grabbed a classic glazed and Martin got a chocolate glazed doughnut for the road. (This would be the first of three DD visits during our week-long trip.)

The View at Steele Hill Resort

The view at Steele Hill Resort

After a quick detour, we were off to the Steele Hill Resort, the site of the wedding ceremony and our home for the next few days. Thawing snow lay icy on the side of the winding road up to the resort, and the view of the Lakes was spectacular. We could see why people choose it for weddings – the view and the food!

Chocolate Martini

Chocolate Martini

Our first meal in NH was dinner at the resort’s Hilltop Restaurant. Friendly service (who turned out to be familiar faces throughout our stay), delicious food, well-stocked bar and cocktail list, we were pretty pleased with our meal.

They also warmed their dinner rolls - a nice touch!

They also warmed their dinner rolls – a nice touch!

The two appetizers our group ordered — the mozzarella sticks and the butternut squash ravioli — were completely inhaled before I could snap a photo. The mozzarella sticks were crunchy and oh so satisfying. The ravioli were al dente, although the maple cream sauce was a bit too sweet for me as I am partial to browned butter and sage.

Lobster Pie

Lobster Pie Special

Thursday night is Lobster Night so of course I had to order the day’s special — lobster pie. A gratin dish generously filled with succulent chunks of lobster meat swimming in a savory cream sauce and topped with a cracker crumb crust… I was in heaven. The lobster meat was moist and sweet, a great welcome to New England. The sauce drew its flavor from a seafood stock base, and I dipped everything in it – the side of steamed vegetables, the wild rice pilaf, even the sweet potato fries! Martin had the Hilltop Crab Cakes, crispy seared mounds so full of flaky, sweet crab that there was barely enough binding ingredients to hold them together. A good sign, for sure – he was ravenous and asked to devour them sans photo.

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On to the wedding ceremony:

And of course, the wedding ceremony!

Beautiful!

The brisk wind brought the wedding ceremony indoors to the Steele Hill West atrium, and it was absolutely lovely. Many tears of joy were shed. :3

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On to the wedding reception:

Palate Cleanser: Fresh Fruit

Palate Cleanser: Fresh Fruit

A glimpse at the tropics, the palate cleanser of fresh fruit accompanied by my peach schnapps mimosa is missing only a cute little drink umbrella to complete the picture.

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

Classic caesar salad, flavorful albeit a tad overdressed.

Entree: NY Strip Steak

Entree: NY Sirloin

We were impressed by the gorgeous sear they were able to achieve on those steaks. The portion was generous and though we both prefer our steaks rare, the beef was tender and juicy.

Yes, that is a Companion Cube from the video game Portal

Yes, that is the Companion Cube from the video game Portal

The bride and groom are awesomely nerdy, so their wedding cake was Companion Cube and the cupcakes were decorated to resemble the infamous cake (as in, “The cake is a lie!”). Seriously, all we were missing was a pair of giant blue and orange ovals.

The cake is a lie!

The cake is a lie!

Too cute!

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And the morning after:

Lobster Mac & Cheese

Lobster Mac & Cheese

The weekend brunch at the Hilltop Restaurant is pretty good if you know what to look for. We were advised that the scrambled eggs could be rubbery, so we avoided those and doubled up on the lobster mac & cheese. Described on the menu as cavatappi pasta tossed with fresh Maine lobster & a perfect blend of 5 different cheeses finished with seasoned breadcrumbs, I had been dying to partake and ended up having two helpings.

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

It’s okay. I balanced the stick-to-your-ribs comfort with some healthier selections, including the caprese salad. I love the combination of fresh creamy mozzarella, ripe sweet tomatoes, bright green chiffonade of basil, and a drizzle of vinaigrette, heavy on the balsamic vinegar. Yum!

If you’re on the East Coast and looking for a relaxing weekend getaway, the Steele Hill Resort just might be the right place for you. Be sure to check their website for packages and other booking specials – we scored 25% off our stay and a movie night bucket filled with boxed candy, microwave popcorn (for the in-suite kitchenette), and a 2-liter bottle of soda. Sweet!

P.S.: Please order the lobster mac & cheese so I can nom vicariously through you.

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Check out Steele Hill Resort: steelehillresorts.com

516 Steele Hill Rd
Sanbornton, NH 03269

See their Yelp reviews here!