One of the great traditions of Family Weekend is taking a nice break from dining hall food to consume food that is slightly less (boring, fatty, repetitive, carb-loaded, overall weird…take your pick.) Parents are usually more than willing to pick up the tab at your favorite local restaurant so you can recount as much as you can remember about your classes and keep your partying adventures on the DL.
That being said, here are my top 5 places that I would want my parents to take me out to dinner this Family Weekend in the Durham/Newington/Portsmouth area:
5. Wildcat Pizza. Yes, I know it's pizza, but the past few times my parents have come to visit, it's been a real hit for everyone. The typical college pizza joint atmosphere shows your parents what a Friday night on campus might be like, and the menu has a variety of options so everyone's happy. My personal favorite is the BBQ chicken calzone, which my mom and I always share. Nothing says family bonding like eating a calzone together.
4. UNH Dairy Bar. Okay, maybe a little close to campus, but this way, you get dinner and dessert in one convenient spot (and one check). The Dairy Bar has been a campus favorite for years and has a pretty decent sandwich menu in addition to its fantastic ice cream selection. Although the Dairy Bar accepts Cats Cache and Dining Dollars, there is still something incredibly satisfying as you sit back and know that your food is paid for. My Dairy Bar choice is the pesto chicken sandwich and some mint chocolate chip ice cream. It does not get any better than that.
3. La Paz. I'll admit, I have never actually been, but I have heard excellent things about the new Mexican restaurant in town, located in the same plaza as Rite Aid and the Bagelry. I think that's all the more reason to go. As awesome as it is to show your favorite restaurant to your parents and act like a know-it-all because you've spent all your Cats Cache there, it could also be nice to check out somewhere you've never been before. La Paz is definitely on my list of must-tries for me, and who better to accompany me than my parents?
2. Foobar is a newer, fancier restaurant in Portsmouth that is a little too out of my price range normally, but has fantastic options if you have the dough to foot the bill. With appetizers such as fried pickles, calamari, ribs, and mussels, you're starting off with fancier food than you've had all semester (and for a whopping $9 a dish). Entrees include various kinds of sandwiches and meats that vary from anywhere from $12 to $23. As I said, rather expensive, but the food is phenomenal, and the place the swankiest you're going to get for a very long time.
1. Flatbreads. Flatbreads is my absolute favorite place to eat out that is semi-close to campus. If you remember one thing from this article, remember this: Flatbreads is King. Located in Portsmouth, the restaurant serves a variety of flatbreads with ingredients that you didn't quite think could go together, but somehow do. Flatbreads always has a "Carne" and "Vegetarian" special, and to be perfectly honest, I have never had to venture beyond trying at least one of the two. Past favorites have included cheeseburger flatbread, buffalo chicken flatbread, and a margarita flatbread, to name a few. My advice is be daring and order one Carne Special (if you eat meat) and one Veggie Special and split it. Even if it's too much food, it will taste great the next day cold or microwaved. Oh, and have a blueberry root beer or a lemonade, because those two drinks right there are half the reason I love Flatbreads so much.
There's my list. After that, if you'd rather show your parents Hoco or Philbrook, go right ahead. Family Weekend is a great reason to interrupt your normal routine, and however interested your parents might be in the dining halls, going out to eat is a tradition.