Thursday, July 31, 2008

Say It Isn't So..

The buzz is at an all time high about the rumored sale of the Townlyne Grille on Hampton Road. I have heard from about half a dozen people over the past few weeks that Chris Moutis is preparing to sell, or has sold, the restaurant. I will miss their honey chicken, though my thighs won't! I guess I'll have to investigate this one further...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Froyo for Fido

In the what will people think of next category, our local Barking Dog owner has a line of frozen yogurt treats for dogs.

Jody Rodgers, founder of The Barking Dog, Ltd., a dog boarding and daycare with three locations, wanted to create an all-natural treat that dogs would love – and that their owners would feel great about feeding them. In 2006, yöghund® (a combination of the Dutch words for “yogurt” and “dog”), was born. The probiotics and prebiotics contained in yöghund® have benefits that aid dogs’ digestion, strengthen the immune system and improve intestinal health. Yöghund® is available in two delicious flavors, Organic Banana & Peanut Butter and new Organic Blueberry & Vanilla Bean. Dogs love the cool refreshment of this calming snack, and their owners love knowing it’s good for them. Yöghund® can be purchased at many major supermarket and pet store chains and specialty markets including Shaw’s, Whole Foods, Petco, Hannaford’s, and Roche Brothers’, as well as online.

But wait, there's more. They have new flavors..

Yöghund® New Organic Blueberry & Vanilla Bean Frozen Yogurt for Dogs Now Available in Shaw’s
Yöghund®, creator of the organic frozen dog yogurt category, has introduced an Organic Blueberry & Vanilla Bean flavor. This is the second flavor of yöghund®, a follow up to the company’s popular Organic Banana & Peanut Butter.

Organic Blueberry & Vanilla Bean yöghund® is USDA certified organic. The low fat yogurt used in yöghund® contains probiotics, which aids digestive health and strengthens immune systems. The organic blueberries are rich in antioxidants and the vanilla aroma is calming for dogs as they enjoy their healthy, delicious treat.

Organic Blueberry & Vanilla Bean yöghund® is also made with water, organic blueberry juice, organic vanilla bean extract, organic inulin, organic guar gum, and organic gum arabic.

Yöghund® is more than a delicious treat – it’s a functional food. Low in calories and high in nutrients, yöghund® is a treat dog owners can be proud to reward their dogs with.

Yöghund® can be purchased at many major supermarket and pet store chains and specialty markets, as well as online. Yöghund® is available in a 3.5 oz. cup (SRP $2.00) and a 4-pack box (SRP $5.99). A store locator is available at

IslandFest--A HUGE Parrothead Event!!

Okay, so to those who are not Parrotheads, this may sound a little insane. Those who are, are probably totally excited like I am. I've been seeing this sign on the Ioka about IslandFest. Not sure what it is, I checked it out. This is totally cool--basically the entire Coral Reefer Band that tours with Jimmy Buffett is headed to Exeter on Sunday, September 7 for a benefit concert for Friends of the Earth, Sea & Space Center, and a non-profit organization working to develop a museum of earth, sea and space here on the New Hampshire seacoast.
Among the musicians who will be here are Peter Mayer, Michael Utley (even you non Parrotheads know the Volcano song--he's the little guy who plays the keyboard in it), Robert Greenidge on steel drums, Ralph McDonald, and my personal favorite, the lovely Nadira Shakoor--she has the most amazing voice.
I know Buffett is headed to the annual Labor Day weekend show in Massachusetts the day before this Exeter event.. Exeter also houses the Margaritaville Shrimp headquarters. Could Mr. Buffett make a surprise showing??

Monday, July 28, 2008

Goodbye to the Gundalow for This Year

I just happened to be driving along Swasey Parkway Saturday morning when I spied the Gundalow being pulled down the river.

Of course, our honorary Mayor Arthur, was on hand for the event with his ever-present camera. He was quite excited to see the massive barge leave town as he'd never seen it in motion before.

One of the many retired men who volunteers to help out with the old gundalow I'm sure.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Super Hero in Disguise at Stratham Fair

Well, the Stratham Fair is in full swing this weekend, for those who didn't know. We took a little trip over Friday afternoon and I discovered that there is a new breed of super hero about--Super Sheep.
Like other super heros, this one has a snazzy costume to disguise their true identity. Until of course, they have to save the day in a flash.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The NY Deli

So I finally went to get something to eat at the Gandolfo's Deli on Portsmouth Avenue. I had an excuse since I was going to write a business profile on them. It's nice inside with several tvs and they offer beer and wine for the evening crowd. I had an Italian, which came with ham, salami and pepperoni on a fresh baked roll. It was pretty tasty, though I spiced mine up a bit with the addition of some pepperoncini's, a good move.
The girl who owns the place, Jocelyn, is extremely friendly and personable and an Exeter High alum.
Here's the full story:
By Lara Bricker
July 22, 2008 6:00 AM
EXETER — The new Gandolfo's Deli on Portsmouth Avenue isn't just another sub shop.
"This is a sandwich shop," said co-owner Jocelyn Warren, 30, who owns the local shop with her father, Dick Warren. "You can get an authentic Reuben sandwich here, hot pastrami sandwiches, fresh deli salads."

In all, the deli offers 71 different specialty sandwiches, in addition to a build-your-own sandwich combination option. The deli has several televisions, a selection of bottled beer and wine, and cozy seats for patrons. "It's perfect for any gentleman that's out there that wants a sandwich, a beer and to watch a game," Warren said.
Warren has worked in the restaurant business locally at Paddy's American Grille, the Weathervane Seafood and others. She always wanted to start a business with her father, an environmental engineering consultant, but was looking for the right franchise in which to invest.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Another New Local Blog

My friend Jason Schreiber, another longtime journalist in the area, just started his own blog. Of course, he's been blogging like nuts this first week. Kind of like when I decided to join My Space and Facebook. He has all sorts of newsie items about Epping, Fremont, Kingston and other tidbits. Go check it out at:

Cheap Gas!!

I never thought I'd hear myself saying that $3.81 was cheap for gas.. but yet, I just sent Kenny off to fill up my car upon hearing that gas at the Great Bay Camping on Route 108 in Newfields was down to $3.81.

Monday, July 21, 2008

String Bridge Building--Oops

It seems the storm and rain took a toll on this building over on String Bridge. Check out the complete story here:

Everyone's Taking the Train

I just received this from the Downeaster train folks:

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority has released final Downeaster ridership numbers for fiscal year 2008, which was July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008.
Downeaster ridership for FY08 was 441,769 riders – a 28% increase over FY07.
Downeaster ticket revenues for the same period were $6,076,517, a 33%
increase over the previous year. NNEPRA credits gas prices, in addition to
increased frequency, a better schedule and reduced travel time, with the
dramatic increase.
Ridership increased on all trains and among all markets. Records were set in
both April 2008 and June 2008 when Downeaster monthly ridership surpassed
40,000 monthly riders for the first time. Overall, the average number of daily
riders increased from 947 in FY07 to 1,207 in FY08. To accommodate
additional riders, and additional passenger car has been added to each
Downeaster train.
Across the country, Amtrak has seen a significant system-wide ridership increase
of 12.7% during its fiscal year to date (October 1, 2007-June 30, 2008).
Ridership on the Downeaster has increased 31.9% since October, which is the
greatest percentage increase among all of Amtrak’s 30 different routes.
Despite the dramatic increase in business, the Downeaster continues to be
among Amtrak’s favorite routes as well, scoring 97% in Amtrak’s national
Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) survey in May 2008. The average national
CSI average for all Amtrak routes was 80%.

Breaking News

Firefighters, Department of Public Works and the Building Inspector are on the scene of a wall collapse downtown Water Street at 9:30 a.m. Sounds like it might be a storm related problem. Some guy looked out his apartment window and saw, yikes, there was no wall on the building. More details to follow as they become available.

Storm Damage

Trees and wires were down all over town this weekend, including a big one over by Elm Street. I spotted this one out behind the downtown businesses on Water Street, by Two Flights Down and the Tavern at River's Edge.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Off to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Fund-Raiser

I'm off to man the table for our team, The Tavern Nips, downtown for a few hours.
Doing what?
Here's the info:
Come down to the American Independence Festival this weekend and help support breast cancer research.
The Tavern Nips, a regular team at the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk each October, will be holding a fund-raiser this Saturday, July 19, in front of the Tavern at River's Edge in downtown Exeter. The team is sponsored by the downtown restaurant and its owner Jeff Roth.
The team raised more than $13,000 for the 2007 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event and hopes to top that figure at this year's event.
On Saturday, The Tavern Nips will be taking orders for specialty olives, taking orders for Yankee Candles and selling raffle tickets for an exciting prize that will be announced that day. The handmade olives are the perfect treat for a martini and are stuffed with either blue cheese, jalapenos or garlic, then finished in a special marinade.
Funds raised through the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk enable the American Cancer Society to fund breast cancer research, provide up-to-date cancer prevention and early detection information, help ensure all women have access to mammograms and follow-up care, and provide free programs and services that improve the quality of life for people facing breast cancer.
Other upcoming fund-raisers sponsored by the Tavern Nips include:
Team member Sally Gray, an independent representative for Silpada Designs, a line of fine sterling silver jewelry, will donate a portion of proceeds from all jewelry parties from now until the walk, toward the fund-raising efforts. Those who would like to schedule a party or event can contact Gray at 926-2503 or
Gray will host a Silpada Jewelry Fund-Raiser on Sept. 21 at the Tavern at River's Edge, which will include a silent auction for a number of exciting gift certificates and products from area businesses.
The time and additional details of the Sept. 21 event will be announced later this summer.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Rev Fest Weekend

I know, I know, it is officially called the American Independence Festival now.. but to me, it will always be "Rev Fest." (Revolutionary War Festival). And for those who haven't seen the signs out for the past month, it's tomorrow, Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. downtown Exeter. Check out the schedule of events at

I am always a fan of the great battle on the Swasey Parkway, but think the cannons might be a bit too much for wee Willie to handle. I'm also sad that they did away with the beer tent after only two years..

But, never fear, I'm sure if you head to the Tavern downtown tomorrow night, some of the historical folks will be there in costume with their old mugs drinking beer. I love it when they show up every year, always fun to try to throw them off character after they have a few pops!

Another Wild Critter Visit to Our House

First the groundhog, then the turkey. Now, it's a family of foxes. I first spotted big mama fox a few weeks back trotting down our driveway. She seemd to come every day around 1 p.m. She always followed the same route, down our driveway, then out along the path in our neighbor Dee's backyard. Then, there was the incident, where I heard an awful noise one night after dinner. I went outside to investigate and there was the mama fox barking at our cat, Bear. I yelled at her, she looked at me, and slowly trotted away. And now, we have the young fox seen here. I looked outside the other morning, and see this little fox, investigating the charcoal grill in front of the house. Then he trots around in a circle, lays down, rolls over like he's playing, and trots around some more. What's he doing? Well, apparently, he and Bear the cat are checking each other out. The cat was sitting, calm as could be, in the garden watching him. I opened up the window to yell at little fox, who trotted out the driveway, followed by the cat. I'm not exactly sure what was going on here, but they seemed to almost be hanging out together..

Little fox checks out my recent plantings?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Destination Epping Again

So, my friend Jason had this story in today's Union Leader. I'm thinking, hmm, perhaps Wal-Mart should help sponsor this bus financially if they decide to run it again next summer? What do you think?

Beach Bus' first stop becomes the destination
By JASON SCHREIBERUnion Leader Correspondent

EPPING – It's called the Beach Bus, but for some it's more like the Wal-Mart Bus.
Ridership on the new Beach Bus service linking Epping, Exeter and Hampton hasn't been as high as bus officials expected, but they've been surprised by the number of people hopping aboard to shop at the Epping Wal-Mart Supercenter.
The bus service by Dover-based COAST began operating on July 5 and will run on weekends through Sept. 7. It operates about every two hours on Saturdays and Sundays, with several trips between Epping, Exeter and Hampton.
The route has several stops, including one right in front of Wal-Mart's doors.
Jeremy LaRose, supervisor of operations at COAST (Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation), said the low ridership has been a bit discouraging, but he hopes it will pick up as word spreads about the new service.
While people are catching the bus in Epping and Exeter to head to Hampton Beach, LaRose said just as many are taking the bus from Exeter and Hampton to head to Epping to shop at Wal-Mart. CLICK FOR FULL STORY HERE

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

NHPR Has Interesting Public Input Project Going On

Help NHPR learn about housing and real estate
The week of July 6 saw the stock market decline on concerns that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two mortgage giants, might be in big trouble.
NHPR is following how this might affect New Hampshire residents, and we want to hear about your experience as a mortgage holder or a home buyer. You can help by clicking on the link below to share your own experience. Everything you share is kept confidential to the newsroom, and no answers are required. Only tell us what you're comfortable sharing.
What's your mortgage or home-buying story?
(Not buying or selling a home? Feel free to ignore this message, or forward it on to friends or family who might have knowledge to share.)
As always, we won't quote you on the air or on the web without your permission. And please feel free to forward this to others you know - the more we can learn, the more informed our coverage will be.

Win a Free Vacation--Sounds Good To Me

This press release came my way this afternoon. Sounds interesting, especially since gas in Exeter is now over $4 a gallon at some locations.

CoCo Key Water Resorts is giving away the bank or rather, eight exciting tropical vacation experiences valued at more than $1,000 each in the "CoCo Key Ultimate Staycation Challenge."
With record high gas prices and the headaches of air travel, a family vacation close to home, or "staycation" as it is commonly referred to, never sounded so good. As a fun and exciting way to celebrate the staycation experience, CoCo Key Water Resort is launching a search for the most creative and resourceful ways families have staycationed in the past. Vacationers can tell their stories online at
Gone are the days of the weeklong vacation. Families are opting to save their precious time and hard earned dollars by taking a one or two night local trip. But just because consumers are staying near home this summer, doesn’t mean that they can’t experience that vacation they always wanted.
"We understand that families are looking for economical ways to vacation," said Elizabeth Beutel, Director of Sales and Marketing at CoCo Key Danvers. "CoCo Key Water Resort is that hot, new, affordable vacation experience located right here in your own backyard."
How to Enter
Consumers are invited to go online to and in a 100-word essay, tell CoCo Key Water Resort the most creative way their family has staycationed in the past and why they desperately need to escape to the tropics this summer. Winning essays will appear on the CoCo Key Water Resort web site.
The Prizes?
Eight families will win the ultimate staycation – which includes an unforgettable trip to CoCo Key Water Resort, VIP treatment and a host of other prizes.
One winning family will be selected for each of the CoCo Key Water Resorts (a total of seven across the country). Winners will receive a prize package valued at over $1,000, which includes:
A two night stay for a family of four at their nearest CoCo Key Water Resort
VIP treatment including:
o Ground transportation to/and from CoCo Key Water Resort
o Upgraded room (where available)
o $100 food credit
o $50 towards arcade play
o A CoCo Key gift pack for the family
o Meet and greet session with CoCo, including a family photo
10 water park passes for that next staycation
One grand prize winner will be chosen from all entries submitted from across the country. The winning family will receive a prize package valued at over $2,200, which includes:
The prize pack above
Plus, unlimited day visits for a family of four for one full year to a CoCo Key Water Resort near them and a $200 gas card!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Good News for Hungry Debit Card Users

I can't count the number of times I've said, "Hey, I want to get a sandwich from Billingsgate, but don't have any cash on me." For those not familiar, the popular downtown deli has been a cash only establishment for some time. I found this out the hard way one day when I found myself running out to the ATM as the girl was making my sandwich.. But hooray, they have just added credit card service. They take Visa and Mastercard credit and ATM cards now!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Outdoor Funky Fun on Sunday

Funky Divas of Gospel are going to be at the Stratham Hill Park Sunday at 5 p.m. If I can drag myself off the boat, this is sure to be a fun event. And our local real estate agent turned singer Bette Henneberry is sure to be belting out the tunes with the group.

Not familar with Bette's move into the singing world?

Check it out:

Review of Pimento's from Our Area Food Critic

Sounds like things are going well down at Pimento's. I've been meaning to get back there in between summer craziness. And they already have a new summer menu. Wow.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Checking out the New and Improved Exeter Inn

I've been a bit busy, so got behind on postings.

So we headed out two weekends ago to the new and improved Epoch Restaurant and Bar at the Exeter Inn. I'd been over earlier in the week to do a story on the opening, but at the time, there were still construction men everywhere. And I was having a hard time picturing the bar area done in time for the grand opening event.
It was.
And by Saturday, when we went, the place was hopping. We ran into local drycleaner turned male model and piano player, Russ Fieldsend, who was thrilled beyond belief to see such a classy, upscale bar in town. The place is really nice. Red leather bar stools, granite topped bar and bar tables.
We tried the cheese platter to start off and it was delicious. Three kinds of cheese, including one I later found out, that was a triple cream, high fat, right to your thighs variety. But it was tasty, so I forgot about that fatty part. Several kinds of chutneys and a tomato relish of some sort. Dried fruit, crackers and fresh fruit.
They have a specialty martini list, including a little sampler trio where you get to try three mini versions of the real deal. Here's the thing to remember, just because they look like cute, small drinks, doesn't mean they don't have liquor in them... beware. I was a fan of the blackberry martini, which had real blackberries mashed up in it.
We'd planned to try some of the Kobe beef sliders, but by the time we went to put in our order, they were sold out. I'm not surprised since just about everyone in the bar seemed to be ordering the little mini cheeseburgers.
So we went for real dinner.
It was a great way to spend an evening, in a new location in town, which actually made you feel like you'd been transported somewhere else.
My only word of warning would be the cost of drinks. The wine list was extensive but had no "house" wine choices and so when I asked for a house red, I was given the least expensive red wine on the menu at $9. Martinis were $10-12 each. This is probably market rate at restaurants of this caliber, but I guess I've been spoiled at the Tavern and Townlyne Grille where you get a little "side car" or second drink with your martinis. (For the price of one).

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Benefits of Having a Nice Lawn

This turkey came to visit our back yard Monday morning. Apparently, like the little woodchuck a few weeks back, she was lured in by the clover.

Tai Chi and Tea (Hey that has a nice ring to it)

White Lily Teas is now offering tai chi classes every Wednesday night from 6-7 p.m. $12 if you sign up before and $14 to drop in.
Somehow I just can't get the tai chi and tea little ditty out of my head...

Enterprising Young Guys From Exeter

I sat down with these young guys last week. They're quite enterprising though I hate to say with my car, it's a losing battle.. One week post detail I'm sure it would be back to the mobile mommy office/snack cart/horse grain transporter...

By Lara Bricker
July 08, 2008 6:00 AM
EXETER — It could be considered a spa treatment for your car or truck.
That's how business partners Jordan Gauvin and Christian Wright describe the work they do with their automobile detailing business, Wicked Clean LLC. The 20-year-old Exeter High School alums have known each other since they were young kids playing hockey together. When they were both home from college last summer they decided they wanted to start a business together. After looking at a number of possibilities, the two ended up with an automobile-detailing business plan. CLICK FOR ENTIRE STORY

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Opinion Counts!

So my opinion counts folks, check it out.

Fireworks aboard the Gundalow: A Spectacular View

Exeter, New Hampshire –The Exeter Historical Society invites you to a reception aboard the historic Gundalow for a spectacular view of the July 19th fireworks! Board the Gundalow at 8pm for champagne and dessert and you’ll enjoy the best “seat in the house” for the American Independence Festival fireworks at 9pm. Tickets are $100 per person and support the programs of the non-profit Exeter Historical Society.

A few years ago, Lara Bricker, a local newspaper journalist, viewed the fireworks display from the deck of the Gundalow. She had this to say about the experience: "while I was wandering around Swasey Parkway in search of a quiet spot to watch the Rev Fest fireworks, I saw some friends sitting out on the Gundalow. They invited us out to sit with them and we had a fabulous time. Although the park was packed with people watching the display, I felt totally removed from the crowds and really able to enjoy the lovely view. Just being on the water seems like such an escape and I thought it would have been the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail and a little picnic while waiting for the fireworks to go off.” Now you have the opportunity to enjoy an amazing view of the fireworks while supporting an important local non-profit. But space is limited, and tickets will be available on a first-come basis, so hurry to register by calling the Exeter Historical Society at 603-778-2335, or you may send a check for $100 per ticket with your name and phone number to the Exeter Historical Society at P.O. Box 924, Exeter, NH, 03833.
UPDATE: I received this info from a local boater/river watcher: It will be dead low at Exeter this year at 9pm on the 19th.
I supposed this means you will be overlooking, and smelling, mud. Perhaps the champagne toast will dull the senses to that