Red Arrow Diner
61 Lowell St.
Manchester, NH 03101
When we were heading to Boston for a week vacation, I knew that I had to find time to make a side trip to Manchester. Like leap year or the Olympics, the eyes of the US fall on the Granite state every four years. The New Hampshire primary starts the long race for the White House, and almost all of presidential hopefuls eat at the Red Arrow Diner.
I had seen the Red Arrow on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. It has been around since 1922. At one time there were five Red Arrow Diners throughout Manchester, but now there is only two, (the other is located in Milford). In 1998, they were named one of the top ten diners in America, by USA Today. So needless to say I was pretty pumped to make the hour drive from Boston to this Manchester landmark.
We got to the Red Arrow at about two on a Friday afternoon. The diner was busy, but we took two seats at the counter. The Red Arrow is not a big place by any means. It is hard imagining camera crews, presidential nominees, and others all being in the small space at the same time. After a very warm welcome, and a long perusing of the menu, this is what we ordered.
On the show Diner's, Drive Ins, and Dives, this was one of the items that was featured, the American Chop Suey. This New England staple dish contains ground beef, tomatoes, seasoning, and elbow noodles. This was a very comforting and hearty meal. Katie really enjoyed this a lot. It was also served with a decent garlic toast.
I also wanted to try a classic, homey meal, so I went with the Meatloaf Dinner, served with real mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. The meatloaf here was real good. Very moist, and the brown gravy on top added flavor as well. Eating the mac and cheese made me feel like being wrapped in a warm blanket. The cheese sauce was rich, and coated the noodles well. The real mashed potatoes were excellent, just like Mom makes. This was a very solid plate of food. Just like I was expecting here.
Also featured on the show was this Dina Finger. This homemade Twinkie is made on the premises, and was sweeter than it's Hostess cousin. The cake part of this was very good. I was happy that we split this, because it was very sweet.
Red Arrow Diner is what all other diners should strive to be. The menu is extensive, and I wish I could have had more time to explore the rest of it. The prices were not bad at all. My meatloaf was under $9, and the American chop suey was a steal at $7. We both left very stuffed and satisfied. Now we know why there are so many people running in the New Hampshire primary. My new theory is because all the candidates like eating at the Red Arrow.
Out of five ballots, (for obvious reasons), five being best to zero being worst, the Red Arrow Diner get 4 ballots.
For more information on the Red Arrow Diner, click here: http://redarrowdiner.com/default.asp