Gorging in Gorham, New Hampshire

We were looking to spend a night someplace on the way between our stay in the White Mountains and our next destination of Camden/Rockland/Rockport, Maine. We weren’t hoping for much; a clean, comfortable, quiet places to stay and a basic edible meal would have fulfilled our expectations.

We almost got what we hoped for in a motel. Food, however, was an entirely different situation. After quizzing our host on all of the town’s best dining options, we selected five that merited closer inspection. We walked to each, looked at their menus and took a peak at the ambiance. After being tempted by a BBQ and a pub, we discovered Libby’s Bistro. While dining, another couple, an Atlanta couple that frequently visits Gorham to see a friend, told us that we had to make time for breakfast at another of the town’s “culinary institutions—the Moonbeam Café.

  • Libby’s Bistro has an engaging, casual atmosphere and a menu that suggests food that is far more complex and interesting than one would expect in an old, former logging-based mountain town. I decided it was the time and place for a steak. After a rather basic salad came a giant, incredibly tender (actually more like “creamy”), perfectly medium-rare 14-oz. rib eye that was served with creamy chive potatoes and a mélange of lightly sautéed green vegetables. Joyce had a pleasant (if not particularly memorable) fresh grilled salmon with red potatoes and the same other accompaniments as I. The meals were accompanied by a serviceable Merlot.
  • Moonbeam Café – a charming breakfast establishment with pressed tin walls and ceiling and an old-fashioned oak-appointed bathroom, complete with pull-chain toilet. The food was even more interesting. I had crispy French Toast (one with Portuguese sweet bread and the other with pumpkin walnut bread) with blueberry compote. Joyce had blueberry pancakes with maple syrup. Although both were delicious, neither of us could possibly finish them after the previous night’s dinner. This, however, did not stop us (or should I say me) from finishing the house specialty side—a ”smashy”, essentially a whipped potato pancake infused with cheese and bacon bits.

Although I wouldn’t exactly deem Gorham to be a “destination”, it is absolutely worth a stop if you find yourself in the area. We can practically guarantee that you will enjoy at least one of the two restaurants. The challenge, however, appears (at least from our experience) is in finding a place to stay between dinner and breakfast.

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