Sometimes you just have to gas up the car and hit the road for some epic eats. These are Phantom’s 8 Greatest places that are most certainly worth the drive.
Kicking off the Great 8 is Ballo, inside Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest and best Italian restaurants in New England. The 17,000 square-foot space features stone columns and soaring arches, reminiscent of a Roman cathedral. Their tableside mac and cheese is just as impressive. They wheel out a wheel of Grana cheese, light it on fire to melt the cheese, and mix it all up while you watch.
The Jerk Café
The Jerk Cafe in South Yarmouth on the Cape is a small hole in the wall, serving Jamaican style fare that’s full of flavor. Just as bold as the signature jerk chicken, is the personality of owner and head cook Chef Shrimpy. Shrimpy has been perfecting his signature jerk sauce for some time, so if you make the trip, it’s something you definitely have to try.
The Bull Run
Located about 50 miles northwest of Boston in the small town of Shirley, Massachusetts. The Bull Run is a restaurant, function hall, and concert venue with a long history. It’s been in operation continuously since 1740, and these days they’re known for serving inventive fare like Irish nachos or truffled Cabot cheddar popcorn. Plus, it’s tough to beat their classic recipe for slow-roasted prime rib. Their recipe for the full pound of beef hasn’t changed in 70 years.
Sandwich Master in Rindge, New Hampshire is the home of some of the most oversized, overstuffed sandwiches Phantom has ever found. There’s the Sandwich Master Comfort loaded up with gooey mac n cheese, pulled pork and barbecue sauce; or the Sloppy Mac Crazy, a heap of homemade Sloppy Joe mix layered between two mac n cheese sandwiches. If that’s not crazy enough for you, order the Grilled Cheese Crazy, a mountain of roast beef, lettuce and cheese served between two grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches.
Bernie’s Dining Depot
Bernie’s Dining Depot in Chicopee is a family run restaurant located in an old train car that’s been serving locomotive sized meals for decades. While all the food is great, the dish that’s worth the mileage is a big slab of Bernie’s perfectly cooked prime rib. Sizes range from the Caboose, weighing in at a pound and a half, to the Regular, which is two and a half pounds. Diehards always go for the Conductor’s Cut, which weighs about 3 and a half pounds of deliciousness.
Hart’s Turkey Farm
Since 1954, Hart’s Turkey Farm in Meredith, NH has been serving up Thanksgiving style meals year round, with tender turkey, sensational stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and squash that taste truly home-cooked. You won’t feel like a turkey making the trip, when you feast on a menu lined with comfort foods at prices so low, you can afford the gas back home.
Rye & Thyme
Located in the heart of Downtown Leominster, Rye & Thyme is a big, bustling tavern that pays homage to American spirits, craft beers, fresh shucked shellfish, and juicy meats – like the Black Angus Delmonico cooked over a blazing hot wood grill. If that doesn’t get you into your car and on your way, the Yukon Potato Skins smothered with duck confit, shitake mushrooms, green onion, melted Gouda, and truffle oil just might.
This is the number one restaurant road trip every New Englander needs to make at least once in their lives. The Nordic Lodge in Charleston, Rhode Island is a culinary destination that’s as memorable as it is filling. From April through December, the hungriest humans from all over the Northeast make a pilgrimage to this remote restaurant to eat, and eat, and eat. Their ultra-luxurious, over one hundred item, Viking Buffet is highlighted by all you can eat lobster and king crab, along with unlimited shrimp, prime rib, filet mignon, and Haagan-Dazs ice cream sundaes.
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