I didn’t spend all my time in Chicago at the Catholic Marketing Network, I had to eat sometime so I went to Solano’s Pizza in Libertyville and talked to the Owner Michael Solano

The food was well worth the trip

The Rest of my Catholic Marketing Network posts are here.

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Saturday after doing Conservatively Speaking on WCRN AM 830 and a home show with DaWife we stopped by Dario’s Restorante on River Street Fitchburg a new restaurant that occupies the spot the French Marceau Diner & Variety did for decades.

KODAK Digital Still Camera Years ago this was an area of factories where the French & Greeks from the neighborhood worked with the Italians who came from the other end of town.

Today it’s a much tougher neighborhood than when location at the Corner of River Street & Sheldon street was an intersection point for Greektown, Cleghorn (the French Canadian Section) and Main Street. Most people who come to the street do so for the DQ ice cream stand less than a block away or to visit one of the half-dozen used car dealers in tKODAK Digital Still Camerahe small area.

But when you walk inside you will find an oasis amid an area past its prime. You will find two rooms a back area next to the parking with a mix of tables and wooden booths with a counter station and a Front area with a mixture of booth and a front area with a series of old-fashioned diner stools facing a classic soda dispenser and bar.

Now ambiance is always nice but when it comes down to it what matters is the food. The menu is not large but with more than enough variety to satisfy the hungry diner.

We started with an appetizer called Garlic Twists

The twists were delicious but just as good if not better were the greens that a person might mistake as a garnish but that came sprinkled with cheese and an oil/butter. It was almost a mini side salad that really complimented the twists & Marinara dip.

As it was lunchtime and my wife would be working in a few hours she decided to go with the steak sub.

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While I wanting to try from the dinner menu ordered the classic chicken parmigiana.

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Now while the still images wets the appetite I think the video conveys things even better.

The side Salad with the steak was a surprise. The wife gave me a taste of the veggies and they were of a very high quality.

The pasta was baked rather than boiled, it had a good flavor. The Chicken Breast was a big as it looked and & I found it delicious. The only critique if any would be I’d have liked a bit more tomato sauce.

There were some good dessert selections but my wife did not have the time and after that prodigious chicken breast I had not the capacity for it.

Our meal came to $33 and was more than satisfied for my money.

Now there are a few drawbacks. The Restaurant is only open till 9 PM Mon-Thursday. Till 10 PM Friday & Saturday. (Closed on Sunday) Furthermore the amount of parking available is less that one might desire. The place is not open on Sundays

My verdict?

If Fitchburg is going to come back, we need to reward places like this willing to take a chance on the city and its neighborhood, particularly when they provide a high quality product for a reasonable price.

Dario’s a a good place, it deserves your patronage.

After the Honor Your Oath Rally in NH I joined some friends for a late lunch early supper at the Barley House on Main street in Concord NH

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Tavern is the word for them as they have a wide selection of spirits to satisfy your taste for an adult beverage. Their web sites pushes their burgers and with reason, their menu has a rather interesting selection available. I had the Bison burger, it came with bacon, cheese and fries

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For a little extra Sweet potato fries can be substituted but the regular fries were so good I don’t see any reason to get others.

The Burger was cooked exactly right, the Bison was tasty and as I’ve already said the fries were first-rate. Considering the size of our party (over 20) the service was rather prompt as well.

The burgers were a popular choice at the table, shrimp and brusque were other popular choices but the most interesting thing I found was the Pizza

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It’s been my experience that a lot of Tavern Pizza’s are inferior but this one had respectable size, tasty looking toppings and was at a more that reasonable price and if those sitting next to e are to be believed.

If Burgers and Pizza aren’t your gig, here are plenty of choices from assorted fresh salads to fish to steak, scallops and a curry beer battered Fish & Chips.

My verdict? The Barley House is an excellent and affordable choice if you have reason to visit New Hampshire’s Capital.

Update made a return visit with DaWife, I should mention if you are a whiskey drinker this place is for you:

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My wife had the Buffalo chicken Salad, she loved it

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Is it any wonder that it won this award?

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I’ve had the burgers, believe me they deserve it.

Make sure you get down to the Barley House you won’t regret it.

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After the Mitt Romney Rally Three of us visited Martha’s Exchange in Nashua NH to talk and have a meal We shot two videos, here is what we ordered

It looks good, but the test of a restaurant is after you eat it.

The verdict, the mains were strong, the chocolates are great only the chowder was lacking. restaurant

This is definitely a place worth visiting

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Sunday the family and I went to Happy Jacks a new restaurant on Route 12 in Leominster:

It is a place with a bit of a Caribbean flair

a menu that spans the entire gulf region

and of course a spot where you can grab a beer

No meal at the Happy Jacks is complete without Border Sauce:

As I was doing my live spot for Out With Joe on WROL the food came

I had the Salad and mini Quesadilla

My oldest had the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich:

My youngest the basic burger

And my wife the Sheppard’s Pie

My meal was off the lunch menu that is normally not available on Sunday’s but usually they will make such items available.

It was a good meal, if it had been a sunnier day we could might have been eating outside:

Happy Jack’s is a hop skip and jump off of Route 2 near the Fitchburg Leominster Border.

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And if you can’t get to Leominster, they DO Cater

After a one week hiatus Da Saturday Diners (sponsored by Out with Joe and Cameo productions) returns with Don’s Diner in Leominster:

It’s located right on Route 12 in the same plaza as Buckley’s religious gifts.

The place is quaint with an interesting collection of clocks

And I love an old cash register

As I sat down at the counter I realized that I forgot my reading glasses, no problem at Don’s they have a pair of reading glasses handy

Reading glasses provided by Don's Diner

I had the Pancake eggs and sausage, it was pretty good.

And if you are a lottery player Don’s Carries all the various scratch tickets for you to play.

So if you are near Rte 12 in Leominster head on down to Don’s you won’t regret it

Today’s Saturday Diner is Mario’s Home Field Diner 192 Hamilton Street in Leominster.

It is a small diner that holds about 10 people in their horseshoe-shaped counter and another 34 at tables and booths.

There is a real sports theme on both the local and national level.

But the wall of honor belongs to our servicemen

That’s not a surprise as a Gold Star Father was sitting at the table right behind me.

The Grill area is right in the open so you can see your food cooked:

Breakfast was pretty good, I particularly liked the bacon

So come on down to Hamilton street Leominster and give yourself a taste of Mari’s Home Field diner.

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All business and politics and no fun makes DaTechGuy a dull boy so Joe and I made a stop at O’Connor’s restaurant in Worcester Mass. on rte 12

As the name suggests it’s a very Irish place with a very Irish menu, but there are plenty of choices outside of the blarney stone:

So if you are looking for a good meal with an Irish Twist, give O’Connor’s a shot

Today’s Saturday Diner is the West End Diner 247 West Street in Leominster mass.

I was unaware it was an award-winning location:

Best new restaurant 2006

The very first thing I noticed was the giant menu board

Forgot my glasses today but it didn't matter here

All of the specials are in large letters all over the walls, that’s very good since I forgot my glasses again today and must be very handy for any older customers.

Many places to eat have HD TV’s in their places but in a retro move the individual booths have small Monitors with their own controllers.

They are incredibly creative from the individually named stools to the ceiling tiles.

Oh and you’ve heard of “Hungry Man Specials”? Well they have a hungry man special to end all specials:

Now THAT'S a hungry man special!

Of course in the end, the way you judge a diner is the food…

#2 special Sans Watermelon slice $5.75

and the food was GREAT! The eggs were exactly how I like them and the pancakes were better than most. Lots of places tend to give you giant pancakes with a small taste, these are normal sized pancakes with an over-sized taste.

Without a question this place makes my top three Diners since I’ve began the feature. I very much recommend it.

Today’s Diner is the Fitchburg Airport Restaurant located just below the control tower at Fitchburg Airport

tower and restaurant

If you’re not careful you might miss the restaurant part

As you might guess there is a definite airplane theme within

And the view attracts families who come to watch the planes takeoff and land

The view from a window seat

that would account for the amazing selection of Pancake combinations

Pancakes galore for the kids

But like any restaurant the star is the food

2 eggs sausage and toast for me, French Toast and Bacon for DaWife

And the verdict is good. One oddity they give three slightly smaller patties for sausage rather than two larger ones, but no matter how you like your sausage, you will like the Fitchburg Airport Restaurant.