Monday, September 14, 2009

A New Hampshire Restaurant Perfect for a Fall Day

Article and photo by Eric H.

Bookmark and ShareSome restaurants shine most prominently in the fall. Parker's Maple Barn, in Mason, N.H., fits that autumn dining concept nearly perfectly.

Located in the middle of nowhere -- and with several winding country road leading there -- Parker's Maple Barn requires a nice country drive before landing at the dirt parking lot in front of the old rustic 1800s maple barn and silo. Although we equate maple sugar with the spring, Parker's Maple Barn feels best in the fall. Maybe it's the scenic journey along the way -- is there a better time for New England scenery than in the fall?. Perhaps it's the isolated location with vibrant fall foliage colors surrounding the restaurant. It could be the fall chill in the fresh New Hampshire air. Or the walking foot bridge leading to the quaint Corn Crib country store located on the premises. Here, the scented candle aromas set a pleasing foundation for all the merchandise you love to see during a trip to a country store in the fall: Maple products, jams, gourmet coffee, toys, herbal teas, a folksy book collection, and natural log furniture. They even feature a great Native American section downstairs with arts, clothing and jewelry!

All of this outdoor atmospheric fall splendor, coupled with country store nirvana, would do no good if Parker's food quality disgraced the back roads of southern New Hampshire region. Fortunately, Parker's delivers on its appealing premise with some wonderful breakfast and lunch selections. Inside the cozy dining rooms with antique cow stanchions integrated into handmade wooden tables and antique farm items hanging on the walls, Parker's specializes, predominantly, in maple-oriented selections and "specials" in huge portions.

"Parker's Special" reigns as the most popular dish with two eggs, two pancakes (or one french toast), two bacon strips, two sausages and ham or ham hash in place of all meats, home fries and toast. If you're in the fall spirit, we recommend opting for the pumpkin pancakes (call ahead before driving to Parker's at 603-878-2308 to make sure this tasty pancake is available).

Our favorite lunch item (it's actually a dinner portion) is the sumptuous maple ribs, a half-rack with a unique but fabulous maple taste. Other great lunch choices include the maple baked beans with ham, a maple Swiss burger with maple caramelized onions, and a fresh roast turkey dinner. We also love the flavorful french onion -- it's a meal by itself.

Parker's is sort of like one-stop shopping for the fall: a restaurant with fantastic comfort food, a place that cozily fits into the fall surroundings, and a long journey-to-destination process that allows for some extended views of the beautiful New Hampshire countryside and the fall foliage colors.

Parker's Maple Barn,
1316 Brookline Road,
Mason, N.H.
Tel. (603) 878-2308

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