A Ride Through the White Mountains

Posted by Donna on 8:22 PM with No comments
June 21, 2014

The skies were blue, the temperature peaked at more than 60 degrees (finally) and we readied ourselves for a sprint through the White Mountains to Littleton, New Hampshire.

Scores of bikers rumble across the White Mountains, and why not. The road is amazing, the panoramic scenery spectacular and for the fearless, there's no helmet law.

We rolled into Littleton, New Hampshire mid-afternoon. Located just north of Franconia Notch, Littleton is loaded with charm and its Main Street was named one of America’s best main streets by the Huffington Post in January 2014. We meandered down this slice of Americana, past the Littleton Diner, an old-school mainstay since 1928, eclectic shops and boutiques (I got a great new pair of earrings from Art to Go), and we resisted the urge to peruse the world's longest candy counter in Chutters. The Thayer Hotel is a Littleton landmark, as is the Jax Jr. Theatre, which premiered "The Great Lie" starring Bette Davis' in 1941 (Bette came to Littleton to promote the film) and is still in operation today.

We thought Bailiwicks would be a great place to grab a drink and bite to eat, but sadly, for the second time on our vacation, our first choice was a bad choice - no service - and we walked out. Taking the path to the River District, we headed down to the Schilling Beer Company, where the patio was packed with people in Harley gear. That was all the recommendation we needed.

Schilling offers more beer than food, craft brews coupled with ciders, wines and guest beers. It's got a casual, rustic appeal and a German and European influence clearly noted in its beers and fare. Its location in a converted 18th century grist mill overlooking the Ammonoosuc River only adds to its charm. And a short food menu is not necessarily a bad thing. It means they can do fewer things with a lot more style.

And they do.

We started with the hummus, a light creamy blend spiced with a hint of chipolte, served with chunks of freshly baked artisan bread for dipping. The real decision was between the bratwurst and sauerkraut or one of their Neopolitan style wood-fired pizzas. Jason went with the special - a 12""Steak Bomb" pizza, topped with steak, feta cheese, bacon and red peppers. I went with a more traditional version - with crushed tomato, mozzarella, sausage and red onion. The aroma was phenomenal, but the taste was even better. Hands down, this was the best pizza we've had in a long, long time. And lucky me, I have leftovers for a midnight snack.

Tomorrow we shoot across Vermont on our way to Waterville, New York, and on Monday morning, we're off to Niagara Falls. But before we do, we're having breakfast at the Littleton Diner. We hear the buckwheat pancakes are fabulous, and the homemade corned beef hash is the perfect compliment to your eggs.

Click here to see more pictures!