Thirsty Moose – NH
Thirsty Moose Taphouse – NH: 21 Congress St, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Walking around Portsmouth, NH is a lot of fun and helps create a hefty appetite, and luckily we found Thirsty Moose. My niece Charlotte and her husband Mark were showing me around the town as it had been some time since we were last there with Jerry. The good thing is there are a fantastic amount of places where you can grab a bite to eat. You have a selection of fancier, more upscale restaurants, bars and taprooms, fast-casual, all the way down to fast food.
After tiring ourselves out with the various options, we came across the Thirsty Moose Taphouse. This taphouse is a locally-owned chain with five locations in New Hampshire currently. You can find over 100 beers on tap along with live music on some nights. There was another restaurant in this location before, but it was nice to see such a fun and vibrant place take over.
Thirsty Moose The Restaurant:
Once inside Thirsty Moose, we were immediately greeted by two employees with smiles on their faces. Such a warm welcome to their establishment. One of them guided us over to the high-top table, which was ideally situated to see the bar area and all the TVs but also had a great view into the main dining hall and stage area.
Outside is a decent number of picnic-style tables with umbrellas for those warm sunny days in summer. Inside you will find a moderate size bar area along one wall and several high-top tables along the other wall. Eventually, the room opens up to a mix of table types and another bar area with a massive TV in front and several along the walls.
On the menu at Thirsty Moose, you will find an excellent selection of appetizers or, as they like to call them, Beer Bites. There is a spinach artichoke dip, fried pickles and peppers, wings, poutine fries, nachos, and a few more.
We chose to try out the Bavarian Pretzel. As you can see from the photo below, this thing is a giant Bavarian Style Pretzel. It is nice and soft inside, but a nice crunchy crust outside served with their own house-made Guinness grain mustard and Boursin beer cheese.
The three of us thought that the beer cheese was the best to accompany it, but you could not go wrong with either the mustard or the cheese. If you love soft pretzels as I do, you will want to get this as your starter! We only ate about half of it, knowing that there was an actual meal to be coming out for us to enjoy as well.
Thirsty Moose Main Dishes:
We’ll start our main dishes from Thirsty Moose with Mark. He was the healthy one of the group and chose to get the Cobb Salad. They served it with romaine and mixed greens, bacon, chicken, avocado, hard-boiled egg, tomato, red onions, and gorgonzola crumbles. Mark also ordered a side of beef tips to put on his salad. He chose a balsamic vinaigrette as the dressing. He enjoyed it very much and said that he would order it again. Just be aware that the beef tips are not always available for lunch, so you will want to ask.
For my entree, I went big with the Steak Tips and Tenders. You get six pieces of fried chicken tenders served with steakhouse marinated steak tips, house-made coleslaw, and seasoned french fries. You even got to choose two different sauces for dipping, and I went with BBQ and honey mustard.
The tips were seasoned perfectly and cooked to perfection. I could have done with fewer chicken tenders, but the ones I ate were delicious. The breading was nothing special and could have been crispier, but still very enjoyable. There was so much food that I could not eat it all. The coleslaw was nice and creamy the way I like it, and the french fries were a hit with the table, with the seasoning adding a little extra flavor.
Finally, Charlotte had the Buffalo Chicken Caesar wrap. This sandwich from Thirsty Moose is made of grilled chicken breast seasoned and tossed in their house-made mild buffalo sauce. They include romaine lettuce, asiago cheese, and a house-made Caesar dressing. A dill pickle spear and fries accompanied her wrap. The mix of flavors created a nice explosion in her mouth of taste, and she would have this sandwich again on a future visit.