Peking Tokyo, Lebanon, New Hampshire

Posted by annabelle On June - 10 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

I’ve been a lover of Peking Tokyo since before we moved to New Hampshire. Six years ago it was an hour-away destination, our favorite place to get sushi. Over the years and several sushi bars later, I still prefer Peking Tokyo over the big names around here like Koto. They are both a Chinese and Japanese restaurant which is great for dueling appetites, but I’m usually there for the sushi. This place is humble-definitely not flashy, and some might balk at its timid layout and design, but for me it’s about the food! This is your basic Chinese-Japanese menu as well, so don’t expect anything wild or trendy.

spicy tuna maki

The staff at Peking Tokyo is very warm and friendly, and since we go so often (once a week at least) the waitstaff has pretty much memorized our favorite dishes and gives us that knowing grin. I prefer maki rolls, and while I like almost any variation I’m on a spicy tuna kick at the moment. Yes, not traditional Japanese, but so very delicious. Different restaurants have their own way of making this, and Peking Tokyo drizzles their addictive spicy sauce on the top of the maki instead of mixing it directly with the tuna. It makes a beautiful presentation.  The addition of panko bread crumbs combined with the creamy avocado, toasty sesame seeds and tangy fish roe is heavenly. Aside from the specialty hand rolls, over the years I have tried all of their sushi and maki and they know what they’re doing over there. I personally don’t like red snapper or yellow tail, but I can’t NOT recommend anything off their menu.

spicy tuna alaskan maki

Now, for the prices! How much will a lunch or dinner set you back? In this rare case, “you get what you pay for” does not apply. It’s a mere $6.95 for their maki lunch  special- a dollar more if you want regular sushi, and their enormous bento box is just $8.95. Fast forward to dinner, and their most expensive sushi dish is still only $29.95 and it serves two. As for the Chinese menu, everything falls well below $20, most in the $10-14 range unless you order the roasted duck for $27.


I could probably write all day long about how much I adore Peking Tokyo. It’s small, very quiet, cozy, with flavorful dishes with quality ingredients. It’s a crime to pass up this place!

Weathervane, West Lebanon, NH

Posted by annabelle On May - 25 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

weathervane west lebanon nh

Weathervane has been our tried-and-true dinner destination for years, but my husband and I usually don’t sit down for lunch there. Last week we were quite hungry and driving by the restaurant, and we made an impromptu stop.

If you live in New England (or on the east coast and like to travel) you’ve probably been to Weathervane and you know that it’s a chain restaurant. But as far as chain restaurants go, I find them a bit less kitsch than Applebee’s or Chili’s. I have heard people compare it to Spongebob Squarepants’ Krusty Krab, but that’s fine by me. Weathervane is definitely not a place to be taken too seriously.

Walking into the restaurant, we see the usual hanging wooden sea creatures and nautical knick-knacks. (Cue the Mr. Krabs jokes in 3,2,1..) It’s also kind of dim in there, which makes me wonder if their angle is to make us feel like we’re eating from the inside of a lobster boat. We sat down at one of the many large sorta-rustic-ish wooden tables and were able to get our drink orders in quickly. The waitress was prompt and knew the menu well. I mentioned before that we usually go for dinner. I generally order the chicken strips and fries for dinner because the portion size for the price (under $12) is so ridiculously huge that there’s always more than enough to take home, and I’m a big fan of leftovers. This time for lunch I ordered the grilled salmon sandwich at my husband’s recommendation, and he ordered the fried calamari. He usually gets some type of seafood when we go to Weathervane, and growing up in Maine has made him a good judge of what seafood is good and what stinks (sometimes literally). We’ve never been disappointed with the quality of the Weathervane seafood.
When we got our lunch, I was very pleasantly surprised at the size of the salmon sandwich. The fillet was at least 5 oz.- probably more. It was grilled with a beautiful crunchy char on the outside and nice and flaky on the inside, and though the waitress had kindly warned me about the Cajun seasoning it wasn’t overpowering. The sandwich was almost too big for me to finish, and for $9.99 I thought it was a great value. The fries were okay, although I don’t like how they always resist any amount of salting and actually seem to repel it. I respect calamari but can’t stand the texture of it so I didn’t eat any, but my husband enjoyed every last bit of them.
Despite the franchisey aspect and the indisputable fact that the restaurant’s design is pretty corny, Weathervane is one of my favorite chains. The seafood is fresh, the service is good and the menu is priced very reasonably.  Although it’s mostly a seafood restaurant I know plenty of people who just plain don’t like seafood, and Weathervane accomodates by offering steak, burgers, chicken and pasta as well. Good deals, good dishes!