Price Range: $15-25 (Dinner) | $10-15 (Lunch)
I had just finished an interview at Dartmouth College and even though it was still quite early for dinner, I was starving. Since I was with my dad, I wanted to go to a restaurant that was slightly pricier , but had good local comfort food. We finally settled on Canoe Club for dinner because it seemed like a local college hangout that actually didn’t look dingy, so it earned parental approval.
We got a table near the window, looking out at the local shops. The restaurant had a very rustic appearance, with comfy couches, a bar, a grand piano for night performances, and a big canoe on the ceiling as a lighting installment. What I liked most were the traditional college artifacts on the walls because it reminded me of going into a cabin and added a lot of character to the restaurant.
Like many of the buildings near Dartmouth College, the dark green school colors were used quite a lot.
The waiter was very friendly as he gave us our complementary bread and butter while we looked at the menu. Hanover restaurants’ bread and butter tastes much better than anything I’ve tried in Canada – especially the butter, it’s so soft, creamy, and slightly sweet. I never eat butter, but here, I think I could eat a spoonful of it without even putting it on bread.
My dad decided to get the Northeast Family Farms Cheddar Burger ($11), which came with either fries or greens. Although $11 is on the expensive side for a burger, the local grass-fed beef actually tasted much better than anything else I’ve tried and the burger patty is quite thick. Not only that, they give you the option of getting the patty rare, medium rare, and well-done, which is interesting.
One of the best things about this restaurant are the fries. These are the best fries I have ever tasted, I kind of wish I paid the extra $1 for the sweet potato fries just to try them as well. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with just the right amount of salt.
As for myself, I got the Canoe Club Cheeseburger($13), which was similar to what my dad got, but I think mine had roasted red peppers on the burger. I also got my beef medium rare, so in the center of my burger, there was a small speck of pink.
The tarragon mayo was also very good, I’ve never tried it before but I really liked the savory taste.
The only downside I would say were the greens – I would not recommend getting the greens because they were not that fresh. Some leaves had that slimy, dark texture to them that comes from putting them in the freezer for too long and thawing it out. The dressing they used on the greens also had too much vinegar. Definitely get the fries instead.
Overall, Hanover is a great town with some of the friendliest people I’ve encountered. There are a lot of local restaurants similar to the Canoe Club. Since my dad and I are foreigners, one tip I would suggest is to go to dinner after 5pm, when the parking is free (and yes, it was surprisingly easy to find parking nearby).
I would definitely recommend Canoe Club for anyone who wants to bring their parents to a presentable restaurant that is not as expensive as the Pine Restaurant in Hanover Inn or for anyone who is going on a date.
Akira S. Zhou