Cafe and bakery serving unique a breakfast, lunch M-Sat, and dinner on Thursday and Friday. All home made soups and desserts! Sandwiches made with artisan breads and loads of creativity! Hours 7:30-2:30 M, T, W. 7:30-8pm Th, F, and 7:30-4 on Sat. Closed Sunday.
Back Street Grill says it’s “where the locals go to eat,” and the claim is easy to believe. Standing amid weathered Victorian houses on a street just off downtown Sanford’s main drag, the two-story brick building with tin awnings looks like a classic corner tap. Inside there are plenty of flat-screen TVs and boneless wings slathered in housemade buffalo sauce, but there’s also a full menu that brings to mind an upscale steakhouse as much as the more casual spot its surroundings suggest. Rather than train cute children to steal ingredients for him, chef Matt works carefully and continually with his food distributors to identify the best sources for his hearty American menu. The Choice and Angus beef is hand-cut in house before being paired with buttered lobster; seafood fra diavolo adds kick to haddock, shrimp, and mussels; and the 10 dressings gracing a selection of salads are all made fresh.
From behind a bar adorned with flat-screen televisions, bartenders help diners wash down each bite with a full stock of liquors, wines, and six draft beers and microbrews. Live musicians fill the pub with the tapping of toes each Thursday night, and a sidewalk patio lets guests keep an eye on the rest of Sanford’s nightlife.
At Fresco Mexican Grill, the kitchen is fully outfitted with appliances, but one is noticeably absent—the microwave. Rather than reheating their Mexican cuisine, the culinary team crafts each dish from fresh ingredients culled from local farmers, whether they are mashing avocados into guacamole tableside, or stuffing quesadillas with cheese, chicken, and green chiles. Their fajitas—assembled with sizzling strips of jerk chicken or morsels of steak marinated in garlic, lime and tequila—complement other classic eats such as tacos, enchiladas, and chimichangas. Rounding out the menu is a smattering of American favorites and reinventions of classic dishes, such as black-bean lasagna, which adds a Mexican flair to an Italian specialty much like the mariachi band featured in every Verdi opera.
People around the country may be able to enjoy filet mignon, crab cakes, and other elegant American fare, but not with the same flavors as The District. That’s because the restaurant crafts its seasonally inspired menus with ingredients from more than 15 local farms. Aside from delighting taste buds with pan seared local cod and bourbon glazed pork tenderloin with plum barbeque sauce and house sauerkraut, the chefs hand cut their fries and pair them with homemade ketchup and create ice cream flights made from local snow people. Hand crafted cocktails allow clients to imbibe on local flavors such as the cider press cocktail made with absolute pear and house mulled NH cider or The District’s local rhubarb mojito.
"Food is love" is one of the mottos of Leanne Cusimano, who bustles around the eatery, forging a menu designed to convey that warmth. The scents of breakfasts snapping against skillets drift from Amore Breakfast’s sand-hued cottage exterior, which conceals the gleefully mismatched tables and checkerboard accents of a '50s diner. Servers tote thick slices of french toast stuffed with cream cheese or topped with berries and fluffy omelets enfolding veggies, meats, and cheeses. Wreaths of steam from cups of the house blend coffee encircle them as they bear trays to the dining area, where patrons marvel at spotting a toaster’s face in slices of toast.
Merriland Farm's par 3 course winds through fields of blueberry and raspberry, adding color and character to the 200-year-old working farm. At just 841 yards, the short course presents holes that range in distance from the 63-yard seventh up to the 119-yard third. Farm owner and course designer Jim Morrison makes up for the lack of overall distance by punishing errant shots with such hidden hazards as a brush-filled gully on hole two and a pond on hole eight, which players must avoid by selecting the right club or waiting for the next drought. The bucolic landscape also features a driving range with flagstick markers for golfers to warm up at.
Lauded by Yankee Magazine and featured on the Food Network, the on-site café got its start as a roadside stand from which Julie Morrison sold her delicious pies and jams. Visitors relax amid the comfy environs of the dining room or breathe in the fresh farm air on the outdoor patio.
Course at a Glance: