Triple treat

Gov’t Mule plays Pink Floyd; Led Zeppelin opens

In terms of bang for buck, it’s hard to beat the upcoming Gov’t Mule show at Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion. It includes guitarist Warren Haynes leading his band through an opening set including familiar tracks and up to half a dozen songs from Peace… Like a River, their just released gem of an album. Without a break, they’ll morph into Pink Floyd, reviving Dark Side of the Mule with enough lasers and lights to transform the audience back to the 1970s.

Gov’t Mule is bringing back the show, first performed at Boston’s Orpheum Theatre on Halloween 2008, to mark Dark Side of the Moon’s 50th anniversary. They aren’t playing the classic 1973 album from start to finish, though they’ll touch on a lot of it. Rather, they’ll draw from the entirety of Floyd’s catalog, from Meddle to The Wall.

On “Have a Cigar” drummer Matt Abts changes one lyric to, “Oh, by the way, which one’s the Mule?” In other words, this is a tribute, but stamped clearly by the band performing it.

“It’s a tough line to draw because we want to be very reverent and respectful of the original versions,” Warren Haynes said by phone recently. “At the same time, there’s no point in just copying it…. If we can’t do it our own way, then there’s really no reason to do it.”

Halloween cover shows are a Mule tradition. “We do some crazy theme and give ourselves permission to play somebody else’s music,” Haynes explained. But when fans began clamoring for a release of the Boston Floyd set, it surprised them a bit. “In the past, we’ve only done it once and never looked back.”

On this tour, Mule — Haynes, Abts, David Louis on keys and new bassist Kevin Scott — is joined by Jackie Greene on guitar and vocals and saxophone player Joe Holloway. Machan Taylor and Sophia Ramos on backing vocals add an authentic stamp. “Machan toured with Pink Floyd, and she was on the original live recording … that started this whole thing,” Haynes said.

As expected, the set list changes from night to night, though not as much as Gov’t Mule switches things up, with nuggets and familiar tracks.

“You’ll dig it if you’re not a hardcore Floyd fan, but if you are, you’ll dig it as well,” Haynes said. We’re trying to cover a lot of ground, especially the stuff that we connect with, that we feel we can capture and make our own thing.”

Led Zeppelin, in the form of Jason Bonham’s tribute to his father’s classic rock band, opens the packed night. For Haynes, the combined Zep/Floyd punch is a lot of fun. “His band is great, let’s start with that,” he said. “They came to Island Exodus, the Jamaica destination event that we do every January. Jason and I, and Jason and Gov’t Mule, have played together in the past. When it got brought up, everybody seemed to think that from a fan perspective it would be fantastic.”

Tucked between the classic rock songs is some of the band’s best work in years. During the pandemic Haynes experienced a creative tsunami that produced two albums, the Grammy-nominated Heavy Load Blues and Peace… Like A River. Both were done at the same time in late 2021 at Power Station New England. A big room was set up for the new songs, and a smaller studio was equipped with vintage gear for making blues.

“We didn’t wear headphones; I was just singing through a small monitor like we [were] in a little club or something,” Haynes said of the setting for Heavy Load. “We would go in around noon and work on Peace… Like A River till about 9 p.m., then take a dinner break and then move next door and play blues the rest of the night.”

Songs like “Made My Peace,” “Same As It Ever Was” and “Peace I Need” are reflective, brimming with the sense that it was a crossroads moment of sorts for Haynes. On the other hand, there’s hope on the gospel-tinged “Just Across the River,” which has Celisse guesting, and “Dreaming Out Loud,” with co-lead vocals from Haynes, Ruthie Foster and Ivan Neville. The latter includes samples John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and other inspirational leaders.

“I love the way that turned out,” Haynes said. “It made sense to have different voices singing these different quotes.”

He added that lyrically there’s a balance leaning toward better days. “I didn’t want to go into some dark place that I’d be uncomfortable confronting years down the line. I wanted to think of it more like an awakening … moving forward, getting past the challenges,” Haynes said. “A lot of the songs are written about the search for inner peace and awakenings and reckonings within yourself. Some of it is very universal and a lot of it even has a positive message. But it’s more about coming to terms with how to move forward when things are a bit dire, you know?”

Gov’t Mule w/ Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening
When: Thursday, Aug. 17, 7 p.m.
Where: Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, 72 Meadowbrook Lane, Gilford
Tickets: $25 and up at

Featured photo: Gov’t Mule. Photo by David Simchock.

The Music Roundup 23/08/10

Local music news & events

Treble effort: There’s history and the occasional “Blue Rondo a La Turk” in Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play. It’s not just that the trio’s leader is the son of an iconic figure in the jazz world. Bass and pianist Brubeck and harmonica player/guitarist Peter Madcat Ruth have played together since 1969. Guitarist Joel Brown was in Crofut & Brubeck starting in the mid-’90s, with the three coming together in 1999. Thursday, Aug. 10, 7 p.m., Sawyer Center Theater, 37 Academy Quad, New London, $25 at

The champions: More than a few singalongs will happen when Kings of Queen take the stage for a two-night Lakes Region stand. Front man Emo Alaeddin is a Freddie Mercury look- and sound-alike on “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Radio Gaga” and other hits. Thursday, Aug. 10, and Friday, Aug. 11, 8 p.m., Lakeport Opera House, 781 Union Ave., Laconia, $40 and up at

Funny man: Before gaining fame as an actor, Kevin Pollak was a standup comic. Pollak’s act was packed with spot-on impressions; his Peter Falk as Colombo was particularly brilliant, as were his Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy. Then came The Usual Suspects and A Few Good Men, . Lately, he was in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as Moishe Maisel, winning two Emmys on the hit show. Saturday, Aug. 12, 7:30 pm., Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St., Manchester, $59 and up at

Swing kings: After three decades as a band, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is still performing with its original core lineup. The Ventura, California, group shot to stardom with an appearance in the mid-’90s movie Swingers. They continue to tour relentlessly, offering an energetic and rousing mix of jazz, swing, and Dixieland. Sunday, Aug. 13, 7 p.m., Tupelo Music Hall, 10 A St., Derry, $45 at

Dynamic duo: Another free outdoor show has Cold Chocolate, the pairing of Ethan Robbins on vocals and strings along with percussionist, banjo player and singer Ariel Bernstein. The Boston-based band are critical darlings; Simon Waxman of the Boston Review raved that their music “sounds softer than the dew on the mountainside, harder than a Harley pushing back red dust, sweeter than true love.” Tuesday, Aug. 15, 6:30 p.m., Angela Robinson Bandstand, Community Park (Main Street), Henniker; more at

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (PG)

The pizza-loving turtles dream of a Ferris Bueller-like high school experience and hope heroics that go viral will help them get it in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, a delightful animated movie.

Delightful movie and delightfully animated — Mutant Mayhem has a sketchbook visual style that can give us the individual scribbles coloring in a moon and can give the turtles the kind of heft that at times almost looks claylike. It’s a nice nod to the characters and their (Dover, N.H.!) comic book beginnings and it makes for a visual experience with a real stickers-on-a-boom-box, skateboard-art energy that fits with the urban setting of the story. And it’s nice that this elevated approach to animation is part of a very kid-friendly tale.

If you’ve seen any TMNT property before, you know the basics: Ooze from a lab made it into the sewers and turned 20-something rat Splinter (voice of Jackie Chan) and baby turtles Leonardo (voice of Nicolas Cantu), Donatello (voice of Micah Abbey), Michelangelo (voice of Shamon Brown Jr.) and Raphael (voice of Brady Noon) into mutants that eventually grow big, can talk and, when Splinter decides they need to learn to defend themselves, learn martial arts. Now teenagers, the turtles live with Splinter, their dad, in the sewer, where he says they must stay to be safe from humanity. But the turtles take lots of side trips on their shopping runs for toilet paper and Cool Ranch Doritos, gazing longingly at a movie-in-the-park screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and wishing they too could go to high school.

When an errant, turtle-thrown ninja star hits the helmet of human teen April O’Neil (voice of Ayo Edebiri), the turtles find themselves going after her scooter, which was stolen while she was distracted with yelling at them. April finally gets a good look at the turtles and, after a bit of screaming, the gang chats over pepperoni pizza. The turtles are shocked that a human accepts them; April points out that she’s probably more inclined to see beyond their exterior weirdness because they helped her get her scooter back. Thus begins a plan: April is trying to track down the villain Superfly (voice of Ice Cube), whose series of crimes have led to a curfew and a canceling of her school’s prom. If the turtles help her take down this criminal and she records it, they will all become heroes and the turtles will find the danke schoen of their dreams — at least, this is the plan.

Turns out Superfly is a literal fly — a mutant housefly at the head of a gang of mutants (bat, frog, rhino, cockroach, Seth Rogen-voiced warthog, etc.) from the same lab that made the turtles’ ooze. This makes the turtles’ job to defeat the bad guys and go viral saving the day a lot more complicated than they’d planned.

Superfly and Splinter both have a deep distrust of humanity and a desire to keep their found families safe — this element adds just enough depth to the overall story to give older audience members something to hang on to (in addition to the previously mentioned truly delightful animation). But overall this movie feels very kid-accessible, in the best way. April O’Neil isn’t a polished newsperson — she’s a writer for her high school paper with a sole unfortunate stint on her school’s TV network that she’s trying to live down. She has her own insecurities and awkwardness but she can also execute a good “eye roll, teenage boys” when the turtles are getting a little too high on their own supposed crime-fighting awesomeness. And the turtles do have a very young teenagerness to them, all full of bravado, big if vague dreams, emotions they don’t quite have a handle on and general kid-like goofiness. Yes, their adventures do eventually take them to a superhero-standard “save the city” place but a lot of their goals involve basic acceptance — Michaelangelo’s desire to join the high school comedy improv club, for example.

Some of the mutant-on-mutant violence might be scary for some of the youngest kids — as might some of the human-on-mutant violence (there is a secondary team of villains who are humans and led by a character voiced by Maya Rudolph). But my mid-elementary-school-age-and-up kids seemed to get into this movie’s bouncy humor and action, lots of big laughs from them and plenty of laughs from the adults in the audience. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem has an overall enjoyable scrappy sensibility. B+

Rated PG for sequences of violence and action, language and impolite material, according to the MPA on Directed by Jeff Rowe and Kyler Spears with a screenplay by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg & Jeff Rowe and Dan Hernandez & Benji Samit, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is an hour and 39 minutes long and is distributed in theaters by Paramount Pictures.

Featured photo: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.

Save What’s Left, by Elizabeth Castellano

Save What’s Left, by Elizabeth Castellano (Anchor, 304 pages)

When Kathleen Deane’s cardiologist husband of 30 years decides to move out because of a “paradigm shift,” she experiences her own.

She decides to move from the suburbs of Kansas City to a New York beach town where a childhood friend is happily ensconced on a 50-acre potato farm, “unironically wearing overalls and aprons” and painting everything that doesn’t move white. Ten years near the sea have made this formerly free spirit of a friend “downright wholesome.” And Kathleen is convinced that by moving there, she, too, will find the sort of bliss her husband thinks he will find on a ’round-the-world cruise and then living in an RV.

What she finds, however, is a McMansion under construction next to the ocean-view shack that she purchased on the recommendation of a real-estate agent. And a life that is not quite what she envisioned.

This is not a tragedy, however, but pure comedy, a book-length stand-up routine with a punchline every few minutes. It’s Elizabeth Castellano’s comic distillation of her life growing up in a beach town on a peninsula in New York’s Suffolk County, where, as in the novel, development threatens to swallow much of the town’s character and charm.

In Save What’s Left, the fictional town is called Whitbey, and Kathleen is unwittingly absorbed into its drama when she buys a “Save What’s Left” bumper sticker at a local shop without knowing what it really means, and donates to a “community fund” that is funding something quite the opposite of what she imagined.

Whitbey is beautiful, as promised, but upon close inspection, there is much drama seething among the locals, making the hostilities of a typical suburban HOA seem docile by comparison.

The instigators seem to be a group of women known as the “Bay Mission,” who walk by Kathleen’s house every morning at exactly 7:16, so strict is their routine. When Kathleen gets on their mailing list, she deems the group something of a cult, despite its benign activities such as cleaning up the beach and creating a community zen garden. Every time Kathleen gets an email from the group, she says, “I half expect it to include a recipe for turning all the children of Whitbey into mice.”

But Kathleen herself is turning into a different person than she was when she arrived in Whitbey. Having tired of collecting orange jingle shells on the beach, she has turned her energies to questioning the legality of the ever-growing house under construction next to hers, which is constantly raining debris in her yard. She throws herself into anti-McMansion advocacy, writing a column for the local paper (that is hilariously rewritten by the editor) and showing up at every town council meeting, aided by a local man who had no interest in her cause but apparently wanted to be on television and likes the attention.

Meanwhile, Kathleen’s husband, who had been sending her postcards and gifts during his paradigm-changing trip around the world, turns up unexpectedly in an Airstream, with nowhere else to go.

Kathleen, who had said of her husband, “I don’t want to sound unkind, but, if a man leaves you in search of adventure, you want that man to choke to death on a deep-fried cricket in Beijing. You just do,” isn’t happy about this but allows him to camp in the driveway and use her electricity, not unlike the Griswold family’s Cousin Eddie. (It is, Kathleen reflects, the secret to a good marriage or a good divorce: “Someone needs to live in the driveway.”) Soon after, the monstrosity next door is finally finished and shows up on AirBnB as “Seaside Retreat. Modern Wonder.” (It has, after all, “four outdoor showers, five bathrooms, two washing machines, two full kitchens, and a waterfall.”)

At times the hijinks threaten to devolve into National Lampoon-style slapstick, but Castellano set out to write an anti-beach read, meaning one that slyly makes fun of typical beach reads while exaggerating the foibles of beach town life. She does this spectacularly. She also is a master of hilarious apropos-of-nothing asides, such as a running storyline about a Christmas card and letter that Kathleen and her family gets every year from someone they don’t know. (After her husband left, Kathleen was quick to send the letter-writer a card with her new address so that she gets the future Christmas cards in the divorce.)

Save What’s Left is a romp in the sun and sand, albeit without the physical irritants of sun and sand. It’s all fun, especially if you’ve ever loved a beach town, or thought about moving to one. And in that case, it’s also a warning.

As Kathleen says in the opening of the book: “I’m now the kind of horrible person who genuinely cares about what so-and-so had to say about the traffic from the chowder festival. I’m the kind of person who has an opinion about whether the beach sticker should be placed on the front or rear bumper of the car. I know more than one person named Bunny. … I’m that kind of person. The worst kind of person. I’m a beach person.” A

Album Reviews 23/08/10

Huey Lewis & The News, Sports [vinyl reissue] (Capitol Records)

I know right, 40 years late, but hey man, this is an actual reissue on vinyl, and another notable aspect of this occasion is the fact that I’ve never reviewed a Huey Lewis record, unless I have, but I doubt it. Anyway, Lewis’ pull quote from the press release for this one goes, “In the early ’80s, there was no internet, no alternative scene, and really only one avenue to success; a hit single on CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio)” and blah blah blah, out of touch much, and plus some nonsense about the band producing this album themselves and such, which I don’t believe for a millisecond, but at any rate, for the benefit of all the millennials I see grumbling on social media about how much better the ’80s were, this album is solid proof that they weren’t, because you had to hear this album’s singles everywhere you went on this planet, from the beep-beep dingbat-pop megahit “Heart Of Rock n Roll” and its evil twin, “I Want a New Drug” to the mindless heavy rock-riffed “Heart and Soul” and the doo-wop pandering of “If This Is It.” So, young folks, if you want to know what 1985 sounded like, it was this: If you weren’t being subjected to the eleventy-zillionth listen of one of the singles from Michael Jackson’s Thriller (the only album to beat this one, sales-wise, that year), it was one of these monstrosities, so really, count your blessings. B

Girlschool, WTFortyfive? (Silver Lining Music)

No, the titular “forty-five” here doesn’t reference Donald Trump, it’s a reminder that this British all-female heavy metal band has been at it for 45 years, exhibiting a knack for technical-enough riffing of a Judas Priest-ish bent all the while, meaning that they’re better musicians than the guys in, say, Saxon, for example, which isn’t supposed to matter anyway in this era of so-called “another politics,” in which activists and such are expected to stop disrespecting others based on anachronistic power levels and whatnot, in other words it doesn’t really matter whether it’s a guy or a girl shredding on guitar, it just is. A noble thing, that, but opening tune “It Is What It Is” is the most generic ’80s-metal track I’ve heard since the entire B-side of the original Fright Night soundtrack. “Cold Dark Heart” is cool, though, a grinder about vampires I think, but, in a move to negate any credibility they could have attained otherwise, the band brought in Saxon frontman Biff Byford to holler a few syllables in the tosser “Born To Raise Hell.” Ah well. B


• Aug. 11 is a Friday, which is as good an excuse as any for bands and artistes to put out albums, like the ones we will discuss today in this multiple-award-winning column! I haven’t won an award for my in-depth music journalism since 2007 or thereabouts, so if any reader out there is up for handing out an award, I’d be glad to hear from you, but what would be even better would be someone from New Hampshire Chronicle getting in touch with me for a long-overdue interview; I’d be glad to talk to them and discuss my decades as a rock journalist, especially if it meant that I’d get the chance to maybe run into Fritz Wetherbee at the WMUR snack machine and “totally accidentally” touch his awesome bow tie, and maybe chat with him about my adventures hunting antiques in Warren, N.H., and all the chickens that run around loose in the town, anecdotes I’d gladly allow him to use on his show! With regard to what new rock ‘n’ roll albums I’d suggest Fritz listen to, it’s hard to say, because if he insists on listening to proven great music like Jerry Lee Lewis and Bo Diddley, there’s not much I could offer the esteemed Nashuan this week aside from the latest record from The Hives, The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons! The Hives are, of course, one of the few bands born during the aughts that’s worth even listening to, mostly because, hey, imagine five Swedish dudes who think they’re Jerry Lee Lewis, or the guy from The Cramps, or whichever. Honestly if Fritz and I were at the beach enjoying some cheap beach-stand chop suey right now, I would play the new single from this album, “Bogus Operandi,” in the car, and just crank it until he started bobbing his head over its post-Black Flag punkness. It’d be rad, and then we’d talk about all the ghosts and chickens he’s encountered in our beloved Granite State.

• Ha ha, speaking of Johnny Rotten and whatever, someone tell Fritz Wetherbee that Public Image Ltd. has a new album coming out this Friday, titled End Of World! Boy, I’ll bet my homeboy Fritz would suddenly find his bow tie spinning around like a cartoon Elmer Fudd pinwheel if he heard this new single, “Car Chase,” because it’s a combination of ’80s krautrock and Ozzy Osbourne, sort of, and Johnny’s voice is cracking worse and worse every minute, which actually makes it cool.

• Ack, it’s a day that ends in ‘y,’ so there’s another Neil Young album for me to deal with. Chrome Dreams was supposed to be released in 1977, but it wasn’t. Or not, it seems like YouTube has plenty of video versions of the gentle, breezy, strummy snore-along “Will to Love,” a song that’s decent enough but doesn’t go much of anyplace, not that that’s ever been part of the plan with that dude. Aside from “Ohio” and “Southern Man” I guess. Oh, forget it. Next.

• We’ll end with indie-whatever stalwart Bonnie Prince Billy, who has a new album, Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You, coming out in like 10 or 15 minutes! One of the songs is “She Is My Everything,” and in it he sounds like an off-key Peabo Bryson, and he’s singing over a folk guitar, and then he adds some oboe to make it completely unpalatable. I love all the hot new music jams, folks!

If you’re in a local band, now’s a great time to let me know about your EP, your single, whatever’s on your mind. Let me know how you’re holding yourself together without being able to play shows or jam with your homies. Send a recipe for keema matar. Message me on Twitter (@esaeger) or Facebook (eric.saeger.9).

1922 Watermelon pickles

I could tell that it was an old journal or a scrapbook. It was about 8” by 10”, though it was hard to tell through all the plastic.

“Do you mind if I unwrap it?”

“Knock yourself out.”

It turned out to be a falling-apart scrapbook with more than 150 pages of yellowed newspaper clippings of recipes, most of which seemed extremely old.

“How much were you thinking?”

“Five dollars?”

“Will you take three?”

“Yeah, OK.”

Some online investigation helped identify that the clippings all came from the Boston Globe in the 1920s. Some of these were written by a Globe staff member, but most seem to have been sent in from readers. As a result, the recipes are a little more specific than the “Take a lump of butter the size of a hen’s egg” instructions in really old recipes you find at flea markets sometimes, but being from a time before refrigerators and reliable stoves that you could set to a particular temperature, many of the instructions have a certain amount of vagueness.

For instance, this recipe for watermelon pickles from the Boston Globe, Tuesday, 28 June, 1927.

One of the things I’ve discovered as I’ve tried cooking some of these hundred-year-old recipes is that many of them make a staggeringly large amount of food. Beth’s Mum writes that she has a small family, so she only uses half a watermelon. Assuming that she’s talking about standard, 15-pound watermelons, that’s still something like 5 pounds of pickles, so I’ve cut this recipe in half, again.

  • 1 baby watermelon – 4 pounds or so
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • ¾ lb. (12 ounces) white sugar
  • Half of a 3-ounce jar of pickling spice

Cut the melon into slices, then slice the flesh off the rind. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the dark outer skin of the melon. Clean off your kitchen counter, which is now soaked with watermelon juice.

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the baking soda in water. Soak the watermelon rinds in the alkaline water for two hours, then rinse well.

Transfer the rinds to a large pot of water, and simmer them for about half an hour. This is not as long as Mrs. Mum suggests, but in order to prevent the final pickles from becoming too soft, I’ve reduced the simmering time.

old newspaper cutting with printed Pickled Watermelon Rind recipe
Original recipe. Photo by John Fladd.

Strain away the water, then add the cider vinegar, sugar and pickling spice to the pot. As Mrs. M suggested, I use a small muslin bag to keep the spices from going all over the place. Boil everything for another half hour, until the rinds are barely crisp. (You’re going to want to turn your exhaust fan to “high” for the next 45 minutes; the smell of hot vinegar can be — after consulting a thesaurus for a more accurate term than “aggressive,” I’ve decided to go with “bare-knuckled.”)

Remove the pot from heat, fish out your spice bag, if you used one, then after everything has cooled, transfer the pickles to a large glass jar. These should keep for a week or so in the refrigerator.

These pickles have a robust sweet/sour flavor with a spicy finish. The texture ranges from extremely soft to slightly crunchy. They go really well with sandwiches.

Featured photo: Watermelon pickles. Photo by John Fladd.

In the kitchen with Triet Le

Triet Le is the owner of Holy Moly Snacks, a beef chip company. All products are made from scratch and prepackaged at their commercial site in Manchester. Their beef chips are similar to beef jerky, but are thin and crispy and come in a variety of flavors, such as teriyaki and cracked pepper. Find them at the Bedford, Derry and Salem famers markets.

What is your must-have kitchen item?

Chili pepper since I love spicy [food].

What would you have for your last meal?

Spicy food like spicy noodle soups and snacks.

What is your favorite local eatery?

It varies depending on my mood… Masa Japanese Restaurant and Thai Connection.

What is your favorite thing on your menu?

Spicy Teriyaki beef chips because they’re savory, sweet and spicy.

What is the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?

Boba tea

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?

Spicy soup.

Featured photo: Triet Le, owner of the Holy Moly Snacks. Courtesy photo.

Tacos, boba, grilled cheese

Find a variety of flavor at the BBQ & Food Truck Fest

Great New England Craft & Artisan Shows is throwing a party with its seventh annual Great New England BBQ & Food Truck Festival, which will take place at the Hampshire Dome in Milford on Saturday, Aug. 12.

GNE Events director Jody Donohue started the event in the summer of 2016. Her goals were simple: “to support the food truck owners,” she said, and “provide them with a venue to offer their products!”

In the years since that first food truck festival, GNE has hosted similar events across the New England area, from the wholesale outlets in Kittery, Maine, to the Big E fairgrounds in West Springfield, Mass. The Food Truck Festival at the Hampshire Dome is one of the larger events that GNE hosts, with capacity for 3,000 attendees.

While the event is playing host to more than 50 food trucks, there are plenty of other attractions to keep attendees and their families occupied. The Food Truck Fest will feature live music from local bands, ax throwing, a craft fair, caricature artists and a Kidz Zone with face painting, chalk drawings and a bouncy castle.

Food trucks are the main focus at the festival. There will be offerings for every palate, from vegetarians and gluten-free offerings to award-winning barbecue and what Donovan describes as “more than one bite burgers.” Among the offerings:

• The Lobster Roller, based in Gloucester, Mass. This food truck makes fresh lobster rolls with mayonnaise or drawn butter, as well as lobster grilled cheese and clam chowder.

• The Bubble Bee Tea Truck, serving boba, the sweet, fruit-flavored milk tea with marble-sized tapioca balls, as well as dumplings.

• Sweeties Candy Shuttle, which offers an array of penny candies, saltwater taffy and jelly beans that will make you nostalgic for seaside vacations and quaint general stores.

• Prime Time Grilled Cheese, the Manchester-based grilled cheese truck that offers new variations on grilled cheese sandwiches, such as the tomato and cucumber pepper jack sandwich.

• La Chula Truck, a truck offering fast tacos, burritos, quesadillas, empanadas and other Mexican and Central American treats.

• Uncle Joey’s Cannoli, which sells fresh and pre-filled cannoli.

• Carla’s Coffee, the Seacoast-area coffee truck that offers locally roasted coffee beans as well as cold brew, smoothies and ice cream drinks.

• NOBL Beverages, which offers canned cold brew and fresh coffee and tea.

• The “gourmet on the go” food truck Roaming Eats, with sandwiches, burgers, steak and mac and cheese bowls.

Beer and cocktail enthusiasts can check out the biergarten, which offers cold craft brews and cocktails from a variety of New Hampshire-based breweries and distilleries.

Donovan has stated that she wants attendees to enjoy the “fun, family, community and small businesses” at this year’s festival.

Great New England BBQ & Food Truck Festival
When: Saturday, Aug. 12, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Hampshire Dome, 34 Emerson Road, Milford
Admission: $5; see

Gyro to go

Assumption holds its Greekfest Express

By Grace Clark

On Saturday, Aug. 26, Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Manchester will serve up pastichio, lamb kebab meals and more during Greekfest Express.

A twist on the church’s Greekfest event, Greekfest Express is a pandemic innovation, giving those hungry for Greekfest eats a chance to order the food in advance via the church’s website and then pick up via a drive-thru on the last Saturday in August between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. — with a more specific window agreed on when the order is placed.

“Unfortunately, during the Covid period, we weren’t able to do our traditional Greekfest event, which we would typically do with an outdoor venue,” said Costas Georgopoulos, Parish Council President and Greekfest Chairperson. “Hopefully next year we will go back to our traditional Greekfest event.”

The express format is also an adaptation to having fewer volunteers for the festival.

“The hardest thing for us is volunteers,” Georgopoulos said.

Every dish is made fresh and the food is prepared by the Ladies of the Philoptochos (the official philanthropic organization of the Greek Orthodox Church), according to Georgopoulos. The Ladies of the Philoptochos have also created the recipes for the Popular Greek Recipes cookbook that is available to order on the church website along with Greekfest eats.

Some of the most popular dishes at Greekfest include barbecue lamb (the lamb kebab dinner is served over rice with Greek-style green beans and bread), gyros (served with French fries), Greek lasagna (the pastichio dinner is also served with rice, Greek-style green beans and bread), spanakopita, baklava, and loukoumades (the fried dough balls served with a honey syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon). Pastry offerings also include kourambiedes (Greek butter cookies with powdered sugar), finikia (honey walnut cookies), koulourakia (braided butter cookies) and a pastry sampler featuring a few of four different pastries. There is also a Greek rice pudding on the menu.

Other savory options include a chicken kebab dinner, a meatballs and rice dinner, a vegetarian combo dinner (with spanakopita, rice, Greek-style green beans and bread), a Greek salad with gyro or grilled chicken and a feta cheese peta.

This year’s Greekfest will also feature a 50/50 raffle, which customers can enter online. The winner is announced at the Greekfest festival and half of the proceeds go to the church.

Ordering is open now through Sunday, Aug. 20.

In addition to celebrating Greek food and culture, the event celebrates the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which is the Feast Day of the parish.

“We celebrate our culture, and people are able to experience Greek food that you may not be able to get at a restaurant, so they are able to experience that and our specialty dishes,”Georgopoulos said. “You also get to look at our church, and so forth, and experience Greek culture.”

Assumption Greekfest Express
Pickup day: Saturday, Aug. 26, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Pickup location: 111 Island Pond Road in Manchester
Order by: Sunday, Aug. 20
Pickup day: Saturday, Aug. 26, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Featured photo: Courtesy photos.

The Weekly Dish 23/08/10

News from the local food scene

Food truck fest and car show: The town of Windham hosts a food truck fest and car show on Sunday, Aug. 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Windham High School (64 London Bridge Road). Stop by for food, cars and cornhole.

Vodka mixology: In the Spirits of Spirits holds pouring or mixology classes every other month. The next mixology event, on Sunday, Aug. 13, at CodeX B.A.R. in Nashua (1 Elm St.), will explore three vintage cocktails using the vodka from July’s tasting. Tickets can be purchased via eventbrite.

Table for 10 at Bistro 603: Matchmaker Elaine Saunders of New England Singles Network Group hosts Table for 10 at Bistro 603 (345 Amherst St., Nashua) on Wednesday, Aug. 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event is limited to five men and five women ages 45 years old and up. Buy your own food and drinks and pay $15 to reserve your spot. Tickets can be purchased via eventbrite.

International Food Festival: Don’t miss the International Food Festival at Brookford Farm (250 West Road) in Canterbury on Thursday, Aug. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. Recipes from nationalities represented by the staff at Brookford Farm will be highlighted, such as Sudanese, Ethiopian, German, Ugandan, Russian, Polish, Turkmen and more. The event will also feature live music performed by The Velvet Dirtmunchers. Tickets, which include access to sunflower fields and a barnyard, are $60 for adults, $30 for children ages 3 to 12 and free for children under 3 years old and must be purchased ahead of time. Visit to get your tickets.

Burgers at the farm: Burger Night returns to Brookford Farm (250 West Road, Canterbury) on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 8 to 5 p.m. Sit among the sunflowers and enjoy local food, see barn animals and The Artty Francoeur Band perform live. It is $40 for an adult plate, $20 for kids ages 3 to 12 and free for children under 3 years old. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time and can be bought through eventbrite.

Cigar dinner: The Bedford Village Inn’s (2 Olde Bedford Way in Bedford;, 472-2001) annual 12th Cigar Dinner will take place Thursday, Aug. 17, beginning with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. featuring cocktails, beer and bourbon tastings as well as hors d’oeuvres from the grill, according to the website. Once seated, guests will have a three-course plated dinner paired with cigars, cocktails and wine, the website said Find the evening’s menu online. Tickets to this 21+ event cost $135 per person.

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