Welcome to Munching Through Menus! Here you will find reviews of restaurants from the Monadnock Region and beyond!
The Hungry Diner is a restaurant that recently opened in Walpole, New Hampshire. Because it is a brand new eatery that I have never been to before, I thought it was the perfect way to kick off my new column.
The Hungry Diner’s slogan reads, “Local comfort food & craft beer on tap.” And it truly does live up to the description. The owners of The Hungry Diner, Chris and Caitlin Caserta, own a family run farm only 5 miles down the road from the establishment. At this farm, not only do they raise their own livestock, but they also grow their own fruits and vegetables. They use the ingredients from their own farm, as well as those of other local producers, to create the delicious house-made dishes at The Hungry Diner.
I first stumbled upon The Hungry Diner about a week ago when my boyfriend and I were exploring Walpole. We had originally been in the area to grab some fresh corn from Pete’s Farm Stand, another great local business, when we found The Hungry Diner.
The slogan immediately drew us in. Local food and craft beers on tap, what could be better than that? When we walked in, a friendly “Hungry Helper” greeted us at the door. She explained the way the restaurant worked, showed us the menu, and the list of local craft beers. The Hungry Diner has 16 taps that are constantly rotating. They provide their guests with the opportunity to try local craft beers, including some that can be very hard to come by.
When we arrived at the counter we ordered our drinks. I decided to get a Saphouse Cider and my boyfriend chose the Maine Lunch IPA. We were not too hungry, so we split the Chicken Lollipops appetizer: Two drumsticks tossed in your choice of Buffalo, Moxie BBQ, Soy-ginger, or Korean BBQ. We decided to go with the Moxie BBQ. The cashier gave us our buzzer, and we proceeded to find a seat.
When our buzzer rang, we got our food from the pick-up counter and were immediately pleased with the presentation. The chicken drumsticks were very big, and came with a side of blue cheese sauce and “Wicked dill pickles.” The pickles were perfectly seasoned, and a great addition to the plate. We grabbed our drumsticks and dug in. They were undeniably delicious. The Moxie BBQ sauce gave the chicken the perfect combination of spicy and sweet flavors and the batter was absolutely wonderful. It was light and fluffy, yet gave the chicken a flawless crunch that made every bite satisfying. I could truly tell that the freshest ingredients were used to give this dish the local comfort food taste. Needless to say, we were eager to come back.
The Hungry Diner couldn’t keep us away! We came back two days later to have lunch. This time I passed on the booze, but my boyfriend ordered a Battle-axe Double IPA. He was particularly excited when he saw this beer on the list because it can be difficult to find, especially at restaurants.
This time we both deiced to get the Hungry Chickenwich. This sandwich is served with lettuce, onion, “secret sauce,” Wicked dill pickles, and the restaurants signature Hungry Fries. Once again, right as we picked our food up from the counter we were nothing less than pleased. My fist bite into the Hungry Chickenwich was divine. The chicken was cooked perfectly. The light, fluffy batter gave my sandwich a great crunch, while the special sauce seasoned the meal seamlessly. The Hungry Fries were also seasoned well with Maine sea salt, fresh herbs, and malt mayo. They were cooked well too, which provided a great balance of a crunchy outside, yet a soft inside. When I finished my meal I was both full and satisfied.
The Hungry Diner provides its customers with fresh, healthy, and local ingredients. Their dishes have been well thought out, and delivered with great presentation. Like the menu says, “you’ll taste the difference,” and you certainly do. I highly recommend that if you live in the area, or are visiting, you make time to stop at The Hungry Diner. Whether it is for a brew or a quick bite, it is certainly worth the trip!