Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Hampshire: Live (Corn) Free or Die

Pine Beach Resort (not its real name) in New Hampshire hasn't changed much in the three generations that my father's family has been vacationing there. This past weekend, on my first trip to the place, I saw many things that didn't belong to 2013: children wandering around unsupervised, dress codes at dinner, entire buildings without a television or WiFi access. The whole establishment runs on nostalgia, and for the most part, the past that it resurrects is a good one.

And then there's the food.

When I asked our waiter (a local high school student who had clearly been in the workforce exactly three weeks) what the vegetables were fried in, he told me it was margarine. Because apparently, and I honestly did not think this was true, they still make margarine!

You can even put it on toast! America!

Even the sub-par food, though, was all part of the fun. Like a relative who tells the same tacky jokes year in and year out, the Resort, in the end, proves enjoyable in spite of itself.

"Hearts of Iceburg"

By Corn Free July rules, I had to order this gem without dressing, which was only disappointing until I saw the dollop of what looked suspiciously like mayonnaise that arrived slathered on my uncle's, um, "salad."

Scrod and boiled potato

Presentation is everything at Pine Beach. The deliberate choice of serving the potato without a garnish is just so minimalist, allowing nothing to cloud its bold, starchy flavor. Remember: they made us dress up for this.

The menu called this "peaches." Plural.
This dessert wins the presentation contest hands down. I honestly expected them to at least slice it, and before you say "but I bet that course at least had some flavor," rest assured that it was not ripe.

Fruits and vegetables a la carte continued to be the main staple of my Pine Beach diet, supplemented heavily by the trail mix I had brought from home. Bland flavors and boring presentation for the most part, with the one exception of a half-way decent vegetable soup on one of the lunch menus:

OK so maybe the oil film doesn't make it all that photogenic.

I was overjoyed to find this. Until:

You just can't win.

So that's my vacation story. How have your healthful eating goals stood up to summer festivities? Any particularly egregious foodie nightmares? Let me know in the comments section!

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