The Great Ice Fishing Debate

For those of us who are transplants to the lovely state of New Hampshire, we have probably all had an experience where we referred to, or pronounced, something a little differently than the locals. For example, I made it through entire AP US History classes thinking Concord was pronounced Con Cord.

One thing I learned very recently was the term bob house. Having grown up in the Midwest I’m very familiar with the art of ice fishing, but I had never heard an ice shanty referred to as a bob house. So, naturally, I have conducted an extremely scientific study of the term and polled everyone I know to determine which is the correct term: bob house or ice shanty?

[This article did not help…]

The overall conclusion I have come to is that the majority of people from New Hampshire call it a bob house, although they knew what I was talking about when I referred to an ice shanty. The majority of people from out of state either a) had no idea what ice fishing was, b) asked me who Bob was, c) only used the term ice shanty (in my defense, my brother, a fish biology graduate student, polled his friends and none had heard of a bob house), or d) only knew the term bob house from a very specific restaurant in Moultonborough, New Hampshire.

Regardless of my upbringing, I’m here to embrace the bob house and obviously had to visit the restaurant when I learned about this whole conundrum. Unfortunately, I missed my window of opportunity for visiting a bob house on Winnipesaukee or checking out their annual hockey tournament, but I’ve added that to my calendar for next winter.

So the infamous restaurant is located on one of the major thoroughfares through the Lakes Region. Their big sign is hard to miss, though the restaurant, hearty menu, and seafaring decor, blend in perfectly with the region. The Bob House and Reel ‘N Tavern is homey and comfortable, with lots of locals and families but it’s also a seemingly popular restaurant for boaters, vacationers, and the curious.

We started our dinner with a seemingly dull appetizer, green beans. However, these delicious bites are roasted in what must be French fried onions and served hot with a tangy lemon aioli. The green beans are roasted whole and provide a hearty crunch, and the tangy sauce and crispy coating make for an exciting appetizer. Pair these with a couple of Old Fashioneds and you’re on your way to a great evening! (Responsibly, of course.)

If you’re still hungry after eating a pound of green beans (we were!) it’s time to explore the rest of the menu. The variety of dinners is pretty impressive, with everything from pot roast (pictured above with squash, baked potato, and carrots), steaks, a dozen different burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and seafood. We visited the day before St. Patrick’s Day and I was curious about their veggie Reuben, below. It was enormous and exactly what you think it would be, except somehow better. The marble rye emphasized the Reuben, but the insides were stuffed with provolone cheese, perfectly seasoned sauerkraut, broccoli, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. The massive sandwich filled me for dinner and lunch the next day, with their homemade tavern fries to spare.

To conclude, I am happy to embrace the bob house, veggie Reubens, and all the quirks this wonderful state has to share. New Hampshire, never change.

Visit the Bob House Restaurant at 520 Whittier Highway in Moultonborough, NH from Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30 am to 9 or 10 pm.

Have you discovered any unique, tasty food or drinks lately? Let us know! Be sure to email us at eatdrinkplay@stayworkplay.org to share your ideas of any New Hampshire related food/drink/venue/organization that you think should be featured in “The Taste!”

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