MANCHESTER, N.H. – A coveted photo opportunity stop for Presidential candidates and politicians, the renowned Manchester, N.H. Puritan Backroom owned by state legislator Chris Pappas is one of six recipients of the treasured James Beard Foundation award for a darn good eating place.
The award recognizes regional restaurants, often family-owned, known for quality food, local character and lasting appeal and the Puritan is a perfect fit, starting as the Puritan Confectionary Company in 1917 before changing its name in 1974.
The James Beard Awards are kind of like food Oscars, with categories that honor the best chefs, restaurants, and hospitality professionals across the country every year, The Boston Globe noted.
The original owners were immigrants Arthur Pappas and Louis Canotas, whose children continued the tradition in a city with a strong Greek-American population.
The diner serves Greek-American comfort food and ice cream and has expanded to include an event and conference center. It didn’t help him in the state’s Democratic Presidential primary but former Vice-President Joe Biden swung by, though maybe people were busy chowing down on the famous signature dish, chicken tenders, and mudslide desserts, or just tired of all the politicking.