MR. KIM’S OPENED only weeks ago, but the sleekly decorated Korean-homestyle restaurant on Portsmouth’s State Street already has the happy hum of a comfortably running establishment. A small sign on the front door reads “positive vibes only,” and the staff’s upbeat demeanor and the fun food p…

THE YELLOW BUILDING still hugs the Exeter River at the bridge on Water Street, but it’s had some work done. What used to be the Loaf & Ladle, famed for its wholesome and healthy breads, soups and sandwiches, is now the latest outlet for the Maine-based Sea Dog Brewing Co.

Hollis Country Kitchen has been on our target list for a while, but every time we’ve driven by at dinner time, the small parking lot has been packed, leading me to assume the equally small restaurant would be equally packed inside. Being the impatient sort, I would drive on by.

A few years ago I “retired” after five years of reviewing restaurants for this column. But this week I’m coming off the bench to fill in for another Our Gourmet team. Just call me the OG on call.

A dive into our ancestry during Christmas vacation had us thinking about Germany and meals our grandmother used to cook. A Google search revealed a German restaurant just up the road in Hooksett. It was reviewed years ago by another Our Gourmet team, but we thought it was time for another visit.