THE LAST COUPLE of times Mrs. Gourmet and I were out for Asian food, we were with relatives at old family-favorite Chinese restaurants. Mrs. G and I hadn’t been to either place in years. Neither was very good, and we both wondered how those places got to be old family favorites.

Walk into Shopper’s Pub + Eatery at Indian Head and you find what you’d expect to see at a sports bar: 18 big-screen TVs surround you. Look up at how some of those TVs are arranged and you get a hint of the location’s past. The ones that hug the ceiling form a box that resembles an arena sco…

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.