Phantom Gourmet: Popovers On The Square In Epping And Portsmouth

CBS Boston: June 17, 2015 4:58 AM

Food is a lot like fashion; certain things tend to go in and out of style. Right now popovers are ‘in’. If you are now craving this classic New England pastry, pop on over to Popovers on the Square in Portsmouth or Epping, New Hampshire. You’ll find big popovers, mini popovers, popovers by the dozen, stuffed with lobster, even topped with an ice cream sundae!

“Sometimes, people are surprised that we actually sell things in a popover, or that we even have popovers on our menu, despite being called Popovers,” said Executive Pastry Chef Katie Green. “They’re always surprised and ask, ‘Do you sell popovers?’ And we’re always like, ‘Yes, we do.'”

They don’t just sell a few popovers; we’re talking at least 50 dozen popovers daily. If it’s busy, Katie could be baking as many as 150 dozen; that’s 1,800 popovers in a day!

“The process takes about an hour and a half, start to finish,” Katie said. “They’re called popovers because the batter pops over in the pan to make this wonderful pastry. It has a nice crispy outside, and when you break into it, it’s warm and delicious.”

The question isn’t if you should eat one of these popovers, but how. At breakfast time, the egg and cheese popover packed with scrambled eggs and melted American cheese is a customer favorite. If you’re feeling ultra-New Englandy, order up a plate of the signature lobster popovers.

“Very light. They’re not heavy; they’re not dense. You can have one; you can have two; you can have twelve,” suggested Executive Chef Ethan Clark.

There’s really no going wrong at Popovers on the Square. In fact, the staff would argue that the simplest option might also be the tastiest.

“Most of our guests enjoy our popover warm, straight out of the oven, with maple butter, so they’re all steaming and delicious,” described Katie.

“They’re just very homestyle-like. You crack open into them, you see the steam come out,” continued Ethan. “Personally, that’s the way I like them. I like them hot with maple butter. No bells and whistles, just your plain old popover.”

If you want a dish that will make a statement, and a dessert that’s sure to turn some heads, nothing tops their over-the-top ice cream sundae served inside – you guessed it – a fresh baked popover. You might want to bring a friend along because this thing is massive.

“It gets two, good-sized scoops of ice cream in a nice, warm popover. Drizzled in chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, some whipped cream on it, topped with some sprinkles, some candied walnuts, then it just needs a cherry,” Katie listed.

Aside from popovers, the menu also features a weekly burger special, like one topped with bacon jam and crunchy fried onions. Cheesy feta dip with toasted pita bread, and an upscale comfort food combo: a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich with creamy tomato bisque.

“You can’t get anything better. You’re just looking for something to take you back to your childhood of warm soup, warm gooey sandwich. They’re delicious together,” Katie said.

Warm sandwiches, warm popovers and warm feelings, that’s what this place is all about.

“Whether you’re coming just for a coffee or you’re coming for dinner, we like to think Popovers is a home away from home,” said Katie.

You can find Popovers on the Square at 8 Congress Street in Portsmouth, 11 Brickyard Squared in Epping, and online

Full Article with Photos at Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.

Kellan MaloneyComment