New Hampshire- Keene

KEEN - Dillant-Hopkins Airport

Campy’s Country Kettle

121 Old Homestead Way

Swanzey,  03431

603-357-3339. Cash only.

Keene (KEEN) is forty miles west of Manchester. It is non-towered, not too busy, and has intersecting runways and lots of approaches. It’s perfect for practice approaches or VFR training topped off with some lunch. I haven’t used the FBO but they get great reviews- click the link above for a look.

Campy’s Country Kettle is through the airport fence, and has been around for just about forever. I remember going there as a student years ago on a brutally cold day and finding it warm, busy and welcoming. Campy’s doesn’t look like much from the outside, but it has the air of places I’ve been to all over New England. The feeling is that they’ve got enough, thank you, things are fine just as they are, and you can skip the fancy. This suits me fine.

Campy himself passed on not too long ago and the restaurant is now being ably managed by his family. They are keeping true to his legacy by serving decent, honest food at reasonable prices.

The menu is standard American, the food is freshly prepared and the service is friendly and fast. They are open into the evening several days a week, but it wouldn’t hurt to call ahead and be sure they are open. I haven’t been there for breakfast but the waitress I talked to said it’s busy on the weekends with locals coming in to eat. That’s about the best recommendation a restaurant can get.

I like restaurants like Campy’s. It’s the kind of place where, when you pay your check and leave the tip, the waitress looks you in the eye as she thanks you. Her eyes are saying that you got a square meal, she makes a decent living and it’s a good, fair deal for everyone.

Update 12/19/11

Sadly, Campy’s has closed and the building is for sale.

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