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Aug 10, 2006 03:53 PM

Visiting Old Orchard Beach area; would like Chow suggestions

I will be visiting from San Francisco to see friends vacationing in Old Orchard Beach and plan trips to Portland (have reservations at Fore Street) and birding excursion to Rachel Carson Refuge in Wells. I have not visited the Maine coast for many years, but have longed for steamed clams, fried clams (west coast clams not the same as Atlantic) and of course lobster shack chow. Have done some web searching on area farmer's markets and plan to hit those. Would appreciate ideas on only-in-Maine markets and restaurants between Wells to the south and Portland to the north.

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  1. Wormwood's in Camp Ellis, a few miles south of Old Orchard...I think you can even get there by taking a long long walk on the beautiful beach when the tide is out.

    1. Check out Maple's Organics when you get to Portland.

      I like the Maine Diner in Wells for Fried Clams. Get them to go instead of waiting in line, eat them on the outdoor picnic table out back by the garden. Get a hunk of toll house or blueberry pie, too.

      1. I second the Maine Diner in Wells (if you go after 7 the lines thin out, in my experience--Mainers eat early!). Another place in Camp Ellis to try is Huot's, right near Wormwoods (I actually prefer it for anything fried).

        In Old Orchard itself (on Route 5, if memory serves) is the Lobster Claw, a classic lobster-in-the-rough place with oilcloth-covered picnic tables. You can get lobster, steamers, and the usual fried stuff there.

        A great breakfast place (fabulous Maine blueberry pancakes)on Cascade Road in OOB is Mary Anne's. The place fills up early with contractors and locals--it's an excellent, off-the-tourist -track sort of place.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lisacs

          I second the recommendation for the Lobster Claw -- yummy fried clams --

        2. Thanks to New England Hounds for the suggestions. Here is a quick rundown of my culinary journey...Camp Ellis, Huots, by bicycle; fried clams, my first Maine lunch. A bit too heavy on the batter, but seemed great at the time. Restaurant at Pine Point Lobster Co-Op had much better. Then in Portland, Fore Street was just fabulous. I liked the open kitchen, the hustle of the place, friendly but very professional service, good wine list, great use of local ingredients, everything cooked to perfection. A real highlight. Good bakery too. Took friends to airport in Portland and got a chance to try Becky's Diner; rest of part did breakfast--great omlettes--I did a haddock sandwich and found it fine. On a rainy day we headed up to Freeport and lunched at Harraseeket Lobster Shack; least satisfying of those I tried but the harbor was a great respite to the astonishing commercialism of downtown LLBeanport. Thanks again for suggestions.