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REQ: oddball foods off mass pike & bost->portland

i'm going to be going to portland in august. i've got to read old chowhound posts about restaurants in that area, but what i'm looking for are local, (generally) non-perishable stuff that's on that route that i can take back with me. here's my travel route, and what i'm looking to find out about:

travel route -
new york state -> mass pike -> rte 95 -> portland. will go about 5-15 miles off the route if there's some real good places.

looking for really good:
donut shop. i love doughnut plant in nyc, yet think krispy kreme is pretty good for a chain, go figure. i know they're perishable, but i'd look to try a star place out.
snacks like potato chips, pretzels, etc. that aren't sold in ny state but have local brands. and if there's some oddball wonderful lobster variety, that would be good too.
root beer or other sodas. i plan on seeing where i can find aj stephans (any suggestions?) but other local ones too.
fruit flavoured beers. i first found bar harbor and another fruity one some years back on a trip up to maine, and the local huge store carries them, but if there are small ones, that would be great.

it can even be at a local supermarket that carries these things; i'm just looking to try different brands and local manufacturers of foods i like.

i do plan on stopping at kelly's roast beef on the way, which isn't perishable either, but should give an idea of things.

thanks to anyone who can recommend their places of choice from a hv 'hound...

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  1. I don;t know if you have ever tried it by Moxie is a soft drink that is available in certain parts of Maine. Not sure where but someone here is sure to know and maybe you can find it online. I think a Town in Maine has some kind of parade honoring Moxie. This is a drink that was pretty common in the 50's.

    2 Replies
    1. re: emilief

      You can find it in quite a few package and convenience stores in MA too.. It's pretty popular in the town of Clinton, MA I know, but yes, it'll be more prevalent in Maine, and yes, there is a Moxie festival in err... Lisbon, ME I think (?). Though I think it has already happened -- I think you missed it by a few weeks.

      1. re: Keithel

        Hey Keithel,
        The Moxie Festival is indeed over for this year but you can still visit
        The Moxie Museum inside Frank Ancetti's Kennebec Fruit Co, in Lisbon Falls. And no, he doesn't sell any fruit here, just all things Moxie. He's a great guy and, if not busy, will talk endlessly about his favorite subject; you got it, Moxie!
        Here's a link for Mainiac stuff online including Moxie;


        Kennebec Fruit Co
        2 Main St, Lisbon Falls, ME 04252

    2. I can't relate to the Kelly's roast beef, but can tell you that Blue Ribbon Barbecue and their pulled pork and ribs (seconds off the Pike at Exit 17) is worth a stop.

      1. For donuts - do a search of the boards for "Donut Star" -- I've made several posts about it, and it's less than a minute off mass pike at Rt 122 (1 exit west of the 495 exit off Mass Pike) -- take a right towards Grafton after paying the toll, and it'll be in a small plaza on the left just after the Cumberland Farms.

        Good for Cake donuts, -- not so sure about raised donuts (I'm not as big a fan of raised donuts).

        1. thanks for the suggestions on doughnuts and moxie; moxie, which i had never heard of before, is sold all over the place in maine so it'll be real easy for me to try some.

          the donuts - on donut star, do the cake donuts have any special / recommended flavors? i prefer cake to raised when i can, though i never knew the different names before; i just referred to one as 'airy'.

          thanks, and please keep any ideas coming for snacks or other sodas!

          9 Replies
          1. re: bob gaj

            Before you buy a six-pack of Moxie, get a single bottle and try some first. It has a unique and mostly acquired taste, IMO. Some people love it, though. I find it "strange" tasting, but maybe I should try one again sometime.

            In your quest for fruit flavored beers: Wachussett, Sea Dog, and Bar Harbour all make a blueberry and Long Trail makes a Blackberry Wheat.

            For soda: Harpoon makes their own Rootbeer, Cream and Orange soda. If you have the time and it fits into your schedule, they do tours where you can try the beer and the soda's. As for beer, they make a consistently good IPA.

            Shipyard brewing in Portland makes their own rootbeer, as well.

            1. re: steve999

              Hey, I've home brewed lots of beer, ales & harder cider and but I've never made rootbeer in my life!

              1. re: Harp00n

                Ha ha Harp00n.. ;P

                And I would agree with the poster that Moxie is an acquired taste -- I personally think it tastes like I think Motor Oil would taste like, but there are plenty of people who like it, thus I didn't push too much of my own feelings about it in the post I made about it.

                Sea Dog Blueberry is very nice -- and like most Blueberry Ales, all places that I've been to that serve it float actual blueberries in your beer (I think this must be a requirement dictated by Sea Dog or something). That of course leads to the neat nucleation affects, causing the Blueberries to rise/fall continuously for a while.

                1. re: Keithel

                  Hey Pat's Pizza Boy.
                  I love Moxie but then, Lapsang Suchon is also my favorite tea! I'll drink one ever once in awhile but fruited brews aren't big with me. This time of year, in Maine, I'm usually drinking Geary's Pale Ale or my favorite red ale of all time, Casco Bay's Riptide Red! There ain't nothing I like better with lobster or steamers.


                  1. re: steve999

                    They don't advertise it as a double IPA but 'tis, Leatherlips from The Tap Brewpub of Haverhill, Ma. If you're a hophead, which I am, this is great stuff and is now available in six-packs at the usual good packies. Not from N.E., Dogfish Head of Delaware's 90 minute IPA is mighty fine as well.


                2. re: steve999

                  Sea Dog, owned by Shipyard, brews apricot, blueberry and raspberry beers. Grittys brews a raspberry as well. Your best bet though is to go to one of the three Sebago Brewpub locations and have a Bassackwards Blueberry. Mighty tasty.

                3. re: bob gaj

                  Donuts at Donut Star -- I always get Chocolate Covered Cake doughnuts... If they don't have any of those, I get the chocolate-chocolate covered ones (chocolate dough, with chocolate on top). Both are good, but the plain cake with chocolate icing on top are definitely my favorites, and the ones I think that are much better than any other places.

                  Course, I don't think I've yet got anyone else to try the place out and render a judgement, so you'll have to trust me..
                  I'm curious to see if I'm just nuts thinking that their donuts are great, or if I have indeed spotted a gem amongst donut makers.

                  1. re: Keithel

                    This past summer, I made a trip to Donut Star. The cake donuts are very, very good. This was easy on and off the Pike. The coffee was also great. I would agree with your assessment that these are much better than other places. I'm not sure that they are better than the ones I had last week at Donut Dip in West Springfield. I would have to do a side by side comparison to pick the winner.

                4. You might like Maine Root's sodas; they do a seriously gingery ginger beer, as well as a nice, almost spicy root beer and sasparilla sodas. You can find 'em at Hannaford grocery stores, as well as some of the natural foods stores (Wild Oats, Whole Foods and some of the smaller ones, too). See maineroot.com

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sopobungalow

                    Mass Tpk to the exit for Springfield and Rt 91 south...take thr exit and follow 91 about 2 miles south and take the RT5 north about 200 yrds on the right to Donut Dip...all are great but the deep fried apple fritters are unreal...

                    For what it's worth...the graphics on the bag are real fifties kitsch...pink and grey...and this shop has been featured in the Zippy comic stip numerous times...

                    also in Springfield...Whitehouse hamburgers...don;t have directions but not far away.

                    1. re: sodagirl

                      Donut Dip was wonderful. We just stopped on our way to NY after I read about donut dip in this post and another on pumpkin donuts. It was easy on and off the pike and worth the short detour. The pumpkin donuts at Donut Dip were phenomenal and my favorite of the ones we tried. We also tried the apple cider, sour cream, French Crueler, raised honey dip and chocolate cake donut.

                  2. can't suggest any specific retailer but ya gotta bring back maine whoopie pies- lots of em made locally so they shouldn't be hard to track down-

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sk3

                      I think the whoopie pies at Anania's are pretty good

                    2. I have travelled this route many times and I make similar pilgrimages. The first donut stop I can think of is the Donut Dip in West Springfield. excellent and a West Springfield institution. A stop at the White Hut, only minutes away would be in order. Some seats but you'll probably stand and eat deilicous mini burgers (2 or 3 for lunch) and deep fried hot dogs. May even have a local root beer in the cooler. For much of your Massachusetts beer finds and probably the sodas, Yankee Spirits would be your "one stop shop". It's actually off of I-84 but it won't take you too far out of your way I think. If you land in Worcester for whatever reason, find yourself some of "George's Pita Bread. Like nothing else I've been able to find anywhere and amazing. There is a large Lebanese population in the area. If you didn't eat at the White Hut grab yourself a Falafel Sandwich at El Basha(4 bucks) with a fresh lemonade. If that isn't you speed, get a sandwich at Tom's International Deli. Inexpensive, eclectic eastern European deli. May be some oddball products here as well that may interest you. There are also some archetypal Worcester bakeries on this block. If your intent is Boston then Worcester is about 20 minutes out of your way. Otherwise it is a good shortcut to the north via 290 and 495. Blue Ribbon BBQ is a good choice for outside Boston off of I-90. Down the road from there is Marty's Liquors which has a solid choice of Beer and sodas as well as many gourmet products and a great wine and liquor selection. Once you hit Portland, make sure you hit Tony's Donuts off of Congress street exit of 295. The Shipyard brand sodas are under the name Captain Eli and they make a great root beer, blueberry pop and also a spicy ginger beer. RSVP in Portland is the stop for bottled beer and some soda. If you want a great slection of tap beer, you are down the street from the Great Lost Bear. Best choice of Maine taps in Maine. Food is fair...If you are still hungry go to Harmon's Lunch in Falmouth for burgers. This is 5 minutes from the Falmouth exit on 95

                      Yankee Spirits Package Store
                      376 Main St, Sturbridge, MA 01566

                      Donut Dip
                      1305 Riverdale St, West Springfield, MA 01089

                      256 Park Ave, Worcester, MA 01609

                      Tom's International Deli
                      118 Water St, Worcester, MA 01604

                      Blue Ribbon Barbecue
                      1375 Washington St, West Newton, MA 02465

                      Marty's Liquors
                      675 Washington St, Newton, MA 02458

                      Tony's Donut Shop
                      9 Bolton St, Portland, ME 04102

                      RSVP Discount Beverage Center
                      887 Forest Ave, Portland, ME 04103

                      The Great Lost Bear
                      540 Forest Ave, Portland, ME 04101

                      Harmon's Lunch
                      144 Gray Rd, ME 04105

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Noreaster

                        Great list there Noreaster,
                        You've mentioned two of my favorite packies so I'll just add the rest;
                        Obtw, Tully's, IMO, is the best I know of in the entire State-O-Maine.


                        Julio's Liquors
                        140 Turnpike Rd, Westborough, MA 01581

                        Colonial Spirits
                        87 Great Rd, MA 01720

                        Tully's Beer & Wine
                        45 Wells Plaza, Wells, ME 04090

                      2. thanks for all the great responses! i've actually tried (and love) seadog, both in blueberry and raspberry. i'm fortunate to live near one of the best beer retailers anywhere (half time,poughkeepsie, ny - 1500+ beers and you can buy any of them individually as well as 4/6 pack), but i've now got a huge list of other beers and rootbeers and sodas to check out.

                        i've also popped in on yankee beverage in sturbridge - they carry hosmer root beer, which i already love.

                        anyhow, i'm going to put together a list of places to go, and will report back in in 2 weeks on thoughts; i'll hit up 2 or 3 of the donut shops, depending on location, hunger and traffic. thanks again!

                        1. Congdon's Donut's, Rte. 1, Wells.

                          Not doughnuts, but Stephen Lanzalotta's breads from Miccucci's Market, India St., Portland. While on India St., go to Amato's for an Italian sandwich (Maine's unique take on a sub/hoagie).

                          If you're looking for lobster gone wild, see what Steve Corry at 555 or Rob Evans of Hugo's has on the menu--both are ultra creative.

                          1. If you like bread stop at When Pig's Fly Bakery in York Maine- about 28 different kinds of bread, including a luscious chocolate bread. They give out generous tastes and they also sell a kit to make chocolate bread. In Kittery, York and Wells Maine have a great hot dog at Flo's with their famous hot sauce- a kind of relish. Pick up a jar of Flo's hot sauce there or in specialty markets throughout the are.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: emilief

                              and Bob's Clam Hut on Rt1 in Kittery..
                              I haven't been there yet, but everyone raves about the fried clams and such there..

                              1. re: emilief

                                No doubt, a stop at Flo's would be on my list. Rt. 1 N off the York exit from 95, about three miles or so up on the right. Limited hours, I think something like 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Also off of the York exit immediately is the Stonewall Kitchen factory/store/deli. Get all things Stonewall there. Down Rt. 1 a bit in Kittery, just before the craziness of the outlets, is Yumee's Candies on the left. Old school candy, chocolate for baking, the list goes on and on.