Boston to Bar Harbor--with a few stops along the way --how does this list look?
Ok, here's the deal. We're headed to Bar Harbor from Boston, beginning our travels Sat am. We'll stop in Oguinquit to see a friend, and then late afternoon head to Boothbay Harbor, where we are staying for the night. So, I'm looking for a casual meal in Boothbay Harbor, Sat night. Or...somewhere relatively close to Boothbay...Then breakfast Sat am, also probably in Boothbay...we'll move on to the Camden/Rockland area around lunchtime...so looking for a good lunch spot somewhere along that route. Then we'll make our way to Bar Harbor, where we'll stay from Sun-Sun.
For the most part, I'm looking for good food, served in a casual environment, emphasis on authentic, local cooking. The more history a place has, the better. The more locals, the better too. If the place has a waterview and or picnic tables/outdoor seating, that's great too..we'll have the pup with us and though he can be left behind it would be great to have options where we could bring him with us. One nice evening (without the pup, indoor dining) in Bar Harbor area would be great too, I'm not sure I've found anywhere that's jumping out at me, Hugo's maybe?
I've done some research and here's my list so far. Would love comments, additional suggestions, etc.
Lobsterman's Co-op: this seems like it might be better for lunch but might fit the bill if we're looking for a casual dinner.
Mac Segulls: like the sound of the outside deck on harbor, but is it really touristy? That's ok if the food is good.
Bet's: fish shack on the common. Again, this sounds like it's a great lunch spot, not even sure they are open around dinner hours, unless we go early.
Blue Man Cafe: for breakfast...
Francine, or the Edge at the Inn: both sound great but only dinner right? Don't think we'll be here for dinner, unless it's a really early one.
Waterfront: this sounds right up our alley, right ont he water, great deck, stick to pub-style food, steamers, burgers, that's do-able for lunch.
Young's Lobster Pound: this isn't right in Camden right? But in Belfast....? Need to look at a map to see if it's way out of our way.
Havana, Adel's Lobster Pound, Ben and Bills ice cream, Jordan Pound, Beals Lobster Pier, Jordan's Restaurant (breakfast), any other suggestions greatly appreciated.
We made a similar trip couple of weeks ago. Had very good fried clams and oysters at Bob's Clams Hut in Kittery but the most memorable was an impromptu picnic - on our way from Portland to MTI we stopped by Glidden Point Oyster Farm and on the spur of the moment bought a dozen oysters and an oyster knife (they don't shuck) just to realize that there is no even place for us to eat these oysters (i somehow assumed that they have tables in the backyard). Being on motorcycle and the weather quite hot we stopped by the parking lot of a local marina and devoured the oysters basically plain. Fantastic! Many thanks for the tip!
As for Portland we didn't have a chance to get into any of the recommended places - everything was packed on Sat night. So we had some nasty food at Gritty's (and so so beer) though the late night glass of Frye's Leap IPA on tap at Sebago brew pub was outstanding!
This is a bit late, but maybe you'll be able to read this before you get to Bar Harbor.
In Bar Harbor:
Burning Tree in Otter Creek, just south of BH, has creative and fresh food.
Cafe This Way, one of my favorites for breakfast or dinner. I think their blueberry pancakes are amazingly good.
Mount Desert Ice Cream has great, inventive ice creams and sorbets (lime/cucumber, cantaloupe, cabernet, blueberry/basil).
Jordan Pond - have popovers on the lawn, maybe some soup, but don't bother with a full meal, not terribly interesting.
Havana makes the best mojitos, wonderful soups, and ceviche.
Lompoc Cafe for local brews and decent, eclectic food, and a bocce court! Lots of locals.
Wait! You forgot Primo in Rockland, arguably the best restaurant in the Midcoast. Francine is very, very good, but Primo can't be beat. We sat at the bar last night, which has recently been expanded and now offers a complete bar menu, along with the full dining menu, and chatted briefly with a photographer in town for a stint teaching at the Photographic Workshops in Rockport. She has traveled extensively around the world and lives in Manhattan. Her feeling echoes ours: Primo is as good as the best anywhere, anytime. Check it out.
I just got back from our annual trip to the Rockland area and my first reaction to your itinerary is "too much route 1!" Why don't you turn off route 1 on Buttermilk Lane, just after the cement plant between Thomaston and Rockland. You'll be following the tidal Weskeag River. Turn right on route 73 and follow it down to the town landing and the Keag Store (pronounced "gig"). Grab a few lobster rolls, please try a crab roll, too! If it matters to you they've been voted the best in the area by the locals although the locals tend to order an italian or pizza. And then drive left from the store down Dublin Road and follow the signs to Birch Point Beach. They have picnic tables on the rocks, you can eat your lunch, do a little beach combing, poking around in tidal pools and let the dog have a walk (on a leash). This is really only a few miles off route 1. When you leave the beach go right on Dublin Road and explore or just drive straight through if you're in a rush. Owls Head has beautiful homes, lobster wharfs, a light house, and a pretty village. You will eventually get back to route 73, turn right and you'll be in Rockland and back on route 1. That's a real Maine experience. And next year come back and just explore this area - you've got to see everything to the right of the Keag Store!
Arrows is fabulous. However, fyi in case you did not know, MC Perkins Cove, also in Ogunquit is owned by the same boys who own Arrows. Clarke, who has manned the kitchen for quite some time at Arrows, has been cooking at MC for some time now and although it has always been good, it is over the top wonderful with Clarke in the kitchen. The reason I am telling you this is because MC is much less expensive than Arrows and has a wonderful ocean view. Arrows is a special occasion place, very beautiful framhouse tucked in the woods sorrounded by gardens and very romantic. MC is much more casual. Wherever you go enjoy!
Good lists and good recs twentyostahs,
But for godsakes stay away from Mac Segulls, unless of course, your idea of fashionable is Bermudas, closed toe sandals and black over-the-calf socks.
Btw, obviously I know you from the Boston board and I share both your & HDinCentralME's sentiments on doing some damn research before you post.
Obtw, IMO, drive by Red's unless you've timed it for 8:45 PM.
Reds Eats in Wiscasset for lobster roll.
On the Camden/Rockport border check out Prism - you can have nice lunch and check out some stained glass.
Right in town in Camden is Cappy's for pub fare.
Near Bar Harbor i agree with Havana. Or a bit out of town we really enjoyed the Burning Tree - between Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor.
Abels was ok - great blueberry pie. I still prefer Bealls or Thurstons.
As a "camdenite" I must refute any recommendation that suggests Cappys as passable or even (gulp) good. It's just awful, always has been and (small but important footnote) longstanding rumor has it that this "Chowder House" gets the bulk of their chowder from a pre-made canned clam chowder. Snow's I think. I haven't been to Prism but it looks interesting. They are on route 1 though and I have to say that there is no better place to be for lunch or drinks then right downtown on Camden Harbor in the summer.
I've seen a few people suggesting Cappy's on this board, it has always baffled me. Locally Cappy's is one of the places to steer WAY clear of, just saying....
For the Boothbay-Bar Harbor Stretch, I would hold out for an extra 25 minutes past Camden until you get to Belfast and go to Chase's Daily for lunch. Just what you're looking for...they use their own local organic produce. Great atmosphere and a killer bakery to boot! Note that they are closed on Mondays.
96 Main St, Belfast, ME 04915
Always appreciate when someone does their research first :-)
If you stop for dinner prior to Boothbay consider The Ocean Grill in Edgecomb. Nice river views and good food. (Service can be "casual").
In Boothbay Harbor itself consider 93 Townsend. Non-touristy...lobster rolls to lobster risotto.
You're correct that Young's is in Belfast, but not far from Rte One. Also in Belfast is Chase's Daily which could be a good "non-lobster" lunch stop.
Bar Harbor: Havana for good "splurge" dinner.
Ah yes, as a fellow Chowhound, I know the merits of researching first and then asking questions later ;)
Thanks so much for the recs, guys. Have couple of new places on my list now. Cafe This Way looks great, now will have a tough time deciding btwn b'fast and dinner! Maybe we'll have to do both like you did, Raedia.
Two recs for Chase's Daily...if we can hold out past Camden we'll definitely give this a try.
Appreciate all the recs, feel free to keep 'em comin!
For your indoor Bar Harbor dinner, might I recommend Cafe This Way? My SO and I went for dinner there our first night, and liked it so much we went back for brunch the next day. Great, creative food, and casual atmosphere - they have big garage-type doors that open up to the patio when it's nice out. 2 Cats is great for brunch, too, although I thought Cafe This Way had better service.
Abel's Lobster Pound is a very good choice - the view of Somes Sound is great from there... the only natural fjord in the US!
List looks good, but if your driving on Rte. 1 a short drive off there just past Wiscasset is Glidden Point Oyster Sea Farm. Bring your own shucking knife and pick up some oysters or littleneck clams for a little break before you get to Bar Harbor. Looks like it could be right up your alley.