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Aug 15, 2007 10:06 PM

Help with heading Downeast?

OK all you lovely Maine and NE board posters -- would y'all care to help me plan a trip "down east" from Wiscasset-ish? I was planning on going back through all the lovely posts I've read the past few days with tips and hints from over the years, but realize some of the posts are rather dated. I thought instead perhaps I could entice you to generate a new Aug-2007 plan?

While I'd love to devote a trip just to eating Jim Leff-style, I come attached with two puppies, albeit well-food-acclimated ones. There's a substantive dh as well. So +/- most exceptionally tasty restaurants are fair game except super-expensive and/or white-cloth romantic dinners (what *is* that, come to think of it? I haven't eaten a meal where "scolding" wasn't on the menu in longer than I can remember). But if you're willing, I'd awfully much appreciate hearing about interesting local sights like museums or marshes full of some interesting critter or sight or a great hike somewhere. The Rugged Maine Scenic Waterfront-thing isn't a necessary encounter, but, well, pies (especially in conjunction with some interesting history) just might be (Yup, I know about Helen's and frankly, this may be one of the biggest motivators for the whole entire trip). We're deficient in the camping department at the moment, so if anyone happens to have overnighting thoughts too I'm all ears (eyes? -- though if posting such thoughts would be terribly offtopic, and you're willing, please don't hesitate to email offlist to roos at ucla dot biology dot edu). I've always thought all that watery Canadian Shield in the way north looked worth getting to feel, but it may just take too many hours driving through nowhere with nary a decent bite to eat at any end for the puplets. Someday, somehow I just have to make it up to NS and PEI! In the meantime, just getting as far as MDI would be an achievement.

Many, many thanks in advance for your new offerings, and for all the terrific old ones as well.

-aliris, a grateful interloper from a different board harking from far, far away.....

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  1. Im not sure how you feel about walking along the coast, but In Ogunquit there is a walk way along the coast called Marginal Way, that is well worth the senery but no dogs! And i dont know if you have any places to stay in mind but most Im fimilear with dont allow animals. There are a lot of places to eat in the Ogunquit and Wells area, and lots of places to stay. I will include a web site which might help. Hope this helps some what , my advise is to look on the internet for chamber of commerce sites for places you might want to stay. Good Luck Earle

    1. When you say "puppies", are you referring to the 2-legged or 4-legged variety?

      1 Reply
      1. re: whs

        I was about to type "4-legged" in referring to my children! OK, so since it's children we're talking about, I guess the answer has to be "2-legged", but they seem to me to be all paws. Family with small kids that likes to eat and walk and think about the past. That's what we're talking about here. Plus, we're further north ("east"?) of Wells/Ogunquit already! But I'm not trying to sound ungrateful -- thanks for the web hints.

      2. I like your wonderfully enrapturing, poetic style, but where are you going? Give us an origin and a destination, pardon my hopeless pedantry, and we'll get you well fed.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Veggo

          Sorry sorry sorry! And sorry for the slow response and thanks for your replies, all. I am a really, really obtuse writer, I know. Especially when I'm embarrassed, as I am in asking for help here!

          Let me try again. "I" am one of a family that consists of two parents, and two small children. They like to eat just about anything, so their presence isn't limiting food-wise, but price and atmosphere-wise.

          We will be heading north along the coast from Wiscasset in a few days. I haven't been more specific because I don't know what-all we'll be doing very well myself. A few days ago I read some wonderful posts here I think with suggestions for offbeat places to go as well as eat "downeast" and my task soon will be to dredge up that post.

          Just about all I know I want to do is visit Helen's in Machias which I've been hearing about all my life; my parents went there some long while ago and have never stopped talking about it. So, whether good, changed, touristy or whatever, still I just want to try it. We may also hop across the border too while we're so close -- why not?

          The plan then, since I know I want to get there, will probably be to push north the first day and maybe stay in Cherryfield or Jonesport? I think we'll go further than the Schoodic peninsula at first and backtrack stopping there as time permits.

          Apart from Helen's, is there anything of note way-north, say from Cherryfield north along rte 1 or thereabouts? (I mention Cherryfield because it's noted on the map as one end of a 'scenic drive' along rte 182).

          We're basically interested in exploring what Maine might have looked more like several years back. That would include food as well as culture.

          Many grateful thanks for any pointers.

          BTW, other places that have struck my fancy while reading are:
          1. Moody's (Waldoboro)
          2. Good Company Cafe (Rockland), but maybe that's not really a kid place, more of a bar?
          3. The Edge for fancy pizza-tasting (Lincolnville), but maybe that's a tad froofy?
          4. Finelli's (Ellsworth) -- pizza highly recommended, but as a non-NY'er, I'm wondering whether it's too "NY" for me -- that flat cheese-stuff isn't what I like to think of when I think "pizza"; I prefer yummy chewy crust and interesting veggies. Sorry -- I know that's really, really detestable to some. There ought to be different names for the two...
          5. Primo's (Rockland), but that may be white-table-cloth; gotta check....

          The So Thomaston Keag store sounds intriguing, but I'd rather go check out Rockland, probably, when in that area. Lobster rolls I can make myself better and cheaper. Though the hint of $5 lobster rolls way up north sure sounds enticing...! I guess good, local not necessarily fancy but really good-tasting is what we're interested in. "Local" really doesn't have to mean lobster for us.

          1. re: aliris

            Primo is definitely a white tablecloth, grown-up experience. It's amazing, but with two small kids...hmmm. Anybody else have thoughts on this?

            If you're in Rockland, you might give thought to a day trip out to Monhegan Island. Dirt roads, no cars, old Victorian houses and inns, dramatic vistas. Good lobster rolls, but limited "fine" dining.

        2. Here's a post about the Schoodic Peninsula, which is just above Bar Harbor:

          Here's a post about lobster:


          I think your best bet is searching by specific destination.

          1. We were going to go have dinner at Maine Diner in Wells but the wait was horrendous at 7 pm so we crossed the street to Bull n Claw. It was really pretty good, especially seafood and perfect for a family. I had baked haddock with crabmeat stuffing. The haddock was fresh and cooked to perfection -- not overcooked at all as is often the case in largish family restaurants. The crabmeat stuffing was mostly crab, also fresh, not thawed. My son had fish n chips and the fish was the best of this sort I've had. Very fresh, lightly breaded and fried and not overdone or soggy at all. Husband had a buffalo chicken salad which he of few words kept exclaiming was 'great'.

            Now, it's a typical family restaurant and the salad bar won't send you in raptures but the veggies were fresh if not great in variety. My cup of vegetarian bean soup was okay. Blueberry Ale was tasty as was the Berry Lemonade.

            Overall, a nice surprise.