Eating places in New England
In early October we'll be staying in Bar Harbor,Portland,Ogunquit,Boston and Montpelier..Any suggestions please for "not to be missed" places to eat in these cities?We won't have a car so will have to get to the restaurants on foot or by public transport.We like to keep within our budget and eat where the locals eat.
When you're in Bar Harbor you should stop at the Jordan Pond House. It's in Acadia State Park and it's lovely. If it's warm enough to sit outside, you should. Don't bother with a meal--the food is mediocre at best. Order their famous popovers and maybe the house made ice cream. Look out at the water and the beautiful rolling hills. It's a great experience.
Places where locals eat in downtown Montpelier are:
Positive Pie (on State Street, not far from the crossroads of State and Main), a new agey pizza place that's pretty good, not NY pizza, but good for what it is. The few times I've been there, though, the service has been slow. So don't go if you're in a hurry.
Black Door (on Main Street), I've never been here but two people I trust have and they say it's really good. Pricey, to my eye, which is why I've never been yet, but upscale for sure.
Main Street Grill and the Chef's table (on.. you guessed it, Main Street, Chef's table is upstairs from the grill), This is a New England Culinary Institute run restaurant, and as such, that means the food and service can be a little inconsistent. I haven't been there for quite a while, but the times I have been the food was good.
There's a Thai place on Elm street, which is a right off of State street and down a bit, by the court house and post office. I've only heard good things about this place, but, again, never been there (we don't really like Thai food). I think it's called uhm... something Orchid... Sorry, I'm sure someone else will mention the name.
A nice filling, reasonably priced and pretty tasty breakfast can be obtained at the Coffee Corner cafe at the corner of State and Main. They are only open for breakfast and lunch, and they're consistent and good.
Oh, across from the Thai place on Elm is a soup and sandwich place that my friends have said wonderful things about. They have different soups and sandwiches every day, and I've not heard anything bad about them.
Another common locals place is Sarduccis. This is a decent Italian-American restaurant. It gets noisy, but they have a wood-fired oven and I've never had a meal there that I didn't like.
Since you won't have a car, this warning is a little moot because it's a few miles away from downtown (though you could get there by bus, if you felt strongly about it), stay away from The Wayside. This is a perfect example of the concept "sometimes the locals have no idea what good food is". Though some of my friends disagree. This place is nearly always packed. Yet, I've never had a breakfast at this place that I was happy with. YMMV.
If you care about fair labor practices and good treatment of employees, stay away from J. Morgan's, the restaurant at the Capital Plaza hotel. I had a friend who worked there and the layers of abuse are thick, as are their union breaking tactics to keep the workers from being able to stop the abuse. I never eat there if I can help it, though the food is adequate.
Good points and suggestions, Morganna! Sadly, I have found both the Main St Grill and Chef's Table to be less than wonderful over the last couple of years. With student chefs, some inconsistency is to be expected, but it seems to be the rule rather than the exception lately. I hope that they can turn it around.
Coffee Corner is excellent, not fancy, but always good. Outstanding breakfast, great bread.
Interesting to hear about J Morgan's. The location of the Capitol Plaza is good and central for business travel, the rooms quite adequate, some of the food quite good, but I've never been comfortable there - the employee abuse that you mention makes sense as the reason.
Totally agree about the Wayside. Over many years (30+), I'd gotten some excellent meals there at a very reasonable price, but it's always been inconsistent. Over the last few years, I've found that it's just uniformly lousy, and there is always a parking lot full of locals. Yes, it's cheap - but not good at all and definitely to be avoided.
re: sophie fox
Thanks for all your replies.They have given us plenty to think about.
In Ogunquit we are staying at Rockmere Lodge,a B&B in Stearns Road & I think walkable distance from Perkins Cove.Maybe the Trolley will help too!Should get lobster there as we have never had it before!
Thanks too for the Montpelier ideas.We are actually staying in the Capitol Plaza but hadn't intended eating there and now we have plenty of choice.
There is a trolley service in Ogunquit that can take you up Route one some distance and all along the Shore Road to Perkins Cove. Not sure if it will still be running when you are there but if you can walk, there are many places to walk to assuming you are staying close to town.
MC Perkins Cove is "not to be missed" not just for the food but the beautiful view. Look at their bar menu as well as the regular menu. They are owned by Arrows, a very ritzy wonderful place in Ogunquit but not reachable by foot. Barnicle Billy's in Perkins Cove is good for lobsters, steamers etc. and their famous rum punch. If you like french food Provence on Shore Road is excellent.
Im not sure where you are staying in the Ogunquit area but there are plenty of places to eat there. Some places start closing in Oct. but you are early enough to be OK. I will send you some sites that you can look at that might help you pick a place or 2 to eat at. http://www.vinnys.com/- http://www.jonathansrestaurant.com/--... Take a look at these places. It will be a little difficult getting to some of the places with out a car. So look at the ones that are in the downtown Ogunquit area. or at least near where you are staying .. Good luck . Earle