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Apr 13, 2008 02:08 PM

Maine adventures

I will be spending a month in Lewiston and am very eager to get in as many chowhound experiences as possible. I am also very interested in trying fiddleheads. Can anybody recommend where I can get them (either at a restaurant or a market and I could prepare them myself)? And is it too early for wild blueberries? I'll be here through the second week or Maine.

I have access to a car and will probably be making a few day trips - to Freeport, Bar Harbor, Ogunquit. But I have no problem driving an hour or two.

Already have planned: Red's, Morse's, Waterman's (for pie), Round Top Ice Cream, Simone's.

Any and all suggestions is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. Too early for blueberries, but just in time for fiddleheads. They carry them at Hannaford when the are in season.

    While in Lewiston, stop by Fuel on Lisbon street. We recently tried Fishbones and weren't impressed. Gritty's is good for local beer, but their food isn't all that great.

    11 Replies
    1. re: delong99

      Agreed on Gritty's. I'd rather buy a six-pack and eat at home than go there. You want great local beer AND decent food, try Sea Dog (I really like the one in Camden, but Topsham or South Portland are good too and much closer) or The Great Lost Bear in Portland, where there are a gazillion brews on tap. DaVinci's or Espo's in Lewiston are acceptable Italian; Graziano's in Lisbon Falls isn't bad either, and the boxing memorabilia on the walls is fun to look at while you're waiting for your food!

      1. re: Kinnexa

        The Sea Dog in Camden closed six years ago. There was never a Sea Dog in South Portland. Great local beer is high praise for Sea Dog considering they're owned by Fred Forsley and Shipyard. The food at Great lost bear is horrific.

        1. re: mjp81

          There is a Sea Dog in Bangor, but don't eat there. Three brew pubs near Bar Harbor, not much yet open. Let me know if you are going to Acadia Nat'l Park. All the pub fare in Bangor is poor.

          1. re: mjp81

            Good Grief!
            There are equally good reasons for ignoring recommendations on food boards as there are to follow them. Sea Dog inhabited the spot now occupied by Saltwater Grille a few years ago in South Portland. The food at Great Lost Bear is perfect if you are up for something that goes with all that beer - Dave has been doing it right for 20+ years. Decide for yourself.

            And that 3lb lobster in Bar Harbor? That's from Massachussets. The state of maine has a maximum legal size way under that. Not that it means it was bad, I'm just sayin' is all.

            1. re: johnnydj

              A few years ago.... Saltwater Grille has been there since 2001 at the very least. Check their website. What sense does it make to mention a place that hasn't existed in 7 years. Might as well recommend Stone Coast downtown.
              The food at GLB is no different than any low- level sports bar. Even Rivalries does it better. Go for the beer, not the food.

              1. re: johnnydj

                The Great Lost Bear is a good place to find a lot of different brews under one roof, including some really local stuff. They also have 'sampler' glasses, if that's your thing and you want to taste a bunch of beers without going broke or getting sick. Haute cuisine? No. But not uniformly 'horrific' either. GLB wouldn't be my first choice if I weren't drinking beer. That said, the food is ample, inexpensive, and a perfectly acceptable accompaniment to the 'main course' flowing from the taps.

                If that sounds good to you, try it! If you prefer a quarter-sized piece of meat on a plate with two leaves of baby greens and a squirt of sauce, go somewhere else.

                1. re: johnnydj

                  johnnydj, I read that as of last July 1st, all the New England states and theMaritimes adopted an upper size limit, based upon the success of Maine's lobster management. Can anyone comment?

                  1. re: johnnydj

                    Good Grief, Indeed!
                    Locals go to the Great Lost Bear for the beer! (and with good reason)
                    But we know enough to avoid the food - - -ugh!

                  2. re: mjp81

                    Shows how long it's been since I got up to Camden. Too bad...I thoroughly enjoyed the food and loved the beer. And what's with the Fred Forsley/Shipyard slam? I don't care if the place was owned by Jesus Christ or Charlie Manson. I like most of the Sea Dog brews I've had. But then, I'm not a beer snob. If I had a tasty brew and the label said 'Miller' I still had a tasty brew!

                2. re: delong99

                  In New Gloucester is the frozen custand stand. You can't miss this place. It opens on Mothers Day. Best ice cream in the state. New Gloucester is next to lewiston.

                3. Did I miss something? What are the dates?

                  1 Reply
                  1. Lots of differing opinions re. Red's. Many folks like the Sea Witch much better and there aren't the crowds. Do a search for location. It's near Red's but I'm not sure if it's across the street or down a block.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: three of us

                      It's not the Sea Witch, its the Sea Basket and its on Route One, just before you get into downtown Wiscasset (just past Wiscasset Ford, on the left if you are east bound). The Sea Basket serves fish chowder against which all others are measured. Eat some there or bring some home. Or both.

                      Red's is the Hard Rock Cafe of Maine roadside foodstands. They are famous for their lobster rolls, but more than that they are really famous for simply being famous. That rubs some people the wrong way and there has been an inevitable backlast against their popularity. I like to say that they don't have magic at Red's, but they do have a great location and an endless supply of fresh lobster and a proven ability to consistently deliver a quality product.

                      1. re: Keefer Lucas

                        Thanks for the correction. Sea Witch is located on Boston's North Shore, Peabody to be exact.

                          1. re: Keefer Lucas

                            Yes, Red's is a bit too well known, but I love the lobster rolls and the sides are very good. Location can't be beat, so standing there for 40 minutes is pleasant on a sunny day. I enjoy other places, like Harraseeket, but Red's is the best roll I've had in a while, as a Route-1 tourist.

                            I do always wonder if the place across the street is any good - the one that everyone who can't stand waiting in line goes to..

                            1. re: grant.cook

                              Sarah's is the restaurant across the street. Have heard mixed reviews from friends, but we weren't impressed on all levels when we went there. Le Garage (around the corner from Sarah's) has fantastic food and views, and great service.

                              We have eaten at The Senator on I-95 in Augusta a few times (which is closer to Lewiston than Wiscasset is, I believe). While it isn't trendy or blowaway, we find it pleasant and reliable with good food that is well prepared. You won't leave hungry from either Le Garage or The Senator.

                              1. re: MaineCook

                                Actually, grant.cook is probably referring to Sprague's, the other lobster shack. It's right on a dock over the river. Haven't been, but others have told me it's very good--rolls jampacked with the meat of a full lobster.

                                Sarah's is a great place to take kids--very family oriented. And yes, Le Garage is a great find for those wanting a sit-down meal with a view. I like that it has meals in all sizes, all prices.

                        1. Waterman's for pie? What about the lobster? Don't miss it. Might be a tad chilly though, if open.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mjoyous

                            Well I would most certainly get lobster while I was there. But I read about their pies as well. Thought lobster would be an added bonus.

                          2. Also wondering if anybody knows of a Somalian restaurant in Lewiston? I know there is a huge Somalian population so I imagine there must be a place to get some food. But I haven't been able to track one down yet. Any thoughts?