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Roadtrip from NJ to Maine- need suggestions along the way

njchowgal May 30, 2009 01:45 PM

DH and I are planning a summer road trip up to Bar Harbor, Maine to eat lobster/ hike Acadia national park. We would like some suggestions for foodie stops along the way. We are especially interested in local cuisines (fish/lobster/crab, etc) that we wouldn't find at home. Entrees should be under $20/each. We are free to either top just for lunch or stay in an area for a night. Thanks in advance!

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  1. b
    balsams cong RE: njchowgal May 30, 2009 06:14 PM

    If you stop in Portsmouth, NH for lunch, try Popovers on The Square. It's across from the Old Church. Good food, reasonably priced!

    1. s
      StevensAve RE: njchowgal May 31, 2009 08:58 AM

      Some rec's in Maine: Thurstons Lobster Shack in Tremont [very close to Bar Harbor]; Bob's Clam Shack in Kittery; Two Lights Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth [set right on the Atlantic] and our favorite restaurant in Maine: Caiola's in Portland. One word of travel caution: avoid long trips on Route 1 in Maine on all Fridays to Sunday during the summer.

      1. w
        westernmaine RE: njchowgal May 31, 2009 11:34 AM

        Darby's in Belfast has good chowder & nice atmosphere.www.darbysrestaurant.com
        Cleonice in Ellsworth always a great place for lunch or dinner....small.... www.cleonice.com. If you are staying in Bar Harbor this would be a nice drive "back to the main land" for dinner.
        Jumpin Jays in Portsmouth NH www.jumpinjays.com. Good quality preparation.
        For road side stops....Sea Basket in Wisscasset...Jordans snak bar in Ellsworth.
        Anglers in Searsport for you good high quality fresh "tourist fare" ie fried stuff. But they are always busy so the product will be fresh. Prepareation will be main stream.
        I always get pooped on when I mention the Maine Diner in Wells....but I had there Cod Cakes and Beans one summer & they were tasty came with a corn muffin....but menu is diner food. www.mainediner.com
        While in Bar Harbor Geddys is always a stop for me.www.geddys.com

        2 Replies
        1. re: westernmaine
          njchowgal RE: westernmaine May 31, 2009 06:47 PM

          thanks so much for the responses.. we have a full week up there, so keep them coming! i'm so excited to eat my way through new england (had to tie myself over with some canadian lobster tonight)

          1. re: njchowgal
            cbs206 RE: njchowgal Jun 7, 2010 06:57 PM

            Hi njchowgal,
            My boyfriend and I are planning a road trip to Bar Harbor and Portland from the NJ area in a few weeks (staying in Bar for 2 nights then 2 nights in Portland). I was wondering if you had any recommendations based on your recent trip? Neither of us have been there before, but would love to get suggestions on where to stop for good food (lobster shacks, etc.) and any other sites we should check out. We plan on stopping by 5 Islands Lobster in Georgetown on way from Bar Harbor to Portland. Thanks in advance for your help.

        2. Passadumkeg RE: njchowgal Jun 8, 2010 04:49 PM

          Bon Jovii and I went to the same high school in NJ. Jersey Chowhounds, email me and I'll give you my phone number. I've lived in the area for 20+ years, am a teacher and work as a Maine Guide in the summer.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Passadumkeg
            kbdex RE: Passadumkeg Jan 25, 2011 08:21 AM

            Hi I came across this link looking for some suggestions. My family is traveling from North Jersey to Kennebunkport Maine this summer for a week. Looking for someplace great to stop for lunch on the way, about 3 hours into the ride. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks.

            1. re: kbdex
              solargarlic RE: kbdex Jan 25, 2011 09:22 AM

              What's your route? I am thinking that 3 hours into your ride puts you at Mass., what city depends on what roads you take. It would be easier to help you if we know that stuff :).

              1. re: kbdex
                Passadumkeg RE: kbdex Jan 25, 2011 11:13 AM

                Sorry k, Kennebunk is outta my range. We live 3 hours north in Downeast Maine (In the summer only now.).

                Bon Jovi is from my home town.

                1. re: kbdex
                  bigmackdaddy RE: kbdex Jan 25, 2011 04:22 PM

                  I always stop off at a place called Blunch, in Boston, whenever I drive up to Kennebunk from Brooklyn. They're a terrific sandwich place. Unfortunately, they don't have much seating and parking can be a tad difficult. But it's worth it to me.


                  1. re: kbdex
                    bobbert RE: kbdex Jan 25, 2011 04:59 PM

                    When I head home from Portland to Nyack via I84 I usually stop at Rein's deli outside of Hartford. Easy on/off. You probably have better Jewish style food in NJ so... a very good CH alternate would be to take I95 and stop in New Haven for pizza at either Sally's or Pepe's. These two places are possibly the best in the country (check em out on line). Hit one on the way up and the other going home and compare!

                    1. re: bobbert
                      solargarlic RE: bobbert Jan 25, 2011 06:17 PM

                      Good thinking on those CT recs! Also, Pepe's has their Manchester, CT location now too, a little further north of New Haven.

                      1. re: solargarlic
                        bobbert RE: solargarlic Jan 25, 2011 06:55 PM

                        I have a "thing" about going to the "original" of almost any restaurant. In Boston, Regina in the North End only. I'm qirrky in that way.

                        1. re: bobbert
                          solargarlic RE: bobbert Jan 25, 2011 07:12 PM

                          I agree, but there are certain times when I'll take the convenience (like when I'm on the road b/t CT & NH and I need pizza).

                          1. re: solargarlic
                            bobbert RE: solargarlic Jan 26, 2011 07:48 AM

                            OK, I guess I have to agree with you. In a pinch... :)

                      2. re: bobbert
                        the_MU RE: bobbert Jan 27, 2011 05:42 AM

                        I used to live in Nyack. I think of it fondly every time a gaggle of spandex-clad cyclists whizzes past my house.

                  2. r
                    rockblogsterbdn RE: njchowgal Jan 25, 2011 09:52 AM

                    portland: j's oyster bar really is wonderful. so isn't hot suppa.
                    rockland: suzuki sushi is the best in the state. primo, if you can get in/afford it, is so worth it.
                    belfast: three tides, right on the waterfront, is a fantastic place for a late night snack and cocktail, and for spectacular local beer. young's lobster pound is your typical seafood joint, but the setting is great.
                    searsport: just barbs has the best fried seafood around, for my money.
                    bangor: fiddlehead is a real gem; fresh, local, simple.
                    bar harbor: mache bistro is worth paying for.

                    if you're feeling adventurous and have an afternoon to kill while you're on mdi, take the ferry to little cranberry island and eat lunch at the islesford dock restaurant. then walk around the island. it's gorgeous.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: rockblogsterbdn
                      the_MU RE: rockblogsterbdn Jan 26, 2011 09:54 AM

                      Current poster (who resurrected this thread) is only going as far as Kennebunkport. MDI is a little out of the way. New Haven is a nice idea but not that far up from North Jersey, maybe an hour and change.

                      I'd check rec's around Worcester, maybe post on the Greater Boston or most likely Southern NE board.

                      1. re: the_MU
                        bobbert RE: the_MU Jan 27, 2011 05:30 AM

                        I had actually factored the time thing in to New Haven ( about 1 1/2 hours from GW bridge with no traffic). Definitely not half way to Kennebunk but for the best pizza anywhere???? To get right at half way, Sturbridge, Ma area as well as Worcester. Good luck and enjoy Maine!

                        1. re: bobbert
                          solargarlic RE: bobbert Jan 27, 2011 06:42 AM

                          No one should have to eat in Sturbridge (at least last time I stopped there, it was really slim pickings).

                    2. g
                      grant.cook RE: Mister Meatball Jan 26, 2011 07:57 AM

                      There's a lot of posts on topic like Lobster Shacks, but I'd say

                      New Haven, CT - Pizza at Frank Pepe's (I like the white clam, personnally)

                      Wiscasset, ME - Red Eats.. be prepared to stand in line

                      Young's Lobster Pound - across the bridge in Belfast, ME

                      Duck Fat - Portland (good for lunch).. Fore St. if you want a very nice dinner, make reservations

                      In MA - either the Clam Box or Woodman's in Essex, MA for Fried Clams

                      In RI - and its a detour - Matunuck Oyster Bar or head over to Point Judith and get clam cakes at Iggy's. An even bigger detour - head further and get ice cream at Tiverton Four Corners.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: grant.cook
                        grant.cook RE: grant.cook Jan 26, 2011 08:16 AM

                        You might also want to hit up the roadfood sites - roadfood.com, hollyeats.com, etc.

                      2. k
                        kbdex RE: njchowgal Jan 26, 2011 02:50 PM

                        Thanks so much everyone for all the great info. Will check routes and see what works for us.

                        1. t
                          tamerlanenj RE: njchowgal Jan 27, 2011 09:47 AM

                          This doesn't qualify as Northern New England, but it is certainly en route. You MUST make a point to have pizza (apizza) at Sally's or Pepe's in New Haven, CT.

                          1. Passadumkeg RE: njchowgal Jan 27, 2011 10:55 AM

                            My folks lived in central Jersey. When leaving from a visit, we would start early and make a small detour and east breakfast at O'Rourke's Diner in Middletown, Ct. a great (very) little diner w/ some amazing chow. My eldest son is a Wesleyan U. alumn and O'Rourke's has a lot of special memories as well.

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