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Jul 6, 2009 09:13 AM

Results from a long weekend around Belfast, ME

Fried Foods and Rolls:
Red's Eats, Wiscasset: Excellent fried clams (the only decent clams I got this weekend, probably a result of the flooding/red tides closing down the clam flats along the New England coast). Excellent fried dough. Lobster roll ice cold (like, too cold even by lobster roll standards) and tough and probably over cooked.

Bagaduce Lunch, Brooksville: Fried shimp roll excellent, local shrimp not over breaded. I looked at someone else's fried clams and they did not look top notch- my whole-belly standards might be high, but these were practically strips. Onion rings fried at wrong temperature and exceedingly greasy, even by onion rings standard. Hot dog overcooked. Disappointing on the whole.

Lobster Pounds:

Waterman's, South Thomaston: The setting is -amazing-. The lobsters sweet.
But the prices were higher than at Young's (see below). Then they gave us 1 1/4 pounders instead of the 1 1/2ers we paid for. " 1 1/4" was written on the paper trays the lobsters were served on, the lobsters looked like 1 1/4ers. nevertheless hey refused to change the charge on my card, saying our trays must have been mismarked by the staff. The side salads came, literally in a 1/4 cup portion-- and they charged $1.50 for each one! The rhubarb pie had an excellent filling but was undercooked.
I found Waterman's deeply disappointing compared to old favorites closer to Portland (and a new favorite from this trip).

Young's, Belfast: Terrific for what it is. Cheaper than Young's, lobsters properly cooked. Love the warehouse atmosphere and the BYO-everything approach. Indoor seating was invaluable given the dodgy weather on Friday and Saturday, Lobster stew was great. All sizes available even when we ran in 10 minutes prior to closing. The steamers were "meh" (see clam issues above) but the mussels were good. Staff and guests were friendly- lost of chatting and sharing among tables.
About a million times better than Waterman's.

Ice Cream/Dessert:
Dorman's, Thomaston: Absolutely the best old-fashioned (and by that I mean pre-superpremium/superfatcontent) ice cream I've ever had. It was crushingly disappointing that this was closed on the 4th and 5th b/c we would have driven from Belfast both days to get more. Second best ice cream I've ever had next to the dearly-departed Stosh's of Kent, CT. Amazingly flavorful, but light and refreshing

Round Top, Damariscotta [also sampled at Camden Cone]: Very good mint chocolate chip and cherry; poor maple walnut and peanut butter. Uneven. Texture good, but often insufficiently strong/deep flavor.

John's [Served at Bay Wraps, Belfast]: This seemed to have a touch of refreeze going on, which may have altered the texture, but the chocolate flavor that I sampled was disappointing- very mild and almost more brownsugary than chocolatey. Would like to try other flavors, to reconfirm.

Mount Desert Ice Cream, Bar Harbor: Only tried the chocolate coconut flavor, but wow, what a great surprise! Fresh tasting ingredients...probably the closest of all the ice creams of the trip to the taste of excellent homemade ice cream. Would like to try again

Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium, Bar Harbor: Tried only the chocolate grand marnier ice cream, which was my favorite ice cream as a kid when I would come to Maine every summer. I still love it- its objectively not in the same league as some of the other ice creams from this trip, but its just got the perfect balance of chocolate and liqeur

Scoops & Crepes, Belfast: Don't know where they got their ice cream from, but AVOID.

Priscilla's Pies, Bucksport: I have eaten excellent homemade pies, pies from great bakeries all over the US, pies from Amish bakeries in PA and Indiana. This is the greatest pie I have ever tasted and its not even close. The blackberry was particularly tremendous. Christ, I can still taste it. The highlight of the trip.

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  1. When I was up that way a couple of weeks ago I made the 25 minute drive inland on Route 3 to Liberty, in order to sample John's at the source. I had a scoop of Coconut and a scoop of Quadruple Chocolate, both of which were excellent. I could taste the cocoa in the QC, which is how I judge chocolate ice cream.

    For years I have wanted to ask Priscilla what shortening she uses in her pie crust, but I haven't had the nerve for fear she will tell me that it's lard. Knowledge may beget enlightenment, but ignorance is bliss!

    1. I had the Blackstrap Banana ice cream and Basil Blueberry Sorbet when I went to Mt. Desert. Truly superb.

      1. Great post - thanks for the tips.

        Sorry to hear that Scoops & Crepes was really bad. I'd been wanting to check it out during my upcoming trip to the Belfast area, as Jim Leff had deemed its blueberry ice cream as "extraordinary" in the following link from January 2007:

        I'm assuming that the ice cream there is generic and commercial-tasting?

        3 Replies
        1. re: freshfigs

          Can anyone else verify (or disagree with) dzop's assertions in the original post? I'm especially curious about Bagaduce Lunch and Scoops and Crepes, which had received a lot of hype in the link above.

          1. re: freshfigs

            I LOVE Bagaduce Lunch. I think they have some of the best onion rings in Maine. if I remember correctly, they have just expanded (can anyone verify?)? Classic Maine seafood spot. I would definitely recommend their fried shrimp and onion rings. Lobster roll is good, too.

            Here are a few pics (onion rings and fried haddock; onion rings and crab roll)

            1. re: corinnerose

              I enjoy the Bagaduce, but find it spotty; depends on the crowds, I feel.

        2. I think the OP provides an excellent review overall. That fact that Jim Leff enjoyed his ice cream at Scoops and Crepes and dzop didn't care for his the next means nothing. It could be a matter of taste preferences or freezer burn. Ice cream goes stale. And although Mr. Leff founded this site, he may not exactly be the arbiter of taste.

          I've never actually heard anything about the "crepes" aspect of the "Scoops & Crepes" shop, but have been told they do not use authentic cast iron crepe griddles found in France, is this true? Because if it is, the name is somewhat misleading.

          1. I'll be up there the end of June and again in August. Did you see a flavor called Frozen Pudding? It exists in Maine, and perhaps Rhode Island. It's old timey, and hard to find. I'll definitely look up Priscilla and her pies.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Pat Hammond

              Fire me an email when you're up this way, Pat.

              1. re: Pat Hammond

                Well, Pat, I'll beat you by a month, since I am leaving Sunday for a 6 day visit to the Belfast area. Frozen Pudding is one of my favorite flavors of ice cream, and it's pretty much available throughout Massachusetts too. I will check around and let you know if I find any in Belfast and environs.

                1. re: groaker

                  I'd really appreciate that, groaker. It's been years and years since I last had that flavor. We used to spend 3 weeks in the summer just outside of Belfast in Northport. I don't recall seeing then.

                  1. re: Pat Hammond

                    Where are you driving in from, Pat? Lot's of Frozen Pudding 'round these pahts.

                    Richardson's ice cream in Middleton Ma is one of the best spots, and you can find their ice cream in many other shoppes around Massachusetts if you're driving up 495 or 95. Here's the flavor description from their website:

                    "Frozen Pudding

                    Rum Based Ice Cream With Raisins, Pineapples, Maraschino Cherries, Apples, And Peaches (Don’t Knock It Till You Try It)"

                    The Scoop Deck on Route 1 between Ogunquit and Wells is maybe a 10 minute detour off Interstate 95. It's a fun place to stop for ice cream and they serve Blake's Ice Cream from new Hampshire. Frozen Pudding is almost always available.