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May 1, 2012 11:13 AM

Trip To Maine In July

In July I plan a trip to the east coast. I plan to visit the cities of Bangor, Presque Isle, and maybe Augusta. This is a Bus/Plane, (maybe Ferry/Train) trip since I have no car, (maybe next year.) Can anyone out there recomend a good place to eat in those cities? Any kind of food is good, (but I like steak.)

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  1. I suggest you search the board for recent discussions of Bangor and Augusta. PI is pretty much a "Chow desert," and I'd have to say that our part of the country is NOT a good place for steak. Why not eat our lovely seafood, and head to Iowa for the cow?

    4 Replies
    1. re: mainemal

      Actually, Iowa is the last place I'd go for beef. Isn't that industrial beef heaven. Maine actually has wonderful local grass fed beef that's far superior in every respect. But I can't speak for it's availability in Presque Isle, Bangor or Augusta. Although seafood is the way to go, I agree. I was just in Presque Isle last week, and we did go to the Long Lake Sporting Club for dinner one night. It was actually pretty good. I had a pretty good meal there. I had some ployes for the first time in my life there and thoroughly enjoyed it.

      1. re: nyawira

        Local grass fed beef is available at Bangor's better restaurants. I had an excellent example, a hanger steak, just last week at Fiddlehead

        1. re: nyawira

          Deviating a little bit; I agree with Nyawira, Maine does have wonderful tasting beef. Sanford Butcher, in Sanford being one of the best butchers I've experienced. They're the guys I go to for my once-a-year turkey and meat run, before Thanksgiving.

          For the OP, do any of these buses make a tour out of your route, where they may pull over to some local restaurants or markets? I would say that if you find little recommendations on this board just pop your head into any place that looks interesting (or not). Even the most dilapidated shack may have really tasty food. I took a similar route when I went from Lubec to the US 1/I-95 intersection. Very beautiful scenery and a couple of good places to eat. Admittedly, not too many steaks.

          1. re: David11238

            I'm pretty sure these are like Greyhound buses. If they stop you'll be lucky to get out and use the facilities. It's not like a Greyline Tour.

      2. That certainly is an interesting mix of Maine did you come up with it? Good luck finding a ferry or train to take you to any of those spots...though I won't say it's impossible.

        Not in Presque Isle, but further up the County if you're able to make it is the Long Lake Sporting Club (on Long Lake, go figure) and Dolly's just further down the road in St Agatha.

        Both great places.

        In Augusta, I would suggest the Liberal Cup (next door in Hallowell)...very nice brewpub.

        2 Replies
        1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

          Basically I looked at a road map. I'm flying into Bangor. There is a bus line, (Cyr) that goes from Bangor To Presque Isle and Caribou. I'm looking up Bus and Ferry routes and tours before I travel. If it's not on a route I'm not going. I'm also going to try to make it to Boston and see somebody I used to know. I'm using a Greyhound Discoverpass so I could end up anywhere,
          (well anywhere with a cheap motel.)

          1. re: syrup09

            Well, there's also a bus line run from Bangor down the mid-coast, with stops in Camden, Rockland, and Damariscotta. Any/all of these have some great food stops...and for a side trip you can take a ferry from Rockland out to North Haven island.

        2. Bangor has a number of interesting places--search it, and you'll find a few threads.

          Presque Isle: Cafe Sorpresso is a real bright spot; Winnie's for lobster stew and Winnie burgers; all-day breakfast and homebaked treats at Riverside (a small diner).

          Augusta: Adjacent Hallowell has plentiful choices lining Water Street (Slate's, Liberal Cup, Hattie's, Cafe de Bangkok/great Thai, Lucky Garden/all-you-can-eat lunch buffet)--a riverside multi-use path connects Augusta to Hallowell, so bike or walk if the weather's decent. In Augusta, Bay Wrap makes great wraps, but it's only open during working hours.

          1. I have to give you kudos for going the non-traditional route, that's for sure.

            19 Replies
            1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

              I did a Mapquest search. I found out that one of the three remaining Howard Johnsons restaurants is a half mile from the first hotel I booked. Laugh or sneer at me it you want but I grew up near an old Howard Johnsons, (10 Mile Evergreen Southfield MI.) My trip is booked for two weeks for eventually I'll get some local seafood

              1. re: syrup09

                Being a southern Maine enthusiast (I've lived in Portland for the past 33 years), I would warn you that you might find your planned trip very weird. And definitely NON-chowhound territory. If you don't care much about food, or are willing for good places to be FEW and FAR between, then OK. Still a bus trip from Bangor to Presque Isle? Come on people, let's speak up here and help steer this Michigander to a more interesting trip? Once he hits the cities of his choice, there will be no public transportation to get around, for one thing. And not much to see. And not much to see on the endless trip on a bus from Bangor to PI? OK, I'll stop, but syrup, I'd go south from Bangor if you have no car.

                1. re: mainehound

                  My trip is two weeks in July. I going to try to go to Boston to see somebody I used to know, (a friend of my brothers.) I also booked two nights in Calais, which is the far end of the coast across from New Brunswick, (of course your from Maine so you know that.)
                  I figure other spots on the Atlantic would be too crowded. A company called West Bus goes their daily. I only plan to spend about two day in the far north.

                  If I had a car I would be their next week and hit some really odd places like Jackman.
                  Sometimes we have to make do with what we have. Also I went to college in Marquette Mi, so I like out of the way.

                  1. re: syrup09

                    LOL you are the first person I've ever known of who is going to Jackman by choice!! Might as well hit Bingham when you're out that way, too. 8<D

                  2. re: mainehound

                    I'm kinda intrigued by this itinerary but not from a chow perspective. More from an anthropology perspective. If nothing else, it should be interesting and who know what local gems might be found. Talk about off the beaten path.

                    1. re: mainehound

                      Don't listen to the naysayers syrup. Mainehound, why is a trip that includes Northern Maine "weird"? If your idea of a great vacation is heading off the beaten path...maybe spending some time on the some hiking in the woods...falling asleep to the cry of the loons...then you've picked a beautiful spot. Some of my favorite trips are spending weeks "up to camp" on those lakes...doing exactly those things.

                      And if people say it's not "chow worthy", then I think maybe they are missing the point. Chowhound can be used as a forum to find the best dining experiences OR it can be used exactly as you are using simply get advice on some acceptable options.

                      Have fun...and please do report back.

                      1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

                        I've set my itinerary. I'll be hitting five cities:

                        Presque Isle

                        I know I'll miss somethings, (or many things) But I can always go back when and if I get a car. I'm still looking for a same day bus trip from Bangor to Acadia National Park. For Boston info I'll look at that thread.

                          1. re: syrup09

                            If you can get to Ellsworth, you can get to Bar Harbor--check with Down East Transportation--it operates on this route, but it favors going from BH to BGR. Other than that, there's the Bangor Bar Harbor Shuttle, but it tends to be pricey: It might be a better deal to take the Down East Transportation bus to BH, then use the free Island Explorer shuttle to get around and spend a night at a cheap motel, such as Robbins. The Island Explorer makes it possible to get all around the island--including restaurants in Bar Harbor and the outlying communities.

                            1. re: syrup09

                              I'm surprised no one mentioned Dysart's Truck Stop in Bangor, I tried to go there coming back from NB but just couldn't find it easily and gave up but have heard good things. I looked up Calais just to see if something popped out and half the stuff was for St. Stephen NB. Good luck on that. You'll have lots of good eating in Boston at least.

                              1. re: Joanie

                                Thanks for posting about Dysart's. I'm not the OP, but happened to go on a road trip up to Canada, and passed through Bangor. I loved Dysart's!! Each dish we had was done with a lot of loving attention to detail. I had a lobster omelet, which had fresh, flavorful, tender chunks of lobster. In addition, the omelet itself was perfect for me - timed so that if it had been cooked a few seconds less, it would have been a touch runny. We also enjoyed blueberry pancakes which were springy and filled with local wild blueberries. My friend had a corned beef hash which was the most flavorful I'd ever tasted. Also, my friend could not stop raving about the baked beans. Only the bread toast was unexceptional. The host and the waitress were warm and attentive.

                                1. re: chowmeow

                                  The Greyhound Bus Stop is at Dysarts. I was there switching from a Cyr to a Greyhound Bus, but I didn't have time to eat lunch. The people I talked to seemed upset that they are two intercity bus stops in their city.

                            2. re: MidCoastMaineiac

                              I don't consider a trip to Northern Maine weird at all. I love the woods. BUT he has no car. I think that will be a very hard (and yes, weird) trip without a car. And it sounds like he'll be en route the whole time. That's a "fer piece" from Bangor to Presque Isle, and from Calais to Boston!! Have you looked a the mileage, syrup?

                              1. re: mainehound


                                23 days after my Main vacation ended I got a car. It's a 1999 Subaru Outback with 240,000 miles on it. I don't think it'll make it to Maine, (however one never knows.)

                                1. re: syrup09

                                  I have a 2001 Subaru Outback with 350,000 miles so you may have plenty of car left! You can do another Chowhound trip and hit the Chow worthyy places in Portland, like Fore Street, Hugo's, and Duckfat.

                            3. re: mainehound

                              I agree with Mainehound. Frankly, there isn't much worth eating north of Bangor. When I travel up there for work, I bring a hummus wrap and stop at the salad bars at Hannaford Supermarket. That is, sadly, the best you'll find.

                              1. re: MangiaMuse

                                Absolutely untrue. Have you been to every restaurant north of Bangor?

                              2. re: syrup09

                                I wouldn't laugh at you sryup09 - I'm actually kinda jealous you'll be able to get HoJo's chocolate chip ice cream, which is my fave (I'll cry if ya tell me they still make those chocolate "pops" with the white chocolate covering that had scenes of Boston "painted" in chocolate on them!).
                                Miss the chicken croquets & clam strips too - not "chow food", but it makes me feel like a kid again thinking about them. Hope you enjoy your trip! : )

                            4. I'm leaving in 3 days, (I've packed already.) When I get back I'll tell you about the trip.

                              12 Replies
                              1. re: syrup09

                                Okay, I'm now in Augusta and my trip is roughly halfway over. I've been to Bangor, Callais, and Presque Isle, (well actually all over Aroostook County.)


                                The Lobster Roll and Cookies from the Friars Bakery in Bangor. It's run by actual monks.

                                I hired a tour guide to take me through Aroostook County. We had lunch at the Lakeview Restaurant in St Agatha. I had a Burger and Poutine, (I know now Canadian the Maine.) That whole area is amazing.

                                The Wickachee Diner in Calais is pretty good. Try the French Toast. Julianna's and Bernadini's are closed

                                I had a Clam Roll at one of the last three Howard's Johnsons. It's kind of run down and I Didn't see any ice cream or those Chocolate Pops Southie Chick Remembers.

                                I got up at 2 Am so I'm very tired. I hit Boston Tommorow.

                                  1. re: mainehound

                                    Very Briefly. The Greyhound Bus I'm taking to Boston has to stop there. I'm taking a small Cape Airline Plane back to Augusta. Then back to Bangor and the Delta Flight back to Detroit. Maybe next time.

                                    1. re: syrup09

                                      You really deserve some sort of award for this trip...

                                      1. re: syrup09

                                        you're flying from Boston to Augusta? Wow. How much does that cost (if that is not too impertinent a question, sorry)? Are you enjoying your trip?

                                        1. re: mainehound

                                          about 60 dollars[cape air] i'm enjoying my trip.

                                    2. re: syrup09

                                      Awesome! Took my Senior Prom date to the Lakeview Restaurant...fond memories indeed. It is a gorgeous spot. I'm guessing you didn't do the Long Lake Sporting Club? Also quite special...

                                      1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

                                        The Trip: Part 2

                                        I'm back in Augusta after a trip to Boston. The only place I've manage to eat there was at Rooster Coal Fried Pizza And Tap House. It's connected to the Best Western I'm staying at. The food okay but the people are friendly. The best part was the Eli's Root Beer on tap. How available is this stuff?

                                        Boston was interesting. I didn't hook up with the person I was suposed to see. We misplanned our schedules. I've never seen so much traffic in my life. The Black Rose
                                        was the culinary highlight, (but that's for another thread.) Also along with Maine I've never seen so many Dunkin Donuts in my life.

                                        Tommorow I take the Concord Bus back to Bangor, (there are no flights from Boston to Bangor.) On wednesday I fly back to Detroit. If anything happens between then I'll post it here.

                                        By the way I had a mediocre club sandwich at a place connected to a travel plaza in Houlton. I can't remember the name.

                                          1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

                                            My trip is over. I'm back in Michigan (sigh)

                                            Maine is a great state and I want to get back there someday, but I have work to get back to.

                                            Chowise there is nothing much to report. When I got back to Bangor I only ate at two places: a breakfast sandwhich at Giacomo's, and the buffet at Hollywood Slots, (I stayed my last two nights there.) Giacomo's was good. The buffet was an average casino buffet. Next time maybe I'll try to make it to Fiddleheads.

                                              1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

                                                It was Aroostook County, not chowise but for general place. However I only ate three meals there.

                                                Has anyone been to Graham Russo's? It's an Italian place connected to The Presque Isle Inn And Convention center. I had a pretty good Sausage And Peppers there.

                                                Weirdly enough I ate more Italian Food in Maine than lobster.