Bar Harbor, Camden, Portsmouth and points in between report (loooong)
Had a great time on our trip from Boston to Bar Harbor. Please keep in mind that pretty much everything listed below was split w/ my travel pal A., that way we can cram in a lot in a short time. Took off from Cambridge around noon on Thurs. and got to stop #1, Ken’s Place in Scarborough. They allowed us to order fried clams w/ one half batter and one half crumbs since it wasn’t busy. No need to ever try batter again, the normal crumb style is better and crisper, served with good slaw and fries for about $17. Also tried a clam cake that I’m not sure was worth the calories but not bad. Stopped down the road at Bailey’s ice cream for well sized kiddie cones of grapenut and tiramisu (not split). We then booked it to Camden to make it to 40 Paper in time for happy hour where all drinks and apps are half price. The cilantro margarita was very nice, they seem to take care in making their drinks and A. enjoyed his draft. Wasn’t really hungry but felt like we should have a bite so ordered mussels in a broth I wasn’t crazy about and not the most plump mussels I’ve ever seen either. Later we ended up at Graffam Bros right in town by the water for dinner. They’ve got a friendly feeling and nice back deck but the crab cake appetizer was really lame (over breaded and little crab; crab cakes are always a crap shoot) and a lobster roll w/ fries and slaw was fine. Ended at Cuzzy’s which is a fun local spot, didn’t get up for karoake tho. Final meal in Camden was breakfast at our High Tides Inn with very nice homemade muffins and popovers then I had to check out Boynton McKay Food Co whose breakfasts looked amazing but I just got an iced coffee then a cookie from the Cappy’s bakery which was great.
We decided to take the detour to Bagaduce Lunch in Brookeville and had a good crab roll with excellent onion rings by a pretty view, about $11 and $4.75. It was good but not worth the detour with so many other spots we could have tried. Got into Bar Harbor mid afternoon and after putzing around, we stopped at Galyn’s for happy hour drinks of an all right pomegranate margarita and draft (everywhere on this trip had excellent choices for A). We went back there the next day because I couldn’t resist their app of lobster biscuits served with newburg sauce and those were quite tasty for $9.95. Dinner on Fri. was at the Thirsty Whale which we missed out on last time due to their early serving time, but they seem to have extended dinner time. Split a small fish n chips for only $7.95 with good slaw and fries and a good lobster roll w/ a surprisingly great side salad for about $12. Another place with lots of beer. Ended down the street at the Mad Hatter playing pool and loading the computer jukebox w/ our music, an interesting bartender and 3 other people there.
Up early for Acadia on Sat., A got a bacon roll and good coffee at the Morning Glory Bakery. We then did the trail around Jordan Pond (and just missed Martha Stewart) then stopped by Jordan Pond restaurant, surprised to see it doesn’t open until 11:30. So we made a res, checked out Cadillac Mtn and came back at noon for great crab cakes, salad and another popover for $15.50. Very nice service, good unsweetened lemonade and iced tea. I had assumed it would be packed but while the outside area was full, the restaurant itself wasn’t (and in fact, only about 3 hotels showed no vacancy in the 2 days we were there). After a swim and regrouping, we headed down to the boats with a stop at Opera Cafe for iced coffee and a decent piece of blueberry pie at the bakery below the Fish House Grill. We took a nature cruise and then a delicious grapefruit martini at Route 66 on Cottage St. sitting in the window watching everyone go by. We tried to get a lobster dinner at Side St. Cafe later knowing they were running a deal but maybe everyone else did too since they were out of lobsters and steamers. Went to Stewman’s whose lobster prices weren’t anything special (esp. after hearing how the fishermen are getting such little money for them) so we got some steamers and a very good fried shrimp roll with Cajun remoulade, fries and slaw (just $11.95) then ended with an ice cream from their little stand downstairs.
We got up at 4:30AM on Sun. to see sunrise on Cadillac Mtn then after a nap, got to Café this Way soon after they opened and just before the rush. The homemade hash was okay but not my favorite plus we had some good blueberry pancakes with real syrup for $5.95. Made our way to Moody’s Diner in Waldoboro and got fried clams which were pretty good but came out wicked fast and probably could have used another minute in the fryolator. The best part of the meal was the excellent potato salad, also got good biscuits and slaw but the banana cream pie was pie just ok..
Got into Portsmouth in the later afternoon and stopped by Gillie’s for a grilled dog appetizer. Went to Moxi, a fairly new restaurant on Penhallow St., for a nice white sangria with some added Belle de Brillet which the bartender James thought was a great idea. Turns out he used to work at No. 9 Park in Boston and is into experimenting, let me taste an excellent rum drink he made for some people. We split a little pork belly bite that I loved. Then headed to the Black Trumpet where I’d been before. Sat at the bar for a crab beignet app. w/ a crab dip of sorts and rabbit cannelloni for about $8 and $14. I love the old feeling of that place. We ended at Coat of Arms during the end of Sun. trivia. Wandered around the next morning and got my 3rd popover of the trip at Popover’s but not as good as our other two. Ceres served an interesting iced tea. We drove back along Rt. 1 and stopped at Nana Mal’s in Hampton for a tasty grilled long dog and ended at the Clam Box in Ipswich for a mini scallop plate served with boring onion rings (the clams had a surcharge which was surprising since they were so cheap in Maine).
So there’s the blow by blow of some Rt. 1/coastal Maine dining for other summer travelers.