Grocery Options? -- Brunswick, Bath, etc.
We'll be staying in Harpswell in October, and we're looking forward to making many of our meals at home. Any suggestions for grocery options in Brunswick? Any of the chain stores better than the others? (We're from Minnesota, so don't even have that perspective on things.)
We'll probably try to hit a few specialty shops on the way up from Boston, but I'm sure we'll need a few trips for other supplies over the course of the week.
Both Bath and Brunswick have nice farmers market. The one in Bath goes until Oct 20. Check to see if the markets coincide with your dates. I don't shop at Walmart. Both Shaw's and Hannaford are reliably good in our area of NH so I would expect them to be in Maine. I like Hannaford's natural foods section better than Shaw's but Shaw's has a better salad bar and meals to go. A large Shaw's might also have sandwiches prepared to order.
When Pigs Fly has a bakery outlet on Rt 1 in Kittery where you can sample a large assortment of breads. They use heavy plastic bags so you can freeze bread although I thought one kind with curry in it tasted spicier than I liked after freezing.
NH puts state liquor stores right on the interstates to make shopping easier for tourists but you might have more fun finding some local wines and beers. We liked the winery in Rockland. I think it was Breakwater (free tastings).
You've got some great spots in the Harpswells: The Vegetable Corner (corner of Route 123 and Mountain Rd.) sells fresh produce, fresh cut meats, and other deli items; Black Sheep Wine Shop (Mountain Rd.) for an excellent wine selection; Island Candy Co. (rt. 24, Orr's Island) great handmade chocolates; Two Coves Farm (Neil's Pt. Rd.) natural beef, lamb, and poultry as well as eggs.
Brunswick has two seasonal farmers markets, one on the downtown mall and the other at Crystal Spring Farm, and a winters farmers market at Fort Andros; the seasonal ones usually run through T-giving. I find Hannaford to be far less pricey and to offer far fresher goods than Shaw's (which requires a Shaws Card to get the prices that Hannaford regularly offers). For baked goods, hit Wild Oats Bakery (tontine mall), for natural foods, Morning Glory (Maine Street).
In Portland, if you get off at the Franklin Avenue exit (off of 295) you have WHOLE FOODS (straight up Franklin on your right) or TRADER JOE'S (right at the light and it's on your left).
Bakery - STANDARD BAKING CO - continue on Franklin past Whole Foods and go to the end. Take a right and Standard is in back of the parking lot next to the Hilton Gardens. Amaaaazing breads and sticky buns, etc.
Fish - Keep going past Standard on Commercial ST. HARBOR FISH is down an alley on the left. There's a sign up high on a building. They pack your stuff in ice if asked.
Extraordinary smoked fish and gourmet cheeses etc. - Continue down Commercial ST. - BROWNE TRADING CO is several blocks down on the left.
Italian - go the other way on Commercial to where it ends at India ST. Go left and MICUCCI'S market is up on your right. pasta, sauces, more cheese.
Cakes & Pies - Go a bit further up India St and TWO CATS BAKERY is on the right.
If you're a bit hungry, take a left off of India onto Middle ST and experienceDUCK FAT which is much discussed on this board.
Chocolate Truffles - on the right on Middle ST -DEAN'S SWEETS Killer.
Harpswell is an hour away.
Have a great time.