Downeast Eats - A Trip Report
Lady A and I just had a rockin' camping and food excursion to coastal eastern Maine. Some of our eats were found using this board, so here’s a trip report. Tasty crustaceans and all manner of blueberries – blueberry pie, corn-blueberry salad, blueberry soda, blueberry ale, blueberry headband...
On the way up we did a quick stop at Bite into Maine in Cape Elizabeth – gorgeous views and gorgeous lobster rolls, hot butter and picnic style (with a light touch of cole slaw and celery salt). Until that day, the best lobster I had ever had, though even better was to come. With Maine Root Co. blueberry soda and blueberry-corn salad, and the summer theme was set. All preceded by headband in the parking lot and followed by a refreshing dip in the Atlantic. Tastiness abounds.
We next got off the interstate near Bangor in Brewer, and had a great meal on Rt. 9 at the Eagle’s Nest overlooking a beautiful river: fried clams, a haddock sandwich and strawberry-rhubarb pie. Demonstrating Maine hospitality/frugality, the waitress told us what were the best deals on the menu. The place may have made it into some guidebooks: next to us a French couple ate good-looking lobster on a sad salad of iceberg lettuce.
At Cobscook Bay, the camp stove highlight was freshly-dug clams tossed with pasta and Kraft parmesan cheese. We also had incredibly succulent lobster rolls dressed in butter at Quoddy Bay Lobster Company in Eastport, along with great cole slaw and another fried haddock sandwich: such a nice mild fish for frying and great technique. And another great view. Go east and keep on going!
On our way to Mount Desert Island we stopped in at Chester Pike’s Galley in Sullivan, where the fish and clams were relatively uninspired – maybe so close to the hordes in Acadia quality is not necessary to pack ‘em in. The wild blueberry pie was very good, though. For dessert, we stopped by Tracey’s up Rt. 1 for their two lobster rolls for $10 special, advertised on a sign out front: it wasn’t the best or freshest lobster we had in Maine, but was good as we’ve had in New York City. And CHEAP. They could put less mayo on it.
Highlights around Acadia were blueberry ice cream at Mount Desert Ice Cream and Thurston’s Lobster Pound on Bass Harbor. At Thurston’s, the whole lobster was insanely succulent and fresh, and the corn on the cob a nice side dish. The steamers and mussels were forgettable. Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale was an interesting quaff. And another great view.
Heding down to Deer Isle and back we had two great meals at Bagaduce Lunch near Brooksville: more beautifully fried clams and haddock sandwiches, a decent but not great lobster roll, and very tasty homemade lemonade and ice tea. And Moxie. Clams and Moxie are a great taste sensation. Yet another nice spot to sit on a summer day, right on a bay with a tidal reversing falls. What a beautiful state, ya’ll.
Our last night we camped in Camden and skipped the camp stove for a Thai meal at Long Grain. Everything was amazing: spicy Maine squid tepanyaki (the most tender calamari I’ve ever had), locally-smoked mackerel fried rice, pad see ew with homemade noodles, pork belly and kale, some great Hitachino beer and coconut crème brûlée with black rice pudding for dessert. Reservations a must. Repatriation a must.
On the way home, We grabbed pies for the fellow office schlubs in Thomaston Grocery, Amy’s Pies, and from Portland’s Two Fat Cats. Amy’s was the best.
Our final lobster roll was enjoyed at Boothbay Harbor Lobster Wharf, recommended by Lobster Gal. As promised, incredibly succulent lobster and a lot of it, lightly dressed in mayo, giving the warm butter method a run for its money.
I may not be able to eat lobster until I get back up this way.