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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mainely Food

Well, it's back to reality here in PA now that we've returned from a week and a half in the great state of Maine.  It was supposed to have been a couple of days less, but as we started our trip home on Saturday, we noticed some smoke coming from under the hood of the car--bad radiator.  No one was open to fix it until Monday, so we were "stranded" in Bar Harbor for a couple of extra days. 

We didn't need the extra expense of the repair, a rental car and a motel stay, but if we were going to be stranded, better there than on some highway in the middle of Connecticut or something like that.  So we got some more good food, more time in Acadia and a long overnight drive home from 4PM on Monday to about 3AM on Tuesday.

But enough about that...here are some highlights (both food and otherwise).

We made our usual stop in Freeport to visit L.L. Bean and got some lunch at Johnny Rocket's Original Hamburgers.  It's a chain, but I must say that the burgers were delicious.  Juicy and a really good crust on the outside.  We were pleasantly surprised. 

The weather was nice--sunny and in the mid-60's as we drove north for a stay in Boothbay Harbor.  We found a nice kid-friendly B&B there a few years ago, the Bayside B&B, and have stayed there for the last few years as a stopover on our way.  Very nice people and good breakfasts. 

Tasty treats at The Lobster Dock.
Boothbay Harbor is also home to The Lobster Dock, a great waterfront seafood place where Bobby Flay had a crabcake throwdown with the owner a number of years ago and where last year, Jake learned that he loves fried Maine shrimp.  It was getting cooler, but we still ate by the water.  Jake had shrimp and MB and I shared a seafood platter.  Haddock, shrimp, scallops and clams fried to perfection, not greasy at all, tender--so good.  We usually get ice cream in Boothbay Harbor, but it was pretty cold after the sun went down (an overnight low of 36!), so we skipped it until another time.

We visited one of our favorite finds of the last few years, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.  I'm usually not really into that kind of thing, but I really love this place.  A must-see if you are ever in the area.  Beautifully landscaped and cared for--a children's garden based on kid's books (many from Maine authors), a Garden of the Five Senses, Rose Garden, Kitchen Garden, scenic walking paths, etc.  A really cool place.  (Yummy food in the cafeteria, too!)

What a goofball.  Wonder where he gets that.
After spending much of the day there, we headed to the cottage we rented in West Tremont--on the "Quiet Side" of Mount Desert Island, which houses Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.  MB's brother Pete and his girlfriend, Linda, joined us.  A nice comfortable house, literally just a stone's throw to the beach of Duck Cove--it gave Jake plenty of room to search for "treasures" on the beach.   

The back of the house faces West, so it's no wonder why the place is called Acadia Sunset.  This is the view from the back porch.

Ready for the table.
Of course, we were in Maine, so we couldn't go too long without eating lobster.  Very close to the cottage is a great lobster pound, Thurston's.  We've eaten on their dockside deck in the past, but this time, we bought live critters to cook at home.  They were something like $4.65/lb for medium soft-shelled lobsters.  You can't buy a fast food dinner for that! 

And they were delicious.  I steamed them with water from the cove--perfectly seasoning them.  Tender and sweet, dipped in butter and lemon.  There's not much better.  Jake was very proud that he ate his first whole lobster.  He did a good job, too!
Stop playing with your food!
Hungry yet?  Next time: working up an appetite hiking, some presidential ice cream and our favorite restaurant.

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