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Published: June 13th 2017
Geo: 43.8514, -69.6283
Day 2 – Lobster Trifecta
Cape Elizabeth to Boothbay Harbor
I planned to work my way through Maine eating lobster. I started in Massachusetts, attending a clambake that featured whole lobster, and I suppose I'll continue right on into the Canadian Maritimes. Today was no exception.
#1. I started with breakfast at Bayside American Café in downtown Portland, where I had their lobster Benedict. Very tasty, with spinach and an exquisite hollandaise. There wasn't a whole lot of lobster (perhaps half a tail) but it was perfect. The price was $16, just a $5 increment over the classic eggs Benedict. This restaurant has won a lot of rewards and deserves it. Check it out.
#2. Skipping to lunch, we skipped lunch. Breakfast had been late and rich. So when it came time for lunch, we weren't hungry. I was hoping our timing would be good for a lobster roll at Red's Eats in Wiscasset (wiss-CASS-it), which everyone raves about. It's one of those walk-up lobster shacks on the main road through town, with no parking and very few spots to sit and eat. The price for a Red's lobster roll today was $19.95. I read some reviews where folks said they
Lobster ice cream, Qt's in Wiscasset
Oh. My. God. Made my socks run up and down my legs.
had stood in line TWO HOURS but the buttery concoction was worth the wait. When we "rolled" through Wiscasset about 3 pm, there were only a handful of people in line at Red's but we passed it up and wandered in to Qt's Ice Cream Parlor, situated BEHIND Red's. They sell Lear's ice cream, lobster flavor and others. I couldn't pass it up: lobster ice cream. It was a rich sweet vanilla pureed with Maine lobster, and a hint of butter and sea salt. It was magnificent. It ranks right up there as one of my two all-time favorite flavors. Who knew?
#3. Then tonight I order the down and dirty basic Maine lobster roll. The hot kind, with the melted butter. I had it at Kaler's in Boothbay. It was tasty but probably not as good as some of the more famous ones.
OK, enough about lobster. Let's talk about where we went and what we did today.
The sun was bright – not a cloud in the sky. I shot some morning photos of the Inn by the Sea before we departed. Following breakfast, we drove five minutes to Portland's historic Old Port, a lovely area with gorgeous brick buildings and
some intriguing shops. I stopped in at Starbucks, hoping to buy a Maine collector's mug but it seems they didn't make one (what's up with that, Starbucks?). I grabbed a sea salt mocha coffee which sounded good but didn't prove to be as tasty as it sounded -- way too rich.
I wandered a few doors down on Commercial to Maine's Pantry, which basically sells food stuffs made in Maine. I bought granulated maple brown sugar, which I love to use in preparing salmon.
We headed up Route 1, where we spent most of our day. Portland. Falmouth. Yarmouth. Freeport. Brunswick. Bath.
In Freeport, of course, we wandered through
the very large LL Bean store and had our photo taken with the very large LL Bean
boot outside. I made a few purchases at the Talbot's store in the outlet mall;
Patrick considered some LL Bean casual shoes but decided to order them online
to get the right size, and we were on our way again.
In Brunswick, we began an official scenic drive, “Maine's Big Sur”, which involves towns on and off US1 and US1A from Brunswick to Lubec at the very north of the state, just before you cross into Canada.
Brunswick is home to Bowdoin College,
a liberal arts school that boasts many a famous alum: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Franklin Pierce among them. (Why would these talented folks choose a college in Maine when they knew January was lurking?) There are some lovely campus buildings along Park Row.
Bath has a big shipyard, a glorious waterfront park that is well used by its citizenry and a main street area that was once voted best in America. Despite my many notes to myself, I missed one of the things I had really wanted to do: visit Lisa-Marie's Made in Maine boutique. She has two stores, one in Portland which I saw early in the morning, and one in Bath, which I thought might have fewer crowds and more convenient parking. Who knows? I never saw it and forgot to look for it.
Next we headed south on US-127 through Georgetown to Reid State Park, one of Maine's few sandy beaches. The pretty dunes, the rocks and crashing waves that bookend the sandy beach, the sea gulls all make it a fave. The sea weed is the only detraction. We enjoyed it though – it was a lovely day and many boats were out. We wandered down
a small path to the north and caught views of Boothbay Harbor. Lovely.
We headed back north on 127 and I took some photos at Todd's Landing, a quiet harbor dappled with moored boats. Very, very Maine.
Back on US1, we traveled to and through Wiscasset and on to our day's ultimate destination: Boothbay Harbor. I'm told by a friend that the coastal state with the fewest shore miles is New Hampshire. And the one with the most is Maine. It's because places like Boothbay Harbor are situated at the end of a jagged peninsula. Miles and miles of coastline are created by Maine's many peninsulas and harbors.
We checked in at Brown's Wharf Inn, overlooking the harbor. The location is very appealing; the price is a good value. The rooms are a little 1950's but clean and comfortable. We enjoyed some relaxation time; then I wandered out to photograph the property, the harbor and the two-story-tall welcoming fisherman, dressed in his yellow slicker and Nor'easter hat.
We walked from our inn across the footbridge (20-minute walk) to the other side of the harbor where the majority of restaurants are. We decided on Kaler's, which Jeanne and Raymond Rogers had recommended. Patrick had a
Reid State Park
One of Maine's few sandy (not rocky) beaches
potato skin appetizer and I had the lobster roll I mentioned at the start of today's blog. Food was decent; waitress was pleasant; and the typical Maine atmosphere (nautical art, buoys hanging from the walls, etc.) all made for a pleasant evening.
The walk back was not as good. The bridge was dark; the street was dark; and the sidewalk wasn't lit in the least. I strained to watch the sidewalk, which was fairly smooth but had the occasional “pothole”. I was delight to get back to the room and pound some Ibuprofen for my knee.
I'm thinking I might go cold turkey on the lobster tomorrow … return to normal food and allow my system to withdraw. We'll see. Addicts always talk about changing their ways manana.
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