Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Maine, The Way Life Should Be

We only had one full day free during my husband’s NH business trip so we had to go to Maine, to experience “The Way Life Should Be”. 
After rejuvenating with 11 hours sleep after 36 hours of no sleep, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed by 6AM and ready to tackle the 2 hrs up to our first stop of Portland, Maine to have pie for breakfast.  It was only by chance that I found out about Two Fat Cats, through a PBS show I recorded called A Few Good Pie Places.  Two Fat Cats was featured and known for the two desserts high on my list to try in Maine, the wild Maine blueberry pie, the official state dessert and the whoopie pie, the official state treat.  They only have one flavor sold by the slice daily with the rest whole pies only.  Luckily the slice of the day was the wild Maine blueberry pie but of course after eating our slices, we were almost wishing we had the whole pie.  On the flipside, it left us with enough room for the whoopie pie, cream sandwiched between two soft cookie sized cakes.  Another hit!! 



Arriving so early in the morning, we were able to explore Portland during the quiet morning hours before it got too crowded. 


As we walked down the waterfront stopping by Rosemont Market for a pint of milk
from a local Maine farm

and some Maine blueberry jam to bring home to my dad, we found ourselves passing by Standard Baking Co. which I discovered via another PBS show, A Few Good Bakeries. 
I could not resist popping in for two fresh morning buns to go for our breakfast the next morning since they did not specify which morning we had to enjoy them.  With a limited lot shared with the hotel next door, there is a person monitoring when you leave so you do not overstay your welcome.  Overall another fun little bakeshop in Portland!  


Originally planning on spending the day and grabbing a lobster roll in Portland, I was sold when both my cousin from Boston and my Maine loving friend recommended Red’s Eats another hour north in Wiscasset.  With over a whole lobster in each roll, it really does live up to the hype of the “Best Lobster Roll in Maine”.  With a choice of butter or with mayo, I always choose butter as it brings out the sweetness in the lobster meat but I recommend dipping the meat in the warm butter and then putting back in the roll for a bite vs. pouring it on directly as the butter solidifies too quickly when it hits the cool lobster meat. 


We arrived 10 minutes after they opened hoping for the same luck we had the previous day at the Clam Box.  No such luck as it was still an hour wait but worth every minute of it. 
Taking advantage of the wait time, we took turns exploring the side streets and came upon Old Salt Books and Gifts where I could not resist picking up some more Maine blueberry jam and syrup by Forgotten Recipes and blueberry sodas to go with lunch. 

Now back to that line for that lobster roll.  Lobster is my favorite food that it is a wonder how I ended up marrying someone with shellfish allergies but luckily Red’s had great options for them too.  The Boss Burger, a bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, homemade onion rings (in the burger) and bleu cheese dressing or any burger for that matter is made with beef ground daily by a local market in nearby Damariscotta, so fresh that some compare it to filet mignon on a bun.  Final verdict, juicy, flavorful, and disappeared faster than me and my lobster roll. 

After lunch, in search of a public restroom, we came upon some wonderful sites that I wish we had more time to explore Wiscasset. 

But we needed to head off for a scenic, off the beaten path drive my friend recommended to Harpswell/Orrs Island boasting beautiful coastline scenery. 


Although we did not see any lobstermen along the way as she had, we did run across their equipment, almost tempting me to try my hand at it, if only I knew where to begin. 
Word may be starting to get out on this peaceful stretch of Maine though so go before the calm that draws you here may not be as quiet as you hoped. 

Losing ourselves in the drive, we kept going until we made it to Land’s End where I had my first and only “moose” sighting. 


Beginning our return trek southbound, we had to stop by one of the lighthouses that Maine is famous for and the postcard perfect Portland Headlight did not disappoint. 

Finally, onto Kennebunkport, our dinner destination and another town I would have liked to explore further but unable to due to our limited time.  We arrived early enough to snag a seat at Mabel’s Lobster Claw, one of my friend’s favorites and apparently of the Bush family when they are in town.  It would have been quite a sighting too as the designated Bush table was within cornbread throwing distance, just 2 tables away from us.  Although the lobster entrees were tempting since “When in Maine…”, I did not want to go into lobster overload all in one day so compromised and went for the baked shrimp stuffed with chunks of Maine lobster while hubs got the blackened swordfish special of the day. 


Continuing the “When in Maine” mentality, we had to try the blueberry pie a la mode but I have to say although the ice cream was good, I was underwhelmed by the pie in comparison to the slice we started the day with at Two Fat Cats. 
Although within walking distance, perfect to walk off a rich meal, due to limited time, we drove the mile or so to the overlook of the Bush Compound and had the area all to ourselves on a warm Sunday evening to end our day before heading back down to New Hampshire. 

Not bad even if I say so myself, considering we only had a day in Maine.  Imagine what I could have done with two… 


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