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Midcoast Maine, Patriots' Day weekend 2014


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Restaurants & Bars Northern New England

Midcoast Maine, Patriots' Day weekend 2014

digga | | Apr 22, 2014 06:16 PM

Left Boston Saturday morning. Our first stop was Bath - we were both charmed by the farmers' market in a beautiful old building on the Kennebec River.

Next stop, Camden, where we were staying (in hindsight, I should have picked a place in Belfast, which was more our speed). But being within walking distance of Long Grain made up for the sleepiness of Camden. We had only lunch there, but it was fantastic. The rice cake appetizer was unusual - blocks of rice cake (colored green tea?) that was crisp on the outside, served in a light soy sauce and on some scattered bean sprouts, though those didn't add much to the dish. These cakes reminded me of a Korean-style New Year's rice cake. My khao soi (pictured) lived up to its reputation - creamy, spicy, soothing, piquant all at the same time. Noodles were toothsome. I think B was a bit underwhelmed by his pad kee mao. We switched back-and-forth and I personally liked the wok hei of his dish and the stout, short rice noodles were wonderful. All the versions of pad kee mao that I've had have been subtle in flavor - maybe I should have warned him beforehand. Well-edited beer and wine selection, including some Asian beers we'd never seen before, such as Hue (a town we've never visited but it's high on our list).

Dinner at Comida was ok but we enjoyed the cozy space so much, that we were happy anyway, Started off with really good homemade tortilla chips with red and green sauces. My fish tacos were good and I especially liked the pickled cabbage, but the single tortilla made them tough to eat. By the time I reached my second taco (and I'm a pretty swift eater), I couldn't pick it up so I resorted to eating the filling with a fork. Bummer. B found his cod dish under seasoned and the portion size too small. Despite these missteps, we'd return if in Camden. A beer run at the Stop n' Go convenience store/gas station after dinner was a revelation! Instead of facing a cooler full of Bud products, much of the cooler was devoted to Pretty Things, Lagunitas, and the like. We remarked our surprise to the clerk and he said in the friendliest manner, "we take a lot of pride in our beer and our wine - we have a beer guy and a wine guy. This is Maine - we know how to drink!" Righteous!

Lunch on Sunday (it was Easter so there were few places open) at the Whale's Tooth in Lincolnville was a lot of fun. We sat at the tiny cozy bar, right next to the huge real fireplace, which was lit. The servers amused us throughout our meal - started with perfectly fried calamari, we both had haddock sandwiches (could've used a bit more salt) and I had a seafood chowder that was full of fish and shrimp.

Dinner was a late snack at Rollie's after we caught a 7 pm movie at the Colonial in Belfast. They were the only place open at 9 pm and we received warm and welcoming service at the bar. Nachos were not good, but it did the job of soaking up beer. Steak salad was a nice light dinner. We loved that the audio for the Sox game was on - we'd definitely go back if in Belfast for a game.

Lunch on Monday was an unplanned stop in Newcastle on the way home. We were not hungry enough in Rockland (we were going to try Cafe Miranda) so we pushed on and stumbled on Newcastle Publick House (well, with the help of Google, of course). We loved this place as well. Caught the end of the Patriots' Day Sox game. They were out of gumbo, so we had the pulled pork sandwich (there's a smoker outside) which was deemed delicious and a blackened haddock sandwich. The most perfect fries with both (we like fries that are hand-cut, skin-on, somewhere between steak- and shoestring-style, with a crisp exterior).

One last food-related stop in Wiscasset to poke our heads into Treats. We loved the big, low farm table in the back and those beautiful low stools. Left with a loaf of multigrain bread and a couple of bottles of red. Noticed almost no wait at Red's.

There's so much we missed: Chase's, The Gothic, 3 Crow, Suzuki, Cafe Miranda, Fog, etc. We'll be back soon...