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Good eats in Maine

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Good eats in Maine

Pat Hammond | Aug 9, 2004 09:12 PM

Just returned from a week in Maine and discovered (and re-discovered) some good chow. I had a list of the foods I miss a lot: fried and steamed clams, steamed lobster, steamed mussels, fried haddock, scallops, native corn, and Maine blueberries. I intended to find them all.

First stop on crossing into Maine was Harraseekit Lunch and Lobster in Freeport. They do a steamed lobster, a dozen steamed clams, and a cob of local steamed corn for $15 and change. That was three from my list, right off the bat. I did eye the fried clams because they do a really good job with them, but their price was through the roof. (If I remember correctly, close to $16.95 for HALF a pint, with no sides.) Now that’s just insane, and has me questioning whether I’ll be going back to my old stand-by lobster shack.

I found fried clams in Ellsworth at Union River Lobster Pot. This is a sit-down place, with some outdoor seating. I got the fried clam platter, $12.95, tons of sweet, whole clams, slaw, fries, and yeasty dinner rolls. I shared a plate of steamed mussels that were plump and tender. They do a big business in steamed lobsters too. Blueberry pie was our choice for dessert, but we found it strangely flavorless. Fortunately, we’d been picking and eating wild blueberries all day.

Scallops were in Rockland. There’s a new place on Main St. called Brass Compass Café. Fried scallops were the daily special, and almost more than I could eat. I managed. (7.95) This place is open year around and I bet the breakfasts are good there. They open at 5 a.m. Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m. on the weekend, and close at 2 p.m. I loved this place. I’m ready to move to Rockland. What a great little town! Don’t miss homemade ice cream at Lulu’s. I had raspberries and cream (fresh berries). It’s just a little wooden shack, with Willie Nelson singing on the record player. (Yeah, a record spinning around on a turntable!).

The best fried haddock I’ve had in years was at Blue Onion on Main St. in Freeport. It’s not in the heart of things, but on the way out of town toward Portland. I’d never eaten there before and can’t swear that the quality will always be that good, but the serving was ample, fresh caught and perfectly cooked. An appetizer of five baked scallops wrapped in bacon was superb.

Finally, nearer to my home but not on my list, was Roy’s BBQ in Waterville. I read about it here:
[BROKEN LINK REMOVED] This post has a wealth of suggestions for this part of Maine.

We got just ribs, no sides, but the ribs were smokey and very good. Wish I’d had time to try the pulled pork. Definitely worth a stop if you’re in the neighborhood. The farm stand nearby had some nice produce.

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