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Maine vacation

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Restaurants & Bars

Maine vacation

applehome | Jul 14, 2003 12:22 AM

I'm splitting up my comments on my recent vacation onto two boards - this post regarding eating out and one in Not About Food regarding portable grilling equipment.

I RV'd with several others and stayed in a very nice campground on Lake Pemaquid near Damariscota. Unfortunately, these weren't hounds, and the majority wanted to eat in for most meals (I obliged, see the other post), and took cold cuts, wonder bread, and condiments to most of the day trips. That kept restaurant hopping to a minimum - in fact we only went to one place for dinner, and that was selected for proximity rather than any recommendations - my 5 pages of print-outs from this site were useless, as nobody was going to run up to Bar Harbor, or even down towards Bath.

We ended up at the Pine View Restaurant on Rt 1 in Damariscotta. The menu out front and wall of awards for owner/chef Craig Andrews was a good sign. But I was somewhat disappointed. They only had two waiters serving the entire floor - maybe 25 tables. Our waitress was incredibly patient and responded to every need - the overall service was slow, but it wasn't because she wasn't trying. The kids opted for the standard apps - fried calamari and buffalo strips - done well enough - not pre-frozen. I had an excellent seafood chowder - a fish chowder with shrimp and scallops added. The big disappointment came with the lobsters - I specifically asked if they were hard shell and the waitress told me that they were. In fact, all our lobsters were soft shell. I felt ripped off, but we ate them anyway. If the waiters hadn't been so completely overwhelmed, I might have made a bigger fuss. I left a decent tip for the hardworking waitress, but had a word with the maitre'd. I didn't expect and I didn't get any refund (I had eaten it), but I made sure that they knew how unhappy I was. The best part of the meal was a dessert - blueberry cobbler a la mode - it was one of the chef's prize winning items, and I could see why.

We eventually left the caravan and headed back - leaving me free to stop at whatever restaurant peaked my curiosity. We were in Bath at about 11 - too early for lunch, but not too early for the Beale Street Barbecue to be open. I bought a pound each of the chopped brisket and pulled pork for latter consumption. We had them for dinner, along with their excellent sauce - mmmm... great cue in Maine!

We did stop by for lunch at the Maine Diner in Wells. This is such a consistently good experience. My hot lobster roll and small side of fried clams was a bit over the top for lunch (about $26 for the two items), but after a week of cold cut sandwiches for lunch, I figured I had earned it. The clams were big, fully coated with a light cornmeal based batter, not a bit of grit... My wife's grilled yellowtail sandwich was very good. An excellent end to a fun week.

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