Trip over 4th, spent Friday driving to/from Kennebunkport, Sat in the north end, Sun and Mon in Annisquam(Gloucester area), and a meal on the way out at Legal Seafoods in the airport.
Just for a little background, there are two main foc...ummm...what's the plural of focus? Anyway, Ice Cream taste tests and fresh fish/lobster/scallops. Living in Denver we(fiance, daughter, and myself) cannot get enough fresh seafood and the ice cream seems different. There's a theory about the cows eating greener grass and that translating into creamier, richer ice cream. And it isn't my daughters theory :-)
The one meal in Kennebunk was late in the day, as we had to skip lunch to meet our scheduled commitments. Sandwich shop on the way out of town we stopped at, I believe it's officially in Kennebunk. Two brothers own it, kind of a combo convenience store/sandwich shop. I had a steak n cheese. Bread was excellent sandwich bread, good steak, peppers and onions. I was dissapointed in the amount of cheese, as I like my cheese steaks gooey throughout. This was only gooey on the bread V side. Fiance had a turkey sandwich, said it was good but she couldn't give any better description as she was on the edge of extreme grumpiness from lack of fuel.
Big Daddy's ice cream was good but not great. Definitely a step up from Co, but it lacked the rich mouthfeel of a great one. The frappes were the biggest hit, very thick.
Saturday in the north end we had lunch at something express, a lunch-counter type place with sandwiches made fresh and pasta on the steam tables. It's on the corner across and two doors down from Modern Pastry(mmmmm, Modern Pastry). I had noodles with meatball, and the meatball was fantastic. Light, well spiced, amazing meatball. Noodles were cooked well for being on a steam table, but did not add to enjoyment because of the (unavoidable?) water bath at the bottom of the plate. Daughter had noodles and alfredo(she was impetus to go there, declaring 'I need PASTA' when we started discussing lunch), which she loved. Cleaned the plate gleaming with the bread leftover from an unfinished sandwich. The sandwiches were good, the best being an eggplant, cheese, and marinara combo I would order with a meatballs side next time. The prosciutto on the other sandwiches didn't meet expectations, much less make you want to eat a good portion of future stepfather-in-law's sandwich. I did eat a good portion of future mother-in-laws(FMIL) sandwich(the eggplant, which was grudginly traded for a couple bites of meatball n pasta).
First stop at Modern Pastry for my cannoli was next. Everyone on the board should taste test Modern's against Mike's and see which you like best. For me, it's kind of like deciding between catching a baseball game at Fenway or Yankee Stadium. Different, but equally mind blowing in their ways. Difference in cannoli's is more subtle, and I don't eat them enough to describe it. Just try them.
FMIL had gelato from a shop four doors toward Modern's from Mike's, and it was disappointing. Pistachio flavor that didn't excite anyone. Second stop at Modern's was for macaroons, marzipan, and peanut butter cup for daughter. Macaroons were OK at best, and the pine nuts added to half were not a good addition. First time I've had marzipan, peach in this case, and it was unbelievably sweet and delicious. I messed up and finished my cappucino before I bit into the marzipan, and regular ol' water has no hope of competing and cutting the sweet factor. I couldn't finish.
Had swordfish steaks on the grill that night, bought from a 'new' fish store in Annisquam. I guess they have moved their retail store from Rockport to Annisquam, and I cannot remember what the name is. Oohs and Aaahs followed the unveiling of the fish, and it was excellent eating.
Sun night was a pig roast, and two dishes not homemade stand out in my hazy recollections. One was a pepper quartered and stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella. The people who brought them said the best place to buy them is on Rt 1 just N of Boston. I'll try to get a name. The other was a strawberry shortcake cake(redundant on the cake, I realize, but needed for clarity) they bought at Jim's Bagel and Bake shop. Amazing whip cream frosting with fresh strawberries in the center. We're now thinking about this for a wedding cake.
Willow's Rest in Annisquam now has ice cream, and it ranks up there with the best I've ever had. Rich, creamy and wonderful flavoring. Pistachio had chunks throughout, and the Moose tracks had just the right balance of vanilla ice cream, peanut butter cups, and fudge.
Legal Sea foods disappointed for most of the meal, with two highlights. The disappointments were the lobster bisque, half lobster(daughter wouldn't eat it), shrimp, and crab cake. The crab cake was a particular disappointment, tasting more like a fish cake with no crab richness coming out.
Highlights were scallops and calamari with Thai peanut sauce. Scallops were perfectly done in butter, and the Thai peanut sauce was a hit with fiance and daughter(I could not try). Better than average airport food except for the lobster and lobster bisque.
Favorites(didn't retry them this time, but for reference:)
Lobster - Lobster Pool, Rockport
" Bisque - Windows on the Water, Kennebunk
Swordfish - Homecooked on Grill
Ice Cream - FarFar's(think this is the name, was a year ago) near Kingston, Ma
Fried Clams - Farnhams
Cannolis - Modern Pastry, North End
Macaroons - Golden Gate Bakery, San Fran(I know this isn't close, but you should try these things. It's a new benchmark for me).
Crab Cakes - Mom's, and looking for something that compares in a restaurant. Any suggestions?