Just got back from the Labor Day weekend and following week at the Big O.
Summer is impossible. On the Saturday before Labor Day, it took us over an hour, bumper-to-bumper on U.S. 1 to get from the turnpike exit to the town. Even the following week, a left turn onto U.S. 1 was impossible. You had to wait for a gap, turn right, wait for a gap, turn left, turn around and wait for a gap. Ditto for Shore Road, not to mention the parking ripoff in the Cove.
5-0 Shore Road was everything people promised. A lovely room, excellent service and really good food. Worth the $70 for 2 with tax, tip and house wine. The portions were huge. I don't get daunted by much, but the crusted haddock was so big and so good I almost exploded.
Lobster Shack (in the Cove) was the same as ever. Excellent chili dogs. Dreadful, tasteless crab roll.
Rebecca's, at the corner of U.S. 1 and Shore Rd., used to be an awful, flyblown greasy spoon. It's now quite good, cleaned up with cordial service, a decent, inexpensive brunch and a fine lobster roll. A real find in a town devoted to emptying tourist wallets.
Swan Bistro was also as described -- a bit overpriced, but excellent food and a very good lounge singer on Thursday nights (Gershwin, Porter, Jobim, Brel). The lobster casserole was ingenious and good, but lobster is too delicate for this kind of treatment.
Blue Elephant, a Thai place next to Swan Bistro, was a great find. The star of the show is the combination appetizer -- more than enough for a meal, and an amazing combination of flavors. We ordered the spring roll steamed instead of fried, and it was fabulous. The meat/vegetable main courses were blander. I'd say make a meal of the appetizers. The staff was very friendly.
Omlette Factory is the same as ever -- a long wait in a slow-moving line, grossly oversized but decent omlettes, negative ambience in the main room, better in the sun room. Cash only.
Egg and I is a better-than-decent breakfast/lunch diner. Good pancakes and waffles as well as eggs, good service (cash only) and a substantial line that moves pretty fast.
New England Diner, 10 miles north in Wells -- good, reliable, a line on weekends. Avoid the place steak and seafood place across the highway, which is dreadful.
Jordan's Lobster Pound -- excellent lobsters -- I murdered a 2-pounder the first night and a 3-pounder the last night, and worth every penny. Good steamers, too. Good lobster roll and lobster casserole, and the gigantic rack of ribs the gorilla at the next table was devouring looked excellent.
By the way, it's Bintliff's, not Blintoff's.