Maine Escape

Posted on: Thursday, August 24, 2017

I recently escaped from the city to explore the coast of Maine. The extended weekend was full of hiking, kayaking, fresh seafood, local brews, and R&R. Each town had its own exquisite charm with dramatic coastlines, vast vistas, and delicious local eateries. Here are some of the highlights:

Portland was a necessary first stop. We veered off the highway and popped into Bissell Brothers for a couple samples of I-Lucky, their ginger IPA, and a couple 4-packs of Substance Ale (their flagship dark ale) for the weekend ahead.
Next, we grabbed a late lunch at Honey Paw - The Eventide team’s sister restaurant with an eccentric menu influenced by regional cuisine with Asian influences. We split the Vietnamese Masa Crepe filled with fried mussels, rhubarb sambal, peanut, maple nuoc cham; Lobster wontons; and Fried Chicken wings with lime, coconut and chili.
For a sweet note, we walked down the street to Two Fat Cats Bakery for Strawberry Rhubarb and Mixed Berry Maine Mini Pies.
On our way up the coast, we meandered our way to Five Island Lobster Company . As we arrived, the mystical, misty fog rolled in over the harbor. While lobster of course is a favorite, I opted for a Grilled Haddock Sandwich and Fries. BYOB Bissell Brothers came in handy.
After catching up with old friends and spending the night nearby, we were on our way north the following morning. When we arrived on Mount Desert Island, we stopped at Mother’s Kitchen a tiny gourmet sandwich shop for a Grand Baker - smoked turkey, brie, pesto mayo on a roll filled with greens, red onion and tomatoes straight from the garden. We rented kayaks at National Park Canoe and Kayak Rental and spent the afternoon on the pristine waters of Great Long Pond. Rain was looming in the forecast, but that didn’t stop us.
Photo by Ryan Boyer
The only dinner we veered away from seafood was for Mainely Meat BBQ at the Atlantic Brewing Company. We stumbled upon the fun outdoor spot filled with families, pets and super friendly service. We tried a Sampler Plate heaping with pulled pork, BBQ ribs, sausage, chicken, baked beans, potato salad and coleslaw and paired it with Bar Harbor Summer Ale and Braggat Honey Ale.
After dinner, it was time to check-in to our Airbnb cabin - a cozy secluded spot in the woods.
We committed to waking up at 4am the next morning to catch the first sunrise in the U.S. at Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. What a pristine, vast, absolutely breathtaking experience! Wide eyed at 6:30am, we decided to hike for a few hours. It was a surreal feeling to hike so early in the morning, deep in the wilderness, with only Mother Nature by your side. Highly recommend it.
After our lengthy hike, we rolled into Jordan Pond House, an Acadia institution. It was the perfect respite to rejuvenate and reflect on the morning. I sipped on blueberry tea and nibbled on fluffy popovers slathered in raspberry jam and butter.
Bar Harbor Inn - While beers have been central to the trip, I decided to take a break and opted for a gin cocktail for happy hour with crushed ice, gin, lime and mint. For dinner, we ventured to good ole’ Stewmans Lobster Pound and enjoyed a half ladle of Clam chowder and Fish and Chips paired with Bar Harbor Thunder Hole Ale- a brown, smooth ale.
For dessert, we walked through town to Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Imporium. Iopted against Lobster Ice Cream in favor of Blueberry Fudge. After dinner and taking in the sunset over Bar Harbor, we returned to our cabin in the forest.
Blasting Doobie Brothers and Steve Miller Band, we headed home the next morning, stopping in Oqunquit for lunch. Oqunquit was the quintessential Maine tourist spot with cute shops on the coast. In Perkins Cove, we dined at MC Perkins With our table ideally placed facing the sea, I enjoyed flavor packed Cornmeal Crusted Fish Tacos with red cabbage slaw, cilantro, green chile sauce, jalapeno and cilantro crema.
During our final stroll along the cliff walk, I ended the adventure with the perfect sweet note: Salt water taffy from Goldenrod.


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