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Boston to Portland; Augusta to Quebec - Summer 2019

Boston to Portland; Augusta to Quebec - Summer 2019
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  • Boston to Portland; Augusta to Quebec - Summer 2019

    Post #1 - September 1st, 2019, 7:26 am
    Post #1 - September 1st, 2019, 7:26 am Post #1 - September 1st, 2019, 7:26 am
    Thought I'd relate some of the best tastes experienced from this great summer in New England, south to north...

    Taranta is a wonderful southern Italian/Peruvian bistro on Hanover St. in Boston's North End.
    IMG_2315.jpg Taranta, South End of the North End

    Peruvian inspired spicy meatballs, seasoned with aji amarillo and huacatay, with a panca pepper pomodoro sauce. Really not spicy, but full-flavored and a wonderful geographical cultural mix of flavors.
    IMG_2308.jpg Polpette Alla Peruviana

    Artisan made fusilli from Campania, baked in parchment paper with a sauce of onions, pancetta Abruzzese, roasted tomatoes and smoked sweet peppers. Unlike anything I've had before, so different than the normal North End fare.
    IMG_2312.jpg Fusilli Avellinesi al Cartoccio

    Butterscotch-y tiramisu, not unlike a Spanish flan.
    IMG_2313.jpg Lucumisu

    Up through a tip of New Hampshire and into Maine, Weathervane in Kittery on Rte. 1 dishes up the best native shrimp imaginable.
    IMG_2296.jpg Native Shrimp

    For no fuss, no muss at home--the Maine Lobster Outlet in York does cooked crustaceans efficiently. These are 2-pound monsters with tons of meat.
    IMG_2322.jpg

    IMG_2321.jpg


    More to come...

    Taranta
    210 Hanover St.
    Boston, MA
    (617) 720-0052

    Weathervane Seafood Restaurant
    306 US-1
    Kittery, ME
    (207) 439-0330

    Maine Lobster Outlet
    360 US-1
    York, ME
    (207) 363-9899
    Last edited by jnm123 on September 13th, 2019, 9:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #2 - September 2nd, 2019, 8:15 am
    Post #2 - September 2nd, 2019, 8:15 am Post #2 - September 2nd, 2019, 8:15 am
    To continue...

    Our summer home base at York Beach has always been solid but very restricted when it comes to cuisine. If it isn't lobster, steamed clams, fried clams, haddock, sweet corn or wild Maine blueberries, it was generally touch-and-go to venture outside that envelope. Until the Central Restaurant in York.
    IMG_2326.JPG Ahi Tuna & Crab Tostadas

    The balsamic and toasted hazelnuts really made this one.
    IMG_2328.jpg Roasted Red & Gold Beet Salad

    Trying to find a pertinent place in the city of Portland, in virtually every search engine--and with LTH Joel's blessing--we came upon the small plates of Central Provisions.
    IMG_2345.jpg

    Brought in by Asmallgood Foods in Rockport, ME--housemade prosciutto, sourdough, peach mostarda & bread-and-butter pickles
    IMG_2329.jpg 'Lonza' Board Charcuterie

    IMG_2334.jpg Otter Cove Oysters with Heirloom Tomato Ice

    The absolute best bite of the trip. With sushi rice, charred bok choy, kewpie and sunomono pickles, this stellar slice of finned heaven had Japanese/Korean bent and a flavor all its own.
    IMG_2335.jpg Swordfish Donburi

    Next best bite, this crispy-skinned, then soft tactile morsel with apple, brown butter and Marcona almonds made me desire more, and then more....
    IMG_2338.jpg Suckling Pig


    Central Restaurant & Bar
    127 Long Sands Road
    York, ME
    (207) 351-8363

    Central Provisions
    414 Fore Street
    Portland, ME
    (207) 805-1085
  • Post #3 - September 5th, 2019, 12:17 pm
    Post #3 - September 5th, 2019, 12:17 pm Post #3 - September 5th, 2019, 12:17 pm
    One mo' thing...

    After making my yearly stop in downtown York Beach, ME, for some salt water taffy to bring home, I sat and had a killer 'hamburg' club sandwich, and it wasn't until I wolfed it down did I realize...are those extinct here? Haven't seen one on a menu in many a moon.

    The pic of the hamburger club is stock (since I hadn't been thinking of shooting it beforehand) but it scratched all the itches for me!
    IMG_2348.jpg The Goldenrod

    hamburger club sandwich.jpg 'Hamburg ' Club Sandwich


    The Goldenrod
    2 Railroad Ave.
    York Beach, ME
    (207) 363-2621
  • Post #4 - September 10th, 2019, 8:39 am
    Post #4 - September 10th, 2019, 8:39 am Post #4 - September 10th, 2019, 8:39 am
    I miss these type of hamburger club sandwiches from the east coast, I don't see them very much here in the midwest.
  • Post #5 - September 13th, 2019, 7:54 am
    Post #5 - September 13th, 2019, 7:54 am Post #5 - September 13th, 2019, 7:54 am
    Jay and I nearly crossed paths, we were a couple towns north, and kept going north while he went south. If he's amenable to changing the title to include all of Maine, I'll post most of the rest of my trip here, and my last two days under Quebec.

    I had been in a Boston burb since Sunday eating suburban mediocre food (and a nice team meal at Legal Seafood), and met SueF just outside the airport midday Friday and we attempted to get to Maine like a bat out of hell, only to get snarled in Boston construction traffic.

    If there's a theme to our dining this trip, it's locovore small plates. Not every night, but quite a few, and we had really tasty stuff everywhere we went. You think Maine, you think just a steamed creature from the sea, but there's a lot going on up there.

    Portland's Old Port is very touristy (expensive parking), but also very foodie, there's a lot of great food there, and we got seduced by the idea of "brown butter lobster roll" at Eventide Oyster Company (even though neither of us were in the mood for raw oysters). We'd been snacking all afternoon (including some nibbles at a Portland chocolatier), and had a light dinner: their lobster and fried oyster rolls are a little smaller than a standard hotdog bun, and not very bountiful, but delicious, with expertly selected garnishes including pickled onions and chiles. The lobster did not disappoint, the oyster mixed steamed bun with fried crunch with juicy mollusc, and the shishitos with black vinegar and bonito flakes hit that salty-spicy-funky note. I had a local cider whose name is now forgotten (but was very good). Seated at the bar, it was a joy to watch them shuck oysters and clams, and the chef right in front of us building the dishes, including a gorgeous tuna crudo with local blueberries.

    We stopped just before dinner to snag a couple rye chocolate chip cookies from Standard Baking Co., behind and beneath Fore Street. Eaten over the next couple days, we found rye works surprisingly well with chocolate. And after dinner wandering the streets of Old Port, we found Holy Donuts, and had a delicious sea-salt chocolate glazed.

    Image
    Brown Butter Lobster Roll

    Image
    Fried Oyster Roll

    Image
    Shishito with Bonito

    Image
    Standard Baking Co. goodies

    Eventide Oyster Co.
    86 Middle St, Portland, ME 04101
    http://eventideoysterco.com
    (207) 774-8538

    Standard Baking Co.
    75 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101
    http://standardbakingco.com
    (207) 773-2112

    Holy Donut
    7 Exchange St, Portland, ME 04101
    http://theholydonut.com
    (207) 775-7776
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #6 - September 13th, 2019, 9:34 am
    Post #6 - September 13th, 2019, 9:34 am Post #6 - September 13th, 2019, 9:34 am
    Surely, Joel, pile on with your great bites...

    It was funny--I was in Portland waiting to pick up my younger daughter at the airport, and saw some Facebook posts from Joel from Portland & Augusta, so I said wherethehellareya? Just missed he & his wife by a day. Too bad, it would've been like the meeting of Smith & Wesson!

    We were texting back & forth with some of these very pics attached, but then realized he was heading north to Acadia then into 'Kee-bec', and we were going in the opposite direction, back to the cottage in York for a last weekend before reality set in on the trip home.

    The areas of northern New England, the Maritimes & Quebec are a totally different world, in cuisine & attitude. My cousin's husband had shot a moose up in Newfoundland last fall, and it was a big one because he brought back almost 400 lbs of meat, and had it flash-frozen. He's an expert at food safety and health, as well as using every part of the animal, so there's a fair amount of respect for nature and its creatures.

    We noshed on his famous moose chili for a couple days--it was stupendous, with him using ground and tenderloin shards--and knowing I like food he told me how the woman running the cabin he stayed prepared the moose heart, braising it in wine & shallots with stuffing on the side. I was salivating.
  • Post #7 - September 13th, 2019, 1:52 pm
    Post #7 - September 13th, 2019, 1:52 pm Post #7 - September 13th, 2019, 1:52 pm
    I wasn't sure about the edibility of moose, thinking it could be either too fatty or too lean. I didn't see it on any menus anywhere, although we did see a pair of moose (probably mom and calf from the size differential and lack of antlers) cross Highway 201 about 60 miles from the Canadian border.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #8 - September 16th, 2019, 12:53 pm
    Post #8 - September 16th, 2019, 12:53 pm Post #8 - September 16th, 2019, 12:53 pm
    Our second day we wandered through small towns, including Augusta (the capitol and state museum were closed for the entire 3-day Labor Day weekend), Camden (where we spotted a copy of GWiv's Low and Slow v1), and moving on to Belfast, an Irish-settled town that still has a working shipyard. Eater had highly recommended a place called Perrenial, a moderately-long walk from our B&B (more on that in a moment) with an outstanding collection of local ciders including Portersfield Aronia (my fave from my flight), and a small selection of small plates. We had a charcuterie plate with locally-made turkish-style lamb sausage, finnochino and sopressata, and three local cheeses including a cider-washed gouda, a goat, and a tomme. Following that we had a "patatas desperadoes" (much like a patatas bravas) with more of the lamb sausage (crisped this time). The service was fantastic, the ciders outstanding, the food good but you probably want to go there for the libations, not the chow.

    Image
    Cider Flight partly consumed

    Image
    Cheese and Charcuterie

    Image
    Patatas Desperadoes

    Still a little hungry, we followed that up with a crab cake and fried pickles at the Harborwalk/Front Street Pub (looks like two restaurants, isn't). The crab cake was very thin, good crispy coating. Pickles also appropriately crispy.

    We almost stopped at Laan Xang, a Lao-Thai restaurant. If they had anything that looked like local seafood on the menu, we'd have jumped, but although it had a few interesting-sounding dishes, it wasn't Maine-enough for us.

    That night we stayed at The Nightfall Inn, a house converted to a B&B just a couple blocks from the footbridge across the river that forms the harbor. The couple that hosts were wonderful, and make great food (brownies and cookies were there in the evening, oatcake with freshly-made apple butter, homemade yogurt, frittata for breakfast). If you're on your way to or from Acadia National Park, keep this place in mind.

    Perrennial Cider Bar and Farm Kitchen
    84 Main St, Belfast, ME 04915
    perennialciderbar.com
    (207) 808-1083

    Harborwalk / Front Street Pub
    37 Front St, Belfast, ME 04915
    frontstreetpub.com
    (207) 338-0488

    Laan-Xang Cafe
    19 Main St, Belfast, ME 04915
    laanxangcafe.com
    (207) 338-6338

    The Nightfall Inn
    31 Searsport Ave, Belfast, ME 04915
    thenightfallinn.com
    (207) 231-2317
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #9 - September 17th, 2019, 9:10 am
    Post #9 - September 17th, 2019, 9:10 am Post #9 - September 17th, 2019, 9:10 am
    Continuing downeast, we spent the day hiking Sears Island (ate an apple from a feral tree, would have been a good cider source) and Acadia National Park (a lot of driving actually). We dined in Bar Harbor. Too exhausted to do much exploration, we sat down at the first place we encountered, Testa's.

    The blueberry lemonade was delicious, but they need the fat straws like the boba tea places -- the tiny Maine blueberries kept getting stuck in the straw. I don't remember what wine SueF ordered.
    Image

    I ordered the traditional Lobster Dinner -- perhaps not the cheapest in the Bar Harbor region at $27, perhaps not the best (the guidebooks said to go to the seaside shacks for those), but presentation counts too, and this bug is gorgeous. I don't know what they did to the corn, but it was one of the tastiest ears of corn I've ever had.
    Image

    SueF ordered the lobster tacos: fried pieces of tail with a pineapple-blueberry pico de gallo, and chipotle crema. Awesome. They also offer the fried tails and the dipping sauce as an appetizer.
    Image

    Image

    Testa's
    Address: 53 Main St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
    https://www.testasbarharbor.com/
    Phone: (207) 288-3327
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang

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