The Maine Thing

14 Jun

IMG_4887_1After many days of planning and research, our Maine trip is here!  We had talked off and on for several years about heading up to Maine, and after seeing a friends pictures on Instagram of her trip, (thanks Casey!) we decided to take the plunge this summer.  After a long day of travel we landed in Portland, Maine in the late afternoon.  We rented a car at the airport and easily found our way to our hotel.  We unloaded the car, dropped our suitcases in the room and immediately began the search for fresh seafood for dinner.  The concierge at the hotel was a great help and directed us to a little place right across the street, and down an alley called Street and Co.  (http://streetandcompany.net/)  It was cool and rainy but it didn’t dampen our enthusiasm, and Street and Company did not disappoint us. The Old Port area of Portland, where we are staying is full of charming little shops and cobblestone streets, and this little restaurant is a gem.

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We were seated right away in the quaint dining room on an elevated wood floor that overlooked the very small, yet very organized open kitchen.  A number of chefs wasted no motion in busily preparing food for the restaurant.  It was quite entertaining to watch them work as we waited for our meal.  I ordered scallops and Jimmy went for the garlic shrimp pasta.

20140613_191829We  ordered dessert after our seafood, and  I chose the chocolate hazelnut torte and he went with the bourbon pecan pie.  It was a memorable meal and has set the tone for the week.

20140613_194146This morning for breakfast, we walked to a diner down by the wharf called Becky’s Diner. (http://www.beckysdiner.com/)

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We had done our research and had read good things about this family owned business that opens at 4:00 am to feed breakfast to the lobstermen and fishermen before they go out on the boats.  Jimmy ate the wild blueberry pancakes and I had a fruit, yogurt, granola bowl.  One interesting thing we noticed was that when the waitress told us about the breakfast specials, she mentioned that today’s side was a bowl of beans, and she meant for breakfast, not lunch.  That was a first and we decided to pass.

IMG_4849_1_1IMG_4850_1_1We left Becky’s and walked back to the hotel, got the car and headed to the Saturday farmer’s market in Deering Oaks Park.  Deering Oaks is a beautiful park shaded with a canopy of tall oak trees.  The farmer’s market sets up in the center of the park each Saturday beginning at 7:00 am.  We walked along the rows of fresh produce, flowers, artisan cheeses, specialty meats and just enjoyed nature’s bounty.  It was a great market and we enjoyed mingling with the locals.

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20140614_090755IMG_4875_1We left the farmer’s market and headed to Victoria Mansion.  I love touring old homes and seeing all the interesting architecture, and learning about life from different time periods.  Thankfully Jimmy is very tolerant of this and always willing to tag along.  We arrived about 30 minutes before the first tour was to begin, so decided we’d pass the time waiting with a cappuccino for him and hot tea for me.  We found a little cafe called Artemisia right around the corner from the mansion.  (http://artemisiacafe.com/)  The weather today was perfect for a cup of English breakfast tea!

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We finished our hot drinks and headed back to the mansion for the tour.  If you are in the Portland area, and enjoy old homes, you’ve got to see this one.  This particular house was outstanding.  It was built before the civil war and used as a summer home by a family from New Orleans.  It had 95% of it’s original furnishings and was very elaborate.  Photos were not allowed inside the house, but you can read about the mansion at  http://www.victoriamansion.org/

After the tour, we headed to Port Elizabeth to see a couple of lighthouses, but especially to eat lunch at another family owned restaurant we’d heard about called The Lobster Shack (http://lobstershacktwolights.com/)  .  The light house was beautiful and the food and atmosphere at the Lobster Shack was thoroughly Maine!  We stepped up to the counter and placed our order, then took our food outside to the picnic tables overlooking the ocean.  I had a delicious bowl of clam chowder and Jimmy went for the lobster roll.

IMG_4878_1IMG_4879_1IMG_4882_1IMG_4881_1IMG_4880_1After lunch, we walked around the park surrounding the Portland Head Light (lighthouse)

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then headed back to the city to walk along the wharfs, then on to the Eastern Promenade which is a public footpath along the banks of the harbor.  The view overlooking the water was beautiful and many families were out enjoying the afternoon.

IMG_4897_1IMG_4895_1IMG_4903_1After a long walk, we headed back to our hotel, got cleaned up and walked to dinner at David’s Restaurant. I ordered the grilled vegetable Napolean and a wonderful salad with a cranberry vinaigrette.

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Jimmy ordered the lobster dinner (which did not come with instructions, and was not split down the back as we’ve usually had).  They handed him a pair of lobster “pliers” and he did pretty well with it (after I Googled instructions on how to eat a whole lobster).  We had a good time (and many laughs) trying to tackle it together!

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IMG_4911_1And as you can see, we had one more round of dessert before calling it a day…that’s blueberry cheesecake and a salted caramel cashew chocolate torte!

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One Response to “The Maine Thing”

  1. Sarah June 15, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    Beautiful pictures! Looks like you guys have already had some really good eats! Keep the pics coming!

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