Tag Archives: restaurants

39 and counting.

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The husband and I recently celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary and to be honest, at this point it’s hard to remember a time when we weren’t married. Although looking back at the first ever picture of us together… you know, during those 6 long days of dating before we wed …

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It’s even harder to remember being that young.

Our 39th started out with the delivery of a giant basket of flowers and the exchange of cards.

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We planned to spend the day doing something fun and end with a nice meal. Unfortunately it was the beginning of the week and thanks to post Covid understaffing and the slow winter season in Maine, everywhere I wanted to go was closed. After wasting a few hours driving along the coast….

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We opted for lunch at the Dockside Grill.

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Planning on a larger meal for dinner, we chose light fare. Chicken Caesar salad for me, French onion soup for the spouse.

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One cocktail for me, one beer for the spouse… with tip? $86. For soup and salad! This is getting ridiculous.

By then it was early afternoon and we were still searching for something fun to do… so we sat with our phones Googling like mad. I opted for a museum, but the ones we haven’t already visited were hours away. I did find a quirky cabinet of curiosities worth seeing, but after reading there was no heat in the building? My desire to go quickly waned.

Fun be damned, we ended up antiquing instead. At least the husband was happy.

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I saw these clever mussel shell Christmas trees on sale and thought about getting one, but they were so delicate I didn’t see it traveling or storing well.

As usual, there were some unexplainable items for sale. Most notably, this…

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Made entirely of glass, I can’t imagine anyone wanting that gracing their coffee table.

After a few antique stores, we were back on Google checking our favorite special occasion dinner spots. Par for the course? Every single one of them was closed. By then I was thoroughly disgusted and ready to go home and make a sandwich but the husband wanted another piece of fabulous cheesecake so we ended the day at the same restaurant where I was served crab balls instead of cakes a while back.

I won’t bore you with food photos but the mussels were good and made more interesting by being served with polenta frittes.

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Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. Dipped in the white wine garlic sauce? A meal in itself.

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Another giant basket of flowers photo.

And if you’re wondering how large it really was?

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It was larger than Lord Dudley Mountcatten large.

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You can’t go home again. Or apparently to the Waterwheel restaurant either….

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When we’re in the Jefferson New Hampshire area we always make a point of stopping at an excellent little family run restaurant called the Waterwheel.

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There’s an actual wheel that was turned by water back in the day and every meal we’ve ever had there was delicious.

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It’s a down home country place only open for breakfast and lunch, but since Covid they’ve had reduced hours and are closed a few days a week. Naturally every time we’ve stopped in the last two years they were shut up tight.

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So we were thrilled to find them open on our trip home and stopped for lunch. Though there were a lot of empty tables, they were short handed for staff and we had time to browse the gift shop before we were seated.

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I really should have bought some of these for gifts.

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Or at least a few of those. But our name was called and we quickly sat down to order, mouth watering at the memory of homemade chicken pot pies, fresh roasted hot turkey sandwiches and creamy chowders. And then I opened the menu.

Gone were all the previously delicious selections… and what was left wasn’t even worth considering . Hot dog, hamburger, grilled cheese. I was beyond disappointed and though we weren’t really in the mood, we ordered breakfast instead.

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Ugh. Biscuits and gravy that looked (and tasted) like Alpo with home fries that looked and tasted like cubed frozen french fries. Husband ordered poached eggs with Hollandaise and didn’t fare much better. Tiny eggs, tiny portion of Hollandaise.

They say you can’t go home again, and it’s a shame but I doubt we’ll going back here either.

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Let’s just drink.

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One of our favorite restaurants has been letting us down lately.

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And while the cocktails and atmosphere are still wonderful ( fresh blueberry mojito, yum!) the quality of the food has been going downhill. Garlic Parmesan wings? Dry and tasteless.

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Pricey pan seared scallops on risotto? Over cooked seafood on a soggy bed of mush.

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Burgundy braised short ribs? Chewy shoe leather. It all looked good, but wasn’t. So we’ve decided one of our favorite dinner restaurants will now just be one of our favorite watering holes.

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Cucumber and elderflower cooler? Yeah, I’m not giving that up.

And the regular bar crowd is a hoot.

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Mr. I Drink My Jameson With A Cover and A Straw In Case I Spill was back, and you have to appreciate a man who knows his limitations.

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Now that’s a tip.

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There’s a famous restaurant in my part of the world called The Taste of Maine.

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It’s been family owned and operated for 44 years and is a staple for fresh seafood on the heavily travelled coastal Route 1. Tourists love the kitschy decor and giant outdoor lobsters.

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We find it a bit overpriced but go once in a while just because it’s fun.

The pandemic hit a lot of seasonal restaurants hard up here and many went under. Right now they’re struggling to find enough wait staff. So when I saw this on FB the other day? A customer tipping the amount of the bill….

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I was floored.

We’ve done that at small diners and sandwich shops. $20 – $30 bill, $20 -$30 tip.

But an $800 tip?

Holy macaroni. That’s beyond awesome.

❤️

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What cod be better?

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On the way to the commissary in Bangor the other day we were disappointed to find our favorite little diner closed for lunch. This sent us searching far and wide for something quick other than the awful fast food chains. Pulling off the highway at the small town of Newport, we took a chance on a place called Anglers.

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Despite the name, (Newport is neither new… incorporated 1814… nor a port anywhere near the water) I didn’t hold out much hope for fresh seafood.

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The restaurant is a dressed up family diner but damned if they didn’t make a nice cocktail.

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An Absolute Citron deckhand lemonade. Quite refreshing.

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I went with the smaller ‘minnow’ portion of fried shrimp and was pleasantly surprised. Fresh, light and perfectly cooked. Husband had a nice clam chowder and broiled scallops which he said were equally good. But the thing that really rocked my world and made me do more than merely contemplate returning?

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.99 cent drafts. And my husband doesn’t drink Budweiser, this was a Maine craft beer called Allagash White which normally costs him $7 -8 a glass. We wondered if this was a serious senior discount, a special price for veterans, or the waitress just made a big mistake. On the way out we asked… and were told all drafts are .99 cents, all the time.

Needless to say this will now be our go to lunch destination before the monthly commissary run.

👍

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A good movie and a disappointing meal.

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Getting my husband to a movie theater is a rarity these days. While I’d be happy to see a weekly film on the big screen my other half complains about the concession prices, the endless pre show commercials and God forbid he doesn’t get to sit in the back row. But last night I convinced him.

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And we saw what might turn out to be the largest grossing movie of all time. I’m not a huge Tom Cruise fan, but if you liked Top Gun you’ll love the sequel. The fighter jet aerial sequences are stunning and the movie does a nice job paying homage to the original. Val Kilmer makes a poignant appearance and the story line of Goose’s resentful son is well played. Granted the new beach football isn’t as good as the volleyball scene from decades past… but not much is. Overall Maverick brings it and even my theater cranky spouse was glad he went.

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Sadly we couldn’t say the same for J. R. Maxwells, the restaurant in Bath where we had dinner afterwards.

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I admit their cocktails were potent AF, one Cosmo and one margarita about did me in.

A loaf of homemade bread was a nice way to start.

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But it went downhill from there.

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My minuscule cup of clam chowder contained roughly 4 spoonfuls and my husband’s French Onion soup was weak and flavorless.

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The salad I didn’t photograph had some decent blue cheese dressing but the pan seared scallop carbonara that sounded wonderful turned out to be an anemic platter of bland goop. I often wonder if we’re too critical when it comes to eating out. We’ve added this place to our won’t ever return list… and that list is getting longer by the day.

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A new twist.

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During a recent shopping trip with a friend, we ducked into Macaroni Grill for lunch. It wasn’t our first choice, but after trying four other restaurants and being told it would be an hour wait due to short staffing…. we figured any port in the storm would do.

After a mediocre lukewarm meal that arrived late and with the wrong vegetables, the bill was presented. Now I don’t know about your part of the world, but here in Maine restaurants are having a hard time staying afloat since no one wants to work. There are no waitresses, no hostesses, no busboys, no cooks. Every where you go has the same issues. They apologize for it when you enter and we’ve come to expect the worst. What I didn’t expect was this:

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A little inflation surcharge they sneak in without telling you.

And hey, don’t get me wrong…. I understand prices are up everywhere, and naturally the increase in the cost of food has to be passed along to the consumer. But this sure seems like a strange way to do it.

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I love my town.

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It’s time for small town news again…. so city folk can see what they’re missing.

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No worries. Said piggy was reunited with his family and is safely back home.

The want ads in small rural towns tend to look a bit different.

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Spleeny- New England : peevish and irritable with hypochondriac inclinations.

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I’m almost afraid to ask why someone wants to rehome a skeleton.

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I’m going to pass this one on to my husband because he came home from breakfast with the boys the other day bitching that his omelette had gone up a dollar.

I know I’m paying more for groceries, it stands to reason restaurants are as well.

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A little of this and a whole lotta nothing.

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The husband and I reluctantly stopped at a tourist-centric restaurant last week which is something we try hard to avoid. Why do we dislike the tourist places? The seafood is usually sub par, ( it was ) the decor is usually tacky ( plastic lobsters, fake fishing nets) and the menu usually contains pictures they think tourists want to see.

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This is the world’s largest lobster roll, it sells for $100 and if you finish the whole thing by yourself? You’re made a member of the clean plate club. But that picture? Just… no.

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Required photo of Lord Dudley Mountcatten watching a flock of starlings.

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Finally…. An advent calendar I can get behind. Or under as the case may be.

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It poured the other night and as you can see…. the husband’s latest roof repair did not hold up. And if that wasn’t bad enough, my latest patch job turned out to be perfect for funneling water down the wall and creating liquid filled bubbles. This has been going on so long I’m tempted to just wrap the house in plastic and call it good.

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I’ve been known to have an epiphany or two while drinking, but wine that tastes God? That’s a whole other ball of wax.

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Color me surprised. I had absolutely no idea.

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A much needed food break in the liquid Saturday tour, Part 3

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After a morning and early afternoon of drinking beer and hard cider, yours truly needed some food. We were traveling up Route 1 near Wells when I remembered there was a restaurant on the estuary…. so I hollered “Let’s go!”

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Billy’s Chowder House made a decent margarita and had a wonderful view, so things were looking up.

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And when you’re in a chowder house restaurant? You have to order chowder… which is when it started to go bad.

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We ordered clam chowder. What we got were thin, milky bowls of potatoes. Clams? I think the chef might have grated one over the top. A more tasteless bowl of gruel would be hard to find.

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The husband had mussels, which were tiny, overcooked and swimming in enough garlic to repel a platoon of Vampires.

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I ordered a shrimp roll which, while edible… was nothing to write home about about.

The bill was almost $100 and I made a mental note never to cross that threshold again.

A Maine chowder house with horrible chowder? There’s no excuse for that. This place needs to sink back into the sea and be done with it.

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