Tag Archives: seafood

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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When too much of a good thing really is too much.

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We had dinner plans with friends the night of my husband’s birthday, but on the way home from the antique barn we stopped at King Eider’s Pub in the coastal town of Damariscotta.

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It’s a quirky old place famous for their crab cakes and liberal pours.

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One Winter Paloma in, I agreed whole heartedly. It may have been pink, but it tasted like straight tequila. Our plan was just to duck in for a quick appetizer that would hold us till dinner. And then my husband ordered the mussels.

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Cooked in white wine, butter and garlic… the picture isn’t a good representation of quantity. The husband ate. And ate. And ate. And didn’t seem to put a dent in the bowl.

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On his second bowl of empty shells he decided to count exactly how many mussels he received for $16.99. Care to hazard a guess?

30? 40?

How about 72. We were both dumb founded. Granted, this time of year they’re small. But when’s the last time you had that much seafood for under $20.

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It made my delicious but small and similarly priced crab cakes seem positively non existent.

And in answer to your question, yes. The husband ate every single last mussel in the bowl… though it took him nearly an hour. It was at this point the man next to us at the bar struck up a conversation and bought us a round… that to be honest, we didn’t want but also didn’t refuse. While chatting he told us his favorite movie, The Shawshank Redemption, was filmed right down the road from his home. And considering it was actually filmed in Mansfield, Ohio I’d say he either had one very large lawn or an overactive imagination. Bar stories, ya gotta love ‘em.

We floated out of the pub stuffed with seafood, feeling no pain and saw this sign on the way to the parking lot.

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Amen to that.

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Ragin’ Asian Cajun?

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My girlfriend and I went shopping last week and were excited to discover a new Cajun seafood restaurant had opened in South Portland. Mouth watering for shrimp ettouffe or crawfish gumbo, we entered The Shaking Crab.

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Why was the crab shaking? I have no idea. But the place being nearly empty at the height of the lunch hour should have been our first clue something wasn’t quite right.

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Six dollar drinks went a long way to calm our suspicions…

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Though the Cajuns I’ve known wouldn’t be caught dead drinking a watermelon-tini.

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Giant plastic crabs were everywhere. As were plastic starfish and randomly placed hanging plastic water bubbles.

All the waitstaff were Asian. 9/10ths of the customers were Asian. The scent of the room was reminiscent of an Asian kitchen. The menu? Not an ettouffe, Boudin, or jambalaya in sight.

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Though you could order “coleslow” and “braccoli ”. (These appeared twice, spelled incorrectly both times.) I didn’t bother taking pictures of our meals, they were just typical fried seafood baskets as the only other choices were giant plates of steamed things in a plastic wrap bubble you had to crack, and we didn’t feel like making a mess. I did try to catch a shot of one being delivered to another table, but missed.

Imagine a giant Jiffy Pop balloon encircling a metal dish, only its clear plastic instead of foil. It was an absolutely bizarre presentation of what I’m assuming was meant to be a crawfish boil.

I lived down south. I had Cajun friends and neighbors. I’ve sucked heads. Whatever The Shaking Crab meant to be? It sure as hell wasn’t Cajun.

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A Boothbay kind of afternoon..

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After a long leisurely stroll around town…

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And along the waterfront…

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It was time for a long over due visit to our absolutely favorite place to eat… The Boat House Bistro. Contrary to its name, it doesn’t sit on the water. And while that might put some visitors off, you don’t go there for the view.

Even at 2:45 on a Saturday afternoon, on a late November day devoid of tourists, the place was packed. First floor dining was full so we climbed up to the bar on the second. (Third floor is only open for outdoor seating in the summer)

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Happily sipping a Cosmo in front of the wine taps (there are two of them, with a total of 8 wines available) I perused the menu and was overjoyed to find my two favorites were still there.

This place has fresh seafood down to an art and I have never had a bad meal.

My appetizer? Spicy Cajun shrimp on cheesy grits with garlic, scallions, tomato and smoky bacon.

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All my life I thought I hated grits. I lived down south for 18 years and never cooked nor ordered them. We moved back to Maine, discovered the Bistro and wham! I’m eating grits and am tempted to lick the bowl. Who knew?

To be honest that appetizer could serve as a meal, it’s pretty rich. But I will never pass up the chance to eat this:

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Perfectly pan seared giant sea scallops on a bed of creamy mushroom risotto with arugula, truffle oil and shaved Parmesan.

I hate to disappoint my husband, but damn.

It’s almost better than sex.

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And speaking of husbands, he ordered a lovely seafood scampi which was bursting with shrimp, sea scallops and lobster.

Meals here aren’t cheap (almost $200 including tip) but you get your money’s worth and I have yet to leave unsatisfied or without a doggie bag.

Dessert?

We didn’t even look.

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Harvest time.

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Autumn is the traditional season of harvest. Pumpkins, apples, squash. But yours truly prefers the liquid version…

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Harvest Sangria!

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This drink is da bomb and I’m not ashamed to say I had three with lunch the other day.

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Looking out the extremely dirty window is some fall foliage on the river, an old mill and the historic bridge the town keeps trying to replace.

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Inside there was a calamari appetizer with orange hoisin sauce to share, a crab roll for me….

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And seafood scampi with scallops, shrimp and mussels for the hubs.

Life is good.

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Sky high and going higher.

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I went grocery shopping yesterday…. and while I usually just buy what I want regardless of the cost, gazing down at the pot roast in my hand made me audibly gasp.

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A quite small, unimpressive rump roast had a $36 price tag… and damned if I didn’t leave it right there.

May I just say, what the utter f*ck?

I paid $17 for a pound of 80/20 hamburger and almost fainted when I saw this…

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Yes, it’s a rib roast. But so small I doubt you’d get 4 good slices. And while I used to cook them quite often… if I’m paying $25 per plate? I’ll go out to a restaurant, let someone else cook it and be served thank you very much.

Beef prices are certifiably insane right now.

And if you think it’s any better in the seafood department, think again.

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Picked lobster meat is $53 a pound. Throw in a little mayonnaise and it’s $60.

And I live in Maine for Christ’s sake!

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When it’s a beautiful day in Maine…

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You head for lunch on the coast.

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And this time we picked Sebasco Resort in Phippsburg.

There are two restaurants on site, but unfortunately the nicer one with the full menu was closed due to Covid era short staffing.

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So we made do with The Ledges pub.

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The outdoor patio area was filled with tourists so we had to sit inside… but the views were just as nice.

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As were the cocktails. Two basil refreshers later, it was time to order.

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We both started with the clam chowder which was good, but I’m a Mainer and quite picky about giving two thumbs up to chowder.

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Husband had a perfectly prepared baked haddock with white wine and butter…

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But my fried scallops were less than satisfactory. The batter was thick and way too crunchy… and Holy Hell, dripping in enough grease to lube two cars and a pick up truck. Blech.

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If I’d been able to open the window I would have fed them to this fellow.

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Thankfully the pub redeemed itself with a nice wild Maine blueberry pie a la mode.

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After our meal we attempted to walk off the pounds.

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To be continued….

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Dinner in Baileys Island

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It was a lovely drive along the coast…

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And though I would have loved to stop and snap some photos, the husband was hungry… so you’ll have to make do with a few quick shots from the car.

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Here’s the famous Cribstone Bridge.

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And as you’ve probably guessed, lobster reigns supreme.

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This was our destination, Cooks Lobster and Ale House.

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A local landmark built in 1955 on a long spit of land with panoramic water views. Popular with locals and tourists alike (although we locals don’t appreciate the tourist prices) it’s a no fuss, traditionally rustic waterfront restaurant.

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But what it lacks in decor? It makes up in scenic vistas. The view from our table was pretty sweet.

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The cocktails are potent.

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And two Cosmopolitans were all I could handle if I wanted to remain upright.

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Pardon the fuzzy pic, it was taken through a screen.

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The food is simple but delicious. Caesar salad (with the most amazing homemade herb butter croutons evah!) for me, a tasty French onion soup for my other half.

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Perfectly cooked lightly battered fried sea scallops for me….

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And lazy lobster for my rat bastard husband who ate it in front of me without feeling the least bit guilty. (I came up allergic 7 years ago and can no longer consume the delicious crustaceans without becoming seriously ill. 😩)

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Dessert? Of course it was blueberry pie. And as we waddled out to the car… we stopped for a moment to take in the beauty.

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And realized the husband might have backed up a bit too far upon arrival.

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Maine rocks. They’re unforgiving little devils.

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It ain’t what it used to be.

 

Going out for a seafood dinner certainly has changed in recent months.

Gone are the charming restaurants with lovely oceanfront views. Gone are the meticulously crafted cocktails and professional wait staff.

These days?

 

 

It’s a long line of cars idling at the curb waiting to cue up to a traveling roach coach.

 

 

While this would normally not be the least bit appealing, I was quite sick of cooking last week and one of the husband’s friends swore this seafood was good, plentiful and reasonably priced.

 

 

From the size of the crowds you’d think the circus had come to town.

People be desperate.

We waited 20 minutes in the car parade, 10 minutes for a girl to take our order, and another 20 minutes for the food.

50 minutes without a martini?

Is not my idea of dinner out.

 

 

To say I should have known it would be bad is trite…. but oh, so true.

For slightly over $30?

 

 

I received 2 absolutely disgusting and totally inedible crab cakes…. while the husband frantically tried to find a section of fish in the foot thick batter.

Disappointing doesn’t begin to describe that rancid grease drenched mess.

Bad seafood is always bad.

But this?

 

Dinner on the waterfront.

 

This is for all the people who scream about food pictures. An entire blog devoted to a meal.

 

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Though I’m not a fan of oysters….

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The York River Oyster Company in Gloucester Point, Virginia seemed like a great spot for dinner.

 

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So we strolled around the marina checking out the boats before heading inside.

 

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It was a little too cold for outdoor seating in December.

 

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So we picked a table with a view.

 

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With a pole right in the middle to ruin any pictures I might want to share.

Yay us.

 

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I started with an Orange Crush which seems to be a very popular cocktail lately.

 

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And then cringed at the thought of anyone wanting red wine in their Mule.

 

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We started with an appetizer order of simply superb steamed shrimp.

 

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They were perfectly cooked and seasoned and just melted in our mouths.

 

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Cocktail number 2?

An Afternoon Delight.

 

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And I dare you not to have that song stuck in your head all day.

 

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Dinner for me was a crab cake and fried shrimp. The most I can say about them is they were decent. The crab cake could have had more crab and the shrimp were a bit overdone. Which was a shame because the flavor was there.

 

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I don’t know what the husband was thinking with this abomination.

A burger topped with bacon and pulled pork…. for those days when your arteries just feel too clear.

He picked it apart and ate everything separately which probably defeats the purpose, but said it was good.

 

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Dessert was a nice tart Key Lime Pie. Don’t give me those sugary sweet versions. When I order Key Lime? I want my lips to pucker.

 

 

Yes, like that.

 

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Night descended while we ate.

 

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And while I’d give the restaurant a solid B minus ……

 

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I have to admit they did have a clever slogan.

 

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