Thursday, August 8, 2013

Maine-ly Good

I have a passion for Maine that lies in her sandy beaches, hides in her misty mornings, and is fed by her ocean of seafood.
As a child my parents would do the trek down to Old Orchard Beach every construction holiday, my sister and I along for the ride. I remember the smells of the boardwalk, my father’s longing for lobster, and my mother’s craving for fried seafood platters.  My parents may have unwillingly instilled their longings and desires for seafood into me (as well as some issues demanding serious therapy) because the flavors of the sea draw me to Maine, and this year, the yearnings got the better of me.
If my pictures below make you want to head to Maine, then my intentions will have been fulfilled.

Fig.1. First stop, the Portland Lobster Co, located on the docks of Portland Harbor. Recommended by locals. 
Fig.2. Ordering in the rough. It's a term used in Maine. It means you're in a seafood restaurant in which you order your food at a counter, at which point you're given a number; you pick up your food at another counter when your number is called.
Fig.3. The dangers of eating outside and harbor-side in Portland, Maine.

Fig.3.5. Lobter roll and fried clams.

Fig.4. Clam Chowder (on the thick side) and steamers. (Basically steamed clams. You dip them in water first to wash off the sand and grit, then dunk them in drawn butter.)

Fig.5. Crab sandwich, fried clams, and chowder.

Fig.6. The artisan coffee craze has also hit Portland. Coffee beans roasted over wood, a first for me. The espresso was bitter (in a good way) and on the strong side (in a good way) and rather expensive. (In a bad way)

Fig.7. Later that morning, we went lobster fishing. 

Fig.8. Captain Dan from Lucky Catch informs us deckhands on the rules. The lobster he's holding is a 'keepa'

Fig.9. J's Oyster located along Portland harbor.
Fig.9.5. The freshest and best steamed clams I've ever had. J's Oyster has four clam steamer ovens specifically designed to do nothing except steam clams. 

Fig.10. The freshest oysters I have ever had. Great place.

Fig.11. If you're in Portland and want to cook your fish or seafood yourself, Harbor Fish Market's the place; the ocean is literally 50 feet away from this place.

Fig.12. The Clam Shack in Kennebunk. The best lobster roll and fried clams in Southern Maine.

Fig.13. The Clam Shack's lobster roll; fresh and perfect. Plump, fried, fat-bellied clams, and freshly squeezed lemonade. My dinner companion claimed this to be, "a perfect meal" I would have to agree. (except when I need a plate a pasta.)

Fig.14. We went to the Maine Diner based on the recommendations of a book I bought, and because they appeared in Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. The seafood chowder was fantastic: tasty and none too thick. The accompanying cornbread also good. The rest of the meal best forgotten.

Fig.15. The next night's supper much better.  Fresh Lobster at The Cape Neddick Lobster Pound in Neddick.
Fig.16. Breakfast at Pie in The Sky in York.

Fig.17. Plethora of pies.

Fig.18. They don't make mixers like this anymore. The baker informed me it's close to 100 years old.

Fig.19. Best blueberry muffin ever at Pie in The Sky. Robert Deniro approved.
Fig.20. Bib-wearing-lobster-eater and proud of it.
Portland Lobster Co 180 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101, United States

J's Oyster5 Portland Pier, Portland, ME 04101, United States

Harbor Fish Market: 9 Custom House Wharf Portland +1 207-775-0251

The Clam Shack2 Western Ave, Kennebunk, ME 04043, United States

The Maine Diner2265 Post Rd, Wells, ME 04090, United States

Cape Neddick Lobster Pound: 60 Shore Road, Cape Neddick, Maine 03902, United States

Pie in The Sky:1 River Rd, Cape Neddick, ME 03902, United States

Lucky Catch Cruises:170 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101, United States