Day 3…

ENTIRE EXCELLENCE

Today, on Father’s Day, we went to brunch at a Cajun kitchen, attended a Portland Sea Dogs home game, and bought our own live lobster to cook for dinner!

First of all, it was Father’s Day, so Tabitha and I enjoyed giving our dad cards and showing him his gifts. For a Father’s Day brunch, we tried out Bayou Kitchen. My dad loves the Cajun cuisine, and it looked like everyone could find something in the custom pancake shop/cajun cafe and diner.

Bright and Bold

Bright and Bold

Yellows, purples, and greens lit up the rooms, and the Mardi-Gras decor was definitely eye-catching! As we scanned the menu, many items looked suitable, and I had a difficult time choosing my meal. Bayou Kitchen’s custom pancake shop was extremely creative, offering many unique pancakes. On this section of the menu, there were many pancakes, from pecan pancakes to ginger pancakes to coffee pancakes!

 

Alongside a custom pancake menu, a Cajun section gave us many more selections. Jambalaya, gumbo, and Cajun omelets were some items on the Cajun addition.

Mom ordered a blueberry banana pancake breakfast, and Tabs got chocolate chip pancakes. Dad received a Cajun scramble, and I decided on the jambalaya. Also, we ordered gumbo for the table!

Blueberry Banana Bliss!

Blueberry Banana Bliss!

Mom loved her pancake, a sweet breakfast that started off the day with a smile! The texture of the pancake was perfect: filling and doughy, but moist. The blueberries were local and fresh, and the banana added a wet component to the dish. Splendid and healthy, this was an attractive dish and definitely a favorite!

Tabitha’s chocolate chip pancakes were filling and YUMMY! But as luscious as they were, they were a bit dry, and they could have used more chocolate to keep it running smoothly through your mouth. Overall, the chocolate chip pancakes were not flawless, yet still memorable, and I would try them again!

Bayou Kitchen’s jambalaya was utterly disappointing. I didn’t care for the tomato base, and it was served cold. The sauce was redder, where as our family prefers thicker, browner sauces. In addition, it had more veggies, and less meat, which I wish was NOT  the case. However, the seafood was fresh, and there was a decent amount of jambalaya on a serving. Overall, as good jambalayas go, this wasn’t one of them. I hate to say that I would not suggest Bayou Kitchen’s jambalaya.

Gumbo to be Reckoned With

Gumbo to be Reckoned With

But I must say, the gumbo almost made up for it… This was by far the best dish on the table! The whole family hogged the perfect concoction, and I much preferred it over my meal! It was moderately spicy, thinner than usual, and different than any gumbo I’d ever had (probably because we were in Maine…:)). I’ve been to New Orleans, and while this obviously was no real, authentic gumbo, it was impressive!

 

Overall, our brunch had ups and downs, but in the end it earned a thumbs-up!

* * * * *

Across the street from Bayou Kitchen was a fresh bread factory, store, and cafe. As we entered this perfection of a business, The Big Sky Bread Company was immediately on my good side! I walked in and a fresh, doughy smell drifted through the air. Stacked on shelves, unique bread sat, waiting to be devoured by local customers. Some unusual breads were the Cinnamon Walnut Raisin, the Deep South Cornbread, and the Black Forest Pumpernickel. The locals obviously stopped in often, just to buy everyday bread, but my dad and I were fascinated! There was even a sample of their bread with butter, and it was yummy, warm, and it definitely tasted homemade (the good kind)!

I also loved that the bakery was right in front of you, so you could see them baking the bread in action! It was also a good idea to have a restaurant too. On the menu there were panini sandwiches, soups, and salads. I thought it was a really interesting experience to be able to visit the Big Sky Bread Conpany!

* * * * *

Next, we attended a Portland Sea Dogs Game. There is not much food to write about from this baseball game, except for our third lobster roll contestant: the baseball roll.

"The Ball Park Roll"

“The Ball Park Roll”

For baseball park food, it was great! For a lobster roll… Not so much. Not that it was terrible, but there was way too much mayonnaise, and the lobster was ice cold, which is maybe a little too cold for a lobster roll in my preference. It was creamy, but inconsistent, and the lobster was nothing memorable. Unfortunately, my dad rated it:

 

Two shells

shell-harbour-removals

shell-harbour-removals

 

 

 

 

That’s all I have to say about the Sea Dogs game (they won!), but I can’t wait to tell you about our incredible lobster dinner experience!

* * * * *

Oyster Alert!

Shellfish Alert!

Somewhere along our drive from Portland back to Camden, we entered the coolest road-side stand I have EVER encountered. Advertised on roadside signs, Glidden Point Oyster Company is a live lobster and oyster shack. The owner and operator, Barb Scully, dives for the oysters herself, which is rare these days. “She says the technique is less disruptive for the shellfish and ensures superior taste,” I read from an article on The New York Times website. They are freshly farmed in the Damariscotta River, along with the lobster the Glidden Point Oyster Company sold.

 

 

The Three Not-So-Little Lobsters

The Three Not-So-Little Lobsters!

What my dad thought made this cool shack one THOUSAND times cooler is the “Honor System”. If the Scullys were out oyster diving, they would trust you to take the seafood, and leave the money. Luckily, Mrs. Scully was available when we came on Father’s Day, because we had no idea what we were doing! I loved the business so much, I bought a shirt from the Glidden Point Oyster Co. On the back, it says their slogan, which is: “You don’t win friends with salad“. A quote from Homer Simpson, I immediately loved the shirt, the slogan, and its meaning!

In the end, we bought 3 lobsters (totaling 5 lbs) and 12 oysters, all live on the way home!

* * * * *

When we got home, my dad immediately opened the cooler and tried to grab the lobsters. Big mistake! Though we had done this before, we had not expected the feisty lobsters! They were fighting and flailing against my dad, and, boy, did it surprise us!

Ruby Red and Looking Good!

Ruby Red and Looking Good!

But once they were boiled and shelled, they just couldn’t have been better! Dipped in warm, dripping-down-your-chin, heavenly butter, this lobster was succulent, juicy, and fresh. My dad, mom, and I all have the same favorite lobster part: the tail! However, my sister preferred the legs, from which you got practically no meat… But everyone has their preferences, I guess.

 

The splendid meat practically melted in your mouth, and the butter was a fantastic addition! I found myself wishing that it wasn’t gone when the plate was cleared. But I guess that’s how good food works.

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The Bayou Kitchen

543 Deering Ave.

Portland, Maine 

Tel: (207) 774-4935

http://www.bayoukitchenmaine.com

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Big Sky Bread Company

536 Deering Ave.

Portland, Maine

Tel: (207) 761-5623

http:/www.mainebread.com

 

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Glidden Point Oyster Sea Farm

707 River Road

Edgecomb, Maine 04556

Tel: (207) 633-3599

http://www.oysterfarm.com

 

 

Day 2…

Part 1: TERRIFIC TRAVEL

I awoke this morning and we immediately jumped into our rental car and started our road trip journey to Maine. Soon, we encountered a small town fit for breakfast: Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This cute town has been a part of New Hampshire since 1623! We were eager to explore, and we took many pictures along the drive.

Portsmouth is made of simple, Victorian-style homes and small shops. spending much of my time in super-modern Los Angeles, I was intrigued by the older, but attractive, architecture.

DSC03913Somewhere along Sagamore Avenue, my parents found “The Golden Egg”, an old-fashioned, red-checkered curtained cafe. Tabitha and I were hungry, and so we were glad to stop in!

“The Golden Egg” was exactly as you would imagine a small-town, local’s cafe. The sweet smell of real, fresh syrup filled the air, and the servers were friendly and courteous.

As a drink, Tabs and I both received hot cocoas. They were rich and yummy, and they tasted like chocolate cookies were crumbled into the warm milk. It was a pleasant treat and probably my favorite hot cocoa in a long time! Yum!

I ordered a combo, with French toast, a scrambled egg, and bacon. I immediately asked for hot sauce for my egg, and they gave me an incredible homemade hot sauce. I tried it and was surprised to find it was spicier than I expected! It had a tangy kick that I very much enjoyed! If you ever venture to the Golden Egg, I would suggest their homemade hot sauce!

C&C: Citrusy Clams

C&C: Citrus and Clams

Tabitha ordered New England clam chowder– yes, again! But unlike Connolly’s clam chowder, this one was outstanding and unlike any clam chowder I had ever tried! It was thin and broth, and full of spices and bacon. It also had a powerful, addictive citrus flavor that we could not identify. This citrus really made it fantastic, and we were impressed by this unique flavor. It was much better than FishBar’s, which says something, and I finished off Tabitha’s big bowl! That clam chowder was–no exaggeration– probably my favorite clam chowder ever! Then again, we are on the East Coast, and I will probably try many more clam chowders. I look forward to those!

A Mouthwatering Masterpiece

A Mouthwatering Masterpiece

Dad ordered the “Eggs Sagamore”, which was English muffins, two poached eggs, and lobster in a creamy remoulade sauce. Though I am not a fan of runny eggs, I tried a bite of lobster in the remoulade sauce and fell in love! Delicious, juicy, addictive, fresh! My family was undoubtedly happy with a fantastic brunch at “The Golden Egg”!

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The Golden Egg

960 Sagamore Avenue

Portsmouth, NH 03801

Tel: (603) 436-0519 

Website: http://www.goldeneggrestaurant.com

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Part 2: DISCOVERY DAY

After brunch, we continued along our route to Camden, Maine. Still on Sagamore, we stopped at Seaport Fish, a small seafood market. Dad and I got out of the car and decided to explore!

Splendid Seafood, Marvelous Market

Splendid Seafood, Marvelous Market!

Seaport fish was an incredible stop! The seafood was fresh, inexpensive, and ice cold. Raw fish slabs lined the refrigerated counter, and ice boxes were over-flowing with lobster, clams, oyster, and more! Prices were great: you could buy an entire lobster for $6.00! It was super cool and I was impressed by their many varieties!

In addition to a wide-range seafood selection, Seaport Fish offered cheese, meat, cocktail sauce, and fish rubs. Menus were posted on the walls and the decor was natural and nautically-themed. Cards were piled in baskets with interesting seafood recipes and inspirational ideas, and the workers were friendly and helpful. Overall, Seaport Fish was a great stop and a lucky opportunity!

* * * * *

After exploring the seafood market, we decided to stop in a cute bookstore in Kennebunk, Maine called Kennebooks. It was cute at first sight, and we stopped in without hesitation!

Kennebooks was brimming with books of all kinds, genres, shapes, and sizes! It was a reader’s heaven, and they even played P!nk, who is one of my favorite artists! Two young women worked at the counter, and they seemed fun and friendly. They were obviously locals, and I loved their casual, soothing bookstore. Tabitha was fully entranced in the Mad Libs rack, and she would NOT stop pleading for them! Mom was looking at books that took place in Maine, and Dad was looking at New England cookbooks. Everyone found their picks at Kennebooks, and my dad loved it so much that he bought a Kennebooks t-shirt!

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Seaport Fish                                                     

13 Sagamore Road

Rye, NH 03870

Tel: (603) 436-7286

Twitter: @SeaportFish

Website: http://www.seaportfish.com

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 KenneBooks

149 Port Road

Lower Village Kennebunk, ME 04043

Tel: (207) 967-6136

Website: http://www.kennebooks.com

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Part 3: EVENING EVENTS 

At last, we checked into our rental home and settled down. We decided to walk into town and pick a restaurant that looked good to eat at. Camden is a wonderful town, and the magnificent main street was full of shops, restaurants, and other businesses. We were sure we would find something to eat, so we explored!

The neighborhood we stayed in was very nice, safe, and not at all like LA. Pebbly roads, a calm harbor, and Victorian design everywhere distinguished Camden from what I was used to: a busy city life. Everyone knew each other, people walked the streets smiling, and you could always stop in and say hi in the cute shops. I realized the benefits of living in a relaxing small town, as opposed to a busy, frightening city. The bottom line: I loved it there!

After walking along the main street for a few minutes, we found Cappy’s Chowder House, a seafood restaurant that caught our eye. I must admit, Cappy’s was a bit touristy, but the ingredients were fresh and authentic all the same.

After our waiter, Cassady, seated us, we scanned the menu and found our interests: Dad and I shared Cappy’s three course, market price meal. The “Maine Seafood Bliss” consisted of three components: a starter, a main course/ entree, and a “sweet ending”. The starter was a cup of Cappy’s clam chowder. On the menu, it said, “Maine chowder law says white! … never red!” I liked this, and I knew that this would be one knock-your-socks-off chowder!

The entree, or main course, was a pot full of fresh steamed Maine shellfish: mussels, clams, and lobster. Lastly, for dessert, homemade blueberry pie was served, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. In addition to our seafood dinner, we ordered a clam roll to share. Fresh Maine whole-belly clams, fried to perfection and stuffed into a roll, sounded pretty darn good to me!

Outstanding Oysters

Outstanding Oysters

First, we ate an appetizer of fried oysters. These reminded me of the good old days of Ragin’ Cajun! They were served with a mild horseradish sauce, which was quickly gobbled up! With a kick, but not overpowering, the horseradish sauce was greatly appreciated at our table, along with the crispy, plump, fresh oysters.

 

Next, our clam chowder arrived. Boy, was I right about it being magnificent! Fresh, rich, and balanced, it was almost as impressive as The Golden Egg’s chowdah’. I was struck by it’s incredible spice, unique flavor, and flawless viscosity. My dad and I loved Cappy’s clam chowder!

 

Third, our second “New England Lobster Roll Challenge” contestant stepped up to the plate. “Cappy’s Maine Lobster Roll” was overflowing and delicious! My mom enjoyed the fact the it was meaty and just barely doused with mayo. I would rate this lobster roll:

four seashells

Four Shells!

 

 

 

Why? Because it was better than Connolly’s lobster roll, but it was still not the heaven I’m searching for. It was still very appealing, though, and I would suggest it!

Chewy Clams

Chewy Clams

Then, our clam roll arrived at the table. Placed directly in front of me, I could smell a satisfying aroma waft through the air. It was tempting, so… WE DUG IN! My dad loved them, and I will tell you right now that these were his favorite fried clams of the trip! The clams were huge and the roll was bursting with them, and they weren’t too fishy, which I liked. Unfortunately, they were a little too stringy and a bit hard to chew. However, they were crispy and juicy, so although not my favorite dish of the night, still passable.

A Perfect Way to End a Day!

A Perfect Way to End a Day!

Finally, our main course arrived: the shellfish pot! Steam rose from the pungent pot, and fresh seafood filled it up to the top. Dad handed me a clam, two mussels, and a humongous lobster claw. I tore off the pincher and sucked the juice from the shell. I cracked the claw in half, then I wolfed down the succulent meat. I remember thinking, “This is too good to be true!” But it wasn’t . It was juicy, fresh, and absolutely real!

The clams and mussels were terrific, not at all gritty, but locally caught and fresh as can be! I liked the clams, regardless of the bit of shell I had to pull out of it, because it was large and plump! Though the mussels were smaller and less moist, they had a great flavor! I found myself wanting more, but they were already gone! Delish! I guess the clams and mussels were a big hit in our family!

In addition to the lobster claw, I got part of the tail meat. The tail is probably my favorite part of the entire lobster, but it still couldn’t surpass the juiciness of the claw! Still, the delectable meat was tender, and I overall loved the buttery, scrumptious Camden lobster!

Our “sweet ending” was shared by Mom and Dad. I tried a bite, however, I am not a cooked blueberry person. I am sure that if you love blueberry pie you would really enjoy this! The ice cream was regular, nothing special, but still a yummy classic with the warm pie!

I received a chocolate bread pudding for my dessert. This luscious delicacy was served warm and quite perfect, and drizzled over it was a heavenly raspberry sauce. A mountain of whipped cream towered above the pudding, which I didn’t love, but once I got down to the rich, chocolaty goodness it was all worth it. Overall, I loved my dessert from Cappy’s!

In all, I would definitely suggest Cappy’s as a yummy place to eat! The servers are nice, the decor is bright, the food is great, and overall a wonderful atmosphere. Cappy’s was a great experience and an even better memory!

See you tomorrow on Day 3 of my East Coast extravaganza!

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Go Cappy's! Cappy’s Chowder House

1 Main Street, Camden ME 04843

Tel: (207) 236-2254

Website: http://cappyschowder.com

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Day 1…

A Tedious Time

A Tedious Time: A Plane Ride

Part 1: MORNING MADNESS

An exciting adventure? Not so much… yet. I awoke early this morning to my mom gently shaking me awake. Good thing I’m a morning person! I leapt out of bed and quickly got ready, and then my dad treated me and my sister with a sweet wake-up call: DONUTS!! Our destination, Best Donuts, is a locally-owned fresh donut shop in Hermosa Beach. I ordered a chocolate knot, Tabitha got a sugar twist, my dad received a crumble cake donut, and we brought a fresh, warm glazed donut back for my mom. Mmmm! Though Krispy Kreme reigns supreme, we are fans of Best Donuts.

At 7:30 AM, our taxi cab arrived, we hauled our luggage into the car, and we rode to the LAX Airport. Wow, is LAX busy at 8:00 in the morning! We rushed through the several stations, and here we are on the plane. Our flight is inconveniently pilot-less, and we have been waiting in this plane for about a half an hour. I am incredibly hungry (like always), which makes the wait even more tedious! I cannot wait to be in lobster heaven, blueberry-mania, or just Maine, if you choose to put it that way…

But Maine is looking like the Bahamas compared to our slow, cramped United flight! I’ll report back to you in happier times.

*******

Best Donuts

2514 Pacific Coast Highway

Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Tel:  (310) 479-4335

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Part 2: EVENING ENDING

After our flight to Newark, New Jersey, we missed our connecting flight to Boston due to poor service from United and that pilot delay. Luckily, we caught the next flight to Boston, but I am still starving! From Boston, we will drive to Maine in the morning. I feel like I was at Disneyland today– TIRED and BEAT!

* * * * *

We checked into our hotel room at The Hilton, and we found ourselves right at home! Everyone was friendly and it was easy to find our way around. We dropped our luggage off at our room and headed downstairs to The Hilton’s restaurant: Connolly’s Publik House.

* * * * *

Connolly’s Publik House was nothing special, sad to say. Tabitha and I ordered their homemade New England Clam Chowder. Creamy and basic, FishBar’s chowder was much better (and probably a LOT cheaper!). Unfortunately, Tabs and I both expected better from Boston.

My family has created a challenge for our vacation: “The New England Lobster Roll Challenge”.  All over our destinations, we will find authentic lobster rolls and critique them. Our rating system will be in shells, just as our trip to St. John. Whichever lobster roll earns the most stars, or pleased us the most, will win our contest.

At Connolly’s, we ordered our first contestant: “a lobster roll with a sweet bun and Bibb lettuce” (according to Connolly’s Publik House menu). V-shaped and charred, this lobster roll was definitely traditional and authentic. I loved that it was chock full of lobster, but I was disappointed that it was mayonnaise-based, instead of butter-based. Mayo did make their roll creamy, but I sometimes have a weak spot for butter 🙂 .

I took a bite, and, I have to admit, it was not mind-blowing. Not even excellent. Not even great. But it was good, and I appreciated the full bun of lobster, so I rated it

Three of Five Shells

Three of Five Shells

 

 

 

 

For dessert, one thing popped out on the menu: Deep Dish Apple Pie with Cinnamon Ice Cream. Mom agreed, but when it arrived at the table, we were dismayed. For one thing, it was not deep-dish at all. Second, it was cold, like it was cheap, frozen pie. Lastly, while Tabitha got HUGE scoops of sorbet, we got a tiny sliver of pie for both of us to share. We were, however, happy with our cinnamon ice cream. It had a solid, fresh flavor, and it was a decent-sized scoop. Overall, though, Mom and I were not impressed by Connolly’s apple pie dessert.

Would we suggest Connolly’s Publik House? Probably not. But it did not displease us, and it was easy just to walk downstairs for dinner after such a LONG day.

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Connolly’s Publik House

1 Hotel Drive

Boston, MA 02128

Tel:  (617) 568-6700

 

 

 

 

Marvelous Maine!

DSC04247Where are you going this summer?  This year, we traveled to a place we have never been before:  Maine!  Lobster heaven and blueberry-mania, this place was made for me!  But was it made for you?  Read the upcoming diary entries to form your own opinion of Camden, Maine.  (Plus, if you haven’t already, please read my diary entries on St. John from last summer.)

So, watch out, Maine!  Southbayfood.com is coming to town.  Check into Megan’s World of Food ASAP for an update of our trip to Camden, Maine.  Please follow my blog for stories of our exciting adventure!

And, if you are traveling this summer to camp, a vacation spot, or even a cruise, I suggest that you write a diary of your adventures.  Both food-related and not, please send them in, and I might post them here as guest posts!

DSC04187Enjoy as my family records yet another culinary journey!  Stay tuned to read about Day One, two long plane rides and our first dinner in New England …