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Help Needed...Portland and area for 5 days

I had a fun time poking around the DeLorme visitor center in Yarmouth. :) They have a nice shop and a huge globe. http://delorme.com/mapstore/default.aspx

The LLBean flagship stores in Freeport are also loads of fun. Since you'll be flying back it might not be so dangerous to you to go there. It's always dangerous for me since I can bring the stuff home in my car. ;

)

There are some lovely sail boat tours you can take all along the coast, I recommend just getting out on a sail boat and enjoying the afternoon or morning. :) Those often are very near to lobster shacks, as well. ;) Most of the specific ones I've gone on are near Wells/Ogunquit, but I'm sure there's plenty closer to Portland you could look into.

about 19 hours ago
Morganna in Northern New England

Gloucester and Ogunquit - recommendations please

Are Stonewall Kitchen's products actually local? As in made in Maine?

Jul 15, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Restaurant at Edson Hill - Stowe - any recent reviews?

We ate there for our anniversary dinner several years ago (I want to say four years ago?). The atmosphere is very nice. It's a comfortable, welcoming space. The staff were warm but not intrusive. The food was good though I am not sure it was worth the price we paid. Still, looking at their menu today it looks like they've updated things significantly.

I'm afraid that's the most recent info I have.

Jul 14, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Go to Roam

NH, it's tucked into the fourth sentence. :)

Jul 12, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Portland trip report June 15-18, 2015

What a fantastic report! Thanks for all the pics as well. :)

Jul 11, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Vermont trip report

Well I can certain appreciate biases like that. :) Since they're the only cider donuts I get (and I don't really like them in cinnamon sugar) they're fab to me. :)

I'm just so glad you had a good time!

Jul 10, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Vermont trip report

Awww about the donuts, were they fresh? They're really so much better in the fall. I'm sorry they didn't wow you!

Still and all, this is a great report and thanks so much for taking the time to write it up! :)

Jul 08, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Burlington, VT suggestions for father's day weekend

Nice! Thanks!

Jul 07, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Burlington, VT suggestions for father's day weekend

Have you done a review of the Bistro, Davmar? If not, tell us what you liked about it please? :)

Jul 07, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Best Lobster in Northern New England

My favorite lobster roll is hot with the lobster is just tossed with some butter and served on a toasted hot dog bun. Cold lobster rolls made with mayo (and sometimes celery) are fine, and I like them, they're just not my favorite. For just plain ripping a lobster apart and eating it, I prefer dunking it in butter, and that's it.

In all of the cases above, the single most important factor in how good any of those items actually taste is in how recently the lobster has come from the ocean. The longer it sat in the tank, no matter how fresh it is (in terms of how recently it was killed), the more the flavor degrades. I would rather have an overcooked, slightly rubbery lobster that was brought in on the boat two hours ago than a perfectly cooked and tender lobster that's been sitting in a tank for a day or two.

Because that's the most important thing to me, the location of the lobster provider, rather than the specific preparation, is the determining factor for my favorite lobster places.

All of my favorites, all over Maine and NH, are shacks that sit right where the lobster boats come in, and that get their lobsters fresh off the boats and start serving them immediately. If they're doing that, then what I consider minor offenses (too much mayo, overcooked) as irrelevant. To me they're not worth fussing over.

So, sure, I suppose if there's a lobster shack right on a harbor that knows how not to over boil the lobster, then that would have an edge over the others in my book, but not enough of one to make it worth driving extra distance for (especially if that extra distance involves driving on Route 1 in Maine during the high season, which is, if I remember correctly, one of the circles of hell). :)

So when folks ask me for the best lobster in Maine or NH, I tell them to look for shacks boiling lobsters right at a harbor where they get the lobsters off the boats that day. Chances are good anywhere they are staying will have a place like that nearby.

Jul 06, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

The Dinnerhorn in Portsmouth: an appreciation

We'll have to make a stop next we're in the area. :)

Jul 05, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Where to eat in Portsmouth, NH?

Just to be really specific here, it's only eight minutes closer, and that depends on where in Portsmouth you're starting from. So the difference is negligible.

Jul 02, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Where to eat in Portsmouth, NH?

There's nothing wrong with lobster in NH. If you're hoping for lobster, try Rye Harbor Lobster Pound. :)

Jun 30, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

A Vegetarian Celebrates in Manchester, VT

Welcome to Vermont! I'm afraid I'm not very familiar with that part of the state. I'm sure that some others will chime in with their suggestions soon, though. I just wanted to welcome you to the state and our chow group. :)

Jun 30, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Have some non fish eaters coming to York Maine.

The few times I've been in York it has seemed a little, errr. sysco distributory. I'm sure there's got to be at least one good place to eat there but I am not sure where it is. There was one place I remember hearing about but I think it closed.

There's a good pizza place in Ogunquit, Pizza Napoli. We like it just fine. :) Also, my husband doesn't like any fish at all, so yeah, finding decent non-seafood is a challenge. http://pizzanapoliogunquit.com/

Jun 30, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Burlington, Vermont

Well, one place pops to mind. There aren't any restaurants that focus solely on local fish, though. I imagine because it's hard to find a reliable, consistent source.

But this place has a local perch sandwich:
http://bleuvt.com/menu/

You can get fried perch at The Wayside in Berlin, but that's only in the winter when there's ice fishing. I know a few places that do sushi will buy fish from local fishermen, but I don't think those fish make it onto the menu, the staff eat them. :)

Jun 29, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Where to eat in Portsmouth, NH?

We really thoroughly enjoy Vida Cantina. :)

Jun 29, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Burlington, Vermont

I'm not sure I understand this line:

"We are now starting to hesitate if this is a nice enough town for a one night stop."

Burlington is a beautiful small city. There is a lot to explore, and there's a lot of really good food up there. I think you're going to wish you were spending more time there. :)

Can you narrow in a bit on what sorts of things you like to eat, and what sort of price point you're considering? There are so many options to sort through. :)

Since you have such a small window, it's hard to pick what's going to give you the experience you're hoping for. Are you looking for quirky Vermont, or elegant Vermont, or some mix of those? Are you meat eaters or do you prefer vegetarian? Would you like local fish? How many meals will you be having? Will you have a car, and what part of town are you staying in? :)

Jun 22, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Where is the Best Lobster in Ogunquit Maine plus other must eat places?

Just another side of this, I didn't much care for Ogunquit Lobster Pound. The lobster is just fine, but everything else.. I found it overpriced for what you got. They had awful (not just mediocre but actively not-good) non-seafood options (so if you have someone who doesn't eat seafood, you're going to pay through the nose for a bland/overcooked something).

I really like Billy's Chowder House in Wells (it's not a far drive from Ogunquit). It has good non-seafood options, and the setting and atmosphere are way better than Ogunquit Lobster Pound.

I wouldn't put as much weight into Trip Advisor or Yelp (or with a HUGE grain of salt). I find the reviewers in both places tend to have weird expectations. Someone actually complained about the quality of the hot dogs at a freekin' creemee stand, for cry sakes.

If you're looking for good lobster, you want fresh, preferably off the boat that day. Most of the lobster pounds in the area you're going to get exactly that. I wouldn't worry over much about the trip advisor or yelp reviews unless someone says they actually got a BAD lobster, or that it wasn't actually fresh.

Jun 19, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Food adventure trip to Maine coast

There's a lot of discussion of places to eat in Portland on this board. I also seem to recall something recent about Deer Isle, I think. I'll see if I can find some links for you.

Here's a couple fairly recent threads about Deer Isle:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9847...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9913...

The threads about Portland would be far too many to post. If you can narrow down the sorts of food you like and a price points, it would help us make good recommendations.

Jun 14, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Buy lobster from fishermen in Maine

This is pretty much what nearly every lobster shack/pound in every harbor in Maine (and NH) does. :) The ones right in the harbors, they buy off the boats that come in, they cook 'em up, then sell 'em to you. :) Rye Harbor Lobster Pound is -right there- where the boats come in. They get loads of great reviews. I STILL haven't gotten there, though. They were closed when we went the Tuesday after Memorial day. :) We're going back to the coast a few more times this summer, so I'll have another chance.

Looking to rent a private home for a 100-150 people wedding. Northern New England.

There are some wonderful wedding venues in the Vermont State Park system. Lake Champlain is gorgeous, too. You could check that out.

May 31, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Seeking food adventure in VT (not Burlington)

Just note about the website. There are several very nice website hosting services out there that have a lot of very handy tools for creating a more slick and professional look for a restaurant website. They aren't even that expensive. You can't really judge a restaurant by the look and feel of its website any more.

Frankly, I consider it a serious plus that they -have- a website. I'm getting so I don't want to go to places that don't. I don't care if it's a slapped together thing that was built back in geocities days, just HAVE it (with a menu, even just a sample, if you change it regularly) so I have an IDEA of what could be in the offing.

May 31, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Trip report - Overnight in Portsmouth, NH

We took a day trip to Rye yesterday and had dinner at Vida Cantina. It was as wonderful as the last time we were there. They change their menu up regularly, so all new things to choose from. We ordered carne asada enchiladas, and had a goat cheese fundido appetizer (they have happy hour between 3 and 6, and the discounts on the appetizers during that time is drastic! the fundido was $3 less!). We also ordered a cubano sandwich to bring home with us.

The enchildas were great. They crisped the outside and covered them with a cheese also crisped up a bit, before they doused them with sauce. My husband had the green sauce, I tried both the red and the green. The red sauce wasn't as strong as I'd have expected. It had a subtle smokey flavor and was a tad bitter. It got a little overwhelmed by the enchiladas. The green sauce was great. Liked how it contrasted and held its own against the enchiladas. Which seems like a strange thing to say, but the enchiladas had a really good flavor. Not bland at all.

I had black beans and rice along with the enchiladas and loved the beans. I don't usually like the rice given in Mexican restaurants, the best I could say about this was I didn't dislike it. But it still wasn't worth stomach real estate to eat. :)

The cubano traveled pretty well. The bread is made in house and I wouldn't know from "authentic" but it held up. The pork and the bacon were absolutely delicious as were the housemade pickles that went on top. The bread seemed a bit stiff to me, but I don't know what it should have been. It crumbled when I bit into it, so it was hard to keep the sandwich together. I shared the sandwich with my husband as a later in the evening snack on the way home (we ate dinner very early). It was a very decent size.

The fundido was so yummy and served with fried flour tortilla chips sprinkled with chili powder. It came with a lovely brown crust that I had to fight with my husband over (not really, we share nicely ;) ).

The service was, again, impeccable and it wasn't all that busy (well it was early Tuesday night), so we had an attentive, not hovery, server.

This restaurant is in a former Friendly's and even though the exterior has been repainted the branding is strong. The interior, though, is colorful and fun, and doesn't look at all like a Friendly's. :)

This place is totally worth stopping!

May 27, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

visit to Maine

There's a great restaurant in Portsmouth called Vida Cantina. We just had dinner there yesterday. We're lucky it's three hours from us, if it were closer, our food budget would be blown. :)

May 27, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Bennington

I haven't spent much time in that part of the state, so had to cast a little further afield to offer some thoughts. I'd be really happy to hear your report back if you get a chance, after your trip! I keep telling my husband we should head down that way for a weekend get away. :)

Blue Benn Diner gets regular recommendations as a good place to eat.

Also, yelp is OK, but this is a pretty good resource for looking at reviews of places:
http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/Lo...

Seven days is a VT independent paper. You can also search it for reviews written by Alice Levitt or any of the other food writer staff there. I tend to agree with Alice in most of her reviews. :

)

Here's a really good review of places in Bennington:
http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/fe...

It includes discussion of Little Britain.

May 20, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Burlington, VT suggestions for father's day weekend

Oh there's Waterworks, too. We ate there when we spent a couple nights in Burlington. And The Guild Tavern. The Guild Tavern might be too meaty for you. Waterworks is pretty eclectic, sorta sleek, has an interesting vibe, and IIRC, had some tasty vegetarian options.

May 10, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Seeking food adventure in VT (not Burlington)

Ok, well looks like the south is covered, how about some more central? :)

Two Loco Guys, Cornerstone, Asian Gourmet (some interesting sushi roll variations), and Ladder 1 (mediocre food but interesting place to eat, inside former firehouse) in Barre.

Kismet, Asiana House, Ocha Thai, Mad Taco, Chef's Table, Coffee Corner, Bagitos in Montpelier (there's a southern place slated to open where Rivendell books used to be on Main Street but I don't know the timing of that and a pho place opening where village pizza used to be, again, don't know the timing of that).

Blue Stone pizza, The Apple Core, Juniper's Fare, Blackback Pub, Cork Wine Bar in Waterbury.

Vermont BBQ (http://www.vtbbq.com/ for directions) in Randolph.

There are also some newer places that I don't know much about in Cabot and Randolph.

May 09, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Nashua Area News - Part 2

Do you know if they'll be making their own gyro meat or buying sysco cones?

May 08, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England

Burlington, VT suggestions for father's day weekend

The Ben and Jerry's tour is short and smallish, and they are doing production every day except Sunday. Though you can always see the production line, they're just cleaning it on Sunday. Factory tours in Vermont are all this small because the food producing factories in Vermont are mostly tiny compared to, say, a car factory (which was a tour I took as a kid living in Michigan). Just don't go into it expecting a lot of flash, is all. There's a sample at the end of the tour, and there are some not massively over priced things in the shop that are cute. There will also be the outside the factory stuff, and places to take some really nice photos. You can visit the cows, too. It's a nice couple of hours.

Since you'll be out that way, I also very heartily recommend Cold Hollow Cider. Their tour is also a video about their apples, and looking at the apple press where they press the cider. This time of year they may not be pressing much, but I haven't kept track of that. The store at Cold Hollow sells brilliant cider donuts, and loads of Vermont made goods, their prices are not even outrageously high for a tourist spot (we go there regularly and you'll find locals there -all the time- buying cider and donuts or their supply of Vermont jellies).

There is a fantastic sandwich shop next to the store there called The Apple Core. GREAT sandwiches of all sorts. There's also a place for doing tastings, wines and hard ciders I think, and a shop where you can buy a variety of wines and ciders produced in Vermont.

In South Burlington there's a factory tour at the Lake Champlain Chocolates factory. Another video and window over looking the production line with someone explaining all the bits and steps to you. At the end you get a coupon for a free cookie at the owner's son's restaurant around the corner. I can't remember the name of it. There's also the Arts Riot kitchen in that neck of the woods, and Feldman's Bagels, which is the closest my Long Island Raised husband has found to Long Island Bagels in the area. All this is on Pine Street heading south.

I recently ate at Sherpa Kitchen in downtown and loved it. We had the Sunday Buffet ($12pp, 11:30-3) and had some chicken chilli to die for, and that was the only meat item on the buffet. All the rest was vegetarian and fabulous. It's just about a block or two from the Church Street Marketplace.

There's a new seafood place called Bleu that has had some nice buzz but I've not been (was considering going for VT Restaurant week but didn't have the time). http://bleuvt.com/ I will make it there eventually. Lake Champlain perch... NOM. They serve breakfast and dinner on the weekdays, and brunch on Sunday.

Hen of the Wood and Juniper, both in Burlington will have some interesting vegetarian options on their menus.

Skinny Pancake has some lovely vegetarian options, too.

I think you'll find that a lot of the restaurants in the area offer some nice vegetarian choices. Lotta vegans and vegetarians in the area. :) Most of them have a website so you can check it out in advance.

May 05, 2015
Morganna in Northern New England