Travelin’ Maine(rs)

A regular travel blog, written by George and Linda Smith, focused entirely on instate travel.

Great food and a beautiful restaurant within sight of LL Bean!

City or Town: 
Freeport
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 George

                Going to LL Bean to shop for Christmas? Don’t drive by the Tuscan Brick Oven Bistro just north of and across the street from Bean! This restaurant is charming and beautiful and the food is bountiful and delicious. This is a real find.

                We enjoyed one of our best meals of the year here two weeks ago. The restaurant was surprisingly packed for a Sunday night, yet no one hurried us and we lingered with our friends Ed and Cate Pineau of Vassalboro, who recommended the Tuscan.

Winthrop's Full Court Deli will surprise you

City or Town: 
Winthrop
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                 Winthrop’s Full Court Deli is much more than a place that serves creative and delicious food. It’s a community gathering place, where local folks hang out, visit, laugh, and enjoy life. Of course the great food makes that all the better.

                Owner and chef Rick Lough (he will cringe at the word chef, but the man can cook!) has created an exceptionally good menu, and equally important, a restaurant that features the endorsement of my Dad, Ezra Smith.

Fabulous Food in Farmington

City or Town: 
Farmington
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 Linda

                The Greenwood Dining Room at the Stone Hearth Cafe is Farmington’s newest eatery. Even though the Dining Room has only been open for two months, things are running smoothly and the food is creative and inviting.  Chef Doug Winslow has been in Maine’s restaurant business for decades and his expertise certainly shines through in his food.

                As you peruse the menu you can see that they offer variety - there’s something for everyone. They take advantage of fresh produce, are sure to include vegetarian and gluten free offerings, and also have a nice selection of meat and seafood entrees. You can even order their wood-fired pizza from the Stone Hearth in the same building, and it will come with a small salad. The Greenwood and the Stone Hearth share the same kitchen.

Lewiston's Forage Market will surprise you

City or Town: 
Lewiston
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 Linda

                Downtown Lewiston now boasts many great eateries and shops and the newest one we’ve discovered is Forage Market. We popped in for a quick look several months ago after a friend recommend it. We were impressed with their focus on locally farmed produce and dairy, not to mention the wood fired bagels and breads, (I counted 12 varieties on their website), made there. So on a recent Sunday we headed there for lunch before a visit to The Public Theater.

        One step inside told us the market has a strong following. It attracts Bates College students and patrons who look for great, freshly made food. A long line of customers were ready to place orders and all the tables were full when we arrived. They all seemed to know how to go about it. We did not, and needed to head up to the menu board to get a grasp of what was being offered that day.

Great Octoberfest celebration at Brunswick Tavern

City or Town: 
Brunswick
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Octoberfest’s wine and beer dinner at the Brunswick Tavern brought back fond memories.

Linda

                An invitation to The Brunswick Tavern to celebrate their 3rd annual Beer vs Wine dinner was a welcome one. But the fact that this one focused on German Food and was celebrating Octoberfest made it even better for me. Fond memories of visiting Munich, Germany many years ago during Octoberfest came back.

                I love German food and now find myself craving sauerkraut. I grew lots of cabbage this year with that in mind and have preserved a gallon of this delicious stuff for the winter ahead.

Federal Jack's and other favorite brewpubs

City or Town: 
Bangor
Topsham
Hallowell
Kennebunk
Waterville
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 It all started here, at Federal Jack’s in Kennebunk.

George

                Shipyard Brewery’s Export Ale is one of my favorite brews, and it was brewed first at Federal Jack’s in Kennebunk in 1992. That history drew us to Federal Jack’s Restaurant and Brew Pub for dinner in April of 2013 and Linda and I loved it so much we returned the very next day for lunch.

                So it wasn’t a hard sell when I suggested that we host some of our kids and grandkids here during our August visit to Ram’s Head Farm in nearby York. Joining us for lunch at Jack’s were son Josh, daughter-in-law Kelly, and new granddaughter Ada, along with daughter Rebekah and grandsons Addison and Vishal.

Great wine, great beer, great food: Special dinners at Winterport Winery have it all!

City or Town: 
Winterport
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 George

                It was a very special night for the owners, staff, friends, and customers of the Winterport Winery and Penobscot Bay Brewery. We didn’t know that, when we confirmed for one of their popular monthly wine and beer dinners, but we were very happy to participate in the celebration.

                Owners Michael and Joan Anderson had just received the 2014 Maine Food Producer of the Year award from the Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association, the first winery and brewery to win that prestigious recognition. And they were, along with the entire staff – very excited.

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