Travelin’ Maine(rs): Restaurant Reviews

Maine restaurant reviews form the Travelin’ Maine(rs).

Food and fun featured at El El Frijoles

City or Town: 
Blue Hill
Deer Isle
Sargentville
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 The Mexican food is creative and flavorful and El El Frijoles is also a whole lot of fun!

George

With a weekend planned in Deer Isle, we were searching for a Friday night dinner in that area when I discovered El El Frijoles in Jillian and Malcolm Bedell’s Eating in Maine book. The Bedell’s were effusive in their praise. Jillian reported, “The crab quesadilla, a menu item I would not ordinarily think to order, was incredible, and it got better with every bite.” Yup. I wanted to eat there!

And boy, was that a good choice. In an old barn, Michele Levesque and Michael Rossney have created a popular and fun place to eat their impressive array of Mexican cuisine. Their story is a good one too. Michael’s family has had a house in the area since 1905 and he spent summers here.

Gather * Eat * Be Merry at 11 Central in Bangor

City or Town: 
Bangor
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 Gather * Eat * Be Merry – the slogan on our take-home bag from 11 Central, tells you all you need to know about this wonderful Bangor restaurant.

Linda

We have been hearing wonderful comments about 11 Central, a downtown eatery in Bangor. Open just about a year and a half, the word is certainly out if the number of patrons pouring in throughout the evening is any indication. And this restaurant deserves kudos for a charming atmosphere, great service, and delectable fresh food.

Benefit dinner for Alewive's Brook Farm featured great food for a great cause

City or Town: 
Cape Elizabeth
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What an excuse for gluttony! On May 16, the Sea Glass restaurant at Cape Elizabeth’s lovely Inn by the Sea hosted an auction and five course wine dinner to raise money for Alewive’s Brook Farm, just down the road from the Inn.

The Jordan family has been on the farm for three generations. And more than 80 supporters gathered at the Sea Glass to scoff up silent auction items and enjoy an elegant dinner. The money raised that night will be used to help build a new farm stand including equipment to allow processing of some foods.

Sea Glass gets a lot of fresh seasonal produce from Jodie Jordan, as well as all of its lobsters. As the Inn’s Rauni Kew told us, “They are a terrific family, and deliver here to the Inn as needed- sometimes 7 days a week!” 

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Great hotels, food, and shops make Kennebunk and Kennebunkport prime destinations for travelers

City or Town: 
Kennebunk
Kennebunkport
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Kennebunk’s Grand Hotel offers superb service and is surrounded by wonderful shops, markets, and restaurants.

George

I (of course) noticed (and grabbed) the small box of chocolates at the reception desk of the Grand Hotel in Kennebunk, while the very-friendly Patrick was checking us in. And another bag of goodies awaited in our room on the second floor overlooking a charming street of stores and the Kennebunk River.

But it was the next morning, when Linda opened the door to go downstairs to see what might be offered for breakfast, that I was really impressed. A bag of muffins and juice had already been delivered to our door.

The very best of inns pay attention to every detail of a customer’s comfort, from check-in to check-out and everything in between. And the Grand Hotel pays attention to the details.

Ocean restaurant in Kennebunkport’s Cape Arundel Inn is a place to celebrate!

City or Town: 
Kennebunk
Kennebunkport
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 George

You’d have to be on a ship to dine any closer than this to the ocean. So of course, this restaurant in the Cape Arundel Inn is called Ocean.

While the waves roll towards us, outside the huge picture windows at Ocean, my gaze is out a side window toward the nearby home of President George H.W. and Barbara Bush. They dine here too, but didn’t the night we were there. Linda suggests they probably walk to the restaurant. I doubt it!

Actually, the drive along Ocean Avenue, from the Grand Hotel where we are ensconced for the weekend, is stunning. And so is the food, served in a relatively-small, intimate setting, a place of white linens, beautiful art, and superb service.

Big Bend National Park in Southwest Texas is spectacular!

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Big Bend National Park is relentlessly stunning, high mountain desert alongside the Rio Grande, and a paradise for all who love the outdoors.

Linda

Big Bend is one of the most spectacular sights you will ever see. We’ve visited many national parks and this has become a favorite.

Picture hilly arid land with a backdrop of long mountain chains that take your breath away. Some formations create rounded sculpture shapes, while others are more angular. Rock variations color the hillsides in shades of taupe, red, and white. This is a geologist’s dream and many travel here for that reason. I tell George that this is the polar opposite of Mount Vernon. It feels like you can see forever, and it's hard to take all this vastness in.

After our interminable winter, I am soaking in the heat here. Boy it gets hot, even in April, where the average day time temperature this week was 90. Hot, sunny, and dry, but it cools down into the fifties at night with a lovely breeze.

Summer Dreaming 2014

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 We’ve scheduled some terrific trips this summer. How about you?

A birding adventure on Monhegan Island. Followed later in the summer by a Puffin Cruise with Monhegan Boat Line. Two visits to Lubec, giving us a healthy dose of fresh ocean air in the most beautiful place on earth. A weekend in Eastport.

A stay at a favorite Maine sporting camp with a tour of the spectacular Fly Fishing Museum in Oquossic. We’ll enjoy a presentation of the Joshua Chamberlain musical at the Maine Music Theater, with dinner at one of Brunswick’s fine restaurants.

And we’re excited about our first visit to Deer Isle, where the Pilgrim’s Inn and Whale’s Rib Tavern await. We’ll be doing that trip with our friends Rusty and Sue Atwood. An island adventure on Vinalhaven and our annual trip to the beautiful Blue Nose Inn in Bar Harbor will certainly highlight our summer.

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