Travelin’ Maine(rs)

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

Great News! Skowhegan’s Pickup Café now offers lunch

City or Town: 
Skowhegan
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 Linda

                Whenever I hear Skowhegan’s Pickup Cafe mentioned, I smile. The thought of a cafe that opens its garage door side wall to a wonderful patio and pergola in the summer, then closes those same doors to provide a unique cozy space when the weather turns chilly, is true Maine. The farm to table movement is at the forefront and is the driving force behind this restaurant. The wall listing over 50 farms and local suppliers says it all. You know that freshness and quality ingredients matter here. Adam and Rosa Rosario do a superb job here.

                And here’s some really good news. The Pickup Cafe just started serving lunch during the week, Wednesday through Friday. It didn't take us long after hearing this to set up a time to visit. They still serve dinners on Friday and Saturday nights and brunch from 7 - 2 on the weekends. 

A memorable meal at Morse's in Waldoboro

City or Town: 
Waldoboro
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 Linda

                Tucked in the rural landscape of Waldoboro might not be where you would expect to find great German sausages and a huge variety of European cooking products. But look no further than Morse's Restaurant and European Deli. Customers are torn between eating first and then shopping or shopping first and then eating.

Don’t Miss Rockland’s Pies on Parade!

City or Town: 
Rockland
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 It’s a brilliant idea, linking the eating of pie to donations to a food bank.  Rockland’s annual Pies on Parade is an event that Linda and I try to never miss. It’s scheduled for Sunday, January 31, 2016, from 1 to 4 pm.

Just imagine: 25 businesses offering samples of 40 different pies. Well, you don’t have to imagine this, because that’s what Pies on Parade offers. In my mind, I justify all that indulgent eating by walking from business to business. Schooner Bay Taxi does offer free transportation at designated stops, but if you are able to walk, all the places are within easy walking distance.

Celebrating Farm Fresh in Bangor

City or Town: 
Bangor
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                 The Maine Harvest Festival is an amazing event – and mouthwatering too! In just its third year, Judy Perkins of Garden Ridge Farm and her staff have turned this into a major statewide event, featuring more than 150 farmers and other creative people who filled the entire Bangor Auditorium.

                I spent a good part of the day eating my way from booth to booth. The Festival features great presentations on three stages, my favorite being Kate Krukowski Gooding’s presentation on cooking wild game. Her cookbooks are favorites of mine. At the festival Kate served an awesome lasagna with moose sausage and beaver meat. Dana Masters of Beast Feast Maine, a Maine Guide who invented the “Sportsman’s Blend Sauce,” supplied the sauce for the lasagna. We purchased Dana’s maple BBQ sauce and I can tell you it is very flavorful!

The Riverside Inn and Bluebird Ranch Family Restaurant are a great combination

City or Town: 
Machias
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 George

                When I received the invitation to speak to a University of Maine at Machias class about fisheries and wildlife careers, I suggested to Linda that we turn this into a travel column trip and she quickly agreed. And we knew just where we wanted to stay: the Riverside Inn in East Machias.

                We’d been driving by the Inn for years on our way to Lubec and knew it to be a very popular place. When owners Ellen McLaughlin and Rocky Rakoczy also had a restaurant at the Inn, it seemed to be packed every time we went by. A few years ago they closed the restaurant but Rocky still cooks fantastic breakfasts for their guests. Alas, Rocky was out of state during our visit, but Ellen prepared a very tasty breakfast quiche for us which we enjoyed in our suite.

Aragosta’s Testing Menu is life changing!

City or Town: 
Stonington
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 Linda

                 I certainly had been looking forward to a special meal at Aragosta in Stonington, but little did I realize that this would be the dining experience of my lifetime! This year Aragosta chef Devin Finigan created a Chef's Tasting Menu in lieu of a traditional menu. They book diners for specific times so that the restaurant can serve the many courses at similar times. Seven courses plus a couple of surprises requires an orchestrated plan!

Apple Shed Bakery’s customers rave about the meals and baked goods.

City or Town: 
Readfield
Blog Showcase Image: 

 George

                As we picked out lunch and dinner items at the Apple Shed Bakery, customers were raving about the food. Wayne Niles told me he and his wife Diane love the chicken stew with dumplings. Marcie Hastings was disappointed that there’d be no more tomato pie. But she saved the day by telling owner Trina Beaulier where she could still get fresh tomatoes, and Trina promised to do that and call Marcie when the pies were ready. That’s the kind of customer service you get here.

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