Travelin’ Maine(rs)

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

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
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 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.

Devine Dining at Delvino’s in Belfast

City or Town: 
Belfast
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               Bethel and Belfast impress us with lots of community-wide events that entertain both tourists and local residents. Bethel offers stunning views of the mountains while Belfast gives us those ocean views we just can’t get enough of.  In early October we were drawn to Belfast for the weekend-long Farm and Art Tour, organized by the Belfast Creative Coalition.

                Our “home” in Belfast is the Fireside Inn & Suites where every room overlooks the ocean, Manager Barry Asalone and his staff is super friendly, and the rooms are exceptional. The Fireside Inns spread across Maine and New Hampshire are owned by Lafayette Hotels in Bangor and offer wonderful room amenities. Ours had a relaxing massage chair and gas fireplace, with an outside deck where we lingered, enjoying the cool fall air, colorful trees, and blue ocean water.

New Hampshire’s Margarita Grill has SOHL

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 George

                Amongst the nearly 100 restaurants in the North Conway, New Hampshire area, we have now chosen a favorite, Margarita Grill. Here’s why.

                Owner/chef Bud Selmi offers imaginative and very tasty Margaritas ($8.50) along with a lengthy menu of southwestern and Mexican food at very reasonable prices. Oh yea, Linda and I love Mexican. Bud also is focused on farm-to-table meats and produce, some of it including beef from a group of small farms organized as Maine Family Farms. When we visited in late-September, Bud had recently purchased a $5,000 smoker from Humphrey’s in West Newfield, Maine.

Nordic Village Welcomes Visitors to New Hampshire’s Stunning White Mountains

City or Town: 
Bridgton
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 George

                Up the mountain we went, past tennis courts and other game fields, the sheep corral, Nordic Falls Park that includes a game room pavilion and a small pond, numerous inside and outside swimming pools, and six condominium buildings, arriving at our destination, Innsbruck, and our very nice condo with a view across the valley to nearby mountains. And we were only half way up the mountain!

                Linda wanted a special get-a-way to celebrate her birthday and first weekend of retirement from teaching, so I booked a surprise trip to Nordic Village Resort in Jackson, New Hampshire, thinking the foliage would be stunning. Well, the White Mountains are certainly stunning but the colorful foliage was late this year. Didn’t matter. We had a wonderful time here.

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