Food and fun featured at El El Frijoles

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


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.

Eating in Maine (At home, on the town and on the road)

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Two of our favorite Maine chefs praised Eating in Maine effusively on the back cover of this exceptional book, and boy, did they get it right.

Eating in Maine is a dazzling, intelligent, invaluable resource for the home cook and for anyone wanting to know more about the booming culinary scene in Maine,” wrote Shannon Bard, the owner/chef of Portland’s amazing Mexican restaurant, Zapoteca.

“Jillian and Malcolm are the real thing. From hot dogs to haute cuisine, if it tastes good, they let the rest of us know about it,” said Kerry Altiero, the very creative owner/chef of Rockland’s Café Miranda.

What the Maine legislature did do, didn’t do, and ought to have done

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                By anyone’s definition, the 2014 legislative session was ugly, partisan, and disappointing. But under the radar off the field of battle, some things were accomplished of special interest to sportsmen.

The only remarkable achievement for the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee was the extension of protection to another 235 wild and native trout waters. Eight years of contentious debate was ended with a thoughtful compromise – an especially good job done on this one by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Also interesting was the shifting of half of DIF&W’s revenue from the invasive species sticker to the DEP’s invasives program. That money was going to the Warden Service, and the loss was made up by taking money out of the DIF&W’s surplus account.

Naked guy and other abuses cause landowner to post her land

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After posting three columns about the sad state of landowner relations in Maine, it’s time to start telling the stories of some long-suffering private landowners. After reading the initial columns in this series on landowner relations, Pam Wells emailed me her story.

Pam and her husband Bryan are members of the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine. Pam is also a very talented photographer. I’m including a few of her recent photos with this column, to brighten up what is otherwise a very distressing story. Here it is, just as Pam sent it to me.

Pam Wells

My name is Pam Wells and my husband (Bryan) and I own around 1000 acres of forested property in the Milford/Greenfield area.  The Sunkhaze stream runs through the center of it and into Sunkhaze Meadows NWR.  As you can imagine, we have a lot of people who like to use our property.  As a rule, we allow people to hunt, walk, fish, and enjoy our property, but it becomes more difficult each year.

Gather * Eat * Be Merry at 11 Central in 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.


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.

Political hack or professional manager – Who will Governor LePage appoint as Parks and Lands Director?

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He must have known it was the end of the road. Will Harris, the cautious and capable Director of the Bureau of Parks and Lands, and one of the very few hold-overs from the Baldacci to the LePage Administration, spoke with remarkable candor and courage in late-March when questioned by legislators about the governor’s plan to harvest more timber on public lands and use the money for public heating assistance programs.

As I reported at the time, “Harris serves as the Director of Maine’s Parks and Public Lands, a gubernatorially appointed position. He can be fired without reason by the governor, making his remarks all the more astonishing. I haven’t checked this morning to see if Will is still on the job!”

Well, he did last a bit longer. But last week, Will’s retirement, effective at the end of this month, was announced. Insiders tell me he was forced out, but he must have been thinking about retirement that day in March.

Reviews of “A Life Lived Outdoors” are insightful and humbling – order it now for Father’s Day!

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A friend from church who lives in a nearby town just ordered four copies of my new book, for Father’s Day gifts for her father, father-in-law, and two brothers. Thank you Rachel!

Here are a few excerpts from reviews of my book A Life Lived Outdoors, published in March by Islandport Press in Yarmouth. You can buy the book at the, and in most Maine bookstores. It’s even in a few restaurants, markets, and hardware stores!

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