Monday, September 10, 2012

Lobsters in Bar Harbor, Maine

A lot of this happened yesterday, but I couldn't blog because after 5 hours of kayaking, my arm was literally about to disconnect from my body.

We had been in Maine for 2 whole days and had not eaten any lobster! We passed by numerous shacks and diners that advertise lobster, but since we already had a full culinary schedule, we trekked on. 

We started eating lobsters at 2 Cats, and cute family owned place renowned for its breakfast.

The wait was insanely long between the popularity and disorganization.... I think we waited an hour to be seated. No one here had a care in the world.

George, one of the 2 cats, came to keep us company for a while.

I had a lobster eggs benedict with home fries. Do you see how insanely perfect the poached eggs are?! I want to steal some fresh farm eggs from my parents and poach them! They kind of stole the show from the lobster underneath.

Lobster count: 0.5

My bf had a lobster eggs omelet, biscuit, strawberry butter (tasted like cream cheese!), and more home fries. He mostly ate it with this delicious hot sauce. I agree that the hot sauce was very very good... too bad we were flying with no checked bags. On the flip side, if we checked bags during our travels often, we would have more hot sauce than we can store right now.

Lobster count: 1

We split these unbelievably fluffy and delicious white chocolate macadamia nut pancakes that we drizzled with lots and lots of fresh maple syrup.

We could not possibly eat anymore, so we found and extricated all of the macadamia nuts and some of the white chocolate chips. The service was quite slow until this point. I think they got scared and quickly brought us the check.

Lobster count: 1

For dinner, we headed to Side Street Cafe, which supposedly had the best lobster roll in Bar Harbor. I didn't feel like testing this out, so I stuck with the best, and we ended up eating here twice.

The lobsters were extremely fresh and succulent. The bread was nothing special, but it didn't really matter to me. I don't like my bread that buttery anyway. This was 1.5 lobsters jammed in bread (so they tell us).

Lobster count: 5.5

Their burger was nothing special.

But the blueberry soda was pretty good! It had the crisp sweetness of wild blueberries.

Lobster mac & cheese. As you can see, it's mostly mac & cheese. I'm not convinced that people outside of a few cities know how to properly make mac & cheese... this is the kind of stuff that I can get out of a box. Oh well. The lobster at the bottom was as good as any of the other lobsters. But don't get this dish... it's a waste of dough (haha).

Lobster count: 6

We also tried their lobster stew. It was more like a spicy coconut soup. The only solid ingredient was lobster. I'm not complaining... it was very good. But it's not for anyone, and absolutely not the stew that  I expected.

I'm itching to experiment with some of my own lobster dishes. Aren't you??

Lobster count: 6.5

For dessert, we had a delicious home made blueberry pie. The blueberries were obviously wild, because they were tiny and very sweet. (Which brings me back to the argument that this whole time we had not had a single wild strawberry.) The crust was flakey and thin. I was extremely satisfied and decided to not go around town and wait for hours at various dessert places in hunt of the perfect blueberry pie.

Final Lobster count: 6.5

Although the lobsters were very fresh, there are only so many ways to eat them to maximize their freshness. If they were to make a pot pie, bisque, ravioli, pasta, etc.... using a lobster that's a couple days older would taste pretty darn similar. And at that point, the limiting factor would be the skill in making the other ingredients.

Also, as we noticed and our tour guide/lobsterman told us, restaurants weren't very good about passing on the record low lobster prices onto consumers. There are a few shacks out there that do... but my health is worth more than the restaurants' margin.

Overall, Maine had amazing lobster just as advertised, but I found that much less impressive than the budding fine dining scene.

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