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Driving New York to Maine


Daniel
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My girlfriend and I will be leaving this Friday for Memorial Day.. We really have no destination besides Maine and getting their via route 1a.. I would love everyones suggestions.. This is a part of the country I really dont know too well.. We are looking especially for clam, lobster, and seafood; pots,huts, shacks, and shanties.. Also any cool places to stay or see along the way would be much appreciated.. Looking forward to your suggestions..

Thank you thank you,

Daniel

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My girlfriend and I will be leaving this Friday for Memorial Day.. We really have no destination besides Maine and getting their via route 1a.. I would love everyones suggestions.. This is a part of the country I really dont know too well.. We are looking especially for clam, lobster, and seafood; pots,huts, shacks, and shanties..  Also any cool places to stay or see along the way would be much appreciated.. Looking forward to your suggestions.. 

Thank you thank you,

Daniel

Hey Daniel,

I live in DC and my SO of 5 years is a New Yorker. We take yearly vacations in Maine with our dogs. We usually do drive up the coast when we visit, and it is a breathtaking journey. But we have also spent some time in the White Mountains, which are gorgeous and incredible. Truly awe-inspiring. I also try to spend a day walking around Portland, too. It is a wonderful small city, with great art galleries and a really enjoyable museum that really reflects the city's culture. I go to the Portland Public Market and buy blueberries that I freeze when I get home to use throughout the year. I also buy some great local cheeses, breads, jams, honey, beers, etc. I bought some local wine that I wasn't overly impressed with, but I probably just chose poorly. Next time I'll seek some advice. There's a great beer shop that allows you to "mix and match" local brewery beers so you can bring a variety back to sample. I bring a little cooler, and make the Public Market the last stop on the way back to New York, and we snack on really nice fruits, breads and cheeses on the way home. If you have the time, I would definitely try to work in a day in Portland and in the White Mountains on your trip. (That's what I love about Maine. There's just TOO much to work in!)

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Daniel,

Followed your trip out west and all the suggestions that came with it, great fun.

The first thing I have to note is that Route One is a busy road on a holiday weekend, but I get the feeling you guys just want to point the nose north, crank some tunes and not worry about anything. Fair enough.

Do explore the threads started last summer in New England Forum, like this one about the White Mtns and Maine. Lots of "from away" members asked the exact same question and were flooded with help.

If I find a favorite or two I'll post it here later. Do check out the Fried Clams thread currently running.

JohnnyD

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Here's a spreadsheet that I've been haphazardly accumulating for years, containing the names and addresses (mostly) of New England clam shacks and lobster pounds. It's sourced from the Sterns, Holly Moore, Chowhound, eG, and my own happy discoveries. Note that it's sorted alphabetically within state.

I've visited and can recommend most of the places listed, but some particular favorites reasonably close to Route 1 are:

  • Abbott's (Noank, CT) -- A real seaside lobster pound, long before you get to Maine. It can be very crowded.
  • Clam Box, Essex Seafood, J.T. Farnham's (Cape Ann, MA) -- Textbook fried clams, the ne plus ultra. The nearby Woodman's—or any place not near Cape Ann—is no match.
  • Waterman's Lobster (South Thomaston, ME) -- Famous (a Beard award), but scenic and delicious nonetheless. A bit more expensive than Muscongus, below, but still not very.
  • Muscongus Lobster (Round Pond, ME) -- The locals' lobster pound, with wonderful steamed clams, lobsters, and impeccably fresh oysters on a dockside deck.

The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport is an old favorite that disappointed on my last visit two years ago.

One famous place "just off" a bridge is Red's Eats, in Wiscasset, a few miles south of Damarascotta. Don't get caught in the crossfire betwen Holly and anyone who doesn't agree that Red's serves the best lobster roll.

PM me if you have Microsoft Streets & Trips 2005 and want a .EST file approximately locating every place in the spreadsheet.

Oh, and be sure call to ahead. Clams shacks and lobster pounds are seasonal—and sometimes transient.

"To Serve Man"

-- Favorite Twilight Zone cookbook

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a customer of mine told me about a place on the side of the road just off the bridge going to Damerascotta, ME.. Anyone know about this place..

It just dawned on me that it's got to be RED'S of Wiscasset. It's right before the bridge on your left. Varmint took a drive to Maine last year and took terrific pics. Red's is among them as well as plenty of opinion about their lobster roll. His travelogue will definitely help your itinerary. A Lobster Roll thread of recent repute is worth reading too.

I assume you'll spend the night somewhere south of Maine? Rte 1 is too slow to get here in one day, I95 is a handy alternative.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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a customer of mine told me about a place on the side of the road just off the bridge going to Damerascotta, ME.. Anyone know about this place..

It just dawned on me that it's got to be RED'S of Wiscasset. It's right before the bridge on your left. Varmint took a drive to Maine last year and took terrific pics. Red's is among them as well as plenty of opinion about their lobster roll. His travelogue will definitely help your itinerary. A Lobster Roll thread of recent repute is worth reading too.

I assume you'll spend the night somewhere south of Maine? Rte 1 is too slow to get here in one day, I95 is a handy alternative.

Wow.. I didnt realize how much there is to do.. Thanks for all the info everyone.. We will be leaving sometime around friday night..We are pretty good at making long drives.. I am the only one with a drivers license still and I am good for a 12 hour day or until the hallucinations set in.. But i dont want to miss anything along the way and we will most likely be driving through while these places are closed. ... I am trying to decide how to do this.. Maybe boogie up to maine via 95 and slowly make our way back.. I figure if we leave at 7 from NYC we can be in up there by 3 a.m ish.. Then start the day early morning..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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The Co-Op at Muscongus Bay, Round Pond, is my favourite place to eat in the whole world! Pack a picnic with a salad, crusty bread and a chilled bottle of white wine and indulge in their wonderful steamed clams and lobsters, straight off the boat. They also do delicious corn. And if the weather is bad, don't be scared off, just wrap up and sit in the covered area.

Another good, inexpensive Co-Op is at Pemaquid Point, near the lighthouse, which is a similar deal, but also has a small play area for kids (no cover though).

Shaw's is great too, if a little less rustic and a bit more expensive. The menu is more extensive and includes a number of different fish as well as salads, beer, wine etc. If you are interested in art, this is one to remember as the ferry for Monhegan Island, (an artist colony) runs from here. It is a wonderful day trip (when the weather is good) and a perfect place to bring a picnic. If the weather is bad, go to Rockland instead and take cover in the Farnsworth Art Museum. After all, you are in Wyeth country! Boothbay is also worth a visit; a very charming litlle place, lovely to walk around.

Stopping at Red's for lunch is quite simply a rite of passage and my inlaws (a number of whom spend every summer up here), join the chorus of approval for their lobster roll. I'm going to go out on a limb here and mention that I'm not too crazy about lobster roll, although I know it is a Maine institution. I don't like the texture of the bread and find it too sweet, but then again, I'm Irish, so what would I know?

Regarding the blueberries, unfortunately it is too early in the season for them. They are really something special, much smaller than usual and have an incredible flavour.

And ahr, thank you so much for the wonderful spreadsheet you posted, it is absolute gold dust. I love Maine so much, I just wish we were going over this year. Have a wonderful time.

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A good place to both see AND eat is found at TWO LIGHTS, just outside of Portland in Cape Elizabeth. When you see the entrance to Two Lights State Park, bear left and head to lands' end where you'll find another light house and the estimable Lobster Shack for food.

Also, closer to Portland is the Portland Headlight at Fort Williams Park. A picture postcard Maine scene, made famous by early 20th century painter Edward Hopper, the vantage of the mouth of Portland harbor from here is stunning.

I hope the weather breaks for your trip.

"Democracy is that system of government under which the people…pick out a Coolidge to be head of the State. It is as if a hungry man, set before a banquet prepared by master cooks and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies." H. L. Mencken

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I hope the weather breaks for your trip.

Me too. Even the jokes about building an ark and finding two of everything is running thin... Dress for drizzly fog and bring extra dry everything. I once made the trip from Portland to Princeton in six hours. Yes, I was driving fast. Use: I84 to I90, to I495, to I95.

eG member Sara stayed at the Wild Iris Inn here in Portland and apparently enjoyed it. There used to be a thread about her trip but I can't find it. Plenty to see, do and eat here in town regardless of the weather.

Something you might want to aim for is Primo. 80 miles up the road from Portland, it is probably Maine's best restaurant. Sam Hayward's Fore Street is also exceptional. I found this page that encapsulates Portland's "most talked about" restaurants.

Christien's suggestion for Cape Elizabeth and the legendary Lobster Shack at Two Lights is dead-on. It's even more fun when the weather is bad!

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Something you might want to aim for is Primo.   80 miles up the road from Portland, it is probably Maine's best restaurant. 

I second Primo, and you're just down the road from Camden, which is one of those cute Maine towns that everybody loves.

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A few of the restaurants in the about.com page johnny listed no longer operate and while it gives you an idea of a few places to try in Portland, it misses a lot of interesting places....like Local 188 or the newly-revitalized katahdin or my personal favorite, Five Fifty-Five.

For lunch, I'd go for something out of the way, Like the Dogfish Cafe on the corner of Congress St. and St. John. Out of the way, but a good little spot.

Not exactly sure how far North (or Downeast) you are planning to drive, so I guess timing is everything.

"Democracy is that system of government under which the people…pick out a Coolidge to be head of the State. It is as if a hungry man, set before a banquet prepared by master cooks and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies." H. L. Mencken

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it misses a lot of interesting places....like Local 188 or the newly-revitalized katahdin or my personal favorite, Five Fifty-Five.

So true. I'll pay better attention to my links - some boring places on that page - feel free to ignore. A bit of local news on the side: Dogfish Cafe has purchased (leased?) the Free Street Taverna.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Thanks for everyones suggestions.. Sorry i didnt keep up, i spent a lot of time writing that cross country thing.. Trying to clear up some past places that i wanted to share.. Such a great resource you all are, you definately made my trip I am out in a couple hours. about to load up the family truckster and head for Wally World.

daniel

Edited by Daniel (log)
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We are talking way up, downeast, but if you can make it to Pembroke, and you should, the Crossroads Restaurant, at least the Crossroads Restaurant of 2001, is as good as it gets in Maine for fried clams, lobster chowder and, though out of season, blueberry pie.

But Pembroke is way up north and you are semi-forgiven if you do not make it. Then again, based on your cross country trek, an extra hundred or two hundred miles ain't no big thing if the rewards are sufficiently tasty.

Pictures. Lots of pictures.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Greetings from Bar Harbor! We made it hear about 430 last night/ this morning... We hit a few places in CT along the way.. It was great to see Holly's review hanging in Johhny Ads...

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So we are back from our journey to Maine.. I must say, it was a really intense trip, I also must say that Route 1 from CT to Maine might be one of the best roads for dining in the WORLD! I having spent many summers in Martha's Vineyard, Mass and thought I knew what New England dining was about, but it seems I was wrong, very wrong.. From the Hot Dog Stands, to the Lobster Pounds and Fried Seafood Shacks I was truly unaware.. But after this three day intensive food frenzy, I certainly have a somewhat better understanding..

Day One:

We left New York City around 3 pm.. I was really nervous about the traffic, but it seemed that we got lucky.. As we got into CT, we decided to go directly to Route 1..Route 1 is a road that runs parallel with 95.. Route 1, I really think has more solid, authentic and charming places to eat then any other stretch of road I know of .. It is like a massive collection of that one amazing greasy spoon restaurant that every town has for 500 miles.. I did the best I could to go to every place, but alas I had to come to the realization that even I have my limits.

The first place we stop was a Custard shop called Abbots.. It seems like a really cute little place.. And what really sold me was its proximity to the Old Post Diner.. Now having been on Route 1 for about 5 minutes.. I was unaware about pacing myself, or the fact that every place is going to look like a well worn interesting place with a lot of history and character..

Here is a picture of Abbotts..

The Custard was really good... It was really creamy and had a wonderful vanilla taste.. It was transferred from the machine into buckets and then scooped when ordered.. It really didn't want to stay frozen..On a hot day one would have a lot of difficulty with it.,

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Here is a picture of the Old Post Diner..

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The burger was so-so..

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About 10 minutes down the road we come on to a place called Swanky's Franks.. I have since heard wonderful things about it.. Its really cool looking hot dog place.. I am kicking myself that I wasted a meal on that mediocre burger so we drive on.. Maybe another 10 minutes after that, having a little time to recover we spot another hot dog place.. This place is called Rawley's Drive-IN.. A very unassuming if not unappealing looking place from the outside.. But when you get inside, it really looks rundown.. We walk in a see a counter and some stools randomly placed around the room.. A few guys placing multi-dog orders in front of us.. We go up to the counter and are greeted by a really rough looking guy.. He tells us that he is out of rolls and that he has just sent someone to get 2 bags of rolls. At this point I am wondering to myself, why did this guy who runs a hot dog stand and doesn't have rolls send someone out for 2 bags? 2 bags? 24 hot dogs worth? I just heard a total of 12 hot dogs ordered between me and the two other people in there.. Are they hazing the new guy or something, making him run down the street every 45 minutes? How long has this process been going on through out the day or years?

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Luckily, they had a roll for me and I got my hot dog, but not before the guy was already on his way back out.. A deep fry beauty.. With onion sauce, bacon, mustard, and relish.. This thing was awesome.. At this point I told myself no more random burgers.. I am going through New England, its hot dogs and seafood from this point on.. I made the right decision..

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So now we are about 30 minutes down the road and we are passing the first place that we are planned to stop.. Lenny and Joes Fish Tale..

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This is supposedly an institution in the area.. Our book, Road Food tells us some of the history. How it started out as a shack and then was added on to through out the years to become this huge place.. Here they are famous for their Whole Belly Fried Clams, Hot Lobster Rolls, and assorted Fried Seafood. I am not really sure if i have ever had whole belly fried clams.. I have definitely had fried clams before..Those stringy brown cheetoh looking things that could be really anything.. Is there really clam in those things? Considering I have even ordered them at White Castles, I am hoping and assuming not! But that's not what these are.. These are the real deal clams.. Whole clams battered and fried to perfection, the actual belly of the clam with a crunchy cover waiting to burst with flavor after you bite into it..

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And a hot lobster roll? Its fresh steamed lobster meat drench in butter then served simply on a buttered and grilled New England Style Hot Dog Bun.. Wow! Are you kidding me? This is definitely my first one of these guys..Butter on your hands, your face, your plate, hitting small children walking by, its simply outstanding. Ok, "so we will have a couple of lobster rolls and a fried clams and a couple of beers please" "Oh, no beer huh, that's ok, although this food would go really well with a couple of beers, we will have a few pink lemonades, will get beer at the next place"

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Got to have my daily servings of vegetables.

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I am getting whoozy at this point.. I seriously think we are maybe an hours worth of driving on Route One and we havent made much progress.We have plans to sleep in Bar Harbor Maine that night, and we have 7 hours of straight driving or so ahead of us.. There is no way we can keep up this pace.. So we make a plan, "no more stops"....

About 30 minutes up the road we see through the rain a sign for Johnny Ads..

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Thanks to the suggestions on this board we know this is a must go to.. Both of us extremely full, but yet very excited with our new discoveries, Lobster Rolls and Fried Clams, decide to get a little something, something.. As we are deciding between lobster rolls and Fried Clams we see a review hanging in the small ordering area by Holly Eats.. Holly has given this place an outstanding and mentions the Fried Clams.. Our choice was made.. But again as we continue to read articles and reviews we notice a lot of praise for their chili dogs.. So we get an order and I get a dog as well.. "Yes, what type of beer do you have on tap?" Oh, ok, so you dont have beer either, Ok umm, may I please have uh, yeh let me get one of those white birch beers please"

These clams are simply outstanding.. Is it possible I like these clams better then the first place.. Is it possible that I am still standing? Honestly I can say at this point I really cant make a determination, I am just enjoying the food.. I really am not able to distinguish one from the other.. I just know i am addicted.. The fresh taste of sea, the crunch, its really just all so damn good.. Now, I can honestly say, the hot dog was unnecissary.. However good it was, it was really too much.. A foot long served on another New England Style buttered and grilled hot dog bun, with a fantastic meaty chili and a slice of American, it was just too much.. This put me over the edge.. Upon finishing this, I began getting scared that I wasn't going to be able to handle this trip.. Please lord, give me the strungth to make it..

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This ended our day of eating.. About 6 hours later and some hallucinations, we arrived in Bar Harbor.. We arrived at our "lovely" hotel and were greeted by a really nice guy..

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I have now found that a great way to save money on Hotels is to check in passed 4 and say you are leaving really early.. The clerk will take it easy on you and give you a really reduced rate.. 60 bucks on a 150 dollar room.. Vat a bargain!

Day 2 coming..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Oh man, how I miss Swanky Franks. If you're ever back up in this area again, you HAVE to stop by Duchess. It's a fast food joint just over the Norwalk/Darien border. When you go there, you must, MUST try a big "D" chili cheeseburger. It will knock your socks off. It's one of my favorite things to eat. Heck, I think I might go for one tomorrow!

Edited by iheartoffal (log)

Nothing to see here.

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Day 2: 830 am

Sorry for the delay.. I ended up erasing all of day two while transferring it to egullet.. Awesome!

So we wake up in Bar Harbor, Maine the following day surprised to see what beautiful country we had driven through in the dark.. Are we in a mountain town, or are we in a sea town? It turns out its a little bit of both.. I would have to put this area in a category all of its own.. Surrounded by the Atlantic, but in the middle of a mountainous forest, there are strong influences of both.. We decide to drive through Acadia National Park. It really is a beautiful drive.. We are passing deer and other wildlife as well as beautiful streams and running water..

No get on my plate jokes here..

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Before heading back into town, we drive through the roads outside of town to see huge houses hidden in the woods and private drives along cliffs looking down on the Atlantic.. As we get into town, thanks to egullet we are deciding on two places.. Unfortunately, only one of our choices is open, so we decide to go to the Thirsty Whale Tavern..

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After viewing the menu we decide on getting a couple of bloody mary's, a lobster roll with onion rings and fish and chips:

The fish and chips are really good.. They are not the battered kind I am use to, but it was still terrific.. Gorgeous pieces of fresh white fish breaded and fried perfectly.. Served with crunchy french fries and malt vinegar it was wonderful.

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Umm excuse me waitress.. I ordered a lobster roll, it seems that I am a victim of some hoax here.. Someone has taken my beautiful Maine lobster and covered it with mayo .. Can you please return this and get me one of those hot sandwiches I had back in CT.. It turns out I am about to learn something else.. There are different types of lobster rolls depending on what part of New England you are in.. In Maine, a lobster roll, is a lobster salad sandwich that i am use to.. Still good, but if you are expecting a hot buttery lobster sandwich, its kind of a let down..

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We continue along to experience Maine with plans of sleeping in Kennebunkport that night.. About 10 minutes outside of town we pass a place called Bar Harbor Lobster Pound..

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This is the first site that catches my eye.. I see billowing smoke coming from some type of smoker type contraption on the side of the road.. I immediately am thinking barbecue.. Ribs, brisket, various kinds of oink. Sure, this might be a little out of place, but i am always down for BBQ.. I pull in to find a completely different scenario.. There is a wood fire heating pots of boiling water for lobsters, shrimp, crabs.. I start looking at this thing and ask the guy there some questions.. He is looking at me like I am from mars and is shocked I have never seen one of these before.. I will later find out that these contraptions laid hidden in the dark all along the roadside I was on the previous night.

We got two lobster rolls and again were really disappointed to get a lobster salad sandwich.. This by the way was by far the worst of the bunch.. Way way way too much mayo.. Looking back at the photo it doesn't even look good..

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Another 10 minutes down the road we pass another lobster pound..The Trenton Lobster Pound..

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Are there going to be more of these things? Is the last one of its type.. Now its right about 2 o clock and we have a lot of driving to do, not to mention we have already eaten twice in the last hour or so.. But we decide its time for some steamed lobsters.. We pull into this place and park right next to a pickup truck unloading huge plastic containers of what we later find out are one of the days catch of lobsters..There is something about this place that immediately separates it from the previous pound we went to.. It just feels really special.. We ask about their lobster roll and if there is a difference between the cold and hot variety along New England.. They tell us that lobster salad is primarily a Maine thing while the hot buttered variety is more of a Rhode Island thing. So steamed lobster it is.. We each get a male two pounder.. Its really interesting to see how the process works.. They stuff the lobster in netting labeled with a number.. They then place it into the wood fired boiling water..

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Weighing out a huge order for a lucky guy...

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Here is my guy.. If the right dont get ya then the left one will.. His name was lefty... Although I ordered butter, it went untouched and it wasn't for the caloric content, believe me.. This was the sweetest most succulent lobster I have ever had with a slight saltiness that made it taste of the beautiful Atlantic it was just pulled from.. Was it the freshness or the saltiness of the water it was boiled in? The only thing that would have made this better was a nice cold beer.. But again, not a beer to be found...

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Ok.. So now we have three meals in the books for the day.. Its time to head down the road and on to Kennebunkport.. Although its really tough to do, we pass several more lobster pounds along the way.. Another thing we notice passing by are all of these Dairies.. I have not heard much talk about them so I dont really know what the story is..So after about the 10th dairy, we decide to investigate ..

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We were delighted to learn that the majority of these places make there own ice cream. Dormans is no exception. We get a butter crunch ice cream and its fabulous.

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Stopping along the way to admire our beautiful surroundings we come across a small foot bridge that runs over some water with rapids its amazing.. We then look to see a rainbow.. I am positive that particular rainbow ended right at the Trenton Lobster Pound..

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Next stop Red Eats.. I had seen this place being profiled on the Food Network a few years ago and have wanted to go ever since. Its really neat to go somewhere you never imagined you would.. Not that its some great life's accomplishment, but its still cool and still an accomplishment no mater how small... Sitting behind the shack looking out along the water on a beautiful day, it doesn't seem all that small.

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Here they are famous for their version of a lobster roll.. Would i call this a lobster roll, probably not.. I would call it a monster lobster cocktail sandwich.. Over a whole lobsters worth of meat stuffed into and on top of and on the sides of a poor little struggling hot dog bun.. Served with cold with mayo or butter on the side its a thing of wonder.. Now this is something I can appreciate.. The lobster meat is simply wonderful. Meaty, crisp, fresh, and cold,,, I drizzle a little hot melted butter over the top and am in pure heaven..

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Ok.. Dream accomplished or not.. Where's all the damn beer around here... Am I the only person that happens to like a cold beer with seafood.. Somebody call Budweiser and have them fire there man in charge of Maine..I have seen more head shops then bars up here!

Next stop Kennebunkport, second home of GW.. Not to mention the Clam Shack.. This is a really quaint beautiful town.. Within two seconds of being here, one cant help notice the monsterous houses here.. Just when you think one of them are about to end, there are like two more parts to them.. Its just awesome to see these beautiful houses, makes you wonder what there year round places look like.. After driving around for awhile we come upon the Clam Shack.. Located just before a little white washed bridge it looks really cute..

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There is a sign outside that refers buying beer at their little fish store next door.. Ok, finally i get to have a beer with some fried clams, you would think. After ordering my fried clams and fries, i ask the young girl taking my order for a beer.. She quickly gives me a face and then owner guy steps in.. He tells me that he is out of beer, but even if they had beer, it certainly wouldn't be something you could just drink outside.. "Oh k, well then its not certainly something I would never dare want to do then sir.." "Now give me my damn clams"

We stand on the bridge eating our fried clams while the sun set.. It was really beautiful to watch.. Not to mention the clams were probably my favorite to this point.. Again whole belly, perfectly fried and battered.. It tasted like Kentucky Fried Chicken succulent clams.. So fresh and so good..

MMM.. Nothing like a nice frosty um pink lemonade to wash it down?

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We were unaware that Kennebunkport closes went the sun went down.. We are now in the dark in the middle of a super wealthy town, there doesn't appear to be a hotel in the area under 350 bucks and there is certainly no sort of nightlife.. So at about 9 o'clock, we tucked Kenne in, read it a story, and left it peacefully dreaming of yellow sweaters tied around the shoulders and fun times at the yacht club..

Next stop Providence..

When we arrive in Providence we are in for a shock.. The city is bumping.. Cars of teenage "ganstahs" blaring music out of daddy's escalade and cruising around the streets watching porn on their dvd players.. Hordes of slutty dressed teenage girls wearing hooker boots with short pleated skirts and backless shirts.. Where has my quaint New England Town gone.. At least we can pull into some nice hotel and get a few drinks at a bar and stop on over at the food truck open till three am.. Wrong we are.. It turns out that not only is it a Holiday Weekend, but its Brown's Graduation Weekend too.. Thus leaving every hotel completely booked and even Holiday Inns going for 250 a night..

Next stop Warwick..

We pull into Warwick to find the same hotel situations.. Every place is completely booked except for one Comfort Inn going for $169 a night.. I quickly try to remind the front desk lady that she is working at a Comfort Inn! She replies by telling me, "Well it is a king sized bed" "Wow", I say "what if i have triple A?". I think this might have taken maybe two bucks of the bill.. Unable to justify spending $169 on a room at the Comfort Inn we drive on.. Now if I would have known how impossible it was to find a room, $169 would have a been a bargain.

We drove along stopping at every exit from Warwick to Mystic.. Finally in Mystic CT.. We have a possibility.. After walking into what was probably some guys house and not seeing anyone in there, we decide to get back on the road.. Finally 30 miles from Mystic at 430 am again we find a Comfort Inn.. The guy again takes it easy on me cause its so late.. 60 bucks a night.. Woohoo!!!!

Day three.. Its time to see where the heck in CT are we.. And how far north we want to drive up to start our day again..

Edit to add: Somewhere along the way to the outlet stores in Maine or CT we pass Bucks Naked BBQ.. We stopped in and had the rib sampler.. It was ok.. The ribs were really juicy and really smokey.. My only problem was i dont think there was any rub on them at all.. It was kind of bland.. They also provided three bbq sauces one of them being a mustard sauce.. It was ok.. I would have liked to have gotten several things, but there just wasn't enough room for them. But yup. they had beer.. I order a blueberry beer that was local.. Fantastic!

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Edited by Daniel (log)
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Day 3:

I still dont know where the heck we were.. Somewhere in CT.. Somewhere just up the road from Johnny Ad's again.. What a beautiful way to start to the day.. We go back into Johnny's and this time I have some things to compare their clams against.. I am not in the mood for another hot dog so we get a fried clam platter with onion rings and a hot buttered lobster roll..

At this point I am seeing the difference between breaded and battered clams.. However i must say I love them equally the same.. When done well they are both excellent.. I have yet to really have a bad experience.. There onion rings here are fantastic by the way..

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Here is a picture of there lobster roll.. I would rate this behind Lenny and Joes and Red's.. Just really not the same amount of lobster as Reds and not the same buttery messiness as L&J's..

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Next stop Mystic CT.. We arrived in Mystic for the second time, this time in the light of day, we are taken back by this cute little town.. The first thing that hits us is a big sign that says lobster festival.. Hmm, lobster festival, i could certainly go for some lobster right now..Its been a least a half hour..

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But before we go for some lobsters we see the famous place Mystic Pizza..

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This is the place the movie was named after.. Let me tell you, whoever was in that movie was some actor.. Cause this place sucks.. I mean suckity suck sucks.. My first indication should have been the pizza rotating around in one of those multi-tiered glass encased pan things that you sometimes see at gas stations.. But as we were sitting having a beer I had to get a slice..

Now i went to school in Maryland and I had some really bad pizza.. There was a time in Virginia while i was at a Chocolate Festival, I got a slice that had american cheese on it. That was the worst pizza I had had to date, this is right up there with that.. I would have preferred kraft singles and some ketchup on wonder bread.. Nothing even semi-redeeming about this pizza.. But lucky for us, they ship around the world!

Exhibit A:

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We walk around Mystic and its a beautiful day.. We walk over to the Sea Port to find a cover fee just to get to the pier.. After inquiring about the Lobster Fest, we learn for an extra 20 bucks or so you get a small little lobster.. Now the draw to this deal is not only do you get to stand in a huge line to enter the Festival, but you then get to stand in another line for your lobster.. Now from my traveling, I have learn one thing, Always Go Where the Tourists Go!.. Just the thought of standing in the hot sun like cattle wasting money and time on a mass produced lobster lunch was tempting, but we had to pass..

On to Noank and Abbots..

Noank is a beautiful town in CT right on the water also home to Abbots.. A really amazing spot...

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They have a lot of things on the menu.. Since we have had our fair share of lobsters we decided to go with a mix of steamed clams and mussels.. We also got the chowder and a pound of fresh Alaskan Crab Legs.. And of course, a pink lemonaide.. Ahh haaa! unlike previous times, we had come prepared.. We through in a little sky vodka purchased at a state liquor store in NH.. I was beginning to understand the system.. However it was a shame we had no way to keep any beers cold..

Look at the view we had.. Sitting just feet away from the water on a gorgeous day.. It doesn't get much better then this..

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The chowder not pictured was a liquid type of chowder..Very thin and very clammy with a couple of taters throw in, there was a smokey taste from the salt pork that made the soup fantastic..

We continue down the road for a while when we are going to pull into a Wallmart for some New England Hot Dog Rolls to take home.. We then see a restaurant called the Place.. We quickly consult the list that AHR had so nicely given to us.. Yup its on there..

Its a small red shack located on the side of the road.. When you drive around back you see the magic going on.. In the middle of all the table and chairs you see a huge wood burning stone grill set up.. Extremely interesting.. They were throwing whole sliced trees into this open pit.. The smell of smoke and wood was more then enough to sell me..

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We sit down and ordered a a dozen roasted special clams.. These are clams that are cooked until the just slightly open.. They are then shucked and covered with cocktail sauce and butter cream and then placed back on the grill... These things are outstanding.. I could have ordered hundreds of those things and called it a day..A very good day.

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The lobster was very good.. I dont think the fire helped it much, but it none the less still was lobster..

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The corn is grilled on over the fire.. After it is done it is then dipped in a huge pot of butter and served to you still steaming hot..

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And best of all its BYOBS.. At this point we are experts on the New England dining experience.. We get some cups and ice from the waitress and set our bar up

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All in all The Place is a treasure.. Sure it didn't have the seaside view, but those clams are fabulous and it had a feel of being in someone's backyard.. Some really sick dimented bbq person's backyard.. Kind of what i picture my backyard would look like..

Next stop New Haven CT.

Here we are told that Pepe's is the place.. We here that it has Neopolitan Style Pizza.. The two New Yorkers quickly scoff at even the comparison between New Haven and New York.. Boy were we surprised..

First of all the place is crazy crowded.. There are people lined up around the corner.. We call the restaurant and order a clam pizza to go.. We walk in to see whats going on and a really surprised to see their set up.. The have huge pizza peels six feet in length going in and out of the coal oven pulling out these beautiful charred pies.. This place is legite I am thinking to myself.. With in 10 minutes we are standing by the car with the pizza on the trunk happily eating our slices.. I am shocked how good this pizza is.. This is up there with some of the best slices I have ever had... I am so confused as to how this pizza place ended up here.. Isnt this the same area where a slice from Mystic could be revered? Its almost like the tornado from the Wizzard of Oz lifted this place out of New York and dropped it down here in New Haven.. Fresh Clams, not jarred, garlic, olive oil, a little cheese.. Awesome!! And the crust.. Perfectly charred, chewy, bubbly, an amazing pizza in every way..

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After eating the pizza we see people walking out of this bakery with canolis.. We are hearing that these are the best in the world.. This cant be, this isnt fair.. CT cant have all this amazing seafood and have the best pizza and canolis too.. Right now my whole sense of New York is a little shakey.. As i walk into the bakery i look to see a huge line.. I then look in the display case to see 20 different types of canoli options and they are all stuffed.. Nice i think, this place cant be good.. Everyone knows that a canoli needs to be filled upon ordering and if its left to sit there, it gets soggy..

Thank god, this canoli is average at best.. hehe.

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So at this point, my girlfriend and I are planning on renting a hotel room with in Pepe's delivery area and getting each pie in stages.. So we decide to try one more pie to make sure this wasn't a fluke.. We order a plain cheese pizza..

Ok.. New York, we are safe.. This pizza despite its amazing crust is fair at best.. The sauce is just ok.. Metallic tasting from a poor choice of tomatoes and the cheese isnt good either.. I dont even like this pizza a little bit.. What a shame..

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We then hit the road and were home by 9 last night.. What a great trip.. I must say i really loved the area and was so happy to learn so much about New England Foods.. The more I travel the more I learn just how diverse and fantastic American Food is.. I think that this post really is a celebration of Memorial Day.. I feel so proud and grateful for all the sacrifices and countless heroes that make this country so safe.. I am thankful I live in a country that has allowed me the freedom to have such a frivilous pastime.. God bless America..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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[standing ovation]

Bravo, Daniel! What a whirlwind!

[/standing ovation]

I admit feeling a bit sheepish as you have accomplished what all of us on the New England board had hoped to do on both the Fried Clam, AND the Lobster roll threads SINGLEHANDED! Well, with gracious help from your GF too.

You are hearby annointed an honorary New Englander. WooHooo!~

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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