Friday, September 28, 2012

A side of Lobster Tail

A restaurant review

1135 US Rt. 1, Yarmouth ME, 04096

I like any place where you can get a side dish that is as impressive as an entrée.  Just south of Freeport along the marsh you find the Muddy Rudder with its clean exterior and outdoor seating, the inside is even better.  This tiered space and a wall of glass allows you a view of the marsh, a nice touch.  You can also dine in the bar area which has some TV’s if you want to catch a game or some news.  This seafood restaurant has the decor to match, but it is not overdone.

So my dad had the lobster bisque, rich and creamy with chunks of lobster, a great start.  As was the basket of bread with sweet butter, yummy.  He also got the fried clams, extra crispy as requested and he said they were great.  Mom opted for the 1.25 pound lobster dinner that was on special that night.  It came with corn on the cob and potatoes, you could get it stuffed or lazy for an additional charge but “as is” seemed just right, bib and all.

Killing that Grapefruit Sorbet!!

I opted for the marinated stake tips; I ordered them medium rare, which doesn’t always happen with tips… these were PERFECT.  The marinade was a house blend that they bottle and sell, very tasty.  They were more than happy to switch the mixed veggies for asparagus, and it was good (even to this non veggie eater!)  Dessert was most memorable for me.  They work with a local dairy farm, Toots, and they get their icecream and sorbet from there.  After reading off a laundry list of deserts I tried the Grapefruit sorbet.  Yup, I’m going to say it… OMG!!  It had the more true to taste flavor I have ever had in a sorbet.  It was light and tart and I wanted more!

The service was great and they even had a live piano player.  Though the music was a bit old fashioned I was told they had different entertainment on the weekends that is more modern.  He was very good though.  The place is under new management and seem to be doing well.  I did find it all to be a bit over priced for me to be a regular, but for a special occasion, not a problem.

In the ladies room there was a bowl of sugar scrub; it was great and is also for sale at the hostess station.  A few things I know they offer… a gluten free menu and a Sunday Brunch – looks amazing, might have to go back and check it out one weekend.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vacation doesn't have to be a marathon!

Did you know??

Slow Down!!

Are you like me... you need a vacation after your vacation?  Try slowing down.  Don't try and fill every minute of every day with activites.  Slow down, explore, window shop, read the plaque infront of the statue.  Not only will you really see more, but you will spend less.

Don't race your way through vacation

Hhhmmm.... note to self:  re-read this posting often and listen to it!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The only US desert, east of the Mississippi

A true American Conundrum

The Desert of Maine
95 Desert Rd., Freeport ME 04032

DESERT noun \ˈde-zərt\ - arid land with usually sparse vegetation;
such land having a very warm climate and receiving
less than 10 inches of rainfall annually.

Me and my wonderful parents in the middle of the desert.
I was most amazed by the pine trees growing out
of the sand.

Thus, the conundrum begins; see this 400 + acres of desert sand found only 218 miles from my front door is defiantly arid with little to nothing growing on it, BUT… Maine gets like 40+ inches of rain every year.  So how can this be?  Well, 11,000 years ago when the glaciers were moving across this country and making those awesome mountains and stuff, desert sand was DUMPED right in Freeport and was covered over till about 200 years ago when this guy Bill Tuttle bought up this piece of land, moved his house and barn to it and tried farming the place.

Bill was not a great farmer, tired potatoes, tried raising sheep yet all he ended up doing was ruining the shallow land the letting the glacier desert sand pop up.  BUT, Bill was a true American.  When he figured out that if he couldn’t make a living farming, he would make a living by having people pay admission to see his emerging desert!!

Inside the barn you will see the proof that this
sandy desert was really once a working farm.

So what is there now and what do you get for your admission price of $10.50 ($6.75 for kids), well you get a great 30 minute tram tour through some of the coolest land around.  Your narrator will tell you the history of this unusual spot, a little bit of a geology lesson (one that kids can help with, hands on.), you will get to tour through a bit of the surrounding woods, see how nature is battling woods for desert, kids can go hunting for gems that they can keep or you can go hiking on the well marked trails.  You can also spend time creating sand art or mining for gems.

You also get to tour the 1783 barn that was dismantled, move and reassembled board by board and now houses original farm equipment as well as a collection of sand from around the world.  A great building for taking pictures I must say.  There is also a new butterfly conservatory that you can go into (again, bring the camera). 

The Desert of Maine also is a campground (good for campers or tenters) right in the heart of Freeport, around the corner from great shopping and food.  They also have a great gift shop.  This is where I got all of my Maine memorabilia; they sell a little bit of everything.

I have to say that this stop was great for people of all ages, interesting, educational and just plain different.  Defiantly worth the stop.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to tell if that Diner is good or gross...

Did you know??

The sign of a good 24 hour diner is not it's late night volume, its array of desserts of its 8 page menu full of pictures.  Want to know if that diner is any good, then check out its breakfast crowd.  If the locals are pouring in on their way to work, you know that this diner is worth your time, any time of the day.  Breakfast crowds tend to be locals, and locals are much more discriminating in the morning than mid-day or night time.

Friday, September 14, 2012

56 Years of Charm on the Side of the Road!!

Food Review

Bob's Clam Hut
Route 1, Kittery ME

So, on my first ever trip to Maine my folks and I made a food stop at Bob's.  The place has been there since 1956 and my folks hadn't been there in over a decade, but they loved it so much they knew we had to go this time around.  It is located right in the heart of all that great Kittery shopping and is an open air restaurant with a beachy feel to it with tons of out side seating.  A bit deceiving from the front, but the seating wraps around the back.

Well, you walk up to the menu board in the open area, they have it all but mostly seafood with lots of options to fit every appetite.  From full dinners, sandwiches, baskets that include fries to great things on rolls.  You place your order then check out the awesome decor of facts, signs, photo ops and more while you wait for your number to be called and you pick it up at a window. 
Now,  I'm boring and I just got a hot dog, as I don't do seafood.... it was plump and juicy and yummy for sure, with fries and they have a condiment bar around every corner that has half-sour pickles, my favorite!!  But you want to know about the seafood... well my mom had a scallop roll basket, it came out over flowing with scallops and lots of perfectly cooked fries.  Dad opted for the lobster roll basket, there was tons of lobster and just the right amount of mayo. 

Dad's Lobster Roll

Even though they were packed we were able to find a picnic table in the back under a shady tree.  A hot spot for families for sure, they have painted cut outs where you can take your pic in a clam or a lobster!  The staff is very friendly and never too busy to chat or help. 

For a girl who doesn't do seafood, I was still pleased with this stop, I am glad that I didn't miss out on this charming hot spot that lets you finish off your meal with cool soft serve!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Don't get lost without your pants

Did you know??

Spead the clothes around

Taking a family trip?  Spead the clothes around for each person in everyone's suitcase.  Going for a week, how about 2 days worth of clothes for each person in every suitcase.  This way if once peice of your luggage goes missing no one is left without a change of clothes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Morbid? Maybe...

Did you know??


This famous New Orleans Cemetary sprawls throuh the
Garden district, tours available.

Want to learn more about a city you are staying in?  Check out their local cemeteries.  You can learn about the history, art and religion of an area.  Find local (and famous) celebrities and avoid the crowds.  Bigger cities might even offer tours.  (New Orleans and Boston have great tours.)  Also a must place to stop if you love to take black and white photos.