We had a very nautical day in Maine – on our drive back to Portland from Camden, starting with a visit to the Pemaquid Point Light House — the one that was noteworthy enough to land on Maine’s state quarter. We took the long, scenic road from Damariscotta, which went along the coast although you’d never know it. We were surrounded by trees. It was a tight squeeze climbing up the few steps inside the lighthouse with my broken arm but worth it for the view. We could see all the say to Monhegan Island, ten miles away, which we were told is unusual.
buying Treats in Wiscasset
In Wiscasset, we got some cheese and homemade bagels and pretzels at Treats, a bakery/food store in an old building on the main street (not far from where people were lined up outside Red’s) and had a picnic overlooking the water on the dock of the modest (by yacht club standards) Wiscassett Yacht Club.
We arrived in Portland in time to take the 2:45 Casco Bay Mail Ferry which goes to several islands and offers a great view back at the city of Portland. It was bit overcast and drizzled a little but a good ride, although we’re a bit spoiled after our Norway fjord ferry rides. On the way to stay with our friend Lisa from Wichita, we stopped near the ferry terminal at Standard Bakery to pick up some goodies for dinner. Lisa lives in Cousin’s Island, technically in Yarmouth, and we had a lovely reunion (after 30 plus years). She walked us over to her beach at sunset and then cooked us lobsters (plopped wriggling into hot water) with corn on the cob.
Thought of recent dining adventures in NYC, Chicago, and Portland, Oregon, the other day when I read a NYTimes story about where top chefs go on the rare occasion when they don’t eat at their own restaurant. Chef Daniel Boulud goes to Barbuto for Chef Jonathan Waxman’s roasted chicken, which my brother also has discovered. I had a good meal there with my brother and his wife in 2011.
Also on the dining front, is Pok Pok NY in Brooklyn and Pok Pok Wing (see photo above of Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings) on the Lower East Side. My husband and I ate at the original Pok Pok in Portland in 2010. (The chef Andy Ricker was named the Northwest’s best by the James Beard Foundation in 2011 so I bet it’s even harder to get a reservation now.) I see from the NYTimes that the two NYC-based Pok Poks have since opened. (Alas, we didn’t have the chicken wings when we went to Pok Pok in Portland. They look incredible! But it was very good Thai food by a non-Thai guy, which was the gist of the Times story. It also mentioned Rick Bayless and Frontera Grill/Xoco et. al. in Chicago which I’ve been to many times over the years.)
Yes, it seems like a contradiction in terms – healthy deli – but apparently some Jewish delicatessens are making a stab at providing more healthful food – some even going so far as to ban salami. (Say it’s not so.) A story in the NYTimes about this featured several delis I’ve been at or near recently, including Kenny & Zuke’s, a deli we visited for breakfast last month in Portland. Apparently the thing to have there is the specially-made pastrami – we came close. We ordered a corned beef sandwich which we happily shared – it was huge – in the Denver airport during our trip home.
The story also mentioned Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor which we visited last summer – who knew they made their own cream cheese although I wasn’t surprised they made their own rye bread. (I think we were supposed to have pastrami there too – again, we had the corned beef. Noticing a trend here?)
And earlier this month, we were on the lower East Side of Manhattan, standing outside of Katz’ s deli debating whether to join a long, albeit fast-moving, line at Saturday lunchtime. We decided not – and I guess this is good since the article seemed to single out old-school delis like Katz’s as, of course, serving stuff that’s not good for us (even if it tastes good.)