Monday, July 9, 2012

Maine and Boston

A couple weeks ago we spent 6 days in Maine and in Boston.  We had a great time seeing new sights and catching up with friends.  It was a much needed get away, as it had been way too long since we had flown anywhere together "just because."

We took a red eye out on Wednesday night and landed in Boston around 6am. It ended up working out quite well because our hotel was able to get us a room when we showed up at 7am.  We figured the chances of this happening was a long shot and were happy to settle in and have a spot for our heads for a little nap.

We woke up late morning and headed out onto the town, hungry as ever.

The day progressively got better as we sought out new sights and tastes.

One place went to was The Paramount Beacon Hill, Boston

This was a bustling breakfast/lunch joint.  You walk up to the counter and place your order with the cooks.  The line wrapped two fold in this long narrow cafe. 

Once you received your order and paid, they helped you quickly find a table in the crowded dining area. 
Now there a few things that I usually don't order for breakfast and French Toast is one of them, they just usually seem too indulgent.  However, this day I went for it, figuring hey I am indulging a pregnancy craving and we are on vacation, aka our "Baby Moon."  Yes, we are expecting our first baby in November, so mama is 5 months pregnant.

My fruit on top came late, but it was worth the wait.  With the butter and a little bit of syrup, my belly and mouth were smiling ear to ear.    The meal was not lacking on flavor, by any means, and I can definitely see why it was so crowded.   (I had searched out breakfast places before we came, knowing that we may be stranded without our room, and this was one of the top listed places)

We walked around a lot of Boston that day, poked our heads into the Quincey Market which is a food site to see.  Think - food court extravaganza.  We walked down by the water, and eventually we ended up jumping on a tour bus towards the end of the day and we were able to spend an hour or so visiting the U.S.S. Constitution.   It was great to see the city as a whole as they whisked us around their tour loop.   We had him dump us off in China town in the late afternoon and decided to seek out a tasty place for a light "second meal."  It was basically our lunch, but it was a very late lunch.   We stumbled upon Winsor Dim Sum Cafe, which turned out to be a treat.   I let my husband order on this one and we ended up with a great little spread.   

We feasted on pot stickers, steamed pork buns, shrimp shumai, and a yummy noodle dish.

Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin Donuts is EVERYWHERE in Boston so it should make my food report.   We so have Starbucks all over the place here in SoCal, and they have Dunkin Donuts on what seems like every corner in Boston.   I had previously heard their coffee was good, I didn't test it myself but my husband enjoyed a cup and we shared a few donut holes, just because.

After regrouping back at the hotel room and putting on our evening attire, we decided that our one night in Boston should be spend exploring the North End of Boston  or "Little Italy."  We took the T or the Train Subway system to the North End, boy can it be confusing for newbies but we made it.  I really felt like it was an important piece of the Boston adventure, I may have been alone on this thought, but we were glad we did it.  Once in Little Italy, we picked a place that was off the main drag, but looked busy.  We ended up heading out and eating late but they were still going strong.

This was our Caprese appetizer, what a cute way to serve this dish.

My photos were limited on this meal, because it was very dark in there and we were shy about snapping a bunch of pictures of our food.  We didn't want to look like tourist or anything...

We hopped in a taxi in order to get back to our hotel, as it was approaching 11:30 or so.  At the last minute we decided to have him drop us off at Cheers, the Original Cheers.  There is a Cheers down by Quincy Market, but the other one right below Beacon Hill is distinguished as the original Cheers.  The outside was used in the show whenever they shot the outside.  The inside was much smaller and laid out nothing like the bar on the show.   It turns out they just expanded upstairs by making a replica bar of the show's bar for tourist.  This was special to my husband because his dad loved the show.
Yes, we brought a mug home. The theme song has been sung a few times while putting the mug to use, since it has been home.

Here we are navigating our way out of Boston, I have three maps and an email print out in my lap, not to mention my cell phone with google maps active and in use.   Luckily, we had no problem getting out or with the drive to Maine.  We had walked so much of Boston, that we basically knew where we were and the Enterprise guy was obviously very used to drawing very explicit directions.  Google maps on the phone was also a necessary part of the trip as well, without it we may have been lost in the woods somewhere. 

New Hampshire features no sales tax, and they have 2 big state run liquor stores so that you can stock up when you drive by.  We stopped and got a couple items to bring for our Maine house hosts and a bottle of wine to drink during the trip.  Our friends from Maine reccommended we waited on getting any beer because they have local beer and boy were they right, their beer is very tastey, or so I heard.

We arrived in Boston Friday evening and were happy to see our friends and hosts.  We were quickly whisked away by our friends to a local brewery because it was closing soon for the evening.  This brewery had only been around for about a year and it was on tap at practically every establishment that we saw throughout the weekend.  Oxbow Beer, and word is that it is tasty!


You may or may not know but Maine has an abundance of fresh oysters and boy did my hubby taste them.  This was a sampler plate that he and the only other brave soul of the group (not I) shared.

After that tasting, we found ourselves at a great little restaurant, The boat house bistro.  The menu had a great array of tapas and we had fun exploring it.

Shopping local is a special treat in this area.  They live in Edgecomb with a neighboring town of Darimiscotta.  They belong to a local farm, where they buy in a share and get crops delivered to them.  They also belong to a fishery, where they get a share of the catch. 

This is their local Co-op grocery store and it did not disappoint.  What a great local selection for such a small place.  I never would have expected to see it in this remote location.

A self serve Herb and Spices Station...

This was local Maine Gelato. (we later visited their actual shop for a taste)
For the record, Maine has amazing local ice cream as well.  Their milk is so fresh and clean.

We took a drive around their area and were in awe of all the breathtaking scenes. 
Here we were at a lighthouse, which were of course on gorgeous cliffs of the ocean.

We seem to keep talking about that this dinner, which was such a treat. 
We had a picnic with lobster in a cove, need I say more...

2 lobsters, a lb. of shellfish, and corn was less than $20.

The aftermath...

Full bellies.

After dinner, when the wind died down, we moved out closer to the water and ended up sitting on the picnic tables and watching a fireworks show that we luckily stumbled a crossed.  They were coming from a gorgeous house acrossed the cove.

Home sweet home...

This was a photo of their front yard from inside the house.

She has an amazing garden going on their property, this is only a portion.  Fresh and organic was not in low demand.    It has actually inspired us, we are growing some of our own items now.

This was a great simple brunch on the veranda, a little love and a toaster oven can do amazing things.

A peek at what awaited us when we woke up.  This was local goat's milk yogurt, tasty.

Inspiration and learning...

Heading South...

Sunday we decided to head south and explore some of their favorite spots and towns.

This was the gelato spot that I mentioned earlier.  There was a line, but they didn't care how many flavors you tried.  And boy was it hard to choose, luckily they'll split your order into a few different flavors.

We arrived in Portland in the late afternoon and begin tasting our way through the town.  Portland, ME is a bit of a foodie town, I hear that chefs will often open up restaurants here before taking on an adventure in Boston.

One of our first stops was an underground dungeon like watering hole which had an extreme selection of beverages. Novare Res

We stopped at a cute little restaurant/bar called Sonny's.  It had a Spanish Swanky feel, but also a cozy meet up feel with couches and coffee tables.

As you can see, they had an array of infused vodka and tequila.  If it has chiles and says spicy, believe them, right hunny?

We topped of our night at Duck Fat, which was such a treat.  I could hear the commentators from Unique Eats commenting on their food in my head as we sat there.


Back in town, the other half felt like he needed to try a lobster roll, while in Maine.  This was local spot and it was highly recommended on Internet research.

This was in the outskirts of Darimscotta...

They had quite a menu for a little shack...

Monday Farmer's Market

This guy was selling local faire out of a re purposed ambulance.

And last but not least, we have goat salami, which we did purchase...

I hope you enjoyed our taste of Maine, as we did.~

We traveled home with and added carry on of 24 fresh oysters on ice and goat salami, non edible additions of a lobster cookie cutter, a cheers glass mug, some mini lobster socks for the kids of the dad who shuffled us to and from the airport, and a last minute purchase of a mini 6 mos. T-Shirt with a Maine lobster on it, for our new addition.  Found at the cutest general store, that I have ever seen.

Have a great week and EWPW~