As promised, I’m back and ready to share our incredible eats from Maine! Brian and I love food and Maine was straight up a foodie paradise for us!
A little bit of history on how I became such a lobster lover. Going to seafood restaurants growing up, my parents would scan the menu and say “Laura, order anything you want except the lobster.” What happens when someone tells you not to do something? Curiosity gets the best of you and naturally you want it, I was literally 6 years old begging for the lobster. Most of the time I would get my way, dinners that just had the tail were a breeze. On occasion as a small child I would order a whole lobster, literally have no idea how to eat it, and I would look up at my parents for help. My dad would whack away at it, getting whatever meat out he could. Growing up in North Texas we had no freakin idea how to properly eat a lobster, it was pre-internet, but we tried. From my memories even the waiters didn’t even fully know how to shell and eat a lobster.
Naturally throughout my childhood and into my adult years if something said it had lobster in it I ordered it. Ordering lobster was no longer a way to irritate my parents, I had actually developed a true love for the taste of it.
Cut to many years later and my cravings for lobster have only intensified and I’ve fully converted my husband into a lobster lover too. I’ve learned that warm water lobster in my opinion isn’t good and that Maine lobster is the only lobster for me.
Living in Colorado, multiple times a year we have to order Maine lobster and it’s downright heaven. I’m like a puppy dog wagging it’s tail waiting for UPS to arrive with my fresh lobsters. I’ll get down my enormous lobster pot (it’s so big I store it in the attic) and we have a lobster cooking party, making our own stock from the shells and making every delicious lobster recipe possible. Try Ina Garten’s Lobster Pot Pie!
So now that I’ve convinced you that I love lobster, let’s talk about the amazing food we devoured on our trip! But first if you haven’t yet, be sure to read my Bar Harbor, Maine, and Acadia National Park blog post!
For those who love a good fresh lobster smothered in butter but just can’t be bothered wearing the bib or putting in the work then the lazy lobster is for you! At the Asticou Inn you can order a lobster cooked fresh to order, completely shelled and ready for you. Shelling a lobster is a fun experience but it’s also a bit messy so this is a perfect option when you want to be fancy.
Eating at Stewman’s Lobster Pound was one of my favorite places during our vacation. The lobster cocktail was similar to the mixture of a lobster roll and the lobster claws weren’t just decorative, they still had the tender claw meat inside, yum! Claw meat is definitely my favorite, it came with a cocktail sauce and buttery mustard sauce.
We also ordered a whole lobster and we’ve taught ourselves how to easily shell a lobster but we still have had some tricky areas. When the waitress offered to show us her shelling tricks we were excited. Previously the tail meat has slowed us down, she showed us a few tricks and we can pop out the tail meat in seconds! I can completely crack a lobster in 2 minutes like a local!
Shortly after arriving I discovered that Maine isn’t just known for their lobster but also for their wild blueberries! You’ll find lots of blueberry cocktails, ice cream, desserts, and best of all blueberry pie! Maine blueberries are smaller and richer in flavor and higher in anti-oxidants. Our waitress told us that blueberry picking is such a big deal the schools will close so the kids can help pick the berries.
Feeling adventurous? Then you definitely need to try the lobster ice cream in Bar Harbor! It was unusual but all lobster lovers need to try it once! It tasted like a rich creamy vanilla ice cream with as you probably guessed lobster! Getting a large bit of frozen lobster mixed in ice cream was a little weird but I really liked the small lobster pieces throughout the ice cream.
Of course you’ll find lobster bisque aplenty around the island! I’m pretty picky about my lobster bisque and I know the true labor of love it is to make a batch from scratch. The bisque everywhere we went was downright incredible. This Lobster bisque from Paddy’s Irish Pub had delicious pretzel croutons!
When you talk about food in Maine lobster rolls probably come to mind and there are plenty with lots of variations. Below, this delicious lobster roll was found at the Otter Creek Market and I loved the addition of fresh minced basil!
Shh… please don’t spread the word but honestly when it comes to a lobster roll I’m team Connecticut style, served warm and toasted without mayo and dripping with butter. Having said that, I will never say no to any sort of New England lobster roll. Below, this roll was toasted and a lot dryer with less mayo but still not a true Connecticut style roll. Not complaining at all… it is lobster and I am in Maine not Connecticut after all.
Oh I need to give a shout out to all the french fries we ate, they tasted better than I’ve ever had. Extra crunchy, extra crispy, and extra good in every way.
“What’s with all the whoopie pies everywhere?” I asked Brian. Well it turns out whoopie pies are the official dessert of Maine and freakin good! You’ll find traditional ones everywhere, and we even had a blueberry one that was to die for!
Traditional New England style clam chowder is everywhere along the island and a true classic. This one here was picked up at a small roadside restaurant and is the best I’ve ever had in my life!
Inside Acadia National Park near Jordan Pond you’ll find the adorable Jordan Pond House Restaurant. If it’s a nice day ask for a table outside with lakeside views. They’re famous for their afternoon tea and popovers. Who doesn’t love a good popover? They also serve seafood and many other meals.
A bit of a warning, as of July 2021 they do not take reservations and the line to get in was the longest I’ve ever seen in my life at 11 am, right at their opening time. The line actually went all the way down the stairs by the trailhead. Available parking was also non-existent, nearby full parking lots were full on traffic jams. We returned later in the day at 3pm and it was much calmer and we luckily found a good parking spot.
Feeling like some tacos? Have no fear lobster lovers, you can find lobster tacos too! We enjoyed these delicious tacos at the Nor’Easter Pound and Market.
I don’t know about you but I love a good eggs Benedict! Of course, in Maine you can get an amazing eggs Benedict with lobster on it at The Looking Glass Restaurant while looking at panoramic coastal views! It’s the ultimate breakfast luxury and was walking distance from our hotel.
Craving something lighter like a salad? You can get a variety of garden and cobb salads with a delicious stack of lobster.
Move over crab cakes, lobster cakes are here! At the Terrace Grill you can have lobster cakes topped with grilled pineapple and a horseradish scallion remoulade… you’ll forget crab cakes ever existed.
Besides lobster, Maine is also home to lots of fresh fish including haddock. Another favorite from the Terrace Grille, these fish tacos include the freshest caught haddock with a cilantro lime slaw.
They add lobster to everything here, so be sure to try lobster pizza! This delicious lobster, smoked bacon, and jalapeño pizza was from Getty’s. You can dine indoors or grab it to go.
Did you know there is soft shell and hard shell lobster? I did not know this and it blew my mind! Hard shell lobster is much more common, so if you’ve ever eaten lobster it’s probably been hard shell. Hard shell meat is firmer and contains about 20% more meat, and they’re also sturdier lasting much longer outside of the water. If you’ve ever ordered Maine lobster online it’s 100% been hard shell.
Soft shell lobsters have recently molted and are growing a new shell, which tends to happen July-September. Soft shell lobster has less meat but it is softer and a bit sweeter. They’re also more fragile, and even shipped during ideal conditions they have a high mortality rate. I held a soft shell lobster for the first time during this trip and I although it looked the same I could feel the shell was much softer and bendy, almost like a fingernail.
Soft shell is much easier to crack open too, I was able to crack open the claw with my fingers. This soft shell lobster at Thurston’s was the best we’ve ever eaten in our lives! This rustic restaurant is right along the water and has an incredible variety of seafood to choose from, and the best whoopie pies!
This was my first time eating lobster stew, I was expecting something tomato based with potatoes and vegetables. So I was quite surprised to find lobster stew to be creamy and rich, with just lobster meat and a splash of sherry. We tried it at several locations and Thurston’s won for our favorite lobster stew!
If this hasn’t got you in the mood for lobster or wanting to travel to Maine then I don’t know what will! As I sit here writing this blog post in my Colorado home my mouth can’t help but thirst for the taste of lobster. Dear sweet Maine lobsters… steamed, boiled, and dipped in butter, I will think of you every day until we meet again on my plate.