Back from a chill and beautiful week exploring in Maine. We wanted an uncrowded location with outdoor activities and some food options. Late-season Harpswell was perfect for one dog and her two humans.
Note that most of the Harpswell places mentioned are seasonal and will close on/by Columbus Day.
First up was Erica’s Seafood, which seasonally operates a cash-only seafood shack on Basin Point. (Props to @bob_g who was the first to report on this spot!) We both wanted a lobster roll, so that’s what we got. Simple and fresh. BYOB meant that we could enjoy a rosé wine we brought from home.
Erica’s is outdoor dining only at the well-spaced picnic tables or lawn. Dog-friendly too, which we needed because of course we had our pooch with us this trip.
Later in the week we returned to Erica’s and decided on fried Maine clams because they were out of local crabmeat we wanted to try.
Pretty good, and crucially, the clams were free of grit. (From this we learned that we still prefer Ipswich, MA clams and the house-made onion rings at Woodman’s.) The clam roll with a side of rings was plenty for me. My husband got the larger clam basket.
A short visit to the area back in July left us craving Frosty’s Doughnuts, which has its main location in Brunswick and a satellite in Bath. Sunday morning we drove to Brunswick to stock up for breakfasts. Frosty’s is open from Thursday-Sunday only.
The pumpkin maple-glazed was my favorite this time. My husband loves a good chocolate doughnut, which isn’t my thing. He was delighted by the chocolate buttercrunch and the chocolate glazed that he tried over the course of the week.
There were also a couple glazed crullers in this box, which were the best crullers we remember ever having.
On a visit to Lookout Point we happened across Allen’s Seafood, another wharf where the boats bring in their catches. Small lobsters available only the day we visited. Crabs, quahogs, and clams may also be available depending on when you go. Cash preferred.
You can see that our dog was happy that we bought lobster to cook back at the rental house.
Twice during the week, we took short drives out of Harpswell to taste beer.
We returned to Flight Deck Brewing in Brunswick about 15 minutes from our rental. The pizza was far better than on our first attempt in July—busy July 4 wasn’t ideal for a first impression—and flights of beer were also back on the menu.
Flight Deck gets high marks from us for being friendly to families and dogs. Though the beer isn’t on the same level for us as Maine Beer Company or Bissell Brothers, it’s hard to beat the relaxed vibe that we experienced on our afternoon visits.
Our second tasting-room visit was to Mast Landing in Freeport. Dogs are welcome on the back patio, which is a bit close to a highway offramp to have a relaxing atmosphere.
Still, we enjoyed tasty brew and scrumptious Hatch chile cheeseburgers from their on-site food truck partner, Nighthawk’s Kitchen. Hatch chiles are a favorite that we rarely see on menus in New England. I sipped a gose beer with mine. Light and refreshing alongside the rich burger.
The latter part of the week we had a couple of late, off-hours lunches at The Dolphin Restaurant & Marina in Harpswell. This is another seasonal place at Basin Point near Erica’s. Though indoor seating was available, we needed to stay outside because of our canine companion.
Our first outing was in a lull between lunch and dinner so the host graciously offered us patio seating (usually dogs are welcome only at the picnic tables in back).
We celebrated with proper restaurant meals. Parmesan-crusted haddock for me and scallops with housemade pasta for my husband.
If you look closely at my plate, you might spot The Dolphin’s signature blueberry muffin served with main courses in homage to their roots. A few chunks of that muffin may or may not have done its magic as a bribe for quiet good behavior from the dog.
Finally on our last late lunch at The Dolphin, I managed to snag the Maine crabmeat I’d been after. Check out the roll in the back of the shot. Filled with sweet, fresh crab.
This being a dog-friendly vacation, I’ll mention that the quaint Pammy’s Ice Cream Parlor in Harpswell Center offers a treat especially for pups. Okay ice cream but an oh-so-inviting lawn with pretty little tables to enjoy your treat. Cash only. Mitchell Field next door offers lots of room to walk with an ocean view.
I’ll leave you with a seascape of lobster boats at sunrise to share the happiness we felt on this trip.