Mid-Coast Maine Summer 2020

Many of my favorite restaurants have reduced hours and/or reduced menus and/or are doing takeout only. But, as always in Maine, folks have been incredibly resourceful in responding to new circumstances. My advice is to always check websites/FB before making plans as things seem to evolve constantly.

Up In Smoke BBQ has added Taco Tuesdays (Tuesday 4 to 8) to their Thursday through Saturday lunch hours. Also there is a bunch of new distanced seating but almost all of it is in full sun. The food is as fabulous as ever. (They do not open if it’s really rainy because it’s too hard to keep the pit burning properly. Check FB.)

Home Kitchen Café has some limited outdoor seating and is doing takeout. They have expanded hours (early supper some days) but are still closed on Tuesdays. They have added french fries to the menu for the first time ever!

Café Miranda is doing Pizza on the Street – Friday through Monday evenings you can get a full slab, half slab or quarter slab of wood-fired pizza (each comes with salad) or a handful of pastas, beer or wine, picked up on the street. Order ahead. Very tasty, a quarter slab is two meals for me. They have blocked off part of the street and put out well-distanced picnic tables.

Hazel’s Takeout is open for lunch Monday through Saturday, has distanced picnic tables.

Salty Owl Café is doing curbside bake sale pick-ups Saturdays only, orders must be in by Friday afternoon.

Ancho Honey in Tenant’s Harbor is new this summer with a focus on takeout, very little seating. Tasty limited menu and really good homemade frozen dinners. I was able to do contact-free (as in, never saw anyone) pickup of some of those frozen dinners from them during my “from away” quarantine, by going at an off hour. Was really helpful for my sanity.

Atlantic Baking Company and Rock City Roasters are doing delivery.

The Belfast, Camden and Rockland Farmers Markets are open but with fewer vendors than in the past.

Bleecker & Greer (Maine Street Meats) has reduced hours and is only letting 5 people at a time into the store. You can order ahead and do contact-free pickup.

Beth’s Farm Market is open normal hours (daily, 8 to 6) and has a good set-up. Like all stores they are limiting the number of customers allowed in at a time. I went at 8:30 on a Sunday morning and was literally the only customer in the store. A friend went in the afternoon and found a discouragingly long line. They are still doing the strawberry shortcakes and on weekends the jerk chicken lunches.

I will add more as I experience it.

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Great report. I’m even more thrilled to see you made it to your happy place!

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+1 to what Denise says. Enjoy yourself, young GS.

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Astonishingly, two new places have recently opened. I really want to support them both because their optimism is so touching.

Station 118 BBQ opened on Main Street in Thomaston for takeout and with about 8 distanced tables in their forecourt. I think it’s unlikely that they will replace Up In Smoke BBQ in my heart but they are open on Sundays when the pickings are slim this summer. So I picked up takeout on Sunday to bring to a friend’s to eat 10 feet apart on her porch. I had pulled pork with collards and baked beans, she had shredded brisket with mac n cheese and cornbread. She loved the brisket and mac n cheese and saved the cornbread for breakfast the next day. I thought the pulled pork was very good although not as good as Up In Smoke’s. The collards were good too if a bit stemmy. I did not care for the baked beans or the BBQ sauce because both were very sweet but YMMV and also they had been open a week so they get a pass on anything. I saw a lot of ribs as I waited for my order and they looked great, will definitely return for those. The portion of pulled pork was enormous, by the way, got two sandwiches worth of leftovers from it.

Maine Kebab opened in Waldoboro. I have not yet tried it but their IG is pretty compelling so I will get there soon.

A little more info on Ancho Honey in Tenant’s Harbor. They have a Thursday night (4 to 7) burger special every week that you really have to call ahead for (or get there by 5 at the latest) as it is very popular and they sell out, they have a dinner special every Friday night (4 to 7) and they make fabulous homemade empanadas on Sundays.

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Couple more pics. Wonderful smoked jerk chicken and collards from Ancho Honey:

Chili cheese sausage and handmade onion rings from Hazel’s Takeout, both wonderful and easily enough to share, as was the fish and chips I had another time. Both their fries and their onion rings are best I have found on the Mid-Coast. It is no doubt a good thing work is too busy to allow me to get there during the week.

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This could be my last meal here on earth, and I would pass on as a very contented soul.

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You have no idea, the chili is homemade and completely delicious! Wish we had figured out how to share tastes virtually.

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that looks amazing!

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Got to Maine Kebab. You order online and do contact free pickup. I had the turmeric rice bowl with lamb kofta and sprang for extra white (garlic) sauce and was glad I did - it was delicious! The bowl suffered a bit because an unfortunate series of events meant I didn’t get to eat it for about 90 minutes so everything was tepid instead of nice contrasting hot rice and kebabs and cold salad and sumac onions. Even so it was mighty tasty. There were pistachios in the kebabs. Extremely generous portion, I had leftovers. Will definitely return for more.

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My wife, our twin 10 year old daughters, and I will be spending a few days in Cundy’s Harbor, in the Harpswell area. I did see a Harpswell post which mentioned Erica’s Lobster. Any other recommendations more in that neck of the woods?

Erica’s is a great spot. Taco the town and Mr. Tuna for food trucks on the mall in Brunswick. Taverna Khione for a restaurant to eat at or takeout in Brunswick. The area has been hit hard with a lot of places being closed. Great farmers market on the mall tuesday and fridays. Saturday market is at the high school.

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I had an astonishingly good falafel wrap today up in Belfast from a new food truck near the footbridge. Only 3 items on the menu: sabich, falafel or beef kofte wrap. Seems to be a labor of love. Everything about the wrap was great: the bread itself, the falafel, the tasty veggies and pickles filling the wrap, the tehina sauce. I went back to thank the proprietor and there was an Israeli man there telling him it tasted like home which was funny as I had planned to (and did) say it was the best falafel I’d had outside Israel. This is one of those situations where it’s going to be hard to try the rest of the menu.

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@digga has been setting a great example; time for me to up my game.

Ancho Honey in Tenant’s Harbor has been a great resource this summer.


Super crappy pic of the delicious Friday night special dinner last night: smoked tender beef with chimichurri, goat cheese mashed potatoes, peas. Huge portion, I made a wonderful sandwich today with the leftover beef, an heirloom tomato and fabulous peppery arugula from Fine Line Farm.

I also picked up a pound of the best pastrami in the world from Up in Smoke BBQ (Saturdays only). I get 3 or 4 sandwiches out of it on wonderful rye from Borealis Breads in Waldoboro (kitty corner from Moody’s Diner).

I’ve gone to Maine Kabob in Waldoboro a couple of times. Did not report on the turmeric rice bowl I got the first time because due to an unfortunate series of events it was 90 minutes before I got to eat it so hardly a fair test. This week I got a hummus bowl with lamb kofta, flatbread and chicken wings, plus sides of white (garlic) sauce and tahini sauce. All delicious and 3 meals. The falafel in Belfast was better though.

Last weekend I got back to Station 118 BBQ in Thomaston (which is always packed when I drive by) to try the ribs that looked so good the first time I went. They were tasty but fall off the bone tender which is not how I like ribs. Sticking with Up in Smoke for my barbecue needs. Credit to them though, they do a nice job with lovely service and you’d never know they only opened this summer.

Lastly for now, a photo of Up in Smoke’s stunningly fabulous jerk chicken, a half chopped through the bone with sides of slaw and beans. The jerk chicken has a very sneaky spice to it, the beans are meaty with straightforward spice, the slaw is always crispy and delicious. Another 3 meals’ worth of food. Obviously have not been cooking much; like @digga I’ve been working and it’s been busy!

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Fuuny, you were MY inspiration to get off my duff and use the glowing rectangle for something really useful.

I told B about your BBQ meals and his interest is definitely piqued (though he’s eating way less meat these days). And Maine Kabob, despite not being an ideal sample this time still looks pretty good on a screen.

Wish we had time for an impromptu HO-down. We leave tomorrow. :sob:

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Well that all looks great to me in Quarantine Central! We are off next week and so looking forward to a
change of scenery. Thanks to you and Digga and everyone that is posting their trips and photos.
I wish I could articulate the sense of normalcy it gives me.

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I finally got to Up in Smoke BBQ for taco night today and holy smokes it was delicious!! Kicking myself for not getting there all summer but work has been busy and 20 minutes’ drive each way at the end of a long day seemed insurmountable sometimes.

It’s always two choices which he usually posts on FB that day. I got 2 lamb, one pork, with all the toppings and one each hot (habanero and red cabbage) and mild (serrano? and tomato) salsa. Fabulous corn tortillas, warmed not fried.

Both were so good! Mildly smoky but you could really taste the high quality meat. The toppings were fresh and delicious, the salsas both fabulous although I preferred the hot (pink) one. The tortillas were (just barely) sturdy enough to contain all that goodness. I went back for one more pork taco with toppings and hot salsa and they very kindly comped it and then overstuffed it. AMAZINGLY GOOD!

They will be open till October 31.

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Those tacos! :yum:

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Behold the glory that is a whole (well two halves) jerk chicken from Up in Smoke BBQ.

I’ve been trying to get up to town for lunch on Fridays with a mixed rate of success. Fail today but I did get there mid-afternoon and figured they’d likely be sold out but in the unlikely event they had anything left it would make an easy Friday night dinner after a busy work week. Astonishingly they still had everything (Will said it was oddly slow this week) and he insisted on giving me gratis a whole chicken and a quart of his fabulous slaw (which apparently he will only serve day of making). I really wanted to pay but he wouldn’t hear of it. I have to say, super nice of him but also quintessentially Maine. Rather than try to make up for a bad day of sales he figures it was going to waste (I hope not!) so why not give it away? Thanks Will, much appreciated !!! And delicious!

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That goes down as one of the most awesome things I’ve heard this year.

I wish we were still in Maine. I don’t even “do” BBQ but B does and I might be convinced. We were thinking of a fall trip so I hope Will is still up-and-running.

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He’s open till October 31 which seems to be the magic date for many seasonal businesses around here. (I’ve been asking because I’ve decided to spend the winter up here in COVID isolation.)

You could always get a seafood or vegetarian thing from somewhere else to eat while B and the SO eat BBQ. The haddock chowder from Home Kitchen Café is fabulous. They have many vegetarian options as well and everything I’ve ever had from there has been great.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold