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Katy England Katy England
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Summer snack shack attack

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Summer can be a fickle season in Maine, as evidenced by a May that was all but consumed by rain - but since that still counts as spring, we can willfully ignore that. Thankfully, weather isn't the only way to determine if summer is here. There's a much more consistent means of enjoying summer, and that is with good food.

Maine is famous for its seasonal food stands that attract tourists like flowers attract bees. I've always said, those of us who are here throughout the year need to take time to enjoy these delightful foods that folks are willing to travel hundreds of miles just to taste.

We did a non-scientific mini-poll on Facebook, and here are some local favorites. You know, the ones you drive slowly by in the early weeks of May like a fried food-stalker to see if maybe they decided to open early just for you.

I've listed them alphabetically; it's the only fair way to do it.

Crosby's Drive-In - 30 Route 46, Bucksport

Whether you're in the market for some of their incredible fried clams or you just feel like a thick chocolate shake, Crosby's is a must. You park, order and can either sit yourself down at a picnic table or enjoy your feast in the car.

Jimmie's Ice Cream & Grill - 409 North Main Street, Brewer

With the perfect mix of grilled summer food, including your staple burgers and dogs, fresh seafood and ice cream, you have to remember to save room for dessert, including banana splits, soft serve and Gifford's ice cream.

Jordan's Snack Bar - 200 Downeast Highway, Ellsworth

Another summer destination for many Mainers in the area. Many rave about the fried seafood, and one of our Facebook friends claims that they serve the best onion rings on the East Coast.

Maine-ly Delights - Bass Harbor

Homemade is the watchword for Maine-ly Delights. The menu is heaped with fresh options, including the chowder, bisques and chili, right down to the chips they cook themselves. Oh yeah, and all of the desserts. So take your time and work your way through the menu before summer is over.

Pete's Pretty Good Ice Cream - Route 1A, Holden

A wide selection of homemade ice cream as well as selection of summer foods, including fried seafood, lobster rolls and more. Pete's is a great stop on a summer day.

Wahl's Dairyport - 79 Main Street, Bucksport

Situated right on the waterfront of downtown Bucksport, you can enjoy your ice cream, banana split or dipped cone with a wonderful view of the Penobscot Bay Bridge and Fort Knox. Or take your cool dairy treat for a walk along the paved waterfront walkways. Or pull up a park bench.

Wasses Hotdogs - 2 North Main Street, Rockland and Reny's Parking lot in Belfast

Hotdogs are the quintessential summer meal. It's food you can eat with your hands - though sometimes the messier incarnations may involve licking chili or cheese off your fingers. I mean, what else do you need? Wasses takes it to a sublime level by topping the dogs with fried onions, bacon, cheese chili, kraut or any combination thereof.

Wo's Wicked Fine BBQ - 86 Route 1, Verona Island

Ribs. Pulled pork. Pulled chicken. Sausage. Veggie Burger.

You must stop at this barbecue stand. The ribs fall apart in your mouth, and you'll keep licking your fingers hoping you left more sauce on them. There is nothing you can purchase at Wo's that doesn't include "yum" as a descriptor. We just wish they were still in Bangor.

Year-rounders

So we know that the tourists come in and enjoy much of the yummy fried foods and cold treats that dot the Maine landscape. But there is a bonus to being a townie, and that's the year-round food that's available after the visitors have gone home. It's not that we don't love you, but sometimes we just want to eat without the wait. Here are some favorites that you can enjoy now or after Labor Day.

4Points BBQ and Blues House, 145 Main Street, Winterport

If you want some authentic southern barbecue, you need to swing over to this lovely place where you can get a wide variety of unbelievably delicious smoked meats and then decide which of their delicious sauces to put on them.

Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium - 66 Main Street, Bar Harbor

Ice cream is not just a summer treat. That's when the softies enjoy it. But if you're a hardcore ice cream fanatic and you're jonesing for some homemade, incredibly decadent frozen desert, you can still get it at Ben and Bill's. Though they do close from January until March, they're still open until December, which is close enough for me.

Downtown Bangor/Ellsworth

I can't possibly list all of the delightful eateries that make up the vibrant downtowns of the two hubs of Penobscot and Hancock County without having to squeeze someone out. Suffice it to say, for those of us who are awesome enough to live here throughout the year, we love our favorite downtown eateries.

The Eagle's Nest, 1016 North Main Street, Brewer

This is the place to go when you want to enjoy a lobster roll that has more lobster than roll. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. If for some odd reason you aren't in the mood for lobster (whatever, more for me), you can enjoy any of their other lovely home-style meals that they offer. And they have cake. Beautiful, beautiful cake.

McLaughlin's Seafood, 728 Main Street, Bangor

Speaking of incredible seafood, you can't mention the word without McLaughlin's coming to mind. Whether you're looking for a lobster roll or you want to bring home some of the freshest seafood in the area - stop in.

Reel Pizza, 33 Kenebec Place, Bar Harbor

Who wants gourmet pizza and an independent film? Who doesn't? You can get both at Reel Pizza in Bar Harbor. There are many different flavors of pizza to experiment with, and many different films to check out year round. You'll be glad you did if you haven't already.

So we know that there are probably many, many wonderful places that we missed on our list due to lack of space, time or money and woeful ignorance on our parts. If you think there is a place that we haven't listed, don't let us get away with it! Email, call, or give us a shoutout on Facebook.

Last modified on Thursday, 08 December 2011 12:26

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