|Been there, seen it, didn't buy the T shirt...|
|Lobster Benedict. Yes. I know.|
About this time last year, I was planning a trip on behalf of MSN to the East Coast of the US. The mission? Live blog from the Maine Lobster Festival and find some great things to eat from Brooklyn to Boston. The Maine Lobster Festival was, predictably, excellent fun, even for someone who, in the preceding days, had consumed his own bodyweight in lobster rolls. And deep fried belly clams. And prawns. And deep fried belly clams. And lobster Benedict. And some more belly clams. Yeah. I really liked the belly clams...
|Deep fried belly clams, The Clam Shack, Kennebunkport. George Bush's favourite apparently.|
Anyway, back to the East Coast. There was a lot of driving but, one day aside, the weather was glorious and the scenery was fabulous. On the coast, Maine is like driving through every Richard Gere movie ever made. Inland, it's also beautiful - with my regular soundtrack of J D McPherson and the small towns / rolling farmland, it was like driving back in time by 50 years. Or, at the very least, onto the set of Stand By Me.
|The Richman Pick - The Galley's Zesty Lemon Lobster Roll with Grilled Bread|
|Breakfast c/o The Hartstone Inn.|
|The view, Miller's, Spruce Point|
|Miller's, Spruce Point.|
Richman's particular favourite was The Galley's "zesty lemon with grilled bread" and it's damned fine. My own favourite was probably the one at Miller's, in Spruce Point, a tip-off from the annoyingly talented Michael Salmon of The Hartstone Inn in Camden. I'd been invited there for breakfast - that's a sort of apple sponge with cumin-coated crispy bacon in case you're wondering and yes, it was stupidly delicious - and, like all Maine residents, he had lobster-based suggestions. Given that he clearly knew a thing or two about the local food, Miller's sounded like somewhere to go, even if it was a 30-mile plus diversion. It was the finest location - you're overlooking the waters where the sandwich fillings were caught and several deliveries of lobster pots were made as I sat there - and the roll was impeccable. I asked the girl at the till how recently the lobster I'd just eaten had been caught. She looked embarrassed, explained that it wasn't really high season yet, so it wasn't that fresh. "That one would have been caught about three hours ago," she said. "Sorry." Ahem. (And yeah, that's a shrimp roll. No. I can't justify eating it as well. But yeah, I did. Every last bite.)
|No. I couldn't think of any jokes here either|
|The New Englander - well, it had to be really|
|For the record, it's also "off the hook"|
If I had to pick one, it would be the arepas as Luncheria Valencia. Richard Johnson tipped arepas as one of the "next big things" in street food in a recent Guardian piece and I suspect he's right: they make a brilliant "transport" for all sorts of fillings.The ones at Valencia Luncheria were delightful, light and crispy. This was The Domingo - bacon, spinach, cheese - and I could murder one of these right now and, frankly, at any given point on any day of the week. I think I better find an arepas recipe...