The Husband's goal for this trip was to eat lobster - in some form or another - every day: mission accomplished. We chose Thurston's for our lobster pound experience because of the great views of Bass Harbor from the huge windows. Like any of the pounds, it's a no-nonsense, no-frills, paper-plate kind of place and we loved it.
Both of us ordered a full meal that included melted butter, corn on the cob, roll, slaw and blueberry cake, and they also had beer and wine (some pounds are BYO). It was our first encounter with a "shedder": lobster that has recently shed its old shell and is growing into a new one. The shells are softer than what you're probably used to so they're easier to get into. Both shedders and the usual, hard-shelled varieties were available but we wanted to try these as we'd never had them. Shedders do have less meat inside than hard-shelled but prices are per pound so it's a wash.
If there was a downside, the slaw was pretty tasteless, the cake was dry, and shedders retain a lot of water in the space between the body and the shell so were really messy BUT the sweet, tender meat and spectacular views of the harbor more than made up for any shortcomings. Open Memorial Day to around Columbus Day from 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM.
Favorite Dish: Lobster - the best reason to come. They also have clams and mussels by the pound, chowders, salads and sandwiches. Lobster is sold per current market price so I'm not noting PP tabs here.
Recommended: Our favorite bartender sent us here and we were glad he did! McKay's is a favorite with the locals 'cause it's one of the few restaurants that stays open all year. It's in an old Victorian house with original fireplaces, copper tables and a warm, cozy atmosphere.
The menu ranges from pub grub (burgers, fish and chips, soups, salads, etc.) to higher-priced entrees (salmon, braised short ribs, steaks, etc.) and there are special menu offerings daily. I had some kind of beef special and while I can't remember exactly what it was, I remember that it was very tender and had a great sauce. Jerry had lobster meat in lemon butter with squash: so good we tried to have it again but they'd changed specials later in the week.
McKay's specializes in local organic produce and meats, and locally caught seafood. Nice ales on tap and a full bar. Dress: casual to dressy. Nice garden out front for outdoor noshing. Open for dinner only.
Favorite Dish: As we both had daily specials and as those change, I can't recommend anything in particular - it all looked good. I'm not noting PP prices as those can swing widely depending on pub grub or higher-end dinner entrees: see the website.
Recommended: This place has great food and a large range of full dinners at special Early Bird (4:30 - 6:00 PM) prices. All of these $10.99 entrees are served either over, or with, pasta, a vegetable and bread basket. A baked potato can be subsituted for the pasta for $1.00 more. Entrees include Apricot Chicken, Shrimp Marinara, Eggplant Parmigiana, "bottomless" pasta bowls, and many more. I had baked haddock with shrimp and crab stuffing: terrific.
Aside from the Early Bird menu, they also have a lobster or stone crab feast (cup of bisque; pasta or potato; broiled, sauted or stuffed lobster or chilled crab claws; brownie a la mode), steaks, salads and other chicken, pasta and vegetarian meals and desserts. Full bar. Cozy, homey, casual-but-nice atmosphere. Great place - will definately go back.
Note: for some reason the early-bird menu is hidden on the website; not sure why. You can find it here:
Recent diners' reviews indicate that this menu is available but I might confirm with them in advance if these budget options are important to you.
Favorite Dish: Baked Stuffed Haddock - yummy!
Jordan Pond House is virtually the only restaurant associated with the park, and a tradition that goes back to the 1870's. Although the original farmhouse-turned-eatery burned down in 1979, the tradition continues as a restful spot to enjoy afternoon tea, ice cream or a meal while taking in the stunning view from the end of the pond. The popovers are legendary and seem to be on everyone's "must do" list when visiting the park. The best way to eat them is with strawberry jam at a table on the lawn.
That's the good news.
The no-so-good news was that every time we were there they'd just unloaded a bunch of tour buses, and fighting the crowds was just not something we were in the mood for so we skipped the food. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner (mid-May through mid-October) and there's also a nice Acadia gift shop, an ice cream counter, and they carry beverages and hiker's snacks on the second floor. Tea is served in the afternoons (with hot popovers) from 11:30 - 5:30. There are also restroom facilities - although the tour-bus hordes can make getting into them a bit of a wait.
If nothing else, grab a place on the lawn for a packed-in snack or beverage as it's a really pretty spot. You can also access the 3-mile Jordan Pond Shore Trail here, and there's a handicap-accessible path down to the pond.
Favorite Dish: Again, they tell me that the popovers are to die for. Next time......
We just stopped in for a beer here so I can't really comment on the food. I CAN say that it was packed with what looked to be happy diners enjoying good-sized portions and it's been around awhile so must be OK. The Whale offers a nice range of inexpensive "pub grub" (sandwiches, burgers, appetizers, soups, etc.) as well as the local catch (haddock, seafood chowders, crab cakes, lobster roll, combo plates). Big, dark, noisy pub-like room with a small gravel patio (no restaurant seating) out back for persons who like a puff with their pint. The patio isn't much - just a couple of plastic chairs - but a place to be outside on a nice day. Full bar, a fair amount of beers on tap - including some local brews - and live entertainment Fri. - Sat. nights.
The bar staff, at least the afternoon we were there, was less than upbeat, attentive or happy to see us but could have just been an off day. Whatever, the beer was cold and the menu prices very reasonable for Bar Harbor.
Sandwiches are runnning about $7-9 and seafood offerings, about $8.00 - $16.00. Kid friendly.
Favorite Dish: I might recommend this as a nightlife spot because of the live music
Lobster ice cream, made of real maine lobster and vanilla ice cream. Don't know how they made it but it was sooo good.
Also try Mostly White Russian ice cream, made of vodka and kahlua chocolate chip ice cream, another favorite of mine.
We stopped into Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium one night for a little something sweet? That little something turned into a serious chocolate binge one night, and a gelato pig-out on another. Oh my. A mind-boggling array of homemade chocolates and candy - from huge truffles to taffy to toffee to fudge - filled cases from here to there. And if that wasn't enough, their freezer pack 76 different kinds of homemade ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt and gelato. Do NOT go near this place if you're on a diet: you'll blow it in 30 seconds. This is a great place for an after-hike splurge or quick dessert after that seafood dinner - IF you have any room left!
Yes, they have lobster ice cream. No, I don't recommend it.
As we were leaving the main part of Acadia National Park we passed through Sea Harbor at lunch time. The Lighthouse Inn caught our eye and we stopped to try it out. It is a nice restaurant located in a very quiet place.
Favorite Dish: I had a Ceaser salad with lobster and my husband had mussels. I was pleased with my lunch ... my husband order a lunch that was too light for him. There was no bread served with the lunch.
We push ourselves to the limit hiking or cross-country skiing (this place is open year round!) and then indulge in the best onion rings on Earth. Head in mid-afternoon to avoid an interminable wait, snag a window table and enjoy like as it should be!
Favorite Dish: Bar grub as it's finest - burgers, fries, cold beer, laid back service.
A NICE CASUAL AND FUN PLACE TO EAT. Reasonably priced menu. T-shirts etc in a large shop underneath the dining area. great location down near the waterfront.
Favorite Dish: The tuna melt sandwich. In September of 2009 it was $6.79.
As the owner told me the night I met him, "if you want lobster, this is the place to come. It's the best on the island." It was interesting to be told that and then have it immediately followed with directions to another restaurant because his was closed for the day. I promised I would be back for lunch the next day. I was true to my word, who could resist the best lobster around?
As I waited in line in the small shack to place my order, I could here the owner (whose name I had by now learned was Barry) entertain and inform the patrons with his descriptions of the dishes on the menu. Barry has an energy which lit up the restaurant and made the visit more enjoyable.
Favorite Dish: I ordered a lobster roll. I love lobster rolls. According to the menu, they server lobster rolls several ways, traditionally (lightly touched with mayonnaise), buttered, or light (with no dressing), all on a hot dog roll. I'm a traditionalist.
While I love lobster meat, I love it with mayonnaise. Well, they were not kidding about the, "lightly touched," bit. The mayonnaise was there, but hardly enough to taste. Don't get me wrong, it was still an excellent lobster roll, but it was just that it was almost all lobster and barely anything else to make up the roll part (aside of course from the roll).
We went to Stewman's for a "Real Maine Experience" while at Bar Harbor. A "Real Maine Experience" consists of a lobster, corn on the cob, boiled potatoes and slice of blueberry pie. It was a decent dinner, but not for the price. Shop around before getting a lobster dinner at one of these large waterfront joints. I think you could probably do much better with both price and quality of food.
Favorite Dish: In the picture below that is a real rainbow. However, Stewman's was not the proverbial pot of gold at the end of it.
Nothing quite like a breakfast or dinner cooked over an open fire in your camp. Even though we might turn our noses up at such fare from our kitchen, after a day of hiking/biking/kayaking or a night of sleeping on the bare ground a smokey tasting or slightly burnt meal washed down with camp coffee (coffee grinds included in every cup) turns into an affair to be remembered.
Favorite Dish: Pictured below is a breakfast meal of fried potatoes with a pot of coffee percolating next to it.
I particularly like Hobo Stew - cubes of chicken mixed with various vegetables (i.e. potato chuncks, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, etc...) all wrapped together in aluminum foil and put into the bowels of the camp fire to cook.
There is a very nice restaurant along the Loop Road in Acadia National Park, and many other restaurants just outside the park in Bar Harbor and other communities. However, Karen and I still packed a picnic for a meal at one of the picnic areas that are available. This photo is taken of Karen spreading our lunch at Fabbri, where there were several picnic tables and also restrooms.
There are few things in life more pleasant than a picnic in a beautiful setting with the woman you love on a balmy summer day.
Click the web link below for a listing of all the picnic areas within Acadia National Park.
If you make the trip to Acadia National Park you owe it to yourself to pay a visit to the Jordon Pond House. For more than a century this historic restaurant has been delighting diners with outstanding cuisine in the perfect scenic setting.
Jordon Pond House serves lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner daily during season. We arrived just in time for the afternoon tea, which has been a tradition at the Jordan Pond House since the late 1800s. With our tea we ordered one of the restaurant's famous popovers and strawberry jam.
Even more enjoyable than the refreshment was the ambience of this historic place and the absolutely stunning view of Jordan Pond and the surrounding mountains. It was a memorable experience that every visitor to Acadia should have.