My Maine Food Travel Adventure Continues: Lobster Rolls at Red’s and a Local Coffee House

Red's Eats, home of the world's best lobster roll

Red’s Eat’s Wicasset

One of the things I have to do at least once every time I’m in Maine is eat a lobster roll. Well, if you are going to have a lobster roll, you should get a good one. A little research showed that Red’s Eat’s in Wicasset has very highly thought of lobster rolls (some say the best in all of Maine!). So, after a wonderful visit on Saturday to the Maine Coastal Botanical Garden, we went down Highway 1 and stoped at Red’s.

We had heard that the wait in summer can be over an hour; we thought that we could avoid any long lines by going to lunch a little late (1:45). Not so, the wait to order the lobster rolls was 40 minutes! This could have been a drag on our day (we were well on the way to hangry) but the weather was beautifully

Lobster Rolls at Red's Eats

Lobster Rolls at Red’s Eats

sunny, the people on line were fun to talk to, and Red’s kept it fun by giving out a free lobster roll to the first person

from New Hampshire in line and we also got some free iced teas for the long wait. Also hanging out in Wicasset isn’t too bad; it call’s itself the “prettiest town in Maine.” Half way through the wait I decided to save my group a picnic table down by the river; I had my camera with me and got some great sea gull photos.

Once obtained, the lobster rolls were truly perfect. Tasty bread and warm butter on the side. I’d love to report back on the mayonnaise used but my Continue reading

I’m Enjoying Exploring the Fresh Foods Available in Maine in May

Classic Lobster Dinner

Thanks to my gourmet cook of a husband, I’m quite the foodie. Although food is not the main focus of my blog or photography, food is one of my main pleasures while traveling, and I am a fan of many Foodie Instagram accounts. You can also read about some of my ongoing food adventures at The Tiny Travelholic Facebook page.

Maine in summer is nirvana for Foodies with the new shell lobsters and fresh produce at Farmer’s Markets. Spring has fewer choices in fresh produce, but lobsters still abound as does other fresh fish, and shellfish. There are also fabulous local cheeses, local greens and my new favorite spring delicacy, fiddlehead ferns.

As for lobster, I’ve been here 12 days and I’ve had lobster three times. I actually feel I’m a bit behind there!  I definitely have noticed that the lobster shells are harder this time of year, since my husband has had to help me crack two of

Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster

them.  They have been delicious (although many say they are even more savory when they have their new shells in Summer). One distressing fact: lobster prices have been climbing, not because of a lack of lobsters, but because of an overabundance of them. Several years ago the lobster harvest was huge and prices were at an all-time low, so lobstermen went out and found new markets, many of them in Asia. That has been so successful that in spite of high lobster harvests, prices have risen and according to a local news report this week, are at or near all-time highs. That said,  I’ve had a huge 1.5 pound lobster dinner for $29.99 (at the wonderful Dolphin Marina restaurant at the tip of South Harpswell) and today a lobster shack lobster for about $15, so it still seems pretty good to me from a California perspective.

Another one of my favorite seafoods are local clams, fried with crumb batter. My favorite place to get these are at the Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster lobster shack in Freeport, Maine. I think my obsessive love with this type of delicious soft-belly clam comes Continue reading

Watching Kyoto Wake Up

Kyoto Arcade, Early Morning

Just Me and the Pigeons, Kyoto

I’m not a morning person. I mean, I am really not a morning person. With a long history as a thespian starting back in high school, my idea of a great schedule is going to sleep at 2 am and waking up 9 am at the earliest.

That said, I rarely keep such late hours when I’m traveling. I often wake up to catch the morning light for photography. And, when I’m in a city, I like to watch the city wake up.  My husband, who is a morning person, taught me this long ago on a trip to Venice.  Our first trip there was way back in the late 1980s, and, as usual, Venice was overcrowded with tourists. My husband liked to get up early each morning of our stay to walk the deserted streets and watch Venice come to life.  He exorted me to join him one morning to see how it was for myself.  Sick of all the throngs of tourists, I joined him, and it was a wonderful, eye-opening experience.

Ever since, I like to wake up early when traveling and walk the streets of a town or city as it wipes the sleep off and wakes up. I did just that in Kyoto this morning (second morning that I’ve done it this trip; I’m with a small group of lovely people, but walking alone to “get coffee” is my me-time). I enjoyed watching merchants opening their shops, people rushing to work, and bike ladies (and gentlemen) whizzing by with purpose on their bikes. The beginning and end of my walk was the Royal Park Hotel in Central Kyoto, near the Teramachi shopping mall.

Doutor Coffee Shop Kyoto

Doutor Coffee Kyoto

I actually do get coffee on these walks as well. Japanese hotel buffet machine-coffee is just OK, and why settle for just OK coffee when traveling?  My go-to chain coffee shops in Japan are Dotour and Tully’s.  Dotour opens pretty early, and that is where I got a lovely cappucino on my first walk. This morning, I wanted to try the local Ogawa coffee shop that my guide had recommended.  I arrived at 8am, only to find that it wasn’t open until 9am!  Who opens a coffee shop so late? Evidently the Japanese do, since they seem to enjoy tea in the morning and then coffee later in the day.

I can pretty much confirm this hypothesis (about coffee being a later-thing in Japan) since I then went to the Kyoto Starbucks by the Kamo River and the Sanjo Bridge.  If you’ve Continue reading