Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mama Di Matteo's Bar Harbor

We like Mama DiMatteo's. They stay open late in the season and are consistently good. We eat here at least once a season. Recently we tried their early bird dinner which was quite a deal. You get a choice of several entrees and it includes a choice of salad and a mini desert for $17. Its just the right amount of food and its tasty. Plus its a great deal - for example during regular dinner hours the Lobster Ravioli is $19.95. Get it between 5 - 6 or late night after 9 pm and its a special for only $17 with salad and desert.

On our recent trip we noticed a lots of families with kids. The kids menu is $6.95.

Blame It On Rio

Quickie review from the insider...

Where: Former XYZ location on the harbor in Manset (Southwest Harbor) near Hinkley Boat Yard

What: Brazilian food

Drinks: Fresh, unique, flavorful, generous and strong.

Food: Good but overpriced. $18 for franks and beans (black bean and sausage) and $28 for a sirloin. Make sure you check out the view of Southwest Harbor because you're paying for it. There is a lighter fare menu with $10 burgers, $8 Hot Dogs, lobster rolls and salads.

Service: Good, family affair with attentive service although my after dinner coffee cup was about 3/4 filled and no one came around to top it off.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bar Harbor in 3 - 5 days

If you think you can see all there is to see in a day, you are out of your mind! MDI is a place you can come back to year after year and still find new areas to explore. That is if you get out of your car. Fodor's suggests these highlights:

If You Have 3 Days

If you have three days on Mount Desert Island, stay in Bar Harbor. There's plenty of things in this popular resort town to keep you occupied on your first day -- from bustling boutiques to interesting museums. On Day 2, stop at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center to pick up information about special events, then head to Acadia National Park. A drive around Park Loop Road is a great way to learn the lay of the land. Stop along the way -- a lot of the scenic overlooks have informational signs you may find interesting. Finish up the Park Loop Road journey by driving to the top of Cadillac Mountain to enjoy the sunset. On Day 3, rent a bike and explore the network of carriage roads that crisscross the island. Take in the spectacular view of Jordan Pond from the observation deck of the Jordan Pond House, a restaurant known for its massive popovers with lots of strawberry jam. For the afternoon's entertainment, hike the South Bubble Mountain (easier) or Penobscot Mountain (more challenging).

If You Have 5 Days

Follow the three-day itinerary above. On Day 4, drive to Northeast Harbor, the summer home of many of the country's wealthiest families. Take in the Asticou Azalea Garden and Thuya Gardens. On your last day, take a sightseeing cruise in the morning. In the afternoon, head to Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, taking in Somesville and Southwest Harbor along the way.

Bar Harbor Travel Tips

BHI says - "Spring" can be wet and cold. Mid-May to Mid-June is black fly season. My favorite time is late June or Sept to mid-Oct. In the fall their are less families and more retirees especially cruise ship passengers so you'll find less people on the trails. Sept weather is great for hiking, warm during the day but cool at night. Pack some warm stuff. The shops in Bar Harbor do brisk business in sweatshirts when people from away come without proper clothing for the cool ocean breezes at night.


When to Go to Acadia National Park

Memorial Day and Labor Day mark the official beginning and end of high season on Mount Desert Island. The reality, however, is that there is no reason you have to visit during this narrow window. Temperatures often begin to rise in April or May. The crowds are smaller during these months, but you may have to contend with minor irritants such as ice and snow on the trails through Acadia National Park.

By September, the heat and humidity of the summer begin to taper off, making it one of the most enjoyable months to visit. Autumn foliage peaks between the end of September and the middle of October, enhancing the already spectacular views. Although many seasonal businesses close their doors after Columbus Day, the island does not shut down entirely. You can still find some good restaurants and a small number of lodging options throughout the winter months.

Regardless of when you decide to visit, you will enjoy your visit to the island more if you book your accommodations in advance. Although it's possible to find last-minute accommodations during the summer months, it may take several phone calls before you locate a room. If you have a particular type of lodging in mind, it's best to book as far in advance as possible. Accommodations tend to fill up especially quickly on holiday weekends. From November to April, your challenge shifts from finding an open room to finding an open hotel. You'll definitely want to call ahead.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Mainely Delights - Bass Harbor Maine

Mainely Delights is a little seafood and ice cream place tucked away across the Swan's Island Ferry and Morris Boat Builders in Bass Harbor, ME.

A locals favorite when it opens each summer season. I can't believe I've never tried this place until recently. Probably because it is a bit off the beaten path and with so many seasonal places to sample its hard to get around to all of them.

My son actually went here with a friend before I did. He had a doughboy (fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon) and recommended the place (he's seven).

So we went for lunch. I had a crab cake special. $6.95. Nothing fancy - lettuce, tomato, bun, homemade chips on the side and just about the freshest, best crab cake ever! Very little filler. This was not one of the frozen hockey pucks you might get in Bar Harbor. This was the real McCoy, freshest crabmeat (they pick it down the street), hand formed and not overcooked.

You can get shrimp sandwiches, crabmeat, lobster rolls and even full lobster dinners but I'd try the crabmeat which really is picked in small operations around town.

My son had the chicken fingers side order ($3.95) and ate every last one of them.

They serve desert until 9 pm so go for some ice cream and the famous old fashioned doughboys and doughgirls ($2.00). Fried dough with powder suger and cinnamon or simply powdered sugar.